Anyone losing weight knows that there’s a wealth of “sure-fire” diets out there from which to choose. The real question is: How to lose weight in your face?
The truth is — none of them are. Big names in the fitness industry have gotten pretty rich from convincing the general public to ditch one food group or another, all in the name of getting lean quickly. Typically, these programs require a dieter to buy a book, purchase individually-wrapped, pre-packaged foods and eliminate some sort of nutrient in its entirety.
Not only does the dieter not lose a lot of weight, but they also help wreak havoc on the environment with the processing the food goes through and the amount of packaging it’s sold in.
There is a way to avoid this, though, and still live a healthy life while getting lean – it’s the clean, green, lean way of eating. Let’s be clear here: This isn’t a diet. This is a whole new way of eating — the way humans were meant to eat.
Lean proteins, lots of fruits and vegetables, and some whole grains come together to form this new way of eating. What’s better is that so much of it can be bought from local merchants, which usually cuts down on packaging and also reduces the mileage that food travels to get to your dinner plate.
Confused? Let’s break it down one piece at a time:
Clean eating: This is a fancy way of saying that you’ll eat food as close to their natural state as possible, eschewing that typical processed foods that you find in grocery stores, which are usually laden with preservatives, chemicals and that nasty ingredient you’ve heard so much about high fructose corn syrup. Think about it this way – when deciding whether to eat an apple or applesauce, which one is better? (we’re talking Mott’s applesauce here, not Amish-made pure sauce straight from the orchard) Neither is going to cause you to gain weight, but that applesauce has passed through a lot more machinery and human hands, with a plethora of additions to prolong its shelf life and make it sweeter so more toddlers will gobble it up. The plain apple, which is chock full of fiber instead of sugar, is a lot healthier.
A common question is what type of foods are considered clean. The basis of a clean diet should include lean protein (chicken, fish, lean meat, low-fat cottage cheese, and natural nut butter), whole grains (avoid any pieces of bread that include high-fructose corn syrup or has ‘enriched’ or ‘unbleached’ flours as its first ingredient) and tons of fruits and vegetables.
Green eating: It’s not surprising that reducing each and every individual’s carbon footprint is of utmost importance right now. Shopping locally, whether it be a farmer’s markets or local butchers and bakers, helps make the Earth greener by reducing packaging that ends up landfills or the ocean and cuts down on fuel usage by the trucks and airplanes that transport the food across the country.
Eating green also means eating seasonally. While we would all love strawberries and tomatoes year-round, those two fruits don’t grow in most areas in the winter. To get fresh strawberries during the off-season requires much more energy than if it’s saved as a summertime treat.
But how does eating green — that is, eating locally and seasonally — help you lose weight? Well, this weekend, wander through your local farmer’s market or drop by a produce stand. With the exception of some delicious baked goods that might be available from a local farm, the majority of the food sold there is a health and lean. There’s plenty of fruits and vegetables, natural jams and butter, even some lean meats if you’re lucky. Buying straight from the farm means you’re going to avoid the processing that’s rampant in the food industry.
You’ve heard the expression “lean, mean, fighting machine?” By eating natural foods from local merchants, you can become a “clean, green, lean machine” instead!