clean eating for weight loss
Diets,  Nutrition,  Weight Loss

Can You Lose Weight By Clean Eating?

Clean eating is best described as avoiding all processed, artificial foods from your daily diet and go for healthy, whole, and unprocessed foods.  Followers of clean eating believe that since the body comes from nature, then, bring it back to nature and enjoy the benefits of eating clean:

  • living longer, 
  • healthier life, 
  • glowing skin and hair, 
  • Effective, fast weight loss
  • Healthy weight maintenance

Basically, losing weight begins in the kitchen. A good parameter for losing weight is 70% of what you eat, 30% of physical activity. However, you can exercise everyday but fail to lose some pounds because of the kind of food that you consume.

To understand the principles of clean eating, we need to know, “What is processed foods?”

“Processing foods” features:

  • Any and all additions like salt, fat, sugar to help enhance flavor, as preservatives to keep food from spoiling fast, vitamins that enriches any beverage and even breakfast cereals. 
  • Altering the form of the natural food, like eliminating germ and bran from whole grains to produce refined bread, or mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying vegetables.
  • Foods that are prepared with components in a laboratory, like hotdog, jarred organic, pasta sauce, and even instant oatmeal.
  • Cooking can also change the natural form of the natural food. A sample is steamed broccoli where it is “technically” processed. 

How processed food becomes “bad?”

Food processing is not always bad. Processing tries to remove toxins or bacteria. It also let us get some types of foods during its off-season by freezing or canning, like pasteurized milk. Processing can also change the consistency or the flavor of the food to make it more delicious and appealing. Have you tried the kale-celery-spinach-banana smoothie that you take after workout? The smoothie, instant oatmeal, and pasteurized milk  are somewhat “processed.” But diet coke or doughnuts are examples of ultra-processed foods.

Ultra-processed foods are made with genetically modified organisms or GMO and these are linked to cancer and infertility. Ultra-processed foods are highly processed foods that are stripped of nutrients that are needed for health. These heavily processed foods tend to contain additives that stimulate the production of dopamine (“pleasure”) that encourages the negative cycle of junk food cravings.

Ultra processed foods are advertised to make them look “good” to consumers, like less sodium, no trans fats,or vitamin-enriched. They actually  cause more harm to our understanding of healthy eating than we may realize.

Easy Guides to Clean Eating

image: Healthline
  • Eat whole foods. It means eating oats and blueberries instead of blueberry muffins. If you get packaged foods, get those from brands that produced from “real food” ingredients that you can easily recognize, understand, can pronounce, and a food stuff that you can actually make in your kitchen.
  • Simply your meals. Just keep your ingredients to a minimum and be sure to include sources of whole grains, healthy fat, lean protein at every meal. For instance, vegetables and shrimp stir-fried in sesame oil over a cup of brown rice. It looks like a restaurant-cooked meal but can be easier and healthier version.
  • Eat slow. Place your fork or spoon down between each bite and enjoy the flavor and texture of the dish. 
  • Eat on a regular schedule. Avoid letting more than two or four hours go by between your meals or snacks. Consistent meal timing helps regulate your digestive system, blood sugar, and appetite.
  • Listen to your body. Eat when you are really hungry and stop when you are full. Feeling full means satisfied, not “stuffed.”

Eating clean means 

image: ZeeNews

Unprocessed foods such as fresh veggies and fruits, nuts, legumes, farm-fresh eggs, while minimally processed foods include unrefined grains (whole wheat bread, popcorn, brown rice, pasta, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal), frozen veggies and fruits, unprocessed meat (pastured over grain-fed, wild over pastured), oils, hormone-free dairy.

You may opt for pesticide-free organic food to avoid eating added hormones or chemicals, or you can get biodynamic foods. However, clean eating does not also mean eating in bountiful. Take note that even though they are healthy foods, they still contain calories. According to Marissa Lippert, R.D.,  she always encourage people to think of their plate in terms of fifths: three-fifth should be fruits and veggie, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth should be healthy carbs.

Cooking Clean

image: The Conversation

Again, cooking can alter your food, but it may not be necessarily be bad. EA Stewart, R.D., says, “While it’s true that some nutrients are lost during cooking , like vitamin C, other nutrients are increased when foods are cooked, like lycopene, so it’s best to eat a wide variety of foods, in both their raw and cooked forms.”

It is suggested that when cooking food, you should focus on maintaining the wholeness of what you are eating and avoiding high-fat cooking techniques (deep frying, stewing in animal or vegetable fats.

You can also flash-cook food like stir-frying and ones without additives such as steaming. However, for fruits and vegetables, raw is best. Steaming them is second best as it can preserve some nutritional value and keep the natural integrity of the food.

A Sample of One-Day Meal Plan

(published in Shape.com)

For Breakfast: Cook traditional quick-cooking oats with the use of organic skim or soy milk and top with a sliced apple and drizzle with chopped walnuts.

For Lunch: Toss baby spinach with balsamic vinegar and salt-free dried Italian herbs, and top with a scoop of chilled red quinoa and cannellini beans (canned, drained, and rinsed beans) and sliced avocado. 

For Snack: Drizzle a little honey into a container of nonfat Greek yogurt, fold-in a sliced small banana, and garnish with sliced almonds.

For Dinner: Saute onion, halved grape tomatoes, and chopped green bell pepper in extra-virgin olive oil until it becomes slightly tender. Add chicken breast or organic tofu to heat through. Serve over whole wheat penne.

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