Fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed foods and natural animal products such as meat or fish – this is exactly what the clean eating trend is all about. You can find out exactly what this is all about and how losing weight with clean eating can work here.
Clean Eating: What’s Behind the Diet?
Independent preparation of meals with as little processed food as possible that comes from regional and seasonal cultivation is called clean eating. Not only the health aspect of this type of diet is a central component and of great importance, but also a sustainable lifestyle. Clean eating also promotes weight loss, which is another benefit of this type of diet.
We have summarized here what you should pay particular attention to when losing weight with clean eating and which tips will help you.
1. Avoid added sugar in foods
Many processed foods contain high levels of fortified sugar . Drinks such as juices or soft drinks contain plenty of this, which is not always suspected immediately. Sugar can cause health problems such as diabetes, obesity or heart disease, all of which come with a variety of complications and risks.
American researchers were able to determine a reduced incidence of diabetes with a 20 percent reduction in additional sugar in food.
Therefore, it can be helpful to check the ingredients list on the packaging for extra sugar and to swap foods in very high amounts for unprocessed foods such as fresh fruit. There are many sugar traps lurking in the supermarkets. You can find out here how to discover them and how to go shopping without sugar .
Cookies or cakes that contain plenty of sugar can easily be replaced with natural yogurt with fresh berries. In contrast to baked goods, the proteins in yoghurt keep you full for a long time and do not lead to cravings – the fruit brings the necessary sweetness. Losing weight with clean eating automatically includes a low-sugar lifestyle and thus leads to success.
2. Use “diet products” with caution
During a diet, “diet products” such as low-fat or low-sugar processed foods are often very popular. However, due to the reduction of a certain ingredient, other flavors or additives have to be added in order to produce the desired taste. That means extra calories and unhealthy alternatives that rule out rather than cause weight loss.
Many of these products contain added sugar such as sweetener. For example, a yogurt that is declared as having a low fat content contains 23 grams of sugar per serving (approx. 125 grams).
As noted above, added sugar in processed foods poses a variety of risks. As a result, heavily processed products should be reduced or avoided and less sugar eaten. With clean eating, such food is dispensed with, which makes this form of nutrition very balanced and healthy.
3. Integrate proteins into meals
A high protein content in fish, meat and nuts as well as dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and feta cheese leads to a long-lasting feeling of satiety and also provides us with important nutrients such as calcium. They are also low in calories in their unprocessed form.
These foods can be easily incorporated into a meal. Dairy products such as feta cheese go well with almost every dish and not only give your food the necessary amount of protein , but also a delicious taste.
In addition, increased protein intake can build muscles, which has been proven in a study.
4. Regional fruit and vegetables
As described above, clean eating also includes a sustainable lifestyle. This includes purchasing groceries from the region. As a result, not only the local farmer can be supported, but fruit and vegetables from the area are much fresher and treated with fewer pesticides than the imported food from Spain, Italy and Co.
Regional products are usually also seasonal at the same time. If you shop seasonally, you can also save your wallet. When the food is in season, it is automatically available at a lower price.
Clean eating allows us to act more sustainably at the same time, which can have positive effects on our environment.
5. Green vegetables as a hit on the plate
Vegetables such as spinach or kale taste good and also score points with a high content of health-promoting substances. According to a study, spinach helps maintain the cardiovascular system and thus makes a great contribution to our health .
A green salad as a side dish or spinach on pasta, potatoes or rice is child’s play to prepare and also gives the dish a certain freshness.
Spinach and Co. also give smoothies that certain extra taste and many necessary vitamins. Integrating green vegetables into meals should therefore not be a problem and give it a special touch.
Spinach also has a significantly low calorie content. With 16 kilocalories per 100 grams, it is a real slimming product and thus helps you lose weight with clean eating.
6. Be careful with “liquid calories”
Lemonade or iced tea, especially in hot temperatures, is probably very popular with many people. As thirst quenchers, it is hard to imagine everyday life without them. However, these soft drinks contain more calories than most people think. So if around 1.5 liters of liquid in the form of Fanta, Spezi or similar soft drinks are consumed daily, around 600 calories are only absorbed through drinks – anything but suitable for a diet.
Therefore, such drinks should rather be considered an exception. For adequate fluid intake, water is still the best option.
