If you’re looking to get in shape, clean eating’s an absolute must. I mean, there’s a reason why people say abs are made in the kitchen. There are a lot of fads out there, and healthy eating can be tricky for some so I asked fitness queen Maria Cristina for tips on how to eat right on the daily. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Find Creative Substitutes
If you are someone who knows they have little self-control when it comes to carbohydrates, high calorie snacks, having a sweet tooth or any other weakness, find a substitute that will satisfy your craving and trick your mind! Get creative! There is always a better option that will help you reach your goals.
Examples: If you love pasta but need to cut down on calories spiralize zucchini, squash or carrots or get zero calorie noodles! You get the feel of pasta with ¼ of the calories! If you love rice blend cauliflower into it to lessen the calories per bite! If you love peanut butter use PB2, the fat free version!
2. Creatures of Habit
Humans thrive off of habits. Don’t limit variety but constantly stock up on a few key staples and weekly eating habits so that you do not just eat whatever is in front of you. Creating healthy food habits makes you comfortable with healthy eating and reminds you not to break when an unhealthy option is presented to you.
Examples: Make your go-to salty snack skinny pop or salted beet chips so that you don’t down a big bag of Lays potato chips when a craving rises. Use dark chocolate as a night cap so you never truly experience a sugar deprivation and form a sweet tooth. Incorporate Greek yogurt into your breakfast every morning but change between smoothies, smoothie bowls, yogurt with granola, or a yogurt based banana bread!
3. Say No to Grains
There is this idea that whole grain anything is the healthier option. This is false. Stay away from grains that contain gluten (wheat, rye, barley) because they lead to gut issues, syndromes and diseases. A lot of health crazes include transitioning to whole grain options but it only hurts your stomach lining due to the presence of lectins (a class of proteins from plant origin that bind to sugars). Read Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger and The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry for further knowledge.
Healthy grain options (non-gluten): quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and certain rice.
4. Is It Easy to Read?
This tip is pretty easy to follow. If you can’t understand the list of ingredients on the packaging label it probably is not good for your physical health. The way we eat has transitioned to be so chemically based that our bodies have had to change to accommodate that (not in a good way). The more pure and natural, the better.
5. Eating Out
We eat out more and more as we become busier and busier. If you do not have time to grocery shop for fresh ingredients and take time to cook for yourself (trust me, I know it’s a time commitment), research into different fast casual or sit down restaurants that you can eat out at that offer healthy options (there usually ALWAYS is an okay and healthier option and most menus now have all nutritional information available online). It is very possible to eat out and stick to a healthy diet.
Examples: Sweet Green or Chopt Creative Salad Co. instead of a McDonald’s Salad. Chipotle (minus the sour cream and rice if you are really cutting down) instead of Chick-fil-A. South Block Juice Co. instead of Smoothie King. Cava instead of Taco Bell.
Alright guys, that’s a wrap! A huge, HUGE thanks to Maria Cristina for sharing her top 5 healthy eating tips with us today on Sensible Stylista. She’s one of my favorite fitness influencers so you definitely want to check her out and give her a follow on the ‘gram. She shares serious inspo on the regular so it’s a must – expect to see good eats, lifting tips, cute workout clothes, and oh so much more! For more on wellness, make sure to check out my health tab.