Many of you know that I tried out a vegan diet for a short while. It was a huge challenge trying to learn a new way to cook. But it got me to thinking about those of you who are just starting out with clean eating. Those of you who are not used to cooking and eating clean, and I started to realize just how overwhelming a major diet overhaul can be.
You see, when I first started to eat clean, it wasn’t that big of a switch for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was difficult. I was completely addicted to processed foods. I couldn’t picture life without Cheez Its or a Snickers bar! But in a way, I had it much easier than some of you because I grew up with a grandmother who cooked everything from scratch. She was one of these cooks who never needed a measuring cup or a recipe to make something taste good. She just instinctively knew what to add to make something taste just right.
I’m happy to say that I am now that same kind of cook. I love to cook without measuring cups or spoons! It’s an adventure for me every time I step into the kitchen.
But for many of you, the thought of eating clean is just as overwhelming as the thought of me becoming vegan. It’s a whole new world of ingredients and cooking language that sadly, many people never learn these days. It’s little wonder that the processed food industry is so successful!
So today I’d like to share with you a few tips and tricks I’m learning for making a huge switch in the way you eat. And in the process, I hope to help you learn how to plan daily, healthy meals so that you can better achieve your fat burning and/or fitness goals!
EATING EVERY 2-3 HOURS
Ya, that one got me at first too. I mean, who has time for all that eating?? Not to mention all the food!
BUT, here’s the thing. It’s not as hard as you think. When I first heard about eating 5-6 meals a day, all I thought was, “how can I possibly cook that much?”. But you really don’t have to. You can do it one of two ways.
- Make your usual 3 meals per day, split them in half, and space them out to every 2-3 hours.
- Make small, simple snacks that equal about 250-300 calories each. Sandwich bags or small containers will be your best friend here.
As for the timing itself, I find it very helpful to have a wristwatch with a timer on it. But if that just won’t do, the best way to get into the habit is to try and eat at about the same time every day. Really think about your routine. Where can you fit in a quick snack?
Any way you look at it, you definitely want to eat frequent meals. It’s a well proven fact that eating revs metabolism and not eating slows it down. That said, you obviously cannot eat all day non-stop. That’s not what I’m advocating here. But small, scheduled meals are indeed the best way to get that fat burning furnace going!!
It can be a little overwhelming to plan even small meals if you are not used to it. So think about single-item foods that you enjoy. Combine a carb and a protein, toss in some veggies and you’re set! Here are some examples:
EAT SUPER FOODS!
It just makes sense. If you supply your body with lots of nutrient dense foods, not only will your body get everything it needs to function properly, but you will feel full with less food. Combine this with frequent meals, and you’ve got a great recipe for health and weight loss!
You can find a list of 50 Super Foods here!
MAKE A LIST OF BACKUP RECIPES AND MEAL PLANS
I know this sounds silly, but it’s actually quite helpful if you implement it.
Make a list of some clean and easy (read “quick”), go-to recipes for those nights when you are not only out of time, but inspiration as well. Just a small handful of recipes that you know everyone enjoys. Put it on the fridge and leave it there. Trust me. It’s handier than it sounds!
Need a good way to stay organized and on top of your menus? Try this handy little tip for a Clean Eating Menu Planner.
It’s like that old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So sit down on the weekend while you are making your shopping list and plan the actual meals as well. Figure out how much you need to make to have some leftovers in the freezer. If you “cook for an army” and freeze your food, your week will go much, much smoother.
Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.