In addition, a study found a correlation between sweetened drinks and type 2 diabetes in women. Female subjects consumed sweet beverages at least once a day. Eight years later, “diabetes” could be proven.
The study makes it clear how dangerous a long-term consumption of sugary drinks can be. Therefore, the daily supply of fluids with water and unsweetened tea is recommended, which is integrated into clean eating and also promotes weight loss.
7. Prefer plant-based food
With plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts on your plate, the amount of important nutrients becomes even greater. Especially unprocessed, i.e. not in the form of finished products, carrots, apples and the like give us a multitude of vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances that make a major contribution to our health.
As a salad, side dish, stew or on the pizza – vegetables and plant-based products such as legumes or nuts can be varied in a wide variety of combinations and also often consist of a lower number of calories (especially vegetables) and are therefore predestined for clean eating -Food.
Furthermore, vegetable products are more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to animal foods.
8. Pay attention to the quality of the food
Many people pay attention to calories while dieting or following a healthy diet. Of course, high-calorie products such as pizza or burgers are not recommended (regularly!) For a healthy diet. However, there is often the misconception that only the number of calories decides whether the product or food is consumed or not.
But the ingredients of the food are crucial. Avocados, for example, are also high in calories, but contain high quality fats and the enzyme lipase, which helps the body break down more fat. It has also been shown that regular consumption of avocado can lead to a reduced BMI, i.e. weight loss.
When choosing food, it is therefore of central importance to have a precise overview of the quality, ingredients and the type of calories.
9. It stays exciting with new ingredients
Eating the same thing over and over is probably not very popular with many people. It is all the more important in a healthy diet with the goal of weight loss – also when losing weight with clean eating – to constantly discover and use new ingredients.
Whether exotic spices or special nuts – you will find delicious and interesting ingredients that taste particularly good and give you pleasure even during preparation. In this way, not only is the range of ingredients expanded, but stamina and enthusiasm for cooking and eating can also be increased.
Especially at weekly markets you are inspired by many different ingredients, also from other countries. There are no limits to creativity here.
10. Prefer complex carbohydrates
Pasta, white flour, sugar or rice are probably the most popular carbohydrates on our plate. But these valued side dishes usually cannot offer a long-lasting feeling of satiety. The blood sugar level rises quickly from these foods and falls again just as quickly.
In addition, empty carbohydrates were found to be linked to coronary heart disease and diabetes (researched using Eskimos). Regular and long-term consumption can therefore have extreme consequences for our health.
Complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain products (e.g. whole-grain rice) or legumes with a high proportion of dietary fiber are ideal for achieving long-lasting satiety. The high fiber content therefore ensures a time without hunger until the next meal.
For weight loss with clean eating, complex carbohydrates stand for a balanced and healthy diet that contains little processed products. They are ideal as a side dish for meat, fish or dairy products and give the dishes that certain something.
11. Follow your own intuition
Intuition can also be of great help with nutrition – listening to your body is often the right decision. Losing weight with clean eating also involves intuitive actions in a certain way.
Being aware of your own feeling of satiety and concentrating on your body can support a structured diet. This tends to avoid over-consumption of food. In addition, intuition can be used to evaluate which foods are healthy and which are less suitable for the body. This makes daily nutrition and food planning much easier.
This kind of decision-making is not to be equated with diet. Intuitive eating means finding foods that support the body’s functions. In addition, researchers were able to find out that the body is recognized more through one’s own intuition, which in turn has a positive effect on overall diet and weight loss.
12. Prefer “whole products”
Clean eating is known to consume food as unprocessed as possible. This allows a larger amount of nutrients to be absorbed than in processed form. In addition, individual tastes can be taken into account during preparation.
Instead of the daily muesli for breakfast, which consists of tons of sugar, a mixture of oat flakes , natural yoghurt and fresh fruits can be prepared.
Knowledge to take away
The American clean eating trend, which has been around for a long time, has many positive properties. However, some aspects should be considered in order to be able to implement this way of life successfully. The basic principle of clean eating means consuming products as unprocessed and sustainably as possible. This means that regional and seasonal products are preferred and highly processed foods such as diet products, which often contain many unhealthy ingredients such as additional sugar, are avoided.