"Clean Eating." It seems to be the mantra of fitblrs these days; I hardly ever see anything on my dashboard besides "eat clean eat clean eat clean eat clean." While I have nothing against people who eat clean, I do have a problem with the general message I believe is being sent here. I’d like to talk about some of the "darker" aspects of clean eating, because frankly I’m getting a little tired of seeing and hearing about it.
- There is no solid definition of clean eating. Most people will tell you that clean eating means eating no processed foods. But then those same people will use protein powder, dairy, whole grain bread, etc. What gives? The problem is that a solid definition of clean eating has never been established - it varies from person to person. Some people think dairy is clean, some don’t. Some clean eaters approve protein bars; others say they’re way too processed. How can one possibly follow a diet when there’s not even a clear definition of that diet? It just makes things unnecessarily complicated. Some say that clean eating means eating nutrient-dense foods, but even pizza can be nutrient-dense with the right toppings. It’s enough to make your head spin.
- Clean eating is not the key to weight loss. It needs to be said. If you go from eating junk all the time to eating clean, will you lose weight? Almost definitely, yes! But that’s because you’re consuming less calories throughout the day, therefore creating an energy deficit in your body, which leads to weight loss. Obviously eating a big mac and fries for dinner has a lot more calories than eating grilled chicken and leafy greens. So if you start eating the chicken regularly instead of the big mac, sure you’ll lose weight. But that’s because you’re consuming less calories, not because there’s anything magical about grilled chicken that is causing your weight loss. This is why “eating clean” is always recommended for weight loss: it’s an easy way to make sure you keep your daily calories low enough. But there is nothing special about “clean” food that causes you to lose weight. (Don’t believe me? Check out the twinkie diet - yes, it’s real.)
- Clean foods don’t necessarily make you healthier. I’m going to get a lot of hate for this one, but it’s true. How can it be, you ask? While it’s true that most foods labeled “clean” contain essential vitamins and nutrients for your body, there are plenty of studies out there showing that weight loss with a diet of “unclean” foods is just as beneficial for health as weight loss while eating “clean.” Let’s revisit the Twinkie Diet - dude lost 27 pounds, dropped his “bad” cholesterol by 20% and increased his “good” cholesterol by 20%, and decreased his triglycerides by 39%. By any measure of health, those are great numbers! Experts in the field of health and fitness also tend to agree that the idea that you need to “eat clean” to be healthy is a myth (source). Basically, general fitness (maintaing a healthy body weight and exercising) are much bigger contributors to overall health than the actual foods you eat. Could you be even healthier by sticking to a clean diet? Probably, but it’s just not as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be.
- Labeling foods as “good” or “bad” needs to stop. The major problem I have with clean eating is that it encourages a “good vs. bad food” (or in this case, “clean vs. unclean food”) mentality. Frankly, this is a common mentality among people with eating disorders and it is NOT a good message to send to people who are just starting out with dieting and fitness. Am I saying people who eat clean are disordered? Of course not!! But I do think that mental health is just as important as physical health, and encouraging a fear of “bad” foods is simply not healthy. I often see people on my dash who are freaking out because they “binged” and ate something “unclean.” Then they feel like they’ve screwed up all their progress and they might as well give up. Why would we encourage that kind of thinking? Instead, why don’t we let people know that it’s okay to eat their favorite foods sometimes, that there is no such thing as a “bad” food, and that food should never be a source of guilt? There is no reason getting healthy should have to be miserable, but by telling people they’re bad or wrong for eating certain things, we’re making it that way.
- Clean eating does not make you better than other people. In my personal experience, clean eating sometimes encourages a “holier than thou” attitude. It’s incredibly frustrating. Of course not everyone is like this, but I see it way more than I’d like. Eating by your definition of “clean” does not make you better than anyone else. You have no right to judge others by their food choices. When you go out to eat with friends and order something healthy and then secretly judge them all on their “disgusting” “unclean” foods, you’re being generally shitty and you need to stop. Just like having designer clothing doesn’t make you any better than someone else, eating clean or organic or whatever doesn’t either. Move on.
