Clean eating: the not so secret weight loss sensation

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By Katrina Laczoffy

 

Sick and tired of beginning a new diet every time summer comes around? Chances are you stop eating carbohydrates all together, reduce the amount of junk food consumed and boost your training frequency. You might gain some results when summer hits, however the reduced calories and carbs make you moody, fatigued and binge eating starts to occur. At this point dieting sounds exhausting.

What if I told you that there is an easier and healthier way to lose weight and to keep it off all year round without cutting calories? It is called clean eating. This concept is simple; rather than focusing all your energy on the amount of food you need to eat, the idea is to be more attentive to the type of food you eat and how “clean” it is. Clean meaning unprocessed, unrefined or handled in anyway.

It is not a diet but rather a lifestyle change. Here at the Fit stop we tell our clients to eat like a caveman. They had a hunter and gatherer approach and could only eat natural wholefoods such as quality meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds & water.

First we need to determine what processed foods are because you need to eliminate these from your diet. They include:

  • Foods made in a factory/lab (when you read the label of an item and can’t recognize or can pronounce any of the names)
  • Changing the form from its natural state. For example removing bran and germ from whole grain to make refined bread
  • Additionally ingredients of any kind. For example: sugar, fat, flavour, MSG.

Processed foods are key contributors to health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and more. From a weight loss standpoint, a diet high in sugar increases your chance of weight gain by causing insulin spikes that reduce your ability to remain full. When we have too much insulin in the bloodstream, it tells the fat cells to pick up fat and store it on the body rather than metabolising it. This is how insulin resistance causes obesity, and often eventually type 2 diabetes.

Foods that are modified also overstimulate the hormone dopamine (the pleasure sensation) as a result of high sugar content causing a vicious cycle of constant junk cravings.

As you can see, eliminating all processed foods is not only crucial from a weight loss standpoint, but also a health standpoint.

Key steps to clean eating

  • Eliminate sugar from the diet
  • Stop with the processed foods!
  • Go wholegrain, it will aid in healthy digestion
  • Eat healthy fats with every main meal
  • Don’t buy “fat free” options in the supermarket (they have double the sugar)
  • Eat 1 cup of vegetables with every main meal.
  • Eat lean protein with every main meal
  • Strictly no alcohol
  • READ THE LABEL… seriously. Assess the amounts of sodium, trans or saturated fats, or ingredients you cannot read or pronounce. If there are a lot of these, chances are it’s not a good option.

Benefits to clean eating

Clean eating will dramatically help you slim down and remain slim – this is a given. What people don’t know is that good food nourishes the body and mind. Research shows that people who keep a healthier lifestyle experience greater “flourishing,” meaning they’re more positive and happier. Other benefits include:

  • Improved body composition. Less body fat, more lean muscle. Enough said.
  • Improved mood – you will have more energy, be calmer and overall better wellbeing
  • Improved sleep- people who eat clean fall asleep 35% faster, snooze 13% longer and have a overall better sleep
  • Improved brain function- you’re brain will work more efficiently and you will reduce your chance of developing cognitive impairment with age
  • Improved cardiovascular health – blood pressure, cholesterol.

Katrina is a personal trainer at The Fit Stop, Personal Training St Kilda East, specialising in weight loss and general strength & conditioning for everyday people.

For more info about her services, go to: www.StKildaFitnessTrainer.com.au/service

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