How To Eat Clean for Beginners

How To Eat Clean for Beginners 1

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: March 5, 2021

Clean eating has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years. With more and more people looking to improve their diets, the approach of clean eating has become more sought after.

The entire premise of ‘clean eating’ has to do more with what you are filling your diet with rather than what you are avoiding.

While you will need to avoid heavily processed food and excess sugar while following this type of lifestyle change, you won’t find yourself starving or feeling too hungry at any point. This is because cleaning eating enables you to take in enough calories to satisfy your body’s needs.

By eating healthier and ‘cleaner’ you can consume more food keeping you fuller for longer [1].

Top 7 Clean Eating tips For Beginners

1. Stop Eating Out

One of the main things you should be doing when you are looking to adhere to a clean eating lifestyle would be to prepare your meals. It can be very difficult to follow any sort of diet when you are constantly eating out. After all, you don’t control what goes into the food you eat.

This can make it very difficult to know whether you are eating clean or not. When you eat out, you typically get subjected to excessive amounts of sugar and salt.

Whereas, if you were to prep and cook your meals, you can avoid this entirely. After all, you will control what goes into your food every step of the way.

This means, you can eat clean and you will know exactly what you are eating.

2. Eat More Whole Foods

One of the easiest ways to start eating clean is by filling your diet with whole foods. One of the main things that you should be avoided when you are transitioning to this type of diet and lifestyle would be processed foods. Any food that comes processed isn’t going to contribute to your clean eating efforts.

Rather, you want to fill your diet with healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. By maximizing your intake of whole foods, you can cut down the total amount of processed foods in your diet.

Whole foods are generally the healthiest foods you can get into your diet no matter what diet or meal plan you are following. Studies have shown vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt are all foods associated with weight loss [2].

3. Balance Out Your Diet

When you are looking to adhere to a clean eating plan, you want to be certain you are eating a balanced diet. It’s important to consume a balanced diet because your diet needs a lot of macronutrients to function optimally.

If you are depriving your body of certain things, you could find yourself running into a lot of issues.

Sticking to a balanced diet can help to keep your energy levels as high as possible and it can keep you sticking to your clean eating approach.

4. Always Read The Labels

When you are looking to come up with a clean eating meal plan, you need to pay close attention to the nutritional labels on the food that you are eating.

The nutrition label will give you all of the information you need. You want to avoid consuming any food that contains too many ingredients. Generally, the longer the list of ingredients, the less clean it truly is.

You want to try to consume foods that have very short nutrition labels with relatively few ingredients. These will be the cleanest foods you can get into your diet.

5. Avoid Unhealthy Beverages

One of the main things a lot of people end up running into when they are looking to lose weight or get healthy is not knowing the negative impact drinks can have on your diet. The fact is, far too many people are drinking more calories than they are eating.

The number one drink you should be getting in your diet daily is water. Water should compromise the majority of your fluid intake.

Avoid any beverages that have too many calories. Likewise, you want to avoid drinking beverages with a lot of sugar and unhealthy ingredients. This is one of the easiest ways to limit your caloric intake for most people.

6. Add Healthier Fats

You should be avoiding consuming unhealthy fats. However, you should be looking to get more healthy fat into your diet. You can get healthy fat by eating fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. You can avoid unhealthy fats by avoiding processed foods.

7. Eat More Frequently

For those who struggle with unhealthy snacking, it may benefit you to split your meals into smaller meals throughout the day. This can be a good way to keep yourself from snacking on something unhealthy simply because you are hungry.

Split your meals out to around 6 per day and you will always have something healthy you can eat to keep you from reaching for that bag of chips.

Simple 7-Day Clean Eating Plan To Get You Started:

  • Breakfast

For the first day, you should start it off with a healthy breakfast that is full of healthy proteins and fats. Make yourself an omelet with an avocado on the side.

When you feel like switching things up, you can add black beans, fresh fruit, and more. Consider scrambling the eggs if you want to prep your eggs in different ways on different days.

You can even consider making yourself a green smoothie if you don’t want to or don’t have time to eat a full breakfast.

  • Lunch

For lunch, you have plenty of options to consider. You could make yourself some hard-boiled eggs, a cobb salad, or even an almond-banana sandwich on whole-grain bread. There are limitless options that you could have on your lunch menu.

  • Dinner

For dinner, you have a similar limitless amount of options to choose from. You can make yourself chicken and kale soup, meatballs with spaghetti squash, grilled chicken salad, or even salmon with quinoa.

All you need to do is find something that pairs well with one another and pack enough protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates into it for a clean meal.

Apps That Can Help With Clean Eating

Mobile apps can be a great resource if you are looking to make a big transition like switching to clean eating. Altering your lifestyle and switching your diet can be difficult enough as it is.

A mobile app can be just what you need to make the transition much more seamless. A lot of people end up failing to achieve their eating goals because it’s too much of a burden or because they don’t know what they should be doing.

Having an app that makes following a diet change easier solves this. Having an app that can give you the information you need is another major benefit that should keep you from giving up.

1. Noom

Noom is one of the most popular apps if you are looking to clean up your diet. Noom is great because it takes a very different approach to help you optimize your diet. It does so through education and accountability. With the Noom app, you aren’t simply told what you should be doing, but you are also informed on why you should be doing it. Best of all, it holds its users accountable for following through.

It provides you with a fully customized and comprehensive diet plan that will assess your entire health profile. Along with the optimized plan, you will get access to an easy-to-use food log and a calorie tracker.

RELATED READING: Does Noom Have a Free Trial?

It takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation. This helps to lessen the burden that generally comes with following a diet or making a significant lifestyle change.

With Noom, you are suggested what you should be eating and you will be given a list of things you should be doing as far as physical activity is concerned. You will also have healthy habits constantly reinforced throughout the entire time using it. Having and using the Noom app is sort of like having a dietician walk you through how to eat clean while providing you with the full accountability you need.

2. Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has a great app that can be useful if you are looking to transition to eating clean. With Weight Watcher’s app, you will have diet plans that you can sort through.

You will get thousands and thousands of recipes that you can follow. Likewise, you will even be greeted with the opportunity to attend workshops and participate in coaching sessions.

RELATED READING: Weight Watchers vs Noom

It comes with a very convenient and easy-to-use barcode scanner that you can use while you are at the grocery store. This will give you specific information about food and help you make better and more informed decisions. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions at any point to a diet coach.

Summary

Deciding to start eating clean is one of the best adjustments you can make to your diet and lifestyle. It is much more of a lifestyle change than a diet. After all, diets are meant to end at some point. They are typically unsustainable. Whereas eating clean is something that is not only sustainable but is healthy and encouraged.

References

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/what-is-clean-eating
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/