Eating clean is a philosophy that can help you with weight loss support, as long as you keep the caloric amount from exceeding your daily requirement. There is a lot more to fat loss than calories in and calories out. That said, that is the foundation of your efforts. From there, it’s up to you to apply the right techniques to get the most out of each calorie you eat and promote a healthier overall lifestyle over the long term.
Indeed, losing weight is the result of a simple formula: consume fewer calories than your body expends. Do this every day and the result is more likely to be weight loss. In other words, following the clean eating philosophy is not sufficient for dropping the pounds all on its own. However, combining it with a proper diet plan will work far better for your outcomes and overall nutrition.
Eating clean isn’t just a fad. Official national food guides issued in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and many other countries around the world recommend aiming for more whole foods and fewer processed foods.
This is, in essence, what eating clean is all about. Of course, there are many definitions of what this eating strategy entails. There are some who use it to mean that they are eating as few processed foods as possible – as is the case in this article. That said, the term is also applied to a range of other efforts, including attempts to avoid herbicides and pesticides, favoring organic foods, avoiding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and/or choosing pastured meats and poultry as opposed to conventional factory farming. Some people even apply it to eating exclusively locally – or even personally – grown and raised foods.
Therefore, eating clean doesn’t have a single definition. It can be a very basic process or may be exceptionally complex, requiring research into every ingredient you eat, and careful food selection based on a number of factors and characteristics. Most definitions, however, will start with the basic foundation of avoiding processed foods in favor of whole foods. It is that strategy that will be used for the purpose of the following recommendations for long-term wellness and weight loss.
Generally, unprocessed natural foods are better at keeping you full for a longer period of time, so you experience fewer hunger pangs and snack less. This helps you keep your caloric intake to a minimum.
For instance, a large apple that is part of a clean eating diet has approximately 100 calories, whereas a plain doughnut contains around 226 calories. The doughnut is a processed food, which will be digested quickly into your system and once you have absorbed the calories, your body will demand some more, even if that means too much for your own good.
On the other hand, a raw apple has lots of fiber, so it takes time to release the natural sugars into your bloodstream. Your body gets constant energy for a period of time after eating. Hence, you do not feel hungry so soon afterwards. An apple also contains many nutrients not present in significant quantities in a doughnut or other processed foods. These nutrients help regulate certain body functions to keep you healthy.
Foods in their natural state usually have fewer calories in contrast to when they have been processed, making eating clean mostly a light decision. For instance, whole grain oats are lower in calories than instant oatmeal which may be overloaded with sodium and simple carbs.
Eating clean forces you to start your meal planning with raw foods like oats and then add other ingredients. This allows you to pick a healthy complement to your unprocessed foods. In the case of whole grain oats, you can add berries rather than sugar to get a sweet taste without drastically increasing the calories you are consuming.
When planning your meals in a clean eating diet, you still have to ensure your net caloric formula is negative if you want to see weight loss. However, this diet makes it more conducive to reduce the calories you are eating.
Major studies have shown that eating clean can give you a significant weight loss advantage over highly processed foods. The research divided subjects into two groups of people. The first group ate processed food. The second group ate whole foods. Both groups were assigned the same number of calories over the same span of time.
What the researchers found was that despite the matching calorie numbers, the group that was eating clean saw substantially more weight loss than the group eating processed foods.
This shows that eating clean isn’t just about nutrition and being satisfied by your meals. It also gives you better control over your weight. If you’re struggling to lose the extra pounds, this type of tip can make a great difference to ensuring you’re reaching your goal more efficiently. After all, it gives you the opportunity to feel less hungry, eat the same number of calories and yet still see better outcomes from the lifestyle changes you’ve made.
* This article is for informational purposes only and not to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medications, supplements, diet, or exercise routine.