What is Clean Eating, Really? – My Rules and Tips

In 2013, I was living in Atlanta attending my last year at Spelman College. I was about to graduate and was happy, happy, happy. But one thing I was not happy about was my body. I was very uncomfortable in my skin and I decided that I wanted to lose some weight.

I started doing what I thought I knew about weight loss: trying to eat less, drink a little more water, and exercise more. I did not pay attention much to what I ate, just ate less. I didn’t pay much attention to how much water I drank, just drank a little more. And I had no idea what kind of exercises to do, just did something! Something’s better than nothing right? I was so wrong. Man, was I wrong.

I lost nothing. I actually gained weight. I was mortified because I thought I was doing everything right! One day, I don’t remember how, but I stumbled across a mother-daughter duo (Ellen and Lana Ector) who put out a DVD called Black Girls Workout Too. And let me tell yall something, that DVD and meal plan changed my life! But let’s focus on the meal plan.

I had no idea what to expect. But, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have to go buy products or go to meeting. All I had to do was eat real food. This was my introduction to clean eating.

Here are the basic rules (from my personal experience and research):

  1. Eat real food! No processed food or eat processed food sparingly (Processed food: anything made or formed in a factory, usually boxed and packaged)

  2. Drink a lot of water (a gallon/day if you are trying to lose weight)

  3. Eat fruits and veggies with EVERY meal

  4. Eat whole grains, avoid “white” grains

  5. Exercise portion control

  6. Eat 5-6 small meals per day to keep metabolism buzzing

And that’s it. Those are the main rules. Mostly, when considering food content, that’s what we ate before food was made in factories. I mean if its good enough for Jesus, its good enough for me. I followed them, along with some specific rules for the meal plan, and I lost 25 pounds in 3 months. But, after a while I realized I was gaining weight back. I felt I had to start making my own variations of the rules to fit my lifestyle and body. So I have incorporated the following changes and additions into my clean eating plan:

  1. Sometimes I eat 3 times a day. Depends on how I feel.

  2. I eat whatever I want twice a week.

  3. I drink A LOT water before every meal.

  4. I try to stop eating carbs after lunch.

  5. I don’t focus too much on eating “organic”

Adding these changes to my lifestyle have helped me to maintain and keep up with the clean eating lifestyle. Eating clean makes me feel better, physically and mental. I also am able to accomplish much more when I know I have eaten healthy and taken good care of my body by being selective of what goes into it. If you are thinking about making the change, add me to the bandwagon when I say, you won’t regret it!

Eat clean and stay FINE!

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Maya is the founder of FabFineandFree.com and Fab Fine & Free GLAM Services. She is a mother, pizza-eater and a lover of life. She currently resides in St. Louis, MO.

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