Whether you are already counting points or just thinking about eating a healthier dinner once a week, here are some secrets to help you succeed…
1) Walk Off Your Next Meal
Sometimes you don’t need to change what you’re eating, you just need to change the amount you’re eating. I keep every meal within the same caloric restrictions. If I cannot walk it off in a reasonable amount of time…there are too many calories.
At my height and weight I burn off about 500 calories if I walk for 45 minutes at a brisk pace. That is a great tool to gauge the size and quantity of what I should eat. This will save you calories and after a few weeks will become second nature. Just make sure to adjust the caloric intake as you lose weight!
2) Be Mindful
Clean eating isn’t just about making sure you’re putting the right foods in your body to keep it running at the optimal setting. It is also about getting your mind and body in sync with one another. You must be mindful.
When cooking a meal, try shutting the kitchen door and focusing on just what you’re doing. Don’t multitask. Focus on the food. Limit distractions.
Doing this gives you the time you need to connect with your food and to connect with what you are going to be making yourself. Clean eating is about detoxifying your mind, body, and soul. Cleaning out all of those areas of life that have gotten clogged over the years.
3) Go Organic…if You Can
One of the benefits of clean eating is that you are limiting yourself to only putting good food in your body. That’s it. We all know that the world is full of stuff that’s not so good for us and often that stuff is injected, sprayed on, or coated on our food.
Going organic means you are keeping those chemicals off your food and out of your body. This is primarily important when juicing or consuming raw fruits and veggies. Washing doesn’t take all of the chemicals off.
The easiest way to go organic? Shop at your farmers market. Don’t have one? Grow your food. Can’t do that? Check your local area for a CSA (community supported agriculture) that you can join! Your body will thank you!
I’ve said it before but I cannot express enough my love of juicing. Why? It is one of the most successful ways of delivering the right nutrients to you body. Think of it as healthy fast food.
Every morning I’m up at 6. I make my family a huge pitcher of Carrot, Apple, and Lemon juice. It is invigorating, full of fiber, and filling as all get out. I don’t drink coffee or tea. My energy is simply from the juice.
Juicing provides some key benefits:
- Calorie reduction without nutrient deprivation
- Promotion of healthy eating habits
- Delicious way to consume fresh produce
- Floods the body with micronutrients
Not sure about juicing? The best way is to try it just once a day as a snack! Lots of places sell cold pressed juice! Here in Raleigh, I can get it delivered!
5) Get Geeky
Sometimes the excitement of a new adventure burns only long enough for you to see it through one meal. The key is in repetition.
The best way to do this? Immerse yourself in the lifestyle. Cook lots. Read articles. Research cookbooks. Make your library or indie bookstore your best friends. There are so many resources out there for individuals looking to get a bit healthier.
My rule of thumb is to read everything once, making notes as I go about passages or chapters that I’d revisit. Then I go back. Sometimes a book isn’t worth it’s weight in paper and the diet industry is a billion dollar business…so be careful.
However, there are a few gems out there from trusted sources! Dig!
6) Follow the Leader
I often find what I need is to follow. I like a plan. A set workout routine. I want something that I can rely on with certainty.
In 2006 I discovered Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home program. I HIGHLY recommend it to those of you that cannot get time to get outside and take a walk. If you can only fit 15 minutes in a day…you can walk a mile. Just 15 minutes will clear your mind, airways, and get your heart pumping the way it needs to.
Sitting is the new smoking…we’ve all heard it. Our bodies were meant to move. Get up and move. You’re body (and mind) will thank you! Not to mention…it helps flush toxins…a double benefit!
7) Be Independent
I always heard…YOU NEED A SUPPORT SYSTEM…I call bull crap on that. You don’t need anybody but you. You are strong enough to do this. You are strong enough to succeed.
The truth is…gaining weight is often isolating. Losing weight can be just as isolating. Sometimes a support system just isn’t there and I’m here to tell you…that’s okay. You don’t have to have a weekly meeting, a supportive spouse, or a family that backs you up. If you do? Great! That’s awesome and it might help you succeed even more.
Me? I live far away from most of my family and the support system here at home, isn’t always the best. Can it be lonely? Sure. However, that loneliness is often overtaken by a desire to succeed. You have to learn to be your own support system. No one’s going to be there to help every minute of every day…except you!
Clean eating and getting healthy can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you or it can make you feel trapped in a hamster wheel of kale and hemp protein. How do you make clean eating work for you? I’d love to hear your tips!