Eat-Clean Diet

The Eat Clean Diet was developed by Tosca Reno, a body builder and columnist for Oxygen magazine. Her book was published in 2007 and the popularity of clean eating has been increasing steadily since.

The Premise

The Eat Clean Diet is all about eating only foods that come from nature–clean foods, as they’re called. If it came processed from a factory, or contains a mile-long list of ingredients you can’t even understand, it has no place in this diet. The concept makes a heck of a lot of sense when you think about it: stick to the basic foods our ancestors have eaten for years and you’ll be fitter and healthier. These foods include lean protein sources (like white meat chicken, turkey, egg whites, fish), fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. The Eat Clean Diet claims that a beautiful body is 80% about nutrition, 10% about cardio and strength training and 10% about genetics. How you look and feel primarily has to do with what kinds of foods you’re consuming.

The Diet

The Eat Clean Diet suggests eating five or six small meals each day. Each meal should contain a complex carbohydrate and some kind of lean protein. A bowl of oatmeal with some raspberries and a side of egg whites, for example, would make a great breakfast. A mid-morning snack could be an apple with some all-natural peanut or almond butter. Lunch could easily consist of a salmon steak with a side salad. A mid-afternoon snack could consist of a bowl of Greek yogurt with some honey and berries mixed in. Dinner could be some steamed vegetables with a chicken breast. The idea is to constantly be eating healthy mini meals to keep your metabolism fired up all day long. The diet is designed to keep you feeling hungry every two or three hours. 

What to Get Excited Over

This diet actually works. There isn’t any calorie counting, and you can eat as much as you want as long as it’s a clean food. It’s a healthy way to lose weight and promotes long term diet changes.

Things to Consider

While this diet works, it requires some major long-term behavioral changes. The book shouldn’t be called the Eat Clean “Diet” as much as it should be called the Eat Clean “Lifestyle.” It isn’t a quick fix–you probably won’t see changes for a good four to six weeks in. You have to be disciplined and learn to avoid sweets and processed foods. You also have to be mindful to eat every couple of hours, which can be hard if you’re busy. Since much of the diet entails pre-packing your lunches for the week, it requires some preparation each night or over the weekend.

The Verdict

If you put forth the energy and effort to keep up with the Eat Clean Diet, it will work. It follows the common sense we’ve all known for years: eat right and exercise and you’ll lose weight. It isn’t magic. Instead, it’s a sensible approach to living a healthy lifestyle.

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