Clean Up Your Act!

There’s plenty of evidence that proves the importance of eating a clean, well-balanced diet. One that consists of mainly whole foods and avoids processed ones. Which is why I want to help you clean up your act. To lose weight, achieve great health, and live longer.

Eat clean

Eating clean takes more time and effort, which makes stopping at a drive-thru an easier choice. But how do you justify unhealthy food choices? And years of neglecting your body by eating this crap?

I have been thinking about eating habits.

And although we’re all different, with varying tastes and preferences, I think we can categorize most of our eating patterns into 3 distinct profiles:

  1. Those who eat clean.
  2. Those who don’t eat clean.
  3. Those who want or try to eat clean, but still don’t.

We’re in the last week of our 4th habit – eating clean. I hope this new habit is taking shape for you (as depicted below). As you clean up your eating habits, you will begin to look better and feel great from the consistent daily steps of improving your nutrition.

Eat clean

Last week we discussed eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies. And no, that’s not a rainbow on the left.

Earlier this month in the “Eat Clean, or Else” post, we discussed why it’s essential to reach our macronutrient targets, and why doing this with high quality foods makes such a difference.

This also means avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Every time food is touched (processed), the nutrient value declines. And the calories, unhealthy fat, sodium, and sugar usually rises. Along with some unhealthy additives and preservatives that only serve to increase shelf life and sabotage your health.

I would add a few other things to the “Avoid List”, as part of your healthy regimen. Including (but not limited to) fast food, anything fried, most appetizers, baked goods, junk snacks, soda, and candy.

You should also minimize your sugar and salt intake. And products made with white flour (like breads and pasta).

For my full list, click here.

I’m not saying you can never eat these things. But you should avoid them as much as possible. Especially if you’re overweight and trying to get fit. If this describes you, you need to avoid them all-together. Or at least until you get things under control.

They’re doing you no good.

If you’re serious about losing the weight and getting in shape, do yourself a big favor and stop eating this crap. You won’t miss it as the results start showing up.

Let me ask you a hypothetical question.

I want to re-frame the importance of eating clean by comparing your body to an expensive sports car. So here goes…

Eat clean

If you had the opportunity and the means to purchase a million-dollar sports car, would you hesitate for a second to go out of your way to give it the highest quality gas? Or hire the best mechanic and make sure to perform scheduled routine maintenance?

You’re thinking “That sounds ridiculous! And what does it have to do with eating clean?”.

I’ll agree that you can’t put a price tag on your life – that’s ridiculous! But the feeding and maintenance is spot on. The only real difference is that if you neglected your car, you could always buy another one.

But what’s your recourse for neglecting your body?

An organ transplant, you say. I disagree, unless it’s for a true medical condition.

But if that transplant is needed for years of compounded neglect, it won’t work. Why?

Because it doesn’t fix the root of the problem – YOU!

Here’s what I don’t understand. With all this information and proof, why do so many people continue to make bad food choices?

Eat clean

Eating clean is essential to our health and longevity.

Sure, eating clean may not be as fast or easy as stopping at a drive-thru, but it’s not hard.

And avoiding good nutrition by not eating clean leads to far too many problems. Like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke just to name a few.

I don’t know about you, but I will do anything and everything possible to avoid these life-altering diseases. Which eventually become life-ending.

And they’re so preventable! In fact, it’s also been proven that you can reverse the negative effects of these preventable diseases by eating better and exercising.

Eating better and exercising sounds like going out of your way to feed your expensive sports car “high test” fuel, then hitting the track for some laps. And performing routine maintenance sounds like seeing for your doctor for an annual physical exam and other routine check-ups.

So WTF???

It’s infuriating to see so many people neglecting themselves. And for what? Besides a heavy future price to pay!

Eat clean

Why wait for a medical emergency?

STOP making excuses!

And STOP putting other people’s priorities ahead of your own.

Are you’re thinking. “I’m too busy and don’t have enough time.” That describes everyone!

Maybe you don’t know where to start. Did you ever hear of the Internet, Google, or Thin2Win?

Too overwhelming? Then hire a professional. Even if only for a few sessions.

You’re worth it… Aren’t you?

You may discover that your medical insurance covers nutrition counseling. Look into it. And if you need recommendations for a registered dietitian, let me know.

Eating “dirty” is more prevalent (and popular) than eating “clean” is. It just doesn’t make sense when you can have it your way.

But I have a theory. I think “eating dirty” is due to:

  • It’s just easier.
  • Lack of discipline or neglect.
  • Convenience or speed.
  • You don’t know any better (which is NO excuse).
  • “Instant” gratification feels better than its counterpart – “delayed”.
  • It’s more pleasurable to do what’s fun and easy in the present than what’s necessary and perhaps more difficult for the future. Kind of like saving for retirement.
  • Martyr syndrome (putting other people’s needs ahead of your own).
  • Not being serious or committed (which makes no sense to me).
  • Too busy looking for the next “quick fix”, or magic pill supplement.

As far as I’m concerned, these are all unacceptable excuses. Are you just waiting for diabetes, a heart attack, or some other medical emergency to wake your ass up?

You have a choice. And if you can’t figure it out, then seek help from someone who has. Someone (like me!) who can help you make better choices and build sustainable habits.

No quick fixes or gimmicks. Commit to building your healthy habits one meal at a time. And before you know it, you’ll see results. Which will help to motivate your new healthy lifestyle.

I like how Darren Hardy put it in his best-selling book The Compound Effect. On page 59 he writes: “If you took a bite of a Big Mac and immediately fell to the ground clutching your chest from a heart attack, you might not go back for that second bite. If your next puff of a cigarette instantly mutated your face into that of a weathered eight-five-year-old, chances are you’d pass on that too. If you failed to make that tenth call today and were immediately fired and bankrupted, suddenly picking up the phone would be a no-brainer. And, if that first forkful of cake instantly put fifty pounds on your frame, saying ‘no thank you’ to dessert would be the true piece of cake.”

Great words of wisdom Darren. Results take time and effort.

If you haven’t read The Compound Effect, you should. And if you have read it, read it again. You’ll learn something new every time.

Our daily actions (our choices, habits, and decisions) are always compounding… in the form of either positive results, or negative consequences.

The good and the bad each take time to materialize. But here’s the cool thing. We get to decide what we want. And what we do.

So, clean up your act!

We can eat foods that nourish our body and our mind, that fight off disease. Or we can eat foods that eventually send us to an early grave. It’s up to each of us to decide what we want…

I’d like to wrap up by sharing a great article. It’s packed with 10 healthy eating tips that resonate with my philosophy. I hope you enjoy.

Next week we start Habit #5. The weather is getting nicer and I think you’re going to like this one. In the meantime, start eating clean for your overall health for crying out loud!

Ok, I’m done ranting.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.

Now it’s time for YOU to take action…

What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.

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