What does it really mean to “eat cleaner”? There’s no specific diet to follow, so it can be hard to know how to clean up your daily eating habits. If you’re feeling lost or confused about how to eat cleaner, we’ve got your back! The simple rules are all you need to help you change up your eating habits to eat clean and healthy:
Rule #1: Simple = Better
A complex gourmet meal with lots of different ingredients and sauces and flavorings can be much harder to keep “clean” than a simple three-ingredient meal. Your goal with your clean eating habits should be to simplify your meals as much as possible. Three or four ingredients is all you need. For example: steak, potatoes, and sautéed spinach and kale; chicken, rice, and broccoli; salmon, rice, and steamed carrots. Stop worrying about the fancy, overly delicious meals, and simplify your eating habits as much as possible. The fewer ingredients you add into your cooking, the easier it will be to ensure that every one of those ingredients is clean and healthy.
Rule #2: Eat From Scratch
Buy everything raw—from your whole grains to your legumes to your veggies to your proteins—and only eat what you have cooked from scratch. That means the only flavors you can add into your meals are salt, pepper, and spices, but no condiments or sauces unless you used raw ingredients to make them. Anything processed, pre-cooked, packaged, canned, bottled, or frozen is no longer an option for you. It will take some getting used to, but changing up your cooking habits to only use raw ingredients can be a great way to help you clean up your eating and ONLY eat healthy, raw, unprocessed foods.
Rule #3: Eat for Fuel
Stop worrying about making that food taste so delicious that you enjoy every bite. Our modern society concerns itself more with eating for pleasure than it does with eating for nutrients. Your goal should be to only consume what your body needs to keep functioning properly, regardless of how it tastes. That doesn’t mean you should make gross, bland, or inedible food, but you need to start changing your mindset. Think of food as fuel, something that your body needs regardless of how flavorful it is. You’ll find it’s much easier to start eating the right quantities, quality, and balance of food when you treat it as fuel for your internal engines.
Rule #4: Eat On a Schedule
If you eat at the same time every day, it will train your body to burn energy at the same time each day. And you’ll find that regular meals help to control your appetite and keep your metabolism burning steadily all day long.
Rule #5: Slow Down
Put your fork down between bites. Take your time to enjoy your meal. Focus on the textures and flavors of each bite, really savoring each. You’ll find this can do wonders to help you be more conscious of what you’re putting in your body!
Rule #6: Pay Attention to Your Body
Look for signs of hunger and eat when you’re hungry, and pay attention to the signs that you are full or satiated to let you know when it’s time to stop eating. You need to start listening to your body, and look for the signs that you need food or you’ve had enough. Those internal cues are the best guide to help you know how much to eat every day, and you’ll find they can help you lose weight faster if you just start paying attention!