What is ‘Clean Eating’? Does it mean eating in the shower? Does it mean cutting out certain foods? Personally, I HATE the term ‘Clean Eating’, hence why I’ve put it in inverted commas.
With over 37 MILLION posts on Instagram, it’s one of the favoured hashtags to use when you feel you are eating well. People relate ‘clean eating’ to being healthy. It’s the way people live and the way people aim to live. But what does ‘clean eating’ actually mean??
37 million posts, and counting, on Instagram tag #cleaneating
I think it’s meant to mean eating healthy foods and keeping your diet as nutritious as possible, by eliminating all processed foods. But instantly, the term ‘clean eating’, labels foods as either good or bad, which isn’t mentally healthy. All foods are there to be used as fuel. Yes, certain foods we should limit but not eliminate completely.
The first thing I think of when I hear the term ‘clean eating’ are two things. One, eating greens all day every day, and two, eating biscuits in the shower, this would be heaven really wouldn’t it?! I understand that we are promoting a healthy lifestyle and sharing photos of our meals as inspiration and motivation, but is labelling foods into good and bad really living a healthy lifestyle?
Having a pantry full of all natural ingredients, all grown from your local farmer, vegetables that you’ve grown in your garden yourself. Is that ‘clean’. It’s very much the same as any other FAD diet out there. It’s a diet. A diet where you eliminate anything processed or classed as unhealthy. Which again, isn’t bad, but for the majority of people’s mental state, sometimes we like to enjoy some chocolate or add some ketchup to our homemade chips.
We shouldn’t label foods as good (clean) and bad!
It’s similar to when people sell healthy meal replacement shakes which apparently have all the nutrients you could possibly need. But why not just eat the nutrients and feel fuller? Everyone is looking for an easy way to lose weight, and it is easy. It requires you to know how many calories you are eating and how much calorie expenditure you have daily. It really is that simple. There’s no weight loss pill or magic diet. Don’t get me wrong, being on an extreme diet you will lose weight, but there is more of a chance of you will regain that weight and possibly even put more on.
Having the label that you are now eating ‘clean’ leads you to feel disappointed if/when you go off track. The added pressure that you HAVE to eat a certain way doesn’t work for everyone. Some people, like me, would find they go off track more often the more they try and limit their foods, by labelling foods into good and bad. I just can’t cope with that. I enjoy food too much to have to be so strict. Many people go by life as eating ‘clean’ and they smash it. Every day it’s natural foods packed with vitamins and minerals, but for me, sometimes, I want chocolate or sweets.
Find something that works for you as an individual
You have to find what works for you as an individual. Everyone has different preferences to what foods they prefer and mentally everyone has different limitations/willpower. It depends how focused and determined you are to reaching something. It’s like every food affects everyone differently. Yes if I eat a banana and someone else eats the exact same weight banana we are eating the same amount of calories and the process of breaking it down in the body will be the same. However, the reaction on the body may be different. I might digest it perfectly well, whereas another person might find they react badly to the banana and end up bloated and uncomfortable.
Just because something is classed as ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat it. I know that if I eat too much pineapple, random I know, it doesn’t agree with me. Makes my mouth feel stingy and burny and my stomach instantly bloat if I have too much. I’ve learnt this over time. So you can be ‘eating clean’ but you might find that eating lots of veggies and fruit (which of course isn’t necessarily bad for you), isn’t actually agreeing with your body. Listen to what your body is telling you and adjust your diet accordingly.
You should enjoy your food!
Don’t follow a FAD diet, which ‘clean eating’ is. It’s just another way for the media to try and get you jumping on the bandwagon. Just eat a balanced diet which works for you and keeps you healthy and able to perform in the gym, your favourite sport, at work or whatever you enjoy doing. Eating should be enjoyed and you shouldn’t feel like you have to remove certain foods because the media, or your best friend, is doing it.
What are your thought’s on ‘clean eating’ and the way the media is portraying it? Comment below, lets get a discussion started!