Does Clean Eating Really Exist
Everywhere you go and surf the net, you see someone mentioning the term “clean eating”.
And nearly everyone especially in the fitness, health and nutrition industry talk about it.
I honestly do not like that term, and I will tell you why.
What does clean eating mean and why I think it can sabotage you?
Does it even REALLY exist or is it just a fad?
Nobody eats “clean”.
It’s a bit like when you see on a supermarket shelves “healthy - Super food”.
Sometimes, or should I say majority of the times, I see posts on facebook or instagram from people posting with the hash tag:
They really make me giggle and laugh out loud.
Unfortunately lots of people fall for this trend.
If I were to post food pictures with a hash tag #eatdirt #eatfilth I don’t think I will get lots of likes. Instead I might get something like “ughhh..what the hell” reactions or nasty comments.
Now the clean eating idea really depends on what that “health guru” comes from and what she or he believes in.
Low Carb / Keto
Vegetarian / Vegan
I’m not attacking anyone on their beliefs and their choice.
But promoting just one way of eating and call it clean can be not only restrictive but stressful psychologically.
(And we know how damaging stress is on our health. We don’t want to add an extra stress into our life.)
Every person, body and health is different.
I’m diabetic type 1 and I tried some of those “clean eating”.
Low fat did not work for me.
Living on veggies alone did not work very well for me.
Being on paleo – not a strict one because I love my butter and cheese – was okey-ish.
The one that has worked wonder for me was a low carb high fat for the stabilization of my blood glucose and other health markers. BUT at times it could prove a bit more struggling.
Does it mean that the way I eat is clean and it will work for others?
I still love my chocolate and at times my cookies.
When I coach my clients on their nutrition intake, I do not promote the clean eating protocol that so many trainers, nutritionists or “health guru” advocate.
Instead I prefer to tell them to eat real fresh whole foods in their natural state as much as possible to start with.
Avoid cardboard foods – or what my friend and Strength Coach Dan John call “ Frankenstein food” - which are usually processed and packed with preservatives, transfat and other “Je ne sais quoi”.
Even when you see packages of food on shelves that say:
Those food labels do not mean much.
They can actually be worse for you and no, they are not clean either.
They can be organic but when you look at the covered shiny chocolate on rice cakes (I won’t name any brand here!), the sugar content can be quite high (nearly 1.5 tsp of pure sugar per cake).
Some foods can be gluten free but what is Really replaced with?
And what does healthy food mean?
Clean food as such, simply means untouched, unprocessed and in its whole form that nature provides. Fresh vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs, organic and wild meat.
I usually say to my clients: “Pick a meat of your choice, 1 to 3 vegs of your choice and add some fat like coconut, avocado, olive oil or real butter.” And cook!
Drink plenty of water every day with added lemon, ginger or cucumber if you want to add some flavour.
What happened if for some reasons, you find in your fridge a ready meal or some chocolate biscuits from M&S?
I often say to my clients to follow this rule – and that applies to training as well:
Spend 80% of your time to eat whole fresh foods and 20% to eat what make you happy.
Don’t stress about it, nor feel guilty.
It’s not that single bar of chocolate or those 2 cookies that will make you gain weight overnight or destroy your health.
It’s eating multiple packs of crisps, biscuits or processed ready meal every single day that will do damages to your body and health. Not to mention your waistline as well.
We’re human and we live only once.
Why not enjoy some of the foods we like from time to time and not to feel deprived for the rest of our life.
To Your Better Health & Strength Every Day,