It’s Wendy Battles here, The Clean Eating Coach, with some post-holiday inspiration to support healthy weight loss.
With the new year upon us, and many of us wishing we hadn’t indulged so much during the holidays, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be so hard to get on track.
If you didn’t eat so clean during the holidays, no worries. Now’s the perfect time to practice slow but steady clean eating changes that have nothing to do with going on a diet! Yep, it’s true, diets don’t work and all they really lead to are depriving yourself, expending too much energy on trying not to fall off the wagon…and ultimately, falling of the wagon!
Here’s my post holiday advice: establish a few realistic goals for clean eating — not the “I’m going to lose 25 pounds in the next month” kind of a goal, but a goal that you can actually achieve. Here’s a sampling of some clean eating goals that might spark your imagination:
- eat at least two more servings a vegetables a day
- drink 32 ounces of water by 12:00 and another 32 ounces by 5 pm
- eat at least 4 out of 7 dinners per week without any distractions like the TV
- chew each mouthful of food at least 25 times
- add at least three types of whole grains to your diet per week
- add 2 more vegetarian meals to your diet per week
Clean eating is all about improving the quality of your food — less processed food, more whole foods, more locally grown food, — and the experience you have while eating it. To me, it’s about increasing your awareness and tuning in. When you eliminate distractions like the TV, you taste your food more fully and eat less. You’ll actually need less food to feel filled up because you’ll be enjoying your food with reckless abandon and paying attention to the signals your body is sending you. This is key to successfully losing weight and keeping it off.
And then there’s the steady part — consistently putting a meal plan into action week after week. To me, meal planning is the system by which I stay on track with my clean eating. It’s the vehicle by which it all happens on a weekly basis. And not only do I practice this religiously, but I work with my clients to do the same and what a difference it makes.
I’d love to hear about what you’ve got planned for 2010 to practice clean eating. What are you clean eating goals that will help you maintain your weight or loss some? What will you do differently this year to feel your best?
Here are a few clean eating goals of my own:
- Eat at least three different varieties of greens per week (I just bought kale, collards and Brussels sprouts as part of this week’s meal plan)
- drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, consistently (I struggle with the consistent part, working on new strategies; check out a recent post on how I’m getting better)
- eat less meat and create at least 2 meat-free dinners (this shouldn’t be hard, we don’t eat that much anyway) per week
- whip up a raw, green smoothie for breakfast with fresh greens at least 3 times per week
So cough it up, let me know what you’re inspired to do and create in 2010 regarding clean eating! If I can do it, you can too!
PS If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to clean eating, let me know. We can set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation to talk about your health goals and how yours truly, the Clean Eating Coach, can help you reach them.