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Healthy Food Diet: 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge

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Healthy Food Diet: 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge
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Do you feel like your diet needs a fresh start? When life happens and you abandon healthy food in favor of whatever is nearby or comes out of a packet or pouch, it's time for a "clean" break. That's why we're bringing you SHAPE's 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge. While a clean eating diet plan may seem challenging, our plan is manageable and the payoffs include skyrocketing energy, weight loss, better control over your appetite, and even better-looking skin.

Just follow these 5 simple rules and try our clean eating meal plan:

1) Eat only whole foods. That means eating oats and blueberries rather than a blueberry muffin. When you eat packaged foods, only buy brands that contain “real food” ingredients--ingredients you easily recognize, can pronounce, and would use to make a “from scratch” version in your own kitchen. If a food contains even one ingredient that makes you think “huh?” skip it, at least during the clean eating challenge.

RELATED: For a super healthy and delicious snack, watch Heidi Klum make homemade hummus and kale chips, then try the recipe yourself.

2) Keep meals simple. Delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to contain a lot of ingredients. Keep your meal ingredients to a minimum—just be sure to include a source of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal. For example, veggies and shrimp stir fried in sesame oil over a bed of brown rice seems restaurant quality but can be whipped up faster than takeout.

3) Eat slower. Put your fork or spoon down between every bite, and focus on the flavors and textures of your food.

4) Eat on a regular schedule. Try not to let more than about 4 hours go by between meals or snacks. Steady meal timing helps regulate your digestive system, blood sugar and insulin levels, and appetite.

RELATED: When you do your food shopping for the week, be sure to avoid these grocery store fat traps that can make you gain weight.

5) Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, meaning satisfied, not stuffed. The recipes here intentionally don’t provide amounts. That’s so you get used to relying on your hunger and fullness cues to tell you when to stop and start eating.

Check out a sample day’s diet and seven super-easy clean eating dinner ideas.

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