How To Start A Clean Eating Diet

by Funmi // in Nutrition

How to start a clean eating diet is a consideration of many people. What can be consumed and then what is prohibited in this diet?

It’s not always easy to stay on track with a healthy diet. The road can be bumpy at times and even though you may have successfully eaten well for an extended period, the temptations of unhealthy foods are often too much to resist.

But if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, then it is important that you do your best to resist those urges and continue eating clean.

What does this mean? Clean eating means not only avoiding processed foods but also limiting or eliminating other types of food like sugar, refined flour, and even dairy.

 Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is encouraged as they provide necessary nutrients without any extra calories from fat or sugar. In this article, there are some tips on how to start a clean eating diet.

What is clean eating and why is it important

clean eating diet

There are many different definitions for "clean eating". The most popular one is the version that has been developed by nutritionists who promote living a healthy lifestyle without processed food or additives of any kind.

They suggest eliminating as much sugar from your diet as possible, reducing your intake of processed meats, and minimising your consumption of alcohol.

This way of eating consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (preferably sprouted), legumes, nuts and seeds.

Here are 3 reasons to start a clean eating diet

clean eating diet

1) Clean Eating = Feeling stronger and more energetic

Did you know that having just ONE doughnut will make you tired throughout the day?! It's because you are probably eating too many simple carbs.  Your body can't break down these carbs into energy right away, so instead the sugar in the food is stored as fat!

2) Clean Eating = Healthy weight loss

How much fruit have you eaten this week? If it's less than one serving of fruit a day, then that's not enough. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and they lose weight!

3) Clean Eating = Healthy skin.

Your diet directly affects your skin health, look at pictures from the 1940s (when people had little access to processed food). Our bodies are much healthier when we eat clean. 

4)  Clean Eating = Feeling less hungry

Want proof? Head to the nearest supermarket and look around. The aisles of crisps, chocolates, biscuits etc are much wider than the fruit and veg section.

Why do we need so many unhealthy snacks and treats if they only make us feel more hungry? Our bodies are craving something natural and our minds crave something sweet, that's the reason why gummy sweets and sugary treats have become so popular.

12 ways to start a clean eating diet

clean eating diet

1. Set up your kitchen and pantry for success.

The first step is to eliminate anything that isn't part of a clean eating diet from your house. If it comes in a package or box, chances are it's not worth your time.

Once you do this, you'll find it easier to eat clean and be prepared for each meal.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time.

Take the extra time to plan out your meals in advance so you won't have any excuses when hunger hits. Plan for a day's worth of meals or make one big shopping list for the entire week. You can even meal prep and cook your food on Sunday.

This way, all you have to do each night is heat up something in the microwave or pop some items in the oven to serve healthy meals on a busy weeknight.

3. Check out online resources for inspiration.

If you're starting to get bored of the same recipes over and over, check out some of the best clean eating websites.

Each site offers different recipes and meal plans that could be just what you need to get you excited about your next meal.

4. Don't skip breakfast.

It is the most important meal of the day because it kick starts your metabolism for the whole day. A lot of people think that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight, but that is not true.

Skipping breakfast will only make you more hungry throughout the day and this leads to binging and eating unhealthy food.  

When you feel hungry in between meals try eating a small snack like an apple or some granola instead of going for a big meal which can be hard on your stomach.

5. Don't eat out too often.

Eating out is fun and convenient, but it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet if you are eating out every day.

It's not easy to control the amount of oil or salt that goes into your food at most restaurants, so cooking your own meals gives you more control over how much sodium or fats you are eating.

6. Cook Your Food

Try to cook food yourself as much as you can because it not only tastes better but also is healthier. When cooking at home start adding more herbs and spices to your dish.

A pinch of cinnamon or a dash of freshly ground black pepper can really make a difference in the taste of your food.

7. Get rid of your unhealthy cooking oil

Get rid of your unhealthy cooking oil and replace it with a healthier one like olive or canola oil.  

Cooking in nonstick pans using these oils will bring out the flavour in food much better than using regular vegetable oils.

8. Drink a lot of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Your body needs at least 8 glasses of water a day to perform all its functions efficiently. If you find it hard to drink that much water at once, try adding natural flavours to it. 

Lemon and cucumber work very nicely or you can also try adding a slice of apple in it.

