Eat clean, get lean...What a load of b*ll*cks...
... But is this true...??
Generally, we are told that eating clean makes us lean.. But for me there are a myriad beneficial consequences of eating clean. General health improvements, feeling more alert, sleeping better, to name but a few.
It is not merely, in some cases, a question of wanting to change eating habits to become more healthy, or to lose weight. For some, it is a given that you would want to eat well, for others it is a battle. It means liking yourself enough to want that, it means tackling difficult relationships with food, over eating, under eating, binge eating... There are so many reasons why people do not find it the 'obvious' solution to eat well.
My journey to feeding myself has been tumultuous. Honestly, some days I still find it hard to nurture myself by feeding my body the right foods, however I have come to recognise that the benefits so outweigh the struggle. For me, feeding yourself well is confronting the self-love issue. Please note, I do not refer to self-love in some narcissistic, boastful, up your own bottom sort of way! I refer to it as having a genuine respect for yourself, a confidence in who you are and a willingness to treat yourself as your own best friend, and why not? You only get this body once!
So many intricate elements are tied into an eating well regime. In observing some clients' relationship with food, more often than not, the issue is around their self-esteem or lack thereof. The liking yourself, weight loss relationship is, in fact, integral, these two factors cannot be separated. You are NOT going to be able to maintain weight loss or eating well for your health, unless this issue is tackled! I have worked with several clients to challenge this and offer tools that I myself have and continue to use. Clients have found this a 'eureka' moment, and it has helped them further their journey towards health and or weight loss and maintaining it. Yes, sometimes losing weight can kick start a self-love journey, but this has to be carefully tended to, it's not always about being unhealthy or overweight that you might not like yourself, although oftentimes, we correlate these issues with the sole reason we do not like ourselves. Losing weight is sometimes just a red herring, an external, tangible thing we cling on to, but there are reasons lurking beneath than just merely our trouser size. I feel it is of paramount importance to address these issues during any weight loss/ changing eating habits journey.
Self-love element aside, does eating clean get you lean?
In all honesty, no matter how clean the foods you are eating are, you won't get lean if you are eat too much of them!
Yes, even the cleanest foods can make you gain weight, if you are eating too many total calories per day.
No amount of clean eating will change this simple fact that if you eat more calories than you are burning on a daily basis, you will not 'lean' up.
I am still confused about the 'eating clean' thing...
Is this you?! If so, I am not surprised! In some peoples’ eyes, eating organic is synonymous with eating clean.
According to other people, however, clean eating is more about limiting carbs, and focusing on protein and vegetables.
Others still don’t think it’s ‘clean’ unless it is on the list of paleo approved foods…
Is cheese a ‘clean’ food?
What about red meat?
What about whole grains?
The core of clean eating is building your diet around eating healthy and nutrient dense foods.
I.E. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, low in saturated and trans fats, and not overly processed (or processed at all).
So here's My Recommendation...
I usually advise my clients to adhere to an 80:20 ratio (80% being the healthy folks..!). Clean eating doesn't have to be all or nothing. In fact, as my weakness is crisps, I will have a packet of these every so often as part of my 20%, crisps are my non-negotiable!
*Helpful tip- If you see me eating them, DON'T ask me to share...
With the 80:20 approach, you will be fulfilling your body's nutritional needs and requirements, whilst having some 'junkier' foods so you feel less deprived. It's more manageable, therefore more maintainable.
This is the key way to losing weight and maintaining it, along with a whole side-serving load of self-love, of course!
Thanks for reading!
Peace and self-love,