When I first started eating clean, I struggled like many others. My mind was constantly filled with images of mouthwatering deep fried food. It was difficult to battle against the temptation. Most times I would just cave in. It took me nearly six months to switch to a 80% clean diet.
I began by choosing brown rice as my staple and having steamed fish regularly for dinner. Once in awhile I’ll have my cheat meals when I could not say no to truffle fries or my mum’s fried chicken wings. The truth is, if we get too fixated on eating clean without taking any rest, there is a possibility of developing binge eating disorder.
What exactly is clean eating?
“I am eating clean because I am not eating carbs.”
“I eat subway every day, I supposed it is clean eat?”
These were some of the comments I get from friends who had misconceptions of clean eating.
Clean eating means eating food that is from natural sources. Some examples are fresh meat, vegetables, fruits and unprocessed food like whole grain bread or brown rice. Foods that have been processed and contain artificial ingredients should be avoided. Those are what we often known as processed meat, canned food, polished rice and food that contains trans fat.
Tips on clean eating
I started meal prepping a year ago and would usually share it with my loved ones and friends. My lunch would include grilled salmon and steamed vegetables. I tried to create different healthy recipes for dinner and sometimes I would take vegetables as dessert to curb my sugar cravings.
Today, I am proud to say that I have pretty good self control when it comes to resisting the urge to binge on fried food. Clean eating is not a form of diet, it is actually a lifestyle.
For a start, you may consider:
- Eating small but frequent meals to curb your hunger pangs. You tend not to overeat when you have small frequent meals.
- Store healthy snacks and desserts in your kitchen. Replace ice cream, chocolates and potato chips with nuts, yogurts and fruits. You get the same satisfaction but a huge difference in nutrients.
- Drink lots of water. We all know that water has many benefits. Staying hydrated will also help to reduce the urge to overeat.
- Ensure that you have adequate sleep. People with inadequate sleep lack energy and they turn to comfort food to keep alert. Those who sleep early feel more rejuvenated and enjoy their food better.
- Unless you are preparing for a fitness competition, snacking is perfectly fine. Well, the rule of thumb is to have 1 cheat meal per week (not 3 cheat meals a day). It would take awhile to get used to this. I started from 2-3 cheat meals a week but I ensured that I was not feasting on them totally, just a few bites or a tiny scoop. I rewarded myself in this manner so that I won’t feel guilty.
Benefits of clean eating
- You feel more spirited
I am sure many of you can relate to the feeling of food coma after devouring a huge bowl of white rice with curry and probably need a can of coke to perk you up. White rice has high glycemic carbs which breaks down very quickly and that is why you cannot get a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Feeling energetic throughout the day is one of the biggest perks I received throughs clean eating.
- You lose fats
My total body fat percentage dropped from 32% to 20% after I improved my eating habits. This is a combination of both fitness and diet.
- You look better
In terms of physical appearance, my body became leaner and my face looked slimmer now. Apart from that, my skin got more radiant.
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