After years of being a couch potato, I finally developed a good exercise habit that I'm proud of. It was a struggle because I didn't see anything fun about exercising. My next hurdle is finding the discipline to eat clean. Out of all diets to follow, I feel eating clean makes sense for me. However, getting my diet right continues to be a constant struggle. Diet will make or break your efforts. Below are my struggles with eating clean.
What is Eating Clean?
Eating clean is all about eating healthy foods that include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, etc. Basically you shouldn't be getting your food from a drive-thru window and should be avoiding foods that are over-processed, high in fat, sugar, and salt. It also means eating 5 or 6 small meals per day and eating every 2 to 3 hours.
Fact 1: Eating 5 to 6 Meals a Day Can Be a Hassle
I love food which is why it's a struggle to maintain a healthy weight. However, I'm not used to eating smaller meals throughout the day. I've always been a breakfast, lunch, dinner person - sometimes skipping breakfast because I'm busy.
Fact 2: Cooking Every Day Kinda Sucks
Eating clean means no fast-food convenience and if you're super busy in your daily life (which a majority of people are) you'll be spending a lot of time preparing your 5 to 6 meals for each day. Whether you do it every morning, every evening, or once for the entire week, that is time that has to be found.
Fact 3: It Can Take the Fun Out of Dining Out
I'm invited out to eat all the time. Eating clean means ordering meals that are lower in fat and calories or requesting they are made that way. Your family & friends may be dining on their fried appetizers and creamy sauce covered pasta while you're squeezing lemon on your salad.
Fact 4: Avoiding Sugar and Flour - Ugh!
Sugar and bread are two of my biggest bad food habits. Breaking myself of those two will take tremendous amounts of effort on my part. Sugar and bread are everywhere. I think out of the entire diet this will be the hardest part.
My Plan of Attack
Obviously eating clean isn't easy or else everyone would do it. I am going to have to develop the habit of eating this way just like I developed a good exercise habit. It will definitely be a mental challenge as well. Now when I eat food I need to ask myself if it will benefit or harm. Here are some things I plan to do:
- Pick out "clean" recipes before food shopping
- Shop for the entire week
- Organize my tupperware to store pre-made meals in the fridge
- Cheat on Saturdays to satisfy cravings