Making the choice to get serious about your weight loss can be confusing. Most of all, new foods and terminology will come flooding in left and right. A common phrase that you can expect to hear floating around is “clean eating.”
For good reason too! The food that you feed your body can easily account for the majority of your weight loss. Hence, why clean eating is so important.
What Is Clean Eating?
First of all, clean eating is when you eat foods in their natural and whole forms. These foods are typically unrefined, unprocessed, and have no chemical additives. Most of these foods do not come in a package and if they do, there are minimal ingredients.
Secondly, clean eating involves a lifestyle change. It’s not a fad diet. It simply changes the way you think about food. For instance, generally speaking, clean eating means that you cook the majority of your food from scratch.
Finally, clean eating is eating real food. Real food is full the various vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave.
Benefits of Clean Eating
When I started cleaning up my diet and eating better foods, there were a number of improvements I noticed within the first few weeks. While everyone may experience different results, I am going to list the changes that I felt made the biggest difference to me.
So, here are some benefits I experienced from clean eating:
- Weight Loss
- Less Bloating
- Increased Energy
- Felt Better
- Improved Skin
- Better Mood
- Lower Grocery Bill
- Enjoyed Cooking
Clean Eating: Before & After Photos
I am actually still on my weight loss journey so it’s not really an after shot. However, you can still see the difference that eating clean can make. These photos don’t have any filters and I am not wearing any makeup in any of them.
In the first picture, I was eating fast food, junk, highly processed meals, and drinking soda all the time. Not only did I gain a lot of weight, my choices showed through in the form discoloration, puffiness, bloating, and breakouts on my face.
In the second and third photo, I have been clean eating and only drinking water. Also, these photos were all taken in the same year – months apart.
How Do I Start Clean Eating?
Okay, so now your pumped and ready to get going. Let me start by saying this. Clean eating is not difficult. It’s simple and actually very enjoyable.
Before we can discuss the food that we need to be eating, we need to take a few minutes to get rid of all the junk, highly processed, and chemical laden foods in the pantry and refrigerator.
I know some of you may feel that you have the willpower to say no to these foods, but I think it is best to not have those items in the house at all.
What Foods Can I Eat?
There are a ton of foods you can eat. The focus is to move away from packaged and processed foods.
Ideally, you want to fill your kitchen with:
- Fruits (Apples, Berries, etc.)
- Vegetables (Broccoli, Collards, etc.)
- Whole Grains (Brown Rice, Couscous, etc.)
- Legumes (Beans, Lentils, etc.)
- Protein (Chicken, Tempeh, etc.)
Here are some healthy meal ideas to get you started.
Note: Water and unsweetened herbal tea are the only beverages you should be drinking. Sodas, juices, and smoothies are packed with sugars, chemicals, and unnecessary calories your body doesn’t need.
I have a clean eating cheat sheet included in my FREE Healthy Weight Loss Starter Pack. It also comes with many other things like a meal planner, grocery list, tips, and more.
You can sign up below and get yours delivered to your inbox!
What Is Batch Cooking?
Batch cooking is when you prep food that you will be eating a lot of during the week at one time.
For example, I know that I want to snack on oranges, celery, and carrots during the week. Well, on Sunday I will peel all the oranges and wash the celery and carrots and store them in containers. When I head out to work, I will grab a container with the snacks and take it with me.
This same process can be applied to your meals. You can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner in advance so that all you have to do is take it out of the refrigerator and reheat it. I like to make enough food for two days at a time.
You can batch cook salads, sandwiches, snacks, and more. It really does save time and help you to stick to your meal plan.
You can find my favorite snack containers for cold food here.
Clean Eating Kitchen Essentials
While knowing what to eat is one part, having the right tools can also make all the difference. These are items that I feel are important to stay on track and organized. Especially if you don’t have the time to cook a meal everyday right before eating it.
So, whether you are following a recipe and need exact measurements or are trying to measure you lunch for tomorrow, having a great set of measuring utensils like these can really help.
Meal Prep Containers
When I cook healthy food and store it in the fridge for a few days at a time, I am ensuring that I always have something healthy to eat and that I am not going to be tempted to go buy fast food if I’m too tired to cook.
These meal prep containers are perfect for storing food in the refrigerator or taking with you to work for a healthy lunch.
Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers
Glass storage containers are another great way to store your food if you prefer not to use plastic. These containers have 2 compartments and use Smart Lock lids that make it easy to snap on and off.
I also really like how they come with their own triple insulated lunch bag! How convenient!
The great thing about using glass containers is that they are microwave, oven, dishwasher, and freezer safe.
If you are new to clean eating it’s simple! Small things like getting rid of the food you should not be eating, having a clean eating cheat sheet, batch cooking, and getting clean eating kitchen essentials can make the transition easy.