“Clean Eating” Means Watching Your Portion Sizes & Meal Frequency
Aside from taking in proper foods, clean eating also focuses on the development of healthy habits like proper portioning and not skipping meals.
Regardless of what lifestyle or diet program it is that someone is following, the concept of proper portion control always comes to light. Basically, portion control refers to an understanding of how much a serving of food, depending on the type, should be. A portion can quantified in terms of weight, calorie count, or food energy equivalent.
Counteracting the concept of portion control is that of portion distortion. The latter pertains to the tendency of people to consume more than what is necessary because that was what was served.
This issue is extremely prevalent in restaurant chains where meals ideally meant for a single consumer are delivered as platters able to feed two or three people at a time.
Managing portions is very important in any lifestyle as it helps control excessive weight gain and reduces the onset of medical conditions arising from the fact. The challenge comes in learning how much a portion of a particular food should be. This is the tricky part but there are a number of online resources and measurement charts that can help people get started once they decide to eat clean. When it comes to portion control, measurements need to be precise. Estimates are not really that reliable.
Skipping meals is not a healthy practice. Plenty of people falsely believe that by skipping meals they can control their food intake and then subsequently lose weight. This is not the case. Skipping meals actually leads to weight gain and here is why. When the body comes from a state of rest, like from a night ’ s slumber, it needs a jolt of energy to start once a person wakes up.
Think of it as putting a battery in a toy car – no battery, no movement.
Upon waking up, it is suggested that a glass of water be taken followed by an adequate breakfast.
The word breakfast actually originated from the phrase “to break the fast.” Eating breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism, helping the individual burn more calories as the day progresses. Without it, the body will continue to think that it is in a state of rest.
Another reason why people should not skip meals is because it leads to overeating later on in the day.
A proper diet looks like an inverse pyramid where the most food intake should happen early in the day, giving the person ample time to burn calories off. When a meal is skipped, the pyramid is reversed and people end up eating more at times when they are closer to a night’s rest. Instead of burning off the calories, the body stores it as it goes to rest mode where the food turns into fat stores.
Aside from not skipping meals, it is also important for people to schedule meals within the day. Everyone grew up on the breakfast, lunch, and dinner concepts but in reality, studies show that it is better to have five to six small meals in a day rather than the big three. By having smaller yet more frequent meals, the distribution of energy-rich foods happens at regular intervals.
The body is thoroughly nourished while the energy from the food is consistently utilized – no excess, thereby no fat stores.
The Costs of Eating Clean
Embracing the clean eating lifestyle does come with plenty of benefits, most of which are in terms of health. However, to enjoy these perks, there are several costs that a person has to incur. It is a trade-off to achieve well-being not only in the short run but for one’s entire life span.
There is only one financial cost that comes with this lifestyle. As clean eating promotes the intake of whole organic foods, people can expect their grocery bills to increase at some point.
It is a known fact that good food does not come cheap but these ingredients are well worth the investment. Although the lifestyle comes with increased costs based on food quality, there are a number of ways by which these costs can be counterbalanced.
As people start preparing their meals and taking them at home, they reduce excessive spending on takeouts and the like.
Not only are they saving money but they are saving a lot of it. Restaurants tend to jack up food prices by as much as 400 percent on average. The same kind of food, prepared with quality ingredients at home, costs a mere fraction of its retail value.
Another way to control food costs is by shopping locally and patronizing seasonal ingredients. Local farmers’ markets offer excellent produce without the high price tags of supermarket chains.
The best thing about it is that these products come directly from farms, and people get to purchase them from their growers.
Transitioning to this particular lifestyle will also require a certain amount of time.
It is not easy to change habits that have gone on for years. It will take some time for people to adjust to the type of food they can eat, learning how to prepare meals at home, planning meals and taking them, adding exercise into the mix, and even vying away from junk foods which they have probably feasted on every single day. This is a small sacrifice to make for the long-term benefits that come with clean eating.
