Sometimes there is simply too much focus with being on a diet of some sort. People always want to tell you what kind of diet they are on like, “I just did this 3-day cleanse and now I am on a low carb diet for the next few weeks.” While that is great for a short term fix, what are you supposed to do in the long term? You know, that period of time most of us live in when our weight rebounds after the diet.
The easy answer is to eat clean.
In fact, instead of constantly looking for a perfect diet, most people will benefit greatly from eating clean all the time. That means you follows a certain set of rules that govern what goes into your body, but you worry less about the portions and timing of it all.
For serious athletes this will be a bit too casual, but for the Average Joe this is exactly what the doctored ordered to get off the rollercoaster effect of constant diets. The benefits of eating clean are a faster metabolism, more energy, less stress, a healthier body, and just feeling good.
The Rules of Clean
- Never skip meals. Regular meals keep your metabolism and energy levels running smoothly. Breakfast kick starts your body the right way. Lunch, dinner, and a few snacks help your body run like it should. In fact, eating about 5 times a day spaced out evenly is a great option.
- Start strong, finish weak. Eat more in the beginning of the day and taper back after 4. You don’t need as much energy in the evening so don’t eat a ton of food that will just sit there then turn into fat.
- Watch your portions. People eat beyond being hungry, usually for emotional needs. By keeping your portions in control there isn’t the option of overeating even when you clean your plate. Skip the super-size and extra-large.
- Always pay attention to what you eat. That means not sitting in front of the TV or somewhere else shoveling food in your mouth while distracted. If you are eating it should be with a purpose, not as a side activity.
- Don’t count calories in an obsessive way. It is fine to understand how much you are taking in, but worrying about hitting a number is not natural. Your body needs more energy some days and less other. Also it gets to be a pain to constantly count and measure everything.
- Cut back on sugar and flour. Note this doesn’t say eliminate them. But, those two components are just empty calories that go right to fat storage and waste. They bring taste and elevated glucose levels along with diabetes over time. So avoid sugar and flour to help keep you trim and healthy.
- Reduce salt intake. Some salt is fine, excess is bad. There is plenty of sodium in foods and too much leads to high blood pressure.
- Avoid the bad fats. Certain fats like from nuts or vegetables such as avocado are fine but trans fats are awful. Deep fried foods, fatty meat, fatty dairy, and lard are things you don’t want going into your body because they tend to stay until you forcibly remove them.
- Include protein in some form at every meal. Your body needs the protein for muscle repair and building plus protein fills you up and burns slowly. As you get older you need regular protein for upkeep.
- Focus on vegetables and fruits. Carbohydrates end up being the Achilles heel for a lot of people. Try and fill up on fruits and veggies which are lighter and provide better nutrients than things like bread and rice. That is not to say you can’t have those as well, but just add them in addition to protein and veggies.
Now even with these rules of clean you don’t have to be tied to them. Ideally you want to follow them all the time but sometimes feel free to step off the wagon. Aim for 90% of the time following these rules and you will be a lot healthier and happier than people jumping from diet to diet.
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Harry Manos is a fitness expert who writes for Nutribomb. You can connect with Harry at our blog, forum, facebook page, or google plus page.