Clean Eating Routine and Meal Prep
I truly believe 80 percent of your physique is determined by what you eat. Clean eating avoids all chemically treated, refined and over-processed foods such as white flour, alcohol, soda, sugar and foods with excess sodium. No amount of exercise can make up for bad eating choices.
Today is day #11 of my 5 week clean eating trial and error plan. The first 5 days were the toughest! It took me that long to figure out the problem of why I was straying off my goal so much. If I had a long work day on job sites with my contracting crew, which most of the days consisted of that, I would pack my chicken, healthy yogurt, whey protein powders for shakes, tuna and prepared meals. When I would get home at 6pm-9pm I found I didn’t have anything ready to eat so I was grabbing fast food products that were high in carbs and fats. Eating heavy foods late at night wasn’t working.
An eating clean plan provides the body with smaller and frequent meals for the day. To increase metabolic rate and keep you feeling satisfied eating six small meals each day spaced at intervals of two and a half to three hours can work. Each meal should contain a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrate such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats.
Proper portion control at meals helps your body utilize calories for fuel and reduce the number of calories stored as fat. If I have prepared a chicken and sweet potato meal and I am super hungry I will eat two grilled chicken breast instead of eating two sweet potatoes.
If you are like most people, you may have no idea what you are going to eat on a given day. Purchasing a cooler, plastic food containers and an ice pack to transport your food is a great investment in your health.
I am a firm believer in eating a high carb breakfast. I used to not eat breakfast because I was either to rushed or didn’t feel like it, but most days after 2 hours of starting my day I was slowing down with low energy. We are all different, but without food there is no energy.
I rarely ever count calories. Eating clean focuses on high-quality foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein. You may feel you are eating more food than you usually do, but this food is higher in nutrients and naturally lower in calories.
Two or three servings of healthy fats per day is a good thing. Healthy fats are found in foods such as almonds, almond butter, avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil, hummus and cold water fish such as salmon. These foods promote healthy skin, joint, brain and heart function. A serving is a half an avocado, small handful of nuts, 2 oz. of olive oil or a nut butter.
H2O for Weight Loss
Changing over from drinking colas, sugary energy drinks or diet drinks to water can be tough. Medical studies have shown that metabolic rate can be increased by as much as 30 percent simply through drinking two glasses of water.
Timing of Last Meal
If you are eating adequate carbohydrate and protein throughout the day you most likely won’t be hungry. I try and aim to eat my last meal three hours before bedtime. If you do get a late-night craving, enjoy a serving of sugar free jello or a low-glycemic fruit such as an apple. Whatever you can do to avoid eating anything high calorie, high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrate can be key. It can only weigh the body down.
Please note: I am not a dietitian or nutritionist. I don’t know if this eating plan is considered nutritionally safe for your personal nutritional needs. Please consult a qualified medical professional before starting this or any new eating or exercise routine.
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