Clean eating for beginners | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:23 PM, July 16, 2019

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Clean eating for beginners

Clean eating is not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle change! Clean eating is a healthier choice, and unlike any other ‘fad diet’ out there, it requires your wholehearted dedication in adopting this philosophy.

There are certain rules and guidelines you need to follow. Clean eating will not only make you feel light from inside, but also help you shed those extra pounds and stay fit. In a nutshell, clean eating is all about choosing the right food, which are as close to their natural state as possible.

Here are the seven core principles of ‘Clean Eating’ —

EAT SMALL MEALS EVERY TWO OR THREE HOURS

Eating at regular intervals keeps your blood sugar level from slipping down from the minimum level. Another great thing about this is that it also reduces cravings for unhealthy food. Small meals at routine intervals is what helps your body to stay on track.

NEVER SKIP A MEAL

This will help maintain a stable blood sugar level and avoid snacking on the wrong food. Skipping meals is an unhealthy and unsustainable way to lose weight.

CHOOSE UNREFINED OVER REFINED FOOD

While it may not be possible all the time, you can increase your consumption of whole grains like brown rice, millet, quinoa, whole-wheat, etc. Beans and legumes are also important for a healthy diet.

Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup; raw sugar is advised. Refined white sugar or even zero calorie sugar are not suitable.

INCLUDE SOME PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATE AND FAT IN MEALS

Most of us typically do well with carbohydrates and fats, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day, like at breakfast and lunch.

Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer.

Olive oil, peanut butter, and nuts are considered good fat and should be included in your everyday diet.

DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES

High calorie drinks like coffees and soft drinks, on average, add an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, or my personal favourite, unsweetened tea (any flavour). Other clean drinks are low-fat or skim milk, coconut water, and 100 percent fruit juice.

WATCH PORTIONS

To stay healthy, one must also watch the amount of food intake per meal to make sure the intake is balanced. Avoiding sugary drinks and cutting back on salt is also an important part of ‘portion control.’

Choosing healthier snacks and at least two fruits a day is advisable. Balancing the portion size of carbohydrates and protein plays a vital role when trying to lose weight.

GET MOVING

Regular physical activity is a must for any individual who is trying to stay fit and healthy. Regular exercise helps to achieve a fit body and also strengthen and build muscles. It also helps you to burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.

There are quite a lot of health benefits if you follow clean eating; eating good food will make both your body and mind healthy.

Some visible benefits include:

• Glowing skin

• Lustrous hair

• Better sleep

• Loss of body fat

• Increased energy

• Maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels

• Feeling full rather than starved

• No side effects on health

• Improved immunity

• Not having to buy expensive packaged food

• Decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease

• Metabolism boost

Also, do remember to stay hydrated as much as possible, treat yourself with fruits smoothies, vegetable juices and lots of water (eight glasses minimum) in a day.  Pre-plan your meals and do grocery at least once a week.

Remember, if you have unhealthy food at home, you will end up having those, so store good food, veggies, nuts, oats and pulses at all times.

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN OF CLEAN EATING

Breakfast: 1 glass warm lemon water, 1 glass of chia soaked water, 2 egg white, scrambled, and 1 cup oats porridge

Snack: 1 cup green tea, 1 apple and 1 carrot 

Lunch: 2 glasses of water 15 minutes before lunch, 1 cup beans salad with boiled vegetable, 250g chicken breast grilled, and 1 glass orange Juice

Snack: 1 cup green tea, handful of nuts, and 1 banana

Dinner: 2 glasses of water 15 minutes before dinner; oats vegetable khichuri with chicken curry, and 1 cup milk (three hours) before bed.

Photo: Collected

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