You are what you eat. It’s cliche, but true.
The food you put in your body is not only the fuel for activity but it’s ultimately the building blocks of your cells, so it’s literally true, you actually are what you eat. Unfortunately the typical American diet isn’t very nutritious. Most meals consist of overly refined, nutrient sparse, additive laden food.This is one of the primary reasons so many people are sick and tired all the time. Clean eating is the opposite. At it’s core it’s the concept of eating whole, unprocessed, “natural” food. The fewer steps food takes from its original form to your table the better. Once you’ve started to eat clean you’ll experience some amazing things.
1. They Have TONS of Energy
Once you start eating clean, and you’re actually fueling your body for the first time, you won’t believe how much energy you have. Clean eaters quickly realize how little energy they had before when their diet revolved around overly processed “junk” food.
2. They Almost Never Get Sick
Once you start eating a variety of fruits and vegetables you provide yourself with all the building blocks for a robust and responsive immune system. Clean eaters know that if they do get sick, it’s probably not going to last for long, be as severe and it’s not going to happen again for a while.
3. They are Killing it in the Gym
Lets face it, you’ve got to do something with all that extra energy. Hitting the gym, lifting weights, going for a run and being excited to do it, is a trademark of the clean eating lifestyle.
4. They Recover Faster From Workouts
When you workout you tear your body down, actually damaging muscles, ligaments, tendons and stressing bones. What you eat provides the materials used to repair, rebuild and grow those structures as well as build enzymes to help create energy during your next workout. Clean eaters, because of their nutrient dense diets, have the raw materials available for rebuilding and recovery all the time. They may get sore after a really hard workout, but because eating clean is about fueling your body, they’re recovered and ready to go sooner than most.
5. They Take Fewer Medications
Improving nutritional deficiencies, reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol, lowering blood pressure. All are some of the results that are common with the type of nutrient rich, high fiber, healthy fat laden diet that you follow.
6. They Have Clear Skin
You’re skin is the body’s largest organ. You’re providing your skin with all the nutrients (protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc among others) it needs for to repair, regrow and remain healthy.
7. They are Really Well Hydrated
Eating clean and drinking water go hand in hand. And we’re talking a lot of water all day. You, as a clean eater, might not remember the last time your urine wasn’t clear or nearly clear and that’s usually a good thing. Clear, or nearly clear urine is a good indication that you’re well hydrated.
8. They Do #2, Everyday, Maybe Twice
Lots of water and lots of fiber equals a super regular digestive tract, and that’s a very good thing. Besides that fact that being constipated feels awful, there are a LOT of negative health consequences that have been linked to constipation such as colonic conditions, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal incontinence, and urologic disorders that you don’t have to worry about.
9. They Can Splurge on “Unclean” Foods Every Now and then and Without Feeling Guilty
Eventually you’re going to have a night out, be on vacation, at a birthday party or just plain really want some ice cream. But you if you’ve been eating clean you don’t need to worry or feel guilty about it because one nutritional “slip up” doesn’t make or break a lifestyle. You know you’re able to enjoy those things guilt free because you’ll be back to your normal “clean” diet ASAP.
10. They Lose Weight Without Even Trying
Ever eat a big salad and steak and not be able to resist polishing off that bag of Oreo’s? Probably not. Foods high in water content, fiber and protein fill you up quickly and digest slowly. This means you’ll feel full longer and it’s less likely you’ll crave junk food.
11. They Eat ALL the Time
They know that they’re not going to be hungry through the day because they’re eating whole, nutritious meals every 3-4 hours. This helps reduce cravings and keep them from ever getting to that ravenous stage where they’re overly hungry and will eat everything in sight.
12. They are Just All Around More Awesome, At Everything, All the Time
You’re constantly hitting on all cylinders. A recent study came to this finding:
“Young adults who ate more FV (fruits and vegetables) reported higher average eudaemonic well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less FV. On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life.” – Conner TS1, Brookie KL, Richardson AC, Polak MA.
Eating clean isn’t about being on a short term “diet” that is overly restrictive and leaves you hangry all the time. Eating clean is about eating whole, nutritious foods and the amazing things that happen to you once you do start eating clean.
Featured photo credit: Bruce Tuten via flickr.com