Posted at 00:00h
in Daily WOD
In our Power Supply gift card giveaway, John F. asked for us to elaborate around some clean eating myths that are out there.
First, let’s talk about what clean eating IS:
- Personalized! Everyone is different, what works for one person might not work for someone else
- Not restrictive! If you feel hungry, you are doing it wrong. Clean eating should fuel your body adequately with real, whole foods that are satiating.
- Not a fad or a short term fix! Clean eating only produces long-term results when it becomes a lifestyle. Change the way you view clean eating and you will change you life.
Now, let’s talk about what clean eating is NOT.
Myth #1: Clean eating is restrictive
This is the biggest pet peeve of mine when it comes to what people think clean eating is. Clean eating is not restrictive when it comes to quantity or choices. Clean eating is adequately fueling your body based on what you ask of your body on a daily basis. When you ask a lot of your body, you need to refuel your tank with what may feel like a lot. How much to eat is a very specific to who you are and what your goals are. A few things that play a role are:
- How much you work out
- Your size and whether your are looking to add muscle or lose fat
- How active you are outside of the gym
Clean eating should always prioritize whole foods over anything else. It’s not just about “hitting your macros” (protein, carbs and fats), but micronutrients found in whole foods play a role in everything from hydration, to metabolizing your food, to optimizing recovery and preventing muscular soreness and cramping. Any time someone tries to “sell” you clean eating, in the form of bars, shakes, or any other products, you should critically evaluate ingredients and any claims they are making.
So in summary, eat better, not less, if you want to make #gains, but also take the time to learn how much you actually need/ should be eating to achieve your goals. Next week, we will look at Myth #2: “Good for you” means good for everyone.
Myth #2: “Good for you” means good for everyone
I recently came across an infographic on the NY Times website. They had nutritionists and regular people rate foods based on their perceived healthiness. While there are a lot of conclusions you could draw from this infographic, the main takeaway should be that there is a lot of disconnect between what people perceive as healthy- between both nutritionists and real people alike. While it was super interesting to look at, the main problem with it is the underlying assumption that what is good for me is good for you, too. Let’s take white potatoes for example. For someone who is insulin resistant and overweight, a lower glycemic carbohydrate would be a better option than white potatoes. On the other hand for an athlete who is working out everyday, burning tons of energy and struggling to gain or maintain their weight, I would not consider white potatoes to be bad. Even kale, which which is chock full of nutrients, when consumed in large quantities has been linked to adverse health conditions, like hypothyroidism. So for someone experiencing that condition, kale might not be “good.” We are constantly bombarded with information on what and how much to each- but everything you hear and read should be taken with a grain of salt. Often times foods deemed as super foods aren’t all that, and other times foods that are “shunned” by the concensus (egg yolks anyone?) aren’t what they are made out to be. Fact check everything you see, and if you are truly concerned with achieving the optimal diet for YOU, consult a