Ask Our Dietitans: Top 10 Clean Eating Tips

Our resident dietitians, Erin Macdonald and Tiffani Bachus, answer your burning nutrition questions in their monthly column: Ask the Dietitians. Here are their top 10 tips for eating clean and getting lean.
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Our resident dietitians, Erin Macdonald and Tiffani Bachus, answer your burning nutrition questions in their monthly column: Ask the Dietitians. Here are their top 10 tips for eating clean and getting lean.

Eat clean and get lean with our dietitians, Erin Macdonald and Tiffani Bachus. Their course, A Whole-Life Guide to Lasting Weight Loss, is available now. 

Fuel Happily and Healthily

1. Calm Inflammation by Unearthing the Root of your Symptoms

Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are not the same. They involve different biological mechanisms, and cause different discomforts. Learn the differences so you can pin-point (and alleviate!) the cause of your symptoms.

See also The Six Not-So Superfoods to Nix Now.

Fermented food

2. Fermented Foods are Your Friends

Fermentation converts starches and sugars into acids, enabling “good” microbes to keep food fresh and provide a host of health benefits, including improved digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune-boosting properties. Learn more about why and how you should eat fermented foods here.

See alsoGut Feeling: The Latest News Behind Probiotics and Prebiotics.

Greek Yogurt

3. Plain Reigns

Don't be fooled by the beautiful, healthy-looking individual sized Greek yogurt containers now abundantly sitting in the grocery store. They often contain deceptively high levels of added sugar.

Greek yogurt, like all dairy products, naturally contains the sugar lactose. So it can be hard to tell exactly how much sugar present naturally in yogurt, and how much of it is added. The best solution? Buy plain Greek yogurt and flavor it yourself with fresh fruit. (You can also use it to make these luscious Greek Yogurt Berry Ice Pops!) You'll reduce the calories, sugar intake, and cost! (And up the vitamin and antioxidant levels.)

Does your Greek Yogurt contain added sugar? Find out here.

Grains

4. Don't Discount Grains

Don’t just follow to the fads. Unless you have a grain insensitivity or intolerance, whole grains may be health promoting! Focus on the bigger culprits: sugar, refined-grain products, trans fats. Learn more here.

See alsoShould You Avoid Gluten?

Dieting

5. Weight Loss is a Way of Life

Dieting is not sustainable, often not based in science, or what is actually best for you. When searching for a safe way to lose weight and increase energy, put aside time to exercise and plan to cut just a few hundred calories from your daily clean-eating lifestyle. Learn more about the downfalls of dieting (and superior alternatives to weight loss) here.

Breakfast

6. Want to Lose Weight? Eat Breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast if you want to lose weight. Within an hour of waking up, eat a combination of complex carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein, and healthy fat to boost your metabolism, stave off hunger pangs and curb cravings. Learn more here.

See also4 Breakfasts that Rock.

Smoothies

7. Blend, Don't Juice

Juicing is trendy. But is it healthy? Freshly pressed juice is full of vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants, but also fast-acting sugar. Opt for fiber-rich smoothies full of veggies, a little fruit, healthy fats, and nutritional superstars like turmeric, cinnamon, or avocado, instead. Learn more about the right recipe for weight loss.

Find 7 impossibly delicious smoothie bowl recipes, including the Pink Pitaya one featured above,here.

Reduce calories in rice

8. Make Lower Calorie Rice

Reduce the calories in your brown rice by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water before adding the rice. Adding coconut oil alters the chemical composition of the starch in rice, reducing the number of calories your body can digest. For more information about this novel cooking technique, see here.

Find brown rice recipe inspirationhere.

Go meatless

9. You Can Eat Enough Protein Without Meat

Yes, you can consume adequate amounts of protein without eating meat! Try going meatless one day a week by eating about 2 cups of lentils, beans or tofu and two handfuls of nuts or seeds. To work these scrumptious sources of meatless protein into your meals, try adding beans to soups, or top salads or oatmeal with sunflower seeds. Or make these satisfying and spice-filled Indian Lentil Burgers with Mango Chutney. Your wallet and your body will thank you. Learn more about how to occasionally go meatless here.

Sleep

10. Suppress High-Calorie and High-Carb Cravings; Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep powerfully affects appetite. Not getting enough sleep disrupts hormone levels; leptin (which makes you feel full) goes down, and ghrelin (which stimulates you feel hungry) goes up. Inadequate sleep also increases impulsivity and stimulates the reward centers of your brain, inducing you to eat foods high in calories, fat and sugar. But don't worry, we've got 6 tips to help you get enough rest so that you stay healthy and happy.

See alsoHow to Get a Better Night's Sleep.

Our CE dietitians, Tiffany Bachus and Erin Macdonald. 

Our CE dietitians, Tiffany Bachus and Erin Macdonald. 

Get Lean with the Clean Eating Dietitians

Our Clean Eating Academy course, A Whole-Life Guide to Lasting Weight Loss is available now. Join Clean Eating's Advisory Board dietitians Erin Macdonald and Tiffani Bachus for this holistic 9-week program featuring nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and mindful eating that will help you build healthy new habits for life. Sign up now!