The bottom line: I have absolutely no problem with eating foods that are healthy for you - in fact, I encourage it! My own diet is actually pretty “clean” by most people’s standards, though I do love to treat myself to “junk” when I feel like it. I just want everyone to know the actual facts behind clean eating and stop feeling like they HAVE to do it to be healthy, which is the general idea I see around here.
Basically, eat what makes you feel good and helps you reach your goals. If that’s “clean” foods, then wonderful!! If it’s a lot of the same junk you used to eat but in smaller portions, that’s totally fine too. No matter what you choose to eat, know that diet is a personal choice and there’s no reason to force your personal diet beliefs on others.
I should have more info on eating clean under “Helpful Links” soon. Keep on keepin’ on guys!
(Source: , via climbing-stairs)
Heya guys! I get a lot of asks about clean eating and my grocery lists, so I hope this is helpful to y’all! :) Stay awesome!
Clean Eating Cookie Dough
- 1/2 c quick cooking oats
- 1/4 c natural peanut butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 squares of dark chocolate (we use one square of Lindt 85% cocoa & one square of 90% cocoa)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 c egg whites (make sure you use the 100% egg whites, pasteurized)
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milkDirections:
- 1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
- 2. Place wax paper on a plate & add cookie dough (you can shape however you would like).
- 3. This is the hard part…put them in the freezer for at least an hour. I have found that after 2 hours they taste the best!Recipe found HERE
Oh my god
Find your snacking personality.
THIS. This is sooo helpful. Especially since I work through my normal, before-I-started-working diet. I would eat every 3.5 hours on the dot. And was sooo much slimmer.
Now with work, its a lot harder to snack and This. Is. Awesome.
NEW YEAR, NEW YEAR CLEAN EATING CHALLENGE!
It takes 21 days to make or break a habit and an additional 10 days to solidify that change in your life.
This makes January the perfect month to change your eating habits, shed some winter pounds and make a life style change that is more than another crash diet.
This month we are going to eat as little processed food as possible! This means eating natural and avoiding anything refined, processed, or packaged.
With a diet consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meat, lentils and beans, and a bit of dairy, not only will you feel better and more energetic but you will start losing weight faster than with any diet pill, supplement or prepackage weight loss program.
Okay here are the guidelines to follow:
For 21 days we are not eating anything:
- packaged or in a wrapper
- from a fast food restaurant
- from a vending machine
This means no chips, cookies, burgers, candies, pasta, red meat, or foods high in fat, sugar, or carbs!
We are going to eat:
- lean meat
- beans, nuts, and lentils
- a teeny bit of whole grain carbs
- Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
- No alcohol
- Try to have fruits or veggies at each meal
- Carbohydrates should only be eaten once a day in small portions
- Should be eating at least 3 servings of protein a day (this will keep you feeling full!)
I will be posting some meal ideas and a day of meals for ideas on what to eat!
Message me if you have any questions!
Remember if you decide to post about your 21 day challenge tag it #21days so I can follow all your journeys! I will feature promo this week anyone who is doing the challenge J
- FRUIT & VEGETABLES –If it falls from a tree, then it’s safe to say it’s a good option. The idea is to try and eat foods that have not been altered by humans in any way. Try and buy local from the nearest farmer’s market, this way you are guaranteed quality produce, along with supporting your local farmers!
- LEAN MEATS –Meat is not our enemy. Lean meats are a fantastic source of protein, which creates lean muscle and keeps you feeling fuller for longer – BONUS! When buying meat, stick to lean, quality meats from your local butcher.
- GRAINS –Think ‘whole’ grains. Things like brown rice, quinoa, rye breads and oatmeal are all good options. Steer clear of ‘white’ breads, pasta and rice – brown is best!
- FEWER PACKAGED FOODS –Just because it claims to be healthy, doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Many packaged foods are a company’s advertisement, attempting to lure shoppers into buying their product. You will find that there are many hidden nasties in foods found in the supermarket that can negatively impact your health.
- H20 IS THE WAY TO GO –Keep yourself hydrated all day long, and the best way to do that is good old fashioned water! Most drinks found in the supermarket are full of sugar, even some orange juice! The best option is to juice your own at home, so much better for you!