You may have heard about the eat clean diet to lose weight. Luckily, eating clean isn't just a passing fad or a new crash diet, but a sustainable way for everyone to improve their health and maintain a healthful weight.
Whether you're a vegetarian, Paleo-enthusiast or newbie to healthy living, the key to a successful healthy diet is eating clean. It doesn't matter if you spend hours slaving away at the gym every day, you're never going to be healthy if you feed your body junk. A clean diet is non-negotiable in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. So what does "eating clean" entail? Here are some basic fundamentals:
Eat More Whole Foods
Whole foods are in its most natural state when you eat them. Fresh fruits, vegetables and some grains are examples of whole foods. An apple is a whole food, whereas store-bought applesauce is not.
More: What Are Whole Foods?
You should strive to fill your diet with as many whole foods as possible. Whole foods are easily digestible and contain nutrients that are easy for the body to assimilate. They aren't filled with the excessive amounts of calories, sugars or fats, which are commonly found in processed foods. The human body was designed to digest whole foods, not processed foods, which brings me to the next point...
Cut Out as Many Processed Foods as You Can
For some, eating a complete whole-food diet is an easy goal, while for others, not eating any processed foods whatsoever seems impossible. The best advice: try to diminish as many processed foods as you can.
Michael Pollan once famously said, "If you can't say it, don't eat it." A good rule of thumb to live by is to not buy anything with more than five ingredients. Also try to avoid consuming foods that contain scary-sounding ingredients. Did you know that MSG goes by at least five different names?
Do Your Own Research
The Internet offers a great deal of information about food labels. The next time you're at the supermarket and you're unsure about what "Autolyzed yeast extract" is, consult Google.
Eat Balanced Meals
Stop focusing on non-fat, low-cal or sugar-free products. Focus on eating the right kinds of fats and sugars. Remember this rule: about half of your plate should be veggies, while the other half is divided in half so you have a quarter of whole grains and a quarter of protein.
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