What is Clean Eating? How does it work?
HEALTHY TASTY FOOD WITHOUT THE ADDITIVES
The Eat Well–Be Well programs are designed to help you lose weight and also become healthier. The programs follow the 7-Steps and at the heart of them, the eating part, is Clean Eating. Lets then look at Clean Eating, what this means and how it can help you lose weight.
Clean Eating is choosing natural, mostly fresh foods which are, whenever possible, seasonal, locally sourced and organic. Clean Eating is about choosing food that is additive free which means without colourings, flavourings, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, thickeners or stabilisers. It’s also about avoiding foods with added sugars, foods that have been overly processed and any food with trans-fats.
Sadly, so much of our food is no longer ‘clean’. Food crops are frequently sprayed with insecticides or the seeds have been pre-treated. Genetically modified foods are increasingly in the food chain. Virtually all food on the supermarket shelves have been sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, preserved, flavoured, thickened and some has been so intensify modified that ‘food’ is hardly a name for it. Eating Clean includes lots of raw, seasonal and locally produced foods.
When you begin to eat more natural, fresh and seasonal food, your digestive system works more efficiently. No longer will your body be over-taxed by having to process the food additives which are mostly alien to your digestive system. It’s also to know that the transition to Clean Eating is a journey. It takes time. Yet even substituting one poor food/drink choice for a healthier option takes you one step closer to a healthier and slimmer you.
How Exactly does Clean Eating help me lose weight?
In very simple terms it works like this. When you eat foods that contain high levels of sugar—such as food made with white flour or sugar, processed foods, or very sweet fruit—this can raise your blood sugar levels. Unless you’re in the middle of physical activity, this excess sugar in your blood is considered harmful by your body. So, insulin is released to ‘mop’ it up, converting it into body fat. Unfortunately, this process often causes your blood sugar levels to become too low. Your body reacts to this by sending craving messages for sweet foods—to increase your blood sugar levels—and a vicious cycle is created. Clean Eating helps reduce these highs and lows as it takes the body longer to digest fresh, natural foods, slowing down the release of sugar into your blood stream. When your blood sugar levels steady, the triggering of an insulin response is minimised.
Eating more natural and fresh food is generally more filling. This helps settle your appetite into a more natural rhythm too.
My mantra for Clean Eating is: “Eat more Veggies” but your diet (what you eat) needs to be balanced. Veggies take pride of place because they have so many health-giving properties. Each meal and snack should contain small amounts of protein and good fats as well as vegetables and fruit. When you eat like this your body will respond by helping you lose your body fat. No starving. No dieting. No counting. No gimmicks. Just a proven new way of eating to help you lose weight.
If you join one of my Eat Well—Be Well programs, we will dive in to a Body Cleanse which is 100% Clean Eating for 4-6 weeks. This will immerse yourself into way of eating very quickly. Even after the Body Cleanse though, there will be adjustments and refinements until you discover what works for you. In time you can reach a point where around 80% of what you eat is ‘clean’ – and the rest of the time you can really enjoy your treats without beating yourself up. The surprising thing is some of those treats that you used to love – you lose your taste for them. They begin to taste sickly sweet, artificial, plastic, cloying and so Clean Eating becomes more and more of your natural choice too.
CLEAN EATING: REAL FOOD VS BRANDS
Clean Eating is returning to foods that provide real health benefits versus what is often ‘sold’ to us as ‘healthy’. For example most breakfast cereals manufacturers boast about the 8 vitamins and minerals they have added to their cereals. Some even advertise they can help with weight loss. Yet what the cereal manufacturers conveniently omit to tell you that the grains had many more vitamins, minerals and micronutrients before the manufacturing process destroyed them. These 8 vitamins and minerals only replace the those that were destroyed and they are legally obliged to add them. In reality the majority of breakfast cereals are so highly processed that apart from the added nutrients, they are more akin to eating sugar. See my breakfast recipes for some healthier alternatives.
We live in world where food and drinks have become brands and most of the larger food manufacturers are far more concerned with their financial bottom lines than how big our bottoms may become by eating their food. Of course there are some ‘good guys’ and not everything that is produced by food manufacturers is bad. However, far too much of our food is significantly modified and this is playing a big part in serious health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
I know that for many of you Clean Eating may sound somewhat daunting, but it is easier than you imagine. The biggest part is simply getting used to this new approach to food.
EATING A CLEAN DIET: THE SIDE EFFECTS
After a few weeks of clean eating everyone, without exception, feels so much better. Everyone finds they sleep better and have far more energy. Most women report they are no longer bloated. They receive compliments about their bright eyes, shiny hair and glowing complexions. With these side effects, wouldn’t you want to start it today? And of course lose weight too!
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