In today’s world there is a huge push to improve general quality of life by not only exercising but also by eating clean. Clean eating can help with weight loss, maintaining clearer skin, improved mood and higher energy levels; all results that are beneficial at any age!
To attain results similar to those listed above, the concept of clean eating has been broken down into the following six steps:
1. Cook More- Seems simple, right? By cooking more you have the ability to control what exactly goes into your food, and how it is prepared. These factors are important in staying on top of tracking your diet and sticking to a diet plan.
2. Keep the Balance- Although at times it may seem like a good idea to eat a heaping helping of pasta for dinner, a balanced meal will help maintain your health and clean eating plan overall. Try to balance food groups according to doctor recommended health standards; meaning try to choose 5-6 ounces of lean meat per meal, and also try to make half of your meal plate full of healthy fruits and veggies. Preparing meals with a balance in mind will also be key in establishing healthy eating habits down the line.
3. Read the Ingredients! – Many of us ignore this crucial step at the grocery store and subsequently lose out on items that could be more in line with health goals. At the store, be sure to look for ingredient lists that are relatively short and easily recognizable. A good rule of thumb is to search and buy products that have 10 ingredients or less.
4. Know Where It’s Grown- Take note of where the food you’re looking at comes from. If possible try to purchase products that are locally sourced; a good solution is to shop at farmer’s markets when possible.
5. Don’t Forget to Hydrate- According to the CDC roughly 43% of adults drink less than 4 cups of water a day; that’s close to 50% less than the recommended amount! When possible try to avoid beverages that are high in sugar, caffeine and artificial sweeteners as they could cause dehydration and other detrimental health problems. A good way to add a little flavor to your water is to add in fruit, herbs or even veggies to keep things interesting!
6. Make Mealtime an Event- By taking time to sit down and truly enjoy the meal, you are able to avoid the temptations of fast food or other quick meal options that may be full of artificial preservatives. To really enjoy a “clean” meal, try to invite friends or family over to appreciate all of the hard work into making the meal come to life!
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