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Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 3: Clean Up Your Plate

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Clean eating how to for health and weight loss

This is the third installment of a 2018 Weight Loss Guide 10-part series on what you should be doing to lose weight. In Step 3: “Clean Up Your Plate,” you will learn the how to turn your diet into a non-diet that is guaranteed to improve your health and slim your waistline.


In the previous two steps of Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide, you’ve learned to get to the basics with a wellness check and/or physical before embarking on your weight loss journey, followed by the single most important change that is the easiest to make toward a healthier and thinner body.

In “Step 3: Clean Up Your Plate,” you are going to learn how to turn your diet into a non-diet by following the most sensible advice weight loss experts all share—clean eating.

Technically speaking, clean eating is more of a way of life that it is an actual diet. With clean eating you are making a mindful decision to replace all chemically altered, heavily processed foods with more natural foods for a cleaner plate and cleaner body. And by natural foods, we are talking about fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and whole grains—not the “all natural” marketing label slapped on many food products that are often high in sugar.

And the reason why we can think of this kind of diet as a non-diet is that you are not really depriving yourself to a point where you will feel hungry—ever. You are just depriving your body of the poisons that put your health and body where it is today.

The Clean Eating Non-diet Diet

Here are the steps on how to eat clean. However, if you are in a hurry, here is a quick Dr. Oz video posted on YouTube that puts the clean eating non-diet diet in a nutshell (pun intended).

The Clean Eating Non-Diet Diet in Detail

Step 1: Eliminate All Processed Foods from Your Diet-
-Eliminate any foods in your home that aren’t clean, then go to the grocery store and replace those bad foods with clean and healthy foods that will help you get started toward eating clean.

So, what constitutes “bad” food as separate from “good” food? Here’s a brief summary:

Bad Foods
• Foods with additives of any kind that include salt, sugar, and fat for added flavor; chemical preservatives that retard spoiling; and added vitamins for “enriching” food products such as breakfast cereals and white breads.
• Foods that are refined. One big example is where the bran and germ from whole grains are removed (processed, refined) to make bread.
• Foods with ingredients that you can't recognize or pronounce is a dead giveaway it’s processed.
• Foods that don’t sound processed but are, such as organic soups, pasta sauces, and easy-steam vegetables frozen in a pouch.

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Good Foods
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Farm-fresh eggs (How to Tell Just How Old Your Eggs Really Are Before Buying Them)
• Dried legumes
• Nuts

Minimally-processed, but still good enough:
• Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured (if you can), but pastured over grain-fed is ok
• Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
• Frozen fruits and vegetables (keep it to a minimum)
• Hormone-free dairy

Step 2: Hydrate (almost only) with Water--No more sodas and other sugary drinks was recommended previously in “Your 2018 Weight Loss Guide Step 2: The Most Important Change is the Easiest” so enough said about that. While clean eating purists would recommend “hydrating with water only!” the goal here is to make changes that are doable and not make you feel deprived for little return. Hence, the alternative drinks recommended are ok in moderation.

Step 3: Be Mindful About Your Food Choices--Being mindful means taking steps to ensure that you are sticking to your food choices for your meals. This means making a list BEFORE going to the grocer as well as keeping a record of what you ate immediately after each meal. No time to write it down? Then take a quick photo of your plate before or while eating and save the data for recording later. The more you are reminded of your choices, the more easily mindful shopping and eating will come to the point where eventually you can stop recording your meals and making shopping lists.

Step 4: Know When to Buy Organic--Clean eating doesn’t mean that everything has to be organic. One general guide is to buy organic when the food you eat has an edible peel. The reason for this is to avoid any pesticides that might be on the exterior of the food.

Step 5: Start Small--To become a successful at clean eating, don’t feel like you have to follow all of the recommended steps at once. Ease into it by starting small such as choosing one meal to be totally clean eating. For example, try replacing your breakfast or mid-afternoon snack with a healthy smoothie instead. Once you are comfortable with that, then move onto your other meals.

Step 6: Cook at Home--Cooking at home makes clean eating a lot easier…and cheaper. However, just be sure to avoid high-fat cooking methods such as deep-frying or stewing in animal and vegetable fats. The recommended route is to use stir frying and steaming for your cooking methods, but also save some room for raw vegetables as well to ensure complete nutrition extraction from your meal.

And finally…

Even though you are eating clean now and making mindful healthier choice, this does not translate into that it’s ok to eat more than usual. The key here is to think about portion control and think of your clean plate in terms of fractions--three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth healthy carbs.

In the 4th installment of this 10-part series, we will take a look at some sound advice on what should be your best exercise to start off with toward a healthier and leaner body.

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show “What Is Clean Eating?”

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