Be Well Eat

Eat clean… Because it’s sustainable

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 🙂

Be Well Eat

The case for eating clean (before counting calories or macros)

You can’t flip through a magazine or click through Facebook these days without seeing some mention of “diets” and “weight loss”, and while I generally shudder at those particular words, I think using nutritional change to achieve your health, fitness, and aesthetic goals is a legitimate pursuit.

That said, as much as ‘good nutrition’ is a great starting point, it is also (unfortunately) a rather vague one. Case in point: While flipping through a magazine during a pedicure recently — digression: I love pedicures! — and I came across an article that listed 50-something dieting tips for this holiday season. 50! And I’m not sure that all of them were consistent. It’s a tough, tough world we live in, and terms like “kilojoules”, “caloric deficit”, and “macronutrients” can be really daunting for someone who’s starting from ground zero.

I know because that was me 7 months ago.

But all is not lost! If “calorie counting” and “macro counting” sound scary to you, or if you don’t have the slightest clue what “paleo” or “80/20/20” mean, then following a general “eating clean” principle is the best starting point for you. I’m fact, I think it’s the best starting point for most people who just want to start making some better nutritional choices for themselves… As vague as ‘eating clean’ may sound. It’s perfectly compatible with any of the other diet paradigms that have been mentioned and is the first baby step into a whole new lifestyle.

I’m going to do a short series of posts to expand on my case for eating clean. I did attempt to compact the argument into one post, but let’s face it: I’d rather not read a super wordy post (even if it’s an interesting topic!) so I shan’t put you through that.

As a preview, though, here are the 3 main reasons why I think eating clean is the best starting point for someone looking to make a change in his/her dietary habits:

  1. Because it is simple

  2. Because it is scalable

  3. Because it is sustainable

As a parting note, it should be pointed out that the three reasons above are not exclusive to eating clean — many other dietary approaches can lay claim to them too! However, I believe that eating clean possesses all three and that’s what makes it a lovely place to start.