You may be aware that clean eating isn’t just about diet; rather, it’s about cleaning up your lifestyle and changing your outlook toward food altogether. Clean eating focusses on enjoying foods that are closest to their original form but then, how difficult would it be to incorporate it into your busy lifestyle? Here are a few simple ways by which you can eat clean even if you are time-strapped:
Eat more fruits and veggies
Yep, you’ve heard it many times before! But it does work – adding fruits and vegetables to your diet goes a long way in meeting your nutritional requirements and keeping you healthy and fuller longer (courtesy high fiber) sans the extra sugar.
And as a rule of thumb go only for fresh and organic whole foods rather than canned ones. Pick a fresh fruit instead of fruit juice and if you must go for processed vegetables, frozen are always better than canned ones.
Always read labels
When buying your groceries read the labels carefully and keep an eye out for calories, fat and carbs. Go for foods comprising fewer ingredients. Beware terms like “hydrolyzed” or “modified” and avoid ingredients such as canola oil, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and white flour. If the calorie amount is high, ensure the calories are coming from fiber and lean proteins.
Eating clean means avoiding additives altogether including sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, you can always get your daily dose of sugar through your favorite fruits. However, if you’re keen to include some sweetness into your diet, you can opt for agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or organic raw honey as a healthier substitute. Note: too much sugar will harm bodily processes in countless ways.
Make gradual changes
We know that it isn’t easy to switch to a cleaner diet so the key is to do it gradually, one change at a time. Say, on Day 1, you could add less sugar to your coffee, drink more water, or eat a fruit as a mid-day snacks.
Gradual changes would ensure you adapt to them properly and sustain the habit longer. Remember, clean eating is a lifestyle change that can’t happen overnight.
Have smart healthy snacks on hand
When you’re strapped for time and are hungry, that’s when you reach for unhealthy snacks as a quick fix before you return to work. Is the cookie jar calling your name? Go for a smarter snack packed with nutrients that will make yo feel satisfied until dinner rolls around. Your body will be grateful.
Always carry a water bottle
Can dehydration feel like hunger? It’s relatively common for people to confuse thirst with hunger. When you don’t drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals of hunger. Note: Staying hydrated throughout the day helps curb cravings, keeps you alert, and helps digestion.
Avoid processed foods
Avoid processed foods to the max. We are all looking for convenient foods these days but processed foods should not be on your shopping list. They are high in calories and usually loaded with cheap fats, refined oils that are often hydrogenated.
Embrace a cleaner diet by simply returning to consuming whole, natural foods and fresh produce. Let the culprits take a back seat while you change the way you eat and change your life for the better.