When I started my weight loss journey 5 years ago at 256 pounds, I never would have imaged that 5 years and 121 pounds lighter I would be sharing my clean-eating tips. The girl that used to live for fast food, now lives on fruits and veggies.
When it comes to losing weight, many of us can easily walk into a gym or purchase a workout program and get our fitness on. But when it comes to food and the kitchen…sometimes you can be left feeling so lost! What bread is the best? Can I even EAT bread?! What about fruit…. canned, dried, frozen or fresh? Veggies…I thought those were just for salads?! It can be difficult to figure out how to eat clean…when you are not even sure what that means.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you break up with un-healthy food, and a 5-week challenge to help you create your own lifestyle of clean and healthy eating. I am tough-love type of person. Any excuse you can think of, I’ve used it. All of your reasons for not trying: too hard, too tired, I’m big boned, it’s genetics, blah blah blah. Put on your big–kid panties and wake-up! You can either get in the best shape of your life and be healthy, or you can sit and wallow in your own shame and continue to dig your grave with a fork. But it’s YOUR choice. Take responsibility for your actions. Choose health.
Tip #1: If You Always Eat What You Have Always Eaten, You Will Always Weigh What You Have Always Weighed
You cannot take the foods you eat now with you into your healthy journey. Look at what you eat, and be honest with yourself! If it can sit in your fridge/freezer or on your shelf and NEVER go bad…..what do you think it does inside your body? Leave that food behind. It got you to your heightest weight, it will not help you reach your goal weight.
Tip #2: Eat For The Body You Want Not the Body You Have
If you want to be healthy and fit…you have to eat like you are healthy fit! Some people can eat anything they want, and still look like they just walked away from a 6 hour gym session. But my guess is, if you’re reading this….you are not one of those people. What you eat SHOWS on your body. So stop lying to yourself. Eat to meet your goals. Stop being selfish and rewarding yourself with food. If you want to be healthy, learn to eat an apple, not a bag of chips.
Tip #3: If You Can’t Eat It Responsibly, Keep It Out Of Your House!
When it comes to certain foods (pita chips for me) one is too many and a thousand is never enough. I cannot have one serving of some foods, even healthy foods! So I don’t keep them in my house. Why set myself up for failure? I know I am going to come home after a bad day and grab them….but if I don’t have access to them, I am creating the opportunity to make a healthy choice. Refuse to set yourself up for failure. Success for healthy eating starts at the grocery store. Keep junk food out of you house, you cant eat what isn’t there! If you live with other people who do not have the same healthy eating goals as yourself, keep your food separate. Have your own space for your food so you know where to go when you’re hungry and you wont be tempted by other people’s food.
Clean Eating In 5 weeks
Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction. Clean eating means, simple. As natural as you can be.
Week 1: Add A Serving Of Fruits Or Veggies To Every Meal
By adding fruits and veggies to every meal, you will not only fill up faster, but you will learn that veggies and fruits are yummy and not hard to eat. The nutrients from fruits and veggies are hard to find in processed foods. Your body NEEDS/CRAVES the real stuff. If you get people saying “yeah but what about all the sugar in fruit?? It makes you fat!” Tell me this…How many obese people do you see at McDonalds eating bananas? EXACTLY. Eat fruit!
My Tips For Week 1:
- If you are making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich use fruit instead of jelly! Strawberry slices are super yummy and fresh! Or the crunch from an apple is my favorite combo with peanut butter. Bananas also work great.
- Wraps are a great way to add veggies! Use your favorite salad dressing as the base of the wrap and load up with veggies! You can go raw or cooked veggies: mushrooms, green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, spinach, celery, olives, beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli … NO LIMIT, get creative, find a combo you love! Also don’t be shy to add lean meat for protein.
- Sub out a bag of chips, for a cup of grapes, blueberries, or some carrot sticks with hummus.
Week 2: No More Fast Food…Ever!
Fast food is damaging. It has nothing real. REGARDLESS of what they say on the T.V. its awful. Think of your favorite fitness idol or favorite Hollywood Trainer (mine is Chris Powell from Extreme Makeover: Weight loss edition) You do NOT see anyone of those people eating fast food.
Remember, eat for the body you want not the body you have.
Tips For Avoiding Fast Food:
- PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE! Do not set yourself up for failure by not packing a lunch! You know you will be hungry at work/school. SO PLAN FOR IT.
- I post many food/meal ideas on my blog and facebook (Blog: http://www.funeralformyfat.tumblr.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/funeral4myfat)
Week 3: Switch To Wheat/Brown Breads, Pastas & Rice
Whole grain is healthy and also more filling for you! Its full of fiber and everything healthy that was sucked out of the white breads/pasta/rice. EAT IT! Restaurants and cafeterias offer this now, ASK FOR IT. No excuses. All carbs are not created equal. Brown carbs = healthy.
Week 4: Base Every Snack Starting With A Fruit Or Veggie
This will teach you that fruits and veggies have more to offer then just side dishes, they can be eaten during the day on the go!
Check out these healthy snack options:
- 1. Apples with Peanut butter
- 2. Strawberries with cool whip
- 3. Veggies and hummus
- 4. Peaches with cottage cheese
- 5. Yogurt with fruit
- 6. Melon balls
- 7. Frozen grapes or blueberries
- 8. Fresh fruit smoothies
- 9. Bananas with peanut butter
- 10. Celery sticks with Seasoning salt on them
- 11. Celery and Peanut butter
- 12. Cucumbers and hummus or pesto
Week 5: No More Soda
Soda is just AWFUL and you know it. So stop lying to yourself. It’s full of chemicals, more sugar then you need in a weak! And carbonation dehydrates your body and makes you consume more.
It’s week 5! Look how far you have come. You have now added fruits and veggies to every meal, switched to healthy carbs, eliminated fast food, fruit and veggie based snacks, and cut out soda. You can’t tell me that by the end of week 5 you wont be feeling great! You are on step closer to your goals.
- Keep it simple and fresh
- Shop the produce section
- Avoid processed/frozen pre-packaged foods