The last post in The Case for Eating Clean series will also be the shortest one! Woohoo! In previous posts, I’ve reasoned for why I think eating clean is a simple way to embark on a better-diet-journey and why it is a scalable compared to other diet protocols. The final reason why I think it’s a great place to start is that it is very sustainable, and while it’s not necessary to think long-term when you’re just beginning, I think finding a sustainable approach is setting yourself up for the long-run and long-term benefits trump crash diets in my world.
Reason #3: It is sustainable
The sustainability of eating clean really comes from the fact that it’s both simple and scalable. These two characteristics make it such that you hardly ever fall off the bandwagon wholesale, unless you stuff your face with KFC and deep-fried Mars bars all day long… and chase those with soda. This means that you are always in control of how clean you want to eat . Unlike calorie counting or macro counting, which can be tiring to keep track of over a long period of time (this point us arguable, I agree), eating clean doesn’t cause very much stress. It’s only really stressful when you can’t find clean options outside.
Furthermore, eating clean becomes more intuitive over time. Practicing the principle of eating clean simply becomes a habit, and habits, as we all know, don’t require much deliberation. I’ve instinctively started to gravitate to vegetable dishes, for instance, that aren’t drowned in gravy or cheese. I’d even eat them raw if I could! I’ve also become more aware of proportions of clean foods to processed foods on my plate, as well as the proportion of macronutrients such that I don’t really need to think about it very much anymore. Say my holiday eating strategy is to let my hang ups go for a week but not to have insulin spikes regardless. What I did to achieve this this Christmas was to take smaller servings of the starchy carbs, selecting the rice-based ones over wheat-based ones (unless they’re swimming in cream or gravy), and going nuts with the protein and vegetables. I didn’t really need to think about it. Or takes family dinner yesterday for example: we had one vegetable dish and a whole lot of simple carbs and protein that were either fried or gravy-laden. To off-set the indulgence, I saved space for fruit and went easy on the dessert (bread pudding!). I didn’t have to think too hard to do that either.
Eating clean over time becomes a lifestyle and a mindset. When the principle of eating clean has been internalized, it definitely is a sustainable nutritional approach to adopt 🙂