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20 May

How Clean Eating Supports Your Fitness Goals

With all the diets plans out there, it can be difficult to figure out what to eat and what to avoid. We all know that eating broccoli is healthier than devouring sweets, but what about the rest of the foods in the grocery store? Is a granola bar healthy? What about a protein supplement?

When I take on a new fitness challenge or start tracking my fitness results with an app, how do I know what to eat?

There are a ton of options to choose from, and it's important that you figure out what works for you. Just as different fitness wearables suit different fitness goals, different eating plans will see varied results based on body chemistry and lifestyle. Clean eating is more of a philosophy than a diet or proprietary eating plan. In this way, it works flexibly to meet your needs.


What is Clean Eating?

Clean eating is a lifestyle choice that focuses on eating whole, unprocessed, real foods. Instead of focusing on the number of calories or the grams of carbs, clean eating is centered around how much the ingredient has changed between its point of origin and your kitchen counter.

People who follow clean eating tend to consume foods that are an unaltered, single ingredient--fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains--rather than foods that have been changed or processed such as energy bars, smoothies, or shake mixes.

Everyone is busy these days. The demands of work, family, and the other joys and obligations of life leave little time left over. However, fitness and health are important. How can you enjoy the best parts of your life if your health is suffering and you have no energy?

The idea behind clean eating is that our bodies naturally know what to do with whole foods, bringing on a variety of benefits including allowing us to optimally absorb nutrients and avoid overeating.


Mindfulness and Clean Eating

Another benefit of clean eating is its relationship to mindfulness. Deciding what to eat based on its origin means that you are more likely to pay attention to your plate as you eat. Increased mindfulness means that you may eat less overall and further enjoy what you eat.

Any eating change can feel difficult at first just because it's different. However, the mindful nature of clean eating means that it's based upon simply slowing down your mind's frantic process as you choose what to eat. Make sure that you don't go too long between meals, otherwise you will want to load up with whatever is in front of you.

Clean eating does not require extensive cooking or special recipes. Instead of going for that protein supplement or bar, go for a small bag of nuts. Instead of seeking out a smoothie with lots of extra additive ingredients, go for a piece of real fruit. Over time, making choices that focus on holistic health will become easier. Like any wellness goal, success is based in habit.


Clean Eating and Exercise

Active people have special concerns as we decide what to eat. What foods will help us recover after a workout? What kinds of protein do we need?

Clean eating is beneficial for busy people because of the diet's simplicity. Grabbing a serving of nut butter or a piece of fruit between workouts helps streamline the day more than taking on a complicated recipe would. Avocados, kefir, and black beans are all clean foods that can be purchased easily and brought along on the way to or from the gym.

What does your clean eating plan look like? How has clean eating helped you reach your fitness goals?


Photo Credit: Depositphotos

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