Clean Eating 101

Perhaps you have heard of clean eating through social media or on a TV segment, but while the term itself is appealing, it is hard to deduct exactly what ‘clean eating’ is and what it entails. In the simplest terms, clean eating is simply aiming to eat real foods in their natural state- or as close to natural state as possible. Ultimately, clean eating is really more of a lifestyle than it is a diet.

Unlike diets, as long as a food is grown or raised as opposed to being manufactured or processed it is not considered off limits. There are no precise portions to adhere to nor caloric restrictions to follow. Even better, there are no expensive programs to enroll in nor pricy supplements to buy.

As people rid their bodies of refined, processed, and chemical-laden foods, a multitude of benefits are reported. Many people have more energy, fewer aches and pains, and better sleep. Clearer skin and improved mood is often frequently reported.

People who follow clean eating practices focus on the quality of their foods and drinks. While organic choices are not an absolute requirement of clean eating, it is preferable to choose organic, pasture-raised, locally grown, or similar options as much as is applicable and available. These choices are optimal in order to keep harsh chemicals, hormones and antibiotics off of your food choices and out of your body.

Additionally, clean eating principles put a focus mindful eating. As you practice clean eating you are encouraged to pay attention to what you are eating and how it makes you feel. People who follow a clean way of eating learn to pay attention to the cues their bodies give them about when they are full. Rather than eating everything on your plate, simply because it is there, you eat to nourish yourself and stop when you have had enough.

As such, even though clean eating is not a weight loss plan, many people do enjoy weight loss benefits when they switch to this more mindful way of eating. Further, the mindfulness encouraged by clean eating helps people to slow down enough to notice if particular foods are hard for them to digest.

A final tenet of clean eating is that people are encouraged to eat several small meals throughout the day. Instead of eating three large meals, it is preferred that you eat five to six small meals throughout the day. This allows you to stay full and helps to avoid the temptation to overindulge.

Switching to clean eating is simple, and can be done as soon as you decide you are ready. For example, instead of a processed protein bar, someone who aims to eat clean would opt for getting protein intake through choices such as high quality meats, eggs, dairy, fermented tofu, nuts, or beans. As you can see through this example, eating choices are broad and plentiful when you are eating clean. This allows you to tailor your food intake to suit virtually any dietary needs or preferences.