Eat nothing processed. ‘Clean eaters choose whole foods such as vegetables and fruit, wholegrains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low-fat dairy products and unsalted nuts and seeds,’ explains HFG nutritionist Amanda Ursell.
‘That means fast food, junk food, ready meals, refined foods and added sugars are off limits – although some packaged foods are allowed if you recognise all the ingredients as real, unrefined and free from artificial additives. Many plans also rule out caffeine and alcohol.’ Preparing your own meals is also encouraged so both the flavour and integrity of the fresh food is maintained and the addition of lots of fat, sugar or salt can be avoided.
‘It’s hard to fault a way of eating that starts with real food and messes with it as little as possible,’ says Amanda. ‘It’s also really positive that all the food groups are still included, making it easy to eat in a nutritionally balanced way.’
Find out more: Clean & Lean Diet by James Duigan (Kyle Books, £12.99) can be credited for kick-starting the trend back in 2013.
• Free-range and organic foods are often (but not always) more expensive. You’ll need to shop around.
• Not everyone has the time to prepare absolutely everything from scratch. This unrealistic goal may be hard to sustain.
• Thinking ‘clean’ can be a jump-off point for obsessive thinking about food.