9. Exercise regularly.

Working out not only burns fat but also helps you stay more energized throughout the day. If you have a hard time finding the motivation to go to the gym or for a run, try exercising at home instead of going to a studio.  

A lot of people think that working out in front of other people is embarrassing, but it's actually more motivating because you don't want them to see how slow or tired you are.

10. Check the nutrition facts label.

Every packaged product has a nutrition facts label to help you make informed decision on what you eat.

It's important to check these labels before buying something because it shows how much fat is in the product and also the serving size so that you don't overload your plate or bowl with too much food at once.  

Glancing over the label also helps you choose the healthier option between two packaged products that seem similar.

11. Reward yourself.

When you've achieved a small goal like eating healthier for a week or so, treat yourself with something small.

A little reward can go a long way towards keeping your motivation up and getting through the tough times.

12. Don't give up.

If you have a slip-up and eat something unhealthy, don't feel discouraged. Everyone has a bad day so don't beat yourself up over it. Just get back on track and be determined to stick with the diet.

Deeper Dive:

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The benefits of a clean diet

clean eating diet

You'll get a cleaner gut and healthier skin.

When you eat lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables on a regular basis your body becomes more efficient at processing the food you eat.

Your gut lining gets stronger and healthier, which means your body can better digest food and extract more nutrition from it.

Your skin will become cleaner because the nutrients in fruits and vegetables work to cleanse your blood. This leaves you with smoother skin that isn't as prone to blemishes or breakouts.

You'll have more energy and feel great.

Eating a clean diet helps you feel better in ways that go beyond the way your skin looks.

By eliminating processed foods and focusing on whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean protein sources, you'll have more energy to take on the day. 

The fiber in fresh produce will make you feel full longer so you won't be as tempted by hunger cravings.

You'll lose weight and keep it off.

Eating a clean diet is an effective way to shed unwanted pounds for good since it helps you avoid craving foods that can derail your weight loss goals.

When you eliminate processed foods, which are often high in fat and calories, from your diet, all you have left is healthy food.

If you choose to eat something that isn't as healthy, you'll realize it's just not worth the few hundred calories you'll consume in one meal.

You can save money and eat out more often.

In most cases, eating clean doesn't mean spending a lot of extra money on pricey ingredients. In fact, you'll probably save money on groceries since you won't be buying processed foods.

Eating out at restaurants can also become more cost-effective since you'll no longer be ordering items that are high in calories and fat.

Instead, try ordering fresh grilled fish or a salad topped with lean chicken and vegetables. You'll feel good about what you ate, and as an added bonus, you'll save money.

Feel happier about your body, inside and out.

When you keep your body healthy and fuelled with fresh foods, you'll feel good about the way you look inside and out.

It doesn't have to be a major overhaul; simply adding more fruits and veggies into your diet can make a big difference in how you feel.

If for some reason you experience any negative side effects from making this change, such as bloating or constipation, talk to your doctor.

Be proud of what you're doing for yourself!

Eating a clean diet is one of the best choices you can make for yourself. Maintaining a clean eating diet is a reflection of your commitment to good health, and you should be proud of that!

There are lots of great reasons to start a clean eating diet. Many people who make the switch report feeling better overall and losing weight more easily. If you're ready to try this new

Deeper Dives:

August 5, 2021

August 4, 2021

clean eating diet

Final Thoughts on how to start a clean eating diet

Healthy eating habits are easy to start but hard to keep. The key is making small changes from what you're currently used to, such as avoiding high-fat processed foods and fast-food restaurants.

Once those changes become routine, making other positive choices like increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can be easy. The real key to sticking to a clean diet is making it work for you.

Don't try to change everything at once or follow an unrealistic plan, such as eating only products that are organic.

Instead, challenge yourself with small changes like avoiding foods that come in boxes or cans while you make room in your diet for fresh fruits and veggies. 

Before you know it, eating clean will become second nature and you'll feel better because of it! If you found this helpful, feel free to share the article with your friends.

Also, you can comment below as well, I would love to hear what you think!

More Resources

A Cross Sectional Analysis of Dietary Intake, Restrained Eating and Opinions about Clean Eating among Women

Clean eating: The good and the bad

About the author 


Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses.

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