If you’ve been training your body for a while then you’ve probably been trying to eat clean as often as possible. This can be difficult depending on your circumstances. For instance, if you feel like you don’t have much time to cook then you might rely on unhealthy fast food or microwave meals now and then. While it’s usually fine to rely on these “fast” meals occasionally, it can quickly turn into a bad habit if you’re not careful.
It sounds simple enough to eat clean, but there are some surprising challenges that you might run into. For example, heading out to eat with your friends could disrupt your diet, and moving in with different roommates or having a child could change the way you eat your food.
To help you stay focused and to eat clean, I’ve put together a list of 4 clean-eating tips that will completely change the way you approach your diet. They’re easy to follow, simple to integrate and will make a huge difference to your fitness regime.
Clean Eating Tip #1: Balance Your Diet
A balanced diet is key to a clean eating lifestyle. Most people don’t understand the importance of balancing their diet and they’ll eat things just for the sake of boosting their nutrient intake. For example, if you’re planning to build muscle then you might eat an excessive amount of protein-rich foods which could disrupt your body’s natural balance.
If you’re going to eat clean then make sure you get a good balance of nutrients. Don’t follow those ridiculous athletic diets where you consume 8,000 calories each day and don’t listen to silly “diet” plans that make you eat fruit and vegetables with nothing else. Check your nutritional intake and make sure you’re getting a bit of everything.
Sticking to a meal plan that severely restricts the types of foods you can eat is a quick way to get fed up and quit your fitness plan. If you want to eat clean and stay motivated, it’s best to stick to a balanced meal plan.
Clean Eating Tip #2: Stop Saying You’re on a Diet
Look, as much as it can motivate you to tell people that you’re on a diet (or to stop them buying you drinks and sweets) you can’t say that you’re “on a diet” forever. The truth is, a diet shouldn’t just be a temporary thing. A diet is what you consume on a daily basis and it should become a regularly scheduled part of your life.
Stop thinking that diets are only applicable for a short period of time. Remember that creating your new lifestyle includes a healthier diet, a long-term commitment that enables you to lose weight over a long period of time. Crash diets rarely ever work, so stop relying on them as a way to get fit and eat clean.
Clean Eating Tip #3: Celebrate Small Victories
Don’t forget that putting on and losing weight happens slowly and over a long period of time. Don’t assume that just because you ate an extra slice of cake, you’re going to be visibly fatter. It doesn’t work like that and long lasting changes in your body happen over a long period of time.
If you want to eat clean then it’s important to celebrate small victories that lead towards your goal. For example, if you have an addiction to soda then start by cutting out a bit each day.
Switch to other sparkling drinks that are healthier such as sparkling flavored water. It’s still not the healthiest drink around but it can end up convincing you to drink sparkling water, and then finally just water.
Because you make these small changes it’s far easier to stick with them. This is why celebrating small victories helps; because they ultimately lead to bigger accomplishments.
Clean Eating Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Your Meal Plan
You have to stick to your meal plan if you want to make any progress with your fitness. Spend some time writing a list of foods to include and foods to avoid and stay consistent with your choices every day. Binging once can become dangerous, and before you know it, you’ll be on another cheat day and you’ll be struggling to stick to your eating plans.
If you need help setting up your meal plan or further tips on eating healthily, feel free to contact me. I’ll assist you in setting up a reasonable meal plan that will balance out your diet with the right nutrients, enabling you to live a healthier and fitter lifestyle.
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Tobias Young is an IFBB pro and top tier online fitness coach with over 19 years of fitness industry experience.