by Heather Williams
It’s also a good idea to eat at home more often when you can. Restaurant meals often have excess sugar, saturated fats, MSG, hidden chemical ingredients, gluten, and excess salt. To play it safe, cook your own meals at home most nights of the week.
Whether you want to gain more energy or lose weight, some simple ways to clean up your diet can make all the difference in getting you there sooner rather than later. Losing weight isn’t always about counting calories but instead, it’s about eating a clean diet. If you ask me, food shouldn’t be about numbers; it should be about choosing clean, whole foods. Try some of these simple ways to clean up your diet, and in no time you’ll look and feel fabulous just in time for summer!
1. AVOID BOXED PRODUCTS
One of the simplest ways to clean up your diet is to eat foods that don’t come in a box with a laundry list of ingredients. The easier your body recognizes a food, the better it can break it down into nutrients to fuel your metabolism. If you do choose packaged foods make sure they only have one or two ingredients.
2. BUY ORGANIC WHEN POSSIBLE
It’s also important to buy organic products whenever possible if you want to clean up your diet. Some studies show that pesticides contribute to hormonal disruptions that can negatively harm your metabolism. To play it safe, be sure you avoid conventional produce and buy organic when you can.
3. CHOOSE PLAIN WATER
Beverages are also important to remember when you clean up your diet, so just choose plain water. Decaf teas or herbal teas are also fine, but be sure you don’t use a sweetener outside of pure stevia. Artificial sweeteners and even natural sweeteners with a high sugar content can negatively impact your weight loss goals.
4. EAT AT HOME MORE
It’s also a good idea to eat at home more often when you can. Restaurant meals often have excess sugar, saturated fats, MSG, hidden chemical ingredients, gluten, and excess salt. To play it safe, cook your own meals at home most nights of the week. No matter how simple the dish you choose to fix may be, preparing it in your home will keep it free of most unnecessary additives.
5. COOK WITH SIMPLE INGREDIENTS
Speaking of ingredients to cook with at home, make sure you keep choices simple. Good choices include organic lean meats, veggies, leafy greens, unsweetened non-dairy milk, eggs, beans, whole grains, legumes, and fruit. Nuts and seeds can add healthy fats in place of oil, while herbs and spices can add flavor in place of salt. Remember, the cleaner your meal, the better it is for your body!
6. KEEP IT LEAN AND CLEAN
Keep your protein sources lean and clean and however possible, avoid cholesterol and saturated fats. Sources such as red meat, dark meat poultry, pork, cheese, full-fat yogurt, butter, or excessive amounts of whole eggs are not the best options. Instead, choose wild fish, non-fat organic yogurt, white meat organic poultry, beans, legumes, and organic or pastured eggs instead of conventional.
7. READ THE INGREDIENT LIST
When in doubt of how healthy a food is, just read the ingredient list on each item you buy. Packages can be quite deceiving to the eye, so it’s best to just flip it over and read the ingredient list. This one little tip is usually the easiest way to clean up your diet, no matter what foods you choose.
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.