Clean eating- will you lose weight?
How many times have you heard someone utter- “I had a brownie yesterday but its ok because it’s clean”
I hate to break it to you, but this is utter rubbish and will NOT help you lose weight
There are two issues that often arise with clean eating:
1) Those that become obsessive with making sure every food they eat is ‘clean’
2) Use it as a way to justify eating junk food ( because its clean or home-made)
I will start with the latter
Weight loss or weight gain is always dictated by how many calories you eat versus how many you expend ( for instance in day to day life and exercising)- if you expend more calories than you eat, you will lose weight, if you eat more calories than you expend, you will gain weight.
‘Clean’ junk food is often cleverly marketed as a way of losing weight, but the fact of the matter is that they will have the same amount of calories, regardless of whether a brownie is made from raw date sugar -blessed -by -a –buddha or your bog standard white sugar. In fact it is entirely likely that the ‘clean’ version may have even more calories in it because they don’t taste as nice, so they are having to add extra stuff into them in order for them to taste better.
I actually dabbled in clean eating when I was in my early twenties, and I DID lose weight. At the time I did fall for the fact that there was magical properties in clean foods, but I have been lucky enough to receive an education that allowed me to realise that rather than the clean eating it was the fact that
1) I was eating more fruit and veg- this is full of fibre, which fills you up and reduces those sugars highs and cravings ( for more info on this, check out my blog from last week). This meant I was not only eating less on my plate, but I wasn’t craving that chocolate bar come mid afternoon
2) I was paying more attention to what I was cooking- this gave me a greater respect for myself and what I was putting in my body . I would source recipes I found interesting and appealing , so I was able to enjoy the food I was eating, rather than focusing on what I ‘couldn’t’ eat
3) I was having less ready meals- don’t get me wrong, occasionally they do have a place , and there are some decent ones out there, however the majority are bland, and you don’t actually get much food for the calories you are consuming- this leaves you feeling deprived, and either reaching for more food in the meal, or snacking later on. To this day this is a big focus I have for my clients; they are given a meal plan with tons of awesome recipes that are easy to cook and taste delicious, and if and when they get bored of a recipe, I send them another
4) I felt better in myself. As I was eating more fruit and veg, and cooking some amazing meals, my energy vastly improved, my hair, skin and teeth looked so much better, and I got more compliments. We repeat behaviours that give us a reward, and things like this are big rewards!
With regards to obsessive clean eating- unfortunately many reach a stage where they will not touch any food they haven’t made themselves,and will create rules surrounding clean eating; for example, they won’t have a meal that has more than 4 ingredients, or even isn’t prepared in a certain way, or is of a different colour. It’s important to put across that although cleaner options are of course the ideal, ready meals and sweetners are not dangerous, and any food additives are rigorously and regularly tested by the FDA and have to pass strict EU standards in order to be used.
The cleaner the diet the better, however sometimes life gets in the way and you have to buy that ready meal or sandwich and there is nothing wrong with that; make sure you are getting a couple of servings of fruit and veg with it, to improve the nutrient profile, and don’t beat yourself up about it- focus on calories and not the fact that a chemical in it may make you gain 5lbs; its just not biologically possible.
Making dieting as easy and simple as possible, and separating fact from fiction are key reasons why my clients have so much success. Teaching people how to do this will be a daily feature in my 5 day FREE Fat Loss Challenge for females, which is launching at the end of this month. If you are interested, please contact me HERE to register your interest!