I know you do, because I hear them all the time. I love that, btw!
- How do I get started?
- For one, start now. Don’t wait until you’ve eaten the last of your cookies and candy. By that time, you could gain more weight or feel worse about your situation than you already do. Trust me. Just start today; right now; the next bite you take. Make it clean! Determination and general fed-upness will get you far in the early days! Two easy rules of thumb – eat plants; not food made in a plant. And, avoid the white stuff: sugar, flour, bread, rice, potatoes, etc. I eat naturally occurring sugar (in fruit, for example), but not white refined sugar. Following these general “rules” early on will help you make better decisions. Also, when reading ingredient labels – try to choose food that have 4-6 ingredients or less AND make sure they are ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. That quickly helps me eliminate no-no foods when I’m grocery shopping. Also, try to shop the perimeter of your grocery store, not through each aisle. Most of the no-no foods down those shady aisles!
- Do you count calories?
- I don’t and that’s why this works for me. I eat six small clean meals a day. Controlling food intake in this way never leaves me hungry or with the urge to binge. I have said this before, but I’ll tell you again, I gained a lot of my weight by binge eating (either because I was starving myself with a “diet” or due to anxiety). With that said, I know people who do count calories and that works for them. I’ve done it before and lost a lot of weight that way, but these days, I can hardly remember what I did five seconds ago, let alone remember to track calories. Just saying.
- Can I still eat potatoes?
- You can eat potatoes, but sweet potatoes are preferred over white. Well, I prefer them anyway. I know some clean eaters do still enjoy their white potatoes, but I have a little sugar addiction to keep under control. White taters have a higher glycemic index and spike blood sugar faster. And, of course, when that happens, we go find something else sugar-laden to avoid feeling that crash. It’s not fun, peeps. Eat the sweet potatoes if you can; due to that low GI, they keep you full longer, too!
- What about rice and noodles?
- At one time, I thought I’d die if I couldn’t have rice and noodles. Once my sugar addiction was fixed, I stopped thinking that. My life didn’t depend on carbs anymore. Not on rice, not on noodles. However, eating whole grains is a super important part of clean eating. For that reason, I use brown rice (another low GI item) and brown rice noodles (you can use whole grain noodles, too) but I prefer the taste of brown rice noodles.
- But, I’m addicted to diet soda.
- Yeah, so was I. You’re going to have to get rid of that. Diet soda not only has no nutritional value, the fake sugar that goes in it will make you crave real sugar or more bad fake sugar (so not helpful) and has been shown to hinder weight loss. Also, there have been some recent studies linking aspartame to all sorts of nasty diseases and other stuff you don’t want. Give it up. You don’t need it, you won’t die without it. Try sparkling water with lemon; unsweetened tea; hot tea; even coffee with a clean sweetener or just plain old water. You. Can. Do. It. I was a big diet soda drinker – from Junior High through my 20s. If I can do it, so can you.
- Do I have to exercise?
- I lost a lot of weight without ever dusting off the elliptical machine, but eventually hit a plateau and needed to do something else. As long as you’re healthy enough to workout regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises are good for your heart and over-all health. Remember, you want to be fit…not skinny.
- What are your clean eating pantry/fridge & freezer staples (aka have to haves!)
- Bananas, oats, brown rice, boneless skinless chicken breast, Earth Balance natural buttery spread, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, whole wheat flour, organic honey, carrots, leafy greens, loads of other in-season veggies, other in-season fruit, hummus, Beanitos chips, whole wheat tortillas, water and lots of it, spices for seasoning, tea, nuts (not honey roasted, just lightly salted or unsalted), sweet potatoes, beans, and dark chocolate (yeah, I said chocolate. I also said “dark” though ~ did you get that? I mean 60-80% cocoa).
- I use dark chocolate to kick chocolate cravings. Keep one high-quality (like Lindt or Ghiradelli) chocolate bar out of sight and break-off a piece of it when you have a chocolate craving. You can’t eat more than a little without getting overwhelmed. So, there you go. That probably answers someone else’s question about “What happens when I have a chocolate craving?”
- What about yogurt?
- I’m trying to stay away from the dairy (Have you seen Forks Over Knives?), but if you want yogurt – I’d go with plain, non-fat, Greek Yogurt. Though yogurt is typically seen as a “health” food, most of it has a surprising amount of sugar (even if it looks plain-ish). You should check it out! I started being super yogurt conscious when I was detoxing from sugar. I think greek yogurt (plain, non-fat) is the exception because the protein content is really good! You can use protein to counteract sugar cravings. That’s why I make sure to start my day with it, every day!
- Where can I learn more?
- How can you afford to lose 30 more pounds?
- Trust me. Nine times out of ten, when I tell someone how much *more* weight I have to lose, I get a gasp. “But…there’s no way.” There’s totally a way. The high-end of my suggested weight range is still 25lbs away. I would like to lose 30-35 more to get comfortable in the middle of my healthy weight range. If I felt super ambitious, I could lose 40-something more and still be standing (but I’m not feeling all that motivated). So, no…I’m not going to turn into skin and bones any time soon. I want to maintain a healthy weight and be physically fit in order to be HEALTHY not skinny (even if that means weighing at the higher end of my suggested range). See your suggested weight, here.
Oh, wait, I lied…there’s one final thing…
- I often post tips and recipes on Daily Ups & Pounds’ Facebook page (those may or may not show up here). Go ahead and give it a LIKE if you want more updates. 🙂
Leave additional questions in the comment box below and I’ll be sure to respond to them in the next post! 🙂