As people sacrifice funds and time on the process, these are immediately reimbursed in the form of health savings.
Health savings pertain to the saved costs from medical treatments or medications. As a person improves his or her eating habits, overall wellness improves and the body becomes stronger, balanced, and the immune system becomes less prone to attacks from harmful components.
This then translates to a reduction in the onset of diseases, thereby significantly reducing the need for medical attention. Medical bills, especially when adequate insurance is unavailable, can cost thousands of dollars per year.
As a person saves on medical bills, he or she also gains the opportunity to earn more from work. Fewer sick days means more days at the office, leading to bigger monthly paychecks.
Diet Systems Patterned After the Clean Eating Concept
There are several diet programs that have been patterned after the concept of clean eating, although not all of its relevant practices have been applied. Here are some of the most common diet trends that closely follow the foundations of clean eating:
The Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet was established in the early part of the 1980s as a cure for the cholera epidemic which was thought to have been caused in part by the methods people used to prepare their food.
Those who follow this diet believe that unprocessed ingredients carry a higher nutritional value (most of which is believed to be lost during the cooking process).
They also find more value in organic rather than domesticated foods,more so those which have been processed by industrial means. They also believe that the heating process, especially when oils are involved, generate harmful toxins that are detrimental to one ’ s health. Without any cooking or chemicals involved, preservation comes in the form of refrigeration.
The raw food diet is also referred to as “raw foodism”.
As its name implies, it concentrates on the consumption of food items in their natural form with little to no prep or cooking.
It encourages people to abstain from the consumption of most processed foods much like clean eating but limits what people can consume because of the no cooking rule.
The program includes taking in a selection of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, meat, dairy, and eggs. Dairy products that have undergone pasteurization and homogenization are not permitted.
The only processed foods that a raw food dieter may consume are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, cheese, and sauerkraut.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet, patterned after the way cavemen were supposed to have eaten in the past, also carry practices that are in line with the clean eating concept.
It is said to be one of the healthiest ways to eat helping those who embrace it maintain a lean, energetic, and generally strong physique. Supported by research in various fields of Science, the Paleo diet, much like clean eating, showcases the harmful effects that modern day processed foods have on the body.
The diet basically revolves on the consumption of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. It promotes abstinence from dairy, grains, processed food, sugar, legumes, starches, and alcohol.
These restrictions show the slight differences in Paleo versus clean eating as the latter finds it necessary to incorporate whole grains in one ’ s daily food intake.
The Whole 9 and Whole 30 Lifestyle
A relatively new program, the Whole 9 and Whole 30 lifestyles are spin-offs of the Paleo diet but incorporates practices that promote mental health in the mix. Allowable foods are more restrictive but remains to focus on improving health, strength, and stability.
The 9 and 30 pertains to the series of factors that the creators have deemed important in achieving a balanced mind together with a balanced body. Examples of which are temperance, socialism, sleep, and stress management.
Thank you again for reading this rather long post!
I hope I was able to help you to learn and maintain healthy eating habits in order to lose weight, increase energy, and gain confidence!
Clean eating revolves on the consumption of natural foods that improve general health.
It’s about practicing proper portion control and meal scheduling, fueling the body throughout the day leading to an improvement in daily function.
It also promotes effective but controlled weight loss, strength, and longevity.
The lifestyle encourages people to limit, if not completely eliminate, their consumption of processed foods which are known to contain various chemicals that can be linked to a number of medical conditions which develop over time. It also applies the practice of avoiding food items that have no nutritional value.
There are different benefits that come with eating clean and different reasons as to why people might consider giving it a try.
These days, a number of diet programs have been patterned to reflect some of its practices, showing its effectiveness and justifiability.
Clean eating is not only about adopting certain habits when it comes to food choices. It involves a complete shift in lifestyle but given its minimal restrictions and realistic applications and expectations, it is one which is sustainable – may it be in the long term.
The next step is to maintain these habits throughout your life in order to feel and look your best!