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Clean Eating and Weight Loss


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I have recently been reading some posts regarding "clean eating" and its great effects on weight loss. I would love to hear from some of you out there who have cut out some of the processed foods: what types of foods you incorporate and avoid while following a cleaner diet?  I would also like to hear what changes you have seen in your weight and body after eating cleaner.

I know that there are some processed and convenience foods that I will never give up, but I would like to hear what some of you are eating so I can make some adjustments and become a cleaner eater and possibly boost my weight loss success.

Thanks! =)

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I have been clean eating for what feels like my entire life (well in actuality it's been roughly 8 years now)... I do not eat anything processed and I do not eat sugar in general (unless it comes from vegetables). My diet consists of loads of vegetables from non-starchy sources (the only starchy source I incorporate is from pumpkin and that is in the morning for breakfast so that I have a bit more "power" for my work outs!). I also eat an abundant amount of fish & free-ranged red meat, poultry & eggs! Healthy fat from olive oil, flaxseed oil, olives & sesame seeds are also included in my life liberally. Since I changed to this diet my muscle tone increased tremendously and my energy soared! I no longer have those INTENSE I NEED FOOD NOW cravings that I did when I ate junk (it's been so long I have no clue what junk foods taste like anymore- ha ha).

Since there are some things you won't give up (which is perfectly acceptable) the least you could do is incorporate non-starchy vegetables and high quality proteins/fats in your life! Try to minimize processed stuff as much as you can and drink loads of water (not caloric rich beverages)... Also on the to-do list: exercise on a daily basis!

Other little things to do to improve your current diet would include: eating omega-3 enriched eggs as apposed to regular, wild salmon over tuna or white fish (although all very good sources of protein, salmon contains the most healthy fat - you can of course continue eating all types of fish but try and incorporate the higher fat kinds more often), switch your red meat consumption (if you eat red meat) from grain-fed (which is what a bulk of it ALL is) to grass-fed (it will be indicated on the label). Drinking Green, White, Black, Oolong & Herbal Teas plain is also a good tactic... and using olive oil instead of sunflower, canola, safflower & many other oils is also a good idea as well!

And if you must consume dairy - eat reduced fat kinds so you are eating the least amount of calories & saturated fats.

For me, eating "whole" foods that my grandmother would recognize as food is about health.  In order to lose weight, I try to eat 500 fewer calories than I burn of real foods.  So, I might substitute olive oil for butter, but I wouldn't substitute "light" margarine for butter.  I would just use less of the real fat (and sometimes, only butter will do!).  Instead of eating a "full serving" of "light" cheese I would rather eat a half serving of real, aged white cheddar -- or maybe just have some hummus instead.

I find that if I eat enough "high nutrient-low calorie" real foods (like vegetables) I can be satisfied with small portions of high nutrient-high calorie foods like meat, cheese, fish, grains, etc.  I am still eating about the same quantity of food I ate before my lifestyle change, but shaving the calories by limiting the high caloric density foods.  The only foods I am trying to completely eliminate from my diet are low nutrient-high calorie foods like chips, fast food, sweets, soft drinks and other "manufactured food like items".  I don't always succeed, but that is my goal.

Original Post by giasbash6260:

I have been clean eating for what feels like my entire life (well in actuality it's been roughly 8 years now)... I do not eat anything processed and I do not eat sugar in general (unless it comes from vegetables). My diet consists of loads of vegetables from non-starchy sources (the only starchy source I incorporate is from pumpkin and that is in the morning for breakfast so that I have a bit more "power" for my work outs!). I also eat an abundant amount of fish & free-ranged red meat, poultry & eggs! Healthy fat from olive oil, flaxseed oil, olives & sesame seeds are also included in my life liberally. Since I changed to this diet my muscle tone increased tremendously and my energy soared! I no longer have those INTENSE I NEED FOOD NOW cravings that I did when I ate junk (it's been so long I have no clue what junk foods taste like anymore- ha ha).

Since there are some things you won't give up (which is perfectly acceptable) the least you could do is incorporate non-starchy vegetables and high quality proteins/fats in your life! Try to minimize processed stuff as much as you can and drink loads of water (not caloric rich beverages)... Also on the to-do list: exercise on a daily basis!

Other little things to do to improve your current diet would include: eating omega-3 enriched eggs as apposed to regular, wild salmon over tuna or white fish (although all very good sources of protein, salmon contains the most healthy fat - you can of course continue eating all types of fish but try and incorporate the higher fat kinds more often), switch your red meat consumption (if you eat red meat) from grain-fed (which is what a bulk of it ALL is) to grass-fed (it will be indicated on the label). Drinking Green, White, Black, Oolong & Herbal Teas plain is also a good tactic... and using olive oil instead of sunflower, canola, safflower & many other oils is also a good idea as well!

And if you must consume dairy - eat reduced fat kinds so you are eating the least amount of calories & saturated fats.

so do you not eat ANY grains or fruits? hmmm...that's quite interesting.

I follow a 'Low GI' diet, by and large, which essentially means one that doesn't include many processed foods, and refined sugars & starches.  So it also qualifies as 'clean'.   The types of foods I seem to live on are fresh leafy vegetables, starchy vegetables, salads, pulses (legumes), wholegrains (and foods made from wholegrains), meat, fish, nuts, eggs, dairy products, oils.   I prepare and cook from scratch 95% of what I eat, including bread (made in a bread machine).  I think that aspect is something a new clean eater needs to appreciate.... unprocessed food needs a little work. 

For the purposes of weight-control I keep a careful eye on the portions.  However, like the person who prefers butter to light margarine, I'd rather eat a small amount of the 'Real McCoy' than a large amount of the substitute. I also happen to choose organic meat and dairy products from known, local sources... again I'd rather 'spend more and eat less'.

When it comes to processed or ready-made foods, I like the suggestion in Michael Pollan's book 'In Defence of Food'.... 'don't eat anything with more than 5 ingredients'  It's a good benchmark because modern life means we don't always have time to make everything from scratch.  Ice-cream, for example... if you buy a good quality ice-cream it'll contain cream, fruit, sugar, not much else.  If you buy a cheap, nasty ice-cream it'll have an ingredients list as long as the Magna Carta.

My 'clean diet' also tries to include as wide a variety of different foods as possible.... a narrow diet, I believe, is unhealthy.  And a big part of my switch to eating healthier has been the introduction of lots of fresh herbs and dried spices... they add lots of flavour (something processed foods have in abundance) and they also have nutritional/medicinal properties that have yet to be fully explored!! 

Good luck

 

I didn't know it was called "clean eating". I have been trying to do this for some time. I try to eliminate processed food. I eat fresh fruit vegetables, meats, healthy oils and try for all natural as much as I can. Sometimes it's a money issue. Although the prices have come down so much on the all natural foods, I suppose it is because the demand is higher. I do still eat sugar, not much though. I do have a family that aren't quite on board with me"yet" ;) I do bake from scratch any treats they crave. I'll have to look into this more.

#6  
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Wow! You have all made such a commitment to a healthier way of life and I applaud you. I can tell that this is a way of life that has benefited each of you.

Could you possibly share what a typical day of eating might be for you? What are the things that must have in your refrigerator or pantry? Any delicious recipes that you could share?

Thanks again!

I swapped out over-processed foods for healthier alternatives nearly four years ago now.  To see the results, all you have to do is look at my profile and the before and after pics.http://caloriecount.about.com/pics/kaufmkk

I still eat some processed foods, but I try to keep it at a minimum. 

An average day for me is something along this line:

Breakfast:  High fiber/low sugar cereal with skim milk and a banana or other fruit

Lunch:  Grilled chicken breast or other lean meat with a big serving of steamed veggies of my choice and a side salad.  Sometimes I'll have a light sandwich instead of turkey, avocado, and other fresh veggies.

Snack:  this could be an apple, raisins, almonds, or other fruits and nuts depending on what sounds good at the time.  I'll enjoy these with a cup of hot tea or decaf coffee

Dinner:  Grilled salmon or other lean meat (watching the portion size), a baked sweet potato, more steamed veggies, maybe a small side of whole grain pasta.

Evening Snack:  fresh melon, strawberries, mango, or other sweet fruit in season

I stopped drinking soda (a diet soda every now and then is a treat) which was rough at first, but I eventually lost my taste for sweet drinks.

In addition to helping me with my weight, eating clean (or healthier) has made a huge improvement to my health.  As someone living with cancer, this is even more important to me now then just losing the weight.

I've found it amazing that I now LOVE the taste of fresh fruits and veggies and lean meat.  Fast food and other over-processed foods now give me a tummy ache when I eat them!

After reading about 'clean eating' I have been doing it as much as possible over the last 2 months. Occasionally I'll have a low fat icecream, or a diet soda as a treat as well - but the change is well worth it!

The best effect for me, is that I really don't crave the overprocessed foods I was eating before. I never miss them. I have such an appreciation for fresh fruits, veggies, nuts - and the effects on my body have been amazing.

A typical day for me would be.....

Breakfast - a bowl of porridge oats (oatmeal) made with milk & water, sprinkled with sunflower seeds and a little honey. OR a couple of poached eggs on some wholegrain toast.  Large cup of tea (English style)!!!

Lunch - usually a wholemeal pitta filled with something like hummus, ham or cottage cheese with some salad leaves and sliced tomatoes.   A good quality fruit yoghurt.  A piece of fruit

Supper - I like to keep things varied. Something like this Vegetable Chilli with brown rice.  Or a light pasta dish like Pasta Primavera. 

I am trying to eat clean and I've been keeping a food log in my journal for the last couple of weeks if you're interested.

I'm not totally 'clean' - still drink alcohol (and will never quit) and the odd diet soda (which I am definitely working on quitting). I occasionally eat processed food, but never junk food, and I'm working on eliminating processed food altogether.

I prepare my own meals, and if I eat out I choose simple options like noodle soups and salads.

I usually eat organic muesli with plain yoghurt and fresh fruit for breakfast.

Lunch is usually a stirfry of lean meat or pulses, lots of vegetables, and sometimes some barley, pumpkin, sweet potato or other carbohydrates for bulk. I also like to eat poached eggs on sprouted-grain bread, or a home-made soup (pumpkin, lentil, sweet potato, pea soup...) with a rye bread roll. Sometimes a salad with a sprinkling of seeds.

Dinner might be another stirfry with different ingredients, pasta with a home-made tomato sauce, herbs, vegetables and some chicken, an organic sausage with pumpkin mash and a side of veges... my diet is pretty varied and very healthy in general.

I snack on fruit, raw carrots and beans, almonds, cheese, and sometimes dark chocolate. I also drink tea with milk, and green tea.

I really believe that unprocessed, healthy home-made foods are a thousand times better for the body and soul. Yes, eating clean takes effort, but your body will thank you and you'll have more energy. Your skin, hair and nails might also look better. While calorie restriction can be achieved with any diet, health can't. If you're making a lifestyle change, you might as well make one that's good for your health.

My plan for today:

Rolled oats cooked in non-fat milk (I don't really like milk, just eat it for the calcium) with dried blueberries and chia seeds.

Homemade vegie soup, tuna sandwich on whole grain bread, fresh peach.

Grilled turkey breast, roasted butternut squash and kohlrabi, bulgur pilaf, glass of wine.

Enough of all these things to add up to about 1800 calories.

#12  
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Thank you all for your posts! I cannot wait to get to the store today...I am getting hungry just reading what you wrote!

 

GIJane - would you share one of your homemade bread recipes with me? I would love to start eating a bit "healthier" by doing something simple like bread!

Thanks again to everyone!

No problem... first buy your bread machine... LOL! Smile  Or you can do it the traditional way which is much more satisfying ... Anyway, here goes.

  • 14-16oz the best quality 'strong' stoneground 100% wholemeal flour you can find. (Has to be strong to rise properly)
  • 280-300ml water
  • 1 sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt (without this the yeast doesn't work properly)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (to give the crust a little crispness)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (the fat helps the bread keep longer)
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder (optional but adds a little fluffiness)

I also add things like pumpkin seeds, caraway seeds, occasionally chopped black olives or sundried tomatoes... This is the fun part.  In the bread machine press 'go'

Without a bread machine.....

  • Grease a 2lb loaf tin
  • Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the middle
  • Add the water (warmed) plus the melted butter
  • Gradually draw the flour into the middle and mix to a dough with your hand
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead - stretching, turning and folding the dough over itself.  This activates the gluten so that you get well-risen bread.  After 5 minutes the dough should be soft, very stretchy and a little glossy-looking. (If you have a strong food processor with a dough hook that can do the job too)
  • Place in the bowl and cover with a piece of cling-film and a tea-towel.  Leave in a warmish place (like a warm kitchen) for half an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size
  • 'Punch down' the dough after this time and knead again briefly.  Turn on the oven to about Gas 5 (200C, 400F).  Place the dough in the greased tin so that it's a nice shape.  Leave on one side while the oven heats up... about 20-30 mins... this lets it start rising again.
  • Place the tin on a baking tray in the oven and gently close the door (don't know why but I was always told not to slam the door on a loaf...)  Cook for about 35-40 mins.
  • The bread is cooked when you turn it out of the tin and there's a hollow sound when you knock on the base.
  • Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack.

Good luck!!

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