7 simple steps to your new clean eating lifestyle thanks to GB Heptathlete, Lucy Boggis
Clean Eating is quite simple really, it’s all about steering clear of processed foods, eating wholefoods, and generally being healthy when it comes to food choices and exercise.
If you’re up for the challenge of a new healthy lifestyle, then here are 7 simple steps to follow.
- Drink more water
Try and get two litres of water into your system a day. To start off with your stomach may feel a bit full and bloated; so just drink small sips throughout the day, slowly introducing the body to more fluids. Drinking water helps to flush out unwanted toxins and impurities, it helps to keep skin and eyes clear too. Interestingly, it prevents the body from thinking it’s hungry, a lot of the time when we think we want to eat it’s actually because the body is thirsty and needs to hydrate.
- Exercise everyday
Exercise helps you feel good; it relieves stress, and gets the body nice and toned. Exercise and eating well go hand in hand because steering clear of heavily processed foods and replacing with whole foods gives your body lots of beneficial energy – so you feel full of beans and have more get-up-and-go to get active. Try and start off with just two sessions a week, or go to three or four times a week if you’re already a regular at the gym. Check out my ‘at home body weight circuit’ below and use this for starters.
Set your timer for 20 minutes (that’s all it takes to blast your body into shape) and complete as many rounds as you can in the time set.
15 triceps dips
10 deck squats
30 sec mountain climbers
- Eat 6 small meals a day
This is the best way to keep energy levels high throughout the day and avoid constant snacking. You still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner – so where do you slot in the other three small meals? If you’re an early riser, introduce your first small snack not long after you wake (maybe a handful of almonds with a banana) and then a couple of hours later have your breakfast.
If you get up a little later, start with breakfast and have a mid-morning snack two hours prior to eating lunch. Try to aim for around two to three hours in between your meals and snacks. You can check what foods to stock up on in my ‘how to start your new clean eating lifestyle’ blog here.
- Avoid late night eating
If you are eating six healthy meals a day and drinking plenty of water, you shouldn’t get the urge to eat late at night. If you’re eating late into the evening you will have trouble sleeping due to your body working hard to digest your food. Ideally, you want to finish your final meal of the day around three hours before bed so you can get a really good night’s sleep. If you’re feeling peckish, peppermint tea is fantastic to help relax your body (and hopefully fill a hole!).
- Change tea and coffee for green tea
Start to introduce green tea into your daily routine. It’s amazing at kicking your metabolism into touch and brilliant at cleaning your system. I know how addictive coffee and tea can be, so try cutting it down slowly, your aiming for complete elimination or just one cup per day. If you’re going to drink coffee then ground, organic, coffee is the best.
- Get 8 hours sleep
It’s a proven fact that good quality sleep helps you to lose/maintain weight. Not only that, when we feel well rested we are happier beings, and being happy and in-balance leads to greater positivity and productivity. It’s like a domino knock on effect. So get your head on the pillow!
- Cleanse the soul with Yoga
Some of you may already be Yoga fans in which case keep it up! Yoga isn’t only fantastic at stretching out tight, stressed muscles, and creating amazing flexibility, it’s incredibly beneficial for your mentality too. It teaches you to learn about you and accept who you really are, and this is so important when you are making changes to your lifestyle. Being mentally strong and calm creates positive change. Try and spend a couple of evenings a week practicing Yoga, you don’t need to be flexible or overly fit; it’s just about spending time on ‘you’. If there isn’t a local Yoga group close-by, there are lots of good Yoga practices on the Internet.
So there it is! In week one, start off slowly by making one or two changes and by week 4, try and accomplish them all – and keep it going. It may take time to adjust (it can take months) but believe me; once you’ve done it there really is no looking back.
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Missed Lucy’s ‘what is clean eating’ blog? Check it out here.