headshot-ianhartIn life, as in health and fitness, we are inundated with information, trends and fads telling us what’s good for us. Some are – for lack of a better phrase – blatant lies. But how do we sift through the masses of data to decipher what really is the truth? This is a tricky topic, especially since it seems that the lies are based on some form of the truth.



Health and fitness mainly comprises two departments:

1) Exercise

2) Nutrition


Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. The topic I’ll cover today is the latter.

I was recently speaking with a client about clean eating. Being a diligent client, she was determined to find out about the best foods she should put into her body. When she asked if having “natural” on the label meant clean eating, I realized what my next article should be about.

Hundreds and hundreds of different food labels claim to be healthy, natural, and my personal favorite, gluten free. But can you trust these claims? The answer? It depends. For example, you may see the word “natural” on a label foods laced with high fructose corn syrup, and that’s perfectly fine according to the Food and Drug Administration. I’m no FDA official, but adding enzymes to create a concoction of fructose from glucose doesn’t seem all that natural to me. But I don’t want to single out corn sugar. Regular sugar consumption will always cause weight gain. In addition to ruining your figure, chronic sugar consumption puts you at risk of numerous health problems. Breaking a sugar addiction is tough, but once you have, you won’t give sugar a second thought. Whenever your sweet tooth flares up eat a piece of fresh organic fruit.


Below, I’ve itemized three basic rules that you can use to eat clean and healthy.


1) Throw Out Packaged Foods

Packaged foods include sweets, frozen dinners and canned goods (like sodas). Even the ones that claim to be natural contain properties that can be detrimental to your health. Sweets like donuts, candies and cookies are laden with sugar and bad fats. They also lack the nutrients that your body needs for healthy function. They are empty calories that are converted into the fat you see in your trouble spots.


Another tricky category finds itself in processed grains: breads, cereal, chips, popcorn, etc. More often than not, the labels on these foods say ‘heart healthy’ or ‘low fat’. The reality is that packaged, processed grains contain sugar and more carbohydrates than you need if your goal is weight loss; so eat whole grains in moderation.


2) Fresh Foods For Your Figure

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are integral to achieving and maintaining a clean diet. The nutrients and fiber found in these foods cultivate the perfect environment for healthy fat – and weight- loss. You can and should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in all shapes, sizes and colors. However, limit consumption of starchy veggies such as potatoes and corn, as well as high sugar fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe because they tend to raise your blood sugar levels quickly.


3) Get Plenty of Protein

Proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish (e.g. salmon) and egg whites are considered lean. Protein is vital to you achieving your weight loss goals. It satisfies your hunger for a longer time, and builds lean muscle – the cornerstone to your boosted metabolism. As a general rule of thumb your diet should be a minimum of 20% protein.


For faster results, pair your clean eating with a challenging exercise routine that is safe, progressive, efficient and gives you the body of your dreams.

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