Food & Diet
8 Most Common Questions about Clean Eating Answered
Clean eating is the hottest new trend in the health industry and with all the results everybody is getting, it deserves all its popularity.
If you are itching to get on the bandwagon but don’t know where to start, here are some of the most common questions people have about clean eating, answered.
1 – Is clean eating a crash diet?
A crash diet is something you do for a short period of time (let’s say a month or two) in order to lose enough weight to reach a “goal”. After the goal is reached you go back to eating the way you’ve always eaten because, honestly, most diets are so crazy that they aren’t really sustainable. Clean eating isn’t like that. Clean eating is more about changing your relationship with food and making a commitment to feed your body with food in its purest realest form.
HINT: it’s not fast, instant and it doesn’t come in a box. It’s about focusing on whole foods rather than subscribing to shortcuts.
2 – Do I have to deprive myself to be able to eat “clean”?
You would be amazed at the wealth of satisfying and satiating recipes that don’t even taste like they are healthy but are actually good clean eats. That’s the kind of world we live in today – tasty has to automatically mean unhealthy. It honestly doesn’t have to be that way. You can still have all the treats you want except that you “swap” them for cleaner alternatives.
Craving for McDonald’s French fries? Bake a tray of sweet potato fries instead. Sprinkle them with salt, cayenne and black pepper and you won’t even miss your McDonald’s anymore.
3 – Do I have to go on a “cleanse”?
Goodness, no! A “cleanse”, as all these supposed health gurus are encouraging, does nothing more than help you lose weight because it is essentially forcing you to subsist on very little calories.
Do you really want to help your body and expel your toxins? Leave the job to the experts, your liver and kidneys, and play a supporting role to them by feeding your body with food that helps your organs function at an optimum level.
4 – Is it necessary to eat clean 100% of the time?
We wish we could but it’s not possible. Eating clean 100% of the time can be done if you have superhuman discipline and will-power. But for the rest of us mortals, it’s just impossible. There’s always going to be birthday cake at a party or mojitos on a night out, and it would be impossible to avoid them altogether.
We prefer balance to perfection and we have embraced the 80-20 rule (or 90-10 if you are so inclined) to healthy eating, where you eat clean 80% of the time and indulge yourself to treats 20% of the time. Knowing that you can have a cheat meal once a week prevents you from bingeing on Twinkies after a month of good work.
5 – What types of food should I avoid?
Let’s start with the basics: avoid all processed and refined foods.
A good rule to follow – If your grandparents never had them, they’re probably not that good an idea. Processed food is as far away from the earth as you can get with food. In all honesty, most of the processed foods on the market hardly even resemble food anymore. Stick with fruits, veggies and lean meats. If you want dessert, make your own, if you want a burger, use real meat, not the gunk they serve you at fast food restaurants.
6 – How do I begin?
Ideally, you should get as much material as you can get your hands on and educate yourself on how you can take care of your body better. But here is a short summary of where you can start:
- Choose high quality meat – Grass fed and free-range should be your weapon of choice. It’s expensive though, so if you’re on a budget, commit to having less meat eating days as compared to having hormone injected meat on a daily basis.
- Include fat in your diet – Healthy fat is flavor and it helps you stay full for longer as well as feel satisfied with your meal.
- Vegetables – Go nuts with them. Veggies can do no wrong. In fact, if you can, a majority of the carbs and protein in your diet should be plant based.
- Fruits – Well, fruits are great but they are also high in sugar so go easy on them. They are nature’s Skittles though, so don’t be afraid to munch on them when you feel like eating candy.
- Water – Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Did you know that most of your food cravings is just your body telling you its thirsty? Yeah. So drink up.
7 – What are the benefits of clean eating?
Where do we even begin? Eating clean is how you’re really supposed to eat. Your body knows it and that’s why it responds so well to a well-rounded diet filled with macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Clean eating raises your energy levels, prevents cravings (try it and you’ll see), improves your immune system, allows you to get better sleep, and improves digestion and all the organs in your body from your brain to your skin.
8 – This sounds time consuming and expensive, is it?
Yes and yes.
We’re not gonna lie, it is time consuming and expensive but we would like to look at it as a financial investment. Because honestly, no matter how expensive clean eating seems now, getting sick and having a deteriorating body at a young age is going to cost you so much more. It is time consuming, but planning your meals and prepping them in advance (#mealprepmondays, anyone?) can cut your effort in half. Prepping it in advance will also help you stick to it because your health food will become your new fast food.