We’ve all heard the popular quote: “A healthy outside starts from the inside”.
Indeed, safe and effective weight loss concerns diet and nutrition more than anything else. If you’re trying to lose weight through various means (let’s talk about fad pills and crazy diets) for the longest time but still are faced with the painful truth that nothing changes, maybe you need a different approach.
As simple as it sounds, eating clean and healthily as a way to lose weight is not known to many. Yes, many believe that exercise can help them get rid of extra fat, but at the same time, they also think that junk food and sweet indulgences here and there won’t hurt their goal.
If I have to hit a buzzer for every misconception about weight loss and nutrition, I bet I’ll be pressing it quite often. That’s why the purpose of this post is to help you lose pounds the right and safe way through healthy eating.
Consume Whole Foods
For change to happen, it must be started. When it comes to eating clean, starting is the hardest part. You need to constantly remind yourself of your fitness goal, that you’re working towards a better you.
Let’s begin with the very essence of eating clean and healthily: eliminating all processed and artificial foods from your diet. Be prepared to get your nutrition from whole, unprocessed foods. These foods are organic, earth-produced, and free from artificial chemicals.
Whole foods provide the body with lots of benefits.
- More minerals and vitamins
- More fiber and essential fats
- More phytochemicals
- Lower calories in general
Instead of ordering pizza for dinner, stack your refrigerator with organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains. Substitute white rice with brown, choose baked potato over french fries, and eat lean steak instead of processed patties.
Make sure that your meals include low-carb vegetables and a protein and fat source. Good sources of protein include eggs, meats, and seafood. Some healthy fat sources are olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado.
Reduce Sugars and Starches
Another important step in eating clean is to reduce consumption of sugars and starches, which supply simple carbs that the body can break down quickly and use as energy. However, these simple carbs can make you gain weight faster.
Cutting back on sugars and starches can:
- Reduce your appetite
- Help you lose weight without starvation
- Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lower your insulin levels
Make a Nutrition Journal
Although this sounds like a lot of work, recording your intake and planning your meals ahead is an important task as it helps you track the calories you consume. Besides, we’re now in the era of technology, so making a journal or record of your food intake has been made easier by various apps.
Doing so will also make you aware of your own cravings and habits. This is advantageous as it enhances your ability to plan your meals and include healthy foods that will satisfy your cravings.
In short, tracking your intake will help you design a healthy lifestyle geared towards weight loss, while at the same time, still enjoy some of your favorite foods.
Hydrate Your Body
More than food, water is vital for the body to function. In weight loss, water should not be taken out of the list. Aside from the obvious benefits of water, it also naturally boosts metabolism, leading to weight loss.
When you drink water, you fill your stomach, keeping you full and preventing you from having cravings and eating. Further, it helps get rid of toxins and maintains the balance of body fluids.
So, how much should I drink every day, you ask? The ultimate goal should be to drink 1 gallon of water daily. But if you’re just starting, start slow, then gradually increase your water intake as time goes on until you achieve the 1-gallon goal.
If possible, avoid fruit juices and sugary drinks. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, here are some refreshing detox water recipes that use natural ingredients.
Move, Move, Move!
Although not technically a part of this ‘eating clean’ plan, exercise is highly recommended. Exercise is the other half of weight loss, and when the two are practiced at the same time, losing weight becomes something within reach.
You don’t need to train hard like a professional athlete, but remember that exercise plays a significant role in shaping and toning your body and getting rid of extra pounds. You can start by doing cardio or yoga for 10 to 30 minutes every other day, and progress to strength training or weightlifting as you go on.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult, but it requires discipline, consistency, and commitment. It entails some changes not only in your eating habits but also your lifestyle in general. When adhering to this weight loss plan, don’t feel like you are left out. Instead, see it as a challenge towards a healthier life.
Would you follow this plan? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts and experiences!