Ever heard of the term clean eating? If not, then this is what it means. Clean eating is an excellent way of refreshing your eating habits. It’s all about choosing smart options which can develop your eating habits into ones that are healthy so that you can live a longer, fuller, leaner life.
Alongside your rigorous workouts and training sessions, you need to embrace the intake of clean foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, in addition with consuming certain fats and proteins to help your muscles in staying firm and well maintained
Let’s have a look at 10 such ways that can help you in maintaining a lean body and a clean diet, rich in health and goodness:
1. Say Hello to Veggies
We’ve all been told, since what seems like the beginning of time, to eat up all our veggies. Here’s why: vegetables have an abundance of vitamins especially vitamin K and A which are a good source of energy and strength, aiding you in staying motivated during your workouts. These are also good for maintaining the health of our bones, our vision, and proper immune function. Veggies are low in calories so you can continue to munch as much as you can without worrying about destroying those muscles you’ve put so much effort in building.
Veggies are fresh and clean and do not undergo any harmful processing, so they are perfectly safe to eat. Munch on some carrots instead of chips and start having more of vitamin packed salads. Make sure you get your daily dose of this freshness by eating 2 to 3 cups of these clean and green veggies.
2. Put a Stopper to Processed Foods
Did you know that processed foods are filled with excessive amounts of sugar, fat and sodium? Now that obviously doesn’t shout out healthy or clean from any angle, does it? In order to avoid suffering from a diet burnout, you should limit your intake of foods that are processed.
Instead, start a series of experimentations by cooking healthier, homemade versions of the foods you love eating. Cook up some mac n cheese with clean foods like baby spinach, which enhances muscle strength and endurance. Include chickpeas in your diet using whole wheat pasta, and throw in some more healthy ingredients that are better suited to your taste buds. You will stay in shape without harming those sculpted muscles and keep your level of endurance high during workout sessions as well.
3. Saturated Fats Out, Healthy Fats In
When you follow the path of clean eating, you need to swap saturated fats like cheese, butter and meat with healthier fats such as canola and olive oil which are present in foods like fatty fish, peanut butter and nuts. Keep your heart healthy, keep your cholesterol in check, perform better during workouts and ride on the road to healthy living with these healthier fats.
4. Cut Back On Salt
Too much of salt can heighten your blood pressure levels. Therefore, cutting back on salt is highly recommended. Flavor and season your food with spices, citrus, herbs and vinegar to minimize the usage of salt while cooking. Packaged and processed foods are another source of too much salt and cutting back on these items can ensure you don’t go overboard on your salt intake.
5. Put Down That Glass of Alcohol
Any bodybuilder would know that alcohol consumption is a big ‘No’. This is because alcohol has adverse effects on recovery, hydration, and anabolism. However, its consumption in small amounts is a safe option. Also, keep away from mixed drinks that are packed with added sugars that scream out ‘not healthy!’
6. Keep Added Sugars at Bay
An essential element of clean eating habits is keeping your distance from an abundant amount of added sugars, namely candy, baked goods and soda. Keep in mind to steer clear of eating too much of healthier items like yogurt and cereal that can contain added sugars. Opt for plain varieties instead.
7. Grab a Bite of Nature’s Candy – Fruits!
After a workout, your body needs to be re-fueled and fruits are the perfect way to do so. Fruits are naturally sweet and not to mention, utterly delicious. They are also rich in vitamin C and potassium and are natural, pure and unprocessed. You can snack on them during workouts, or whenever you feel like sweetening your mouth instead of grabbing candy bars and soda cans. They’ll give you the energy you require to pump up those weight training sessions and help you in staying healthy as well.
Apples and oranges are especially good in building lean muscle. Apples contain polyphenols which are an excellent source for preventing muscle fatigue and increasing muscle strength. Eating apples can actually benefit you in training harder for longer periods of time. Oranges, when eaten before workouts, are known to boost endurance, strength and muscle growth.
8. Eat Smaller Portions of Meat
Start eating meat in lesser quantities so as to clear your diet of extra amounts of saturated fat, which, as mentioned above, are the opposite of eating clean. Eat high quality proteins for building up muscle strength, but in smaller quantities. Add some beef obtained from grass fed cattle in these smaller meals to shed body fat and start building leaner muscles.
And try adding vegetable proteins to your meals including beans and tofu, opting for minimal quantities of meat in stir fried and soups dishes
9. Say Goodbye to Refined Grains
Another way of ensuring that you eat clean is by cutting back on refined grains and white flour. Unlike the much healthier choice of whole grains, refined grains are mostly stripped off essential nutrients like fibre and magnesium. This is due to them being processed. Plus, refined grains are most commonly found in junk snack items and baked and packaged foods like cookies, cakes, and crackers.
So skip the white pasta and white bread and move to a healthier lifestyle with including more of whole wheat bread and pasta.
10. Grab Some Nutrient Enriched Whole Grains
Get long lasting energy during workouts through whole grains which are packed with nutrients as opposed to refined grains. This is because the germ and bran are not removed. When you go grocery shopping for pastas and breads, try to purchase brands that have whole wheat labelled in the ingredients. You can also choose to opt for whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa.
Another reason to adopt this particular clean eating habit is because it is associated with lowering belly fat and body mass.
You won’t feel more refreshed overnight. But incorporating these clean habits in your daily life can certainly help you in the long term. Give your body the nourishment it deserves. Eat clean, stay lean, and be happy and healthy.
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Sohail has been searching diets and belly fat solutions for over a decade, and manage a pool of trained authors to write articles, which have helped thousands of readers to this date. He has CPD accredited Certificate in Nutrition for Weight Loss besides his MBA degree. He also owns this website, which he founded in 2013 to share his ideas and knowledge. Not to mention he has tried numerous supplements over the years and has an extensive and thorough knowledge on supplements. Besides spending time on his study, research and literature, Sohail loves swimming, gardening and travelling.