What I learned from a Clean Eating Challenge

You may have heard all the buzz about clean eating lately.

Clean eating is not a special weight loss program as some believe.  It has nothing to do with calorie counting.  It is simply eating “real” or “natural” food.  Meaning food that is not processed.

For a food to be processed, it has:

  • any type of additive – including but not limited to salt, sugar, flavorings, preservatives, and even vitamins
  • changing the form of food – which can be something as simple as making apples into applesauce to removing the bran and germ from a whole grain to make it a refined grain (and yes, this includes steaming your veggies.  Though this makes them minimally processed, to be a true clean eater, you should not cook your veggies).
  • and of course any food with unnatural chemicals added to it.

Clean eating is a healthy way to eat.  Since you are eliminating all the chemicals, a lot of fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt from your diet, much of what you are left with is healthy meats, vegetables, unprocessed grains and fruits.

clean eats

So I embarked on a 3 day journey of clean eating, with a few guidelines:

1. I was using the 6 small meal a day program.
2. All carbs must be consumed before noon.
3. Every meal contains a lean protein source.
4. You must eat your first meal before 8am and your last meal before 8pm.

And I did cook some veggies.

Here’s what I experienced:

The Good

Without the grains at the end of the day, I did not feel overly full or bloated by bedtime.

I felt healthier by eating lots of veggies!

The lean meats/protein sources really filled me up!  I never felt hungry!

I liked the eating before 8pm rule – plenty of time to digest my last meal created a more comfortable and restful nights sleep.

I prepped a lot of food early, including cooking meat, baking a sweet potato and making sure all grocery shopping was done.  I loved that!  It was easier for me to have my protein throughout the day since I didn’t have to cook it.  And it didn’t take me that much time on Sunday to complete – which I was really surprised at!

The Bad (For Me)

There was not one day where I ate every single meal.  I usually skipped one meal completely, and ate only half of another meal.  It was just too much food for me.  I needed the 4 meal a day plan.

By day 2, I was craving carbs badly!  And unfortunately with the time change it was difficult for me to resist these cravings (being tired = less motivation).  So I did give in to my cravings on day 2 and day 3.

The Conclusion

I think I need to make a few adjustments (less food) and time this challenge where my willpower will be higher to really feel the full effects of it.

I liked adding protein to meals to help you feel fuller, and I love the emphasis on vegetables as your sides.  I think this is a great way to eat and get plenty of nutrients and feel satisfied.

And I did lose a little weight (without ever feeling hungry), though I’m not sure if I would have it I ate as much food as I was supposed to.

I do want to try this challenge again, with a few adjustments. Perhaps after Thanksgiving!  Who’s with me for a FREE 3 day clean eating challenge after Thanksgiving?

 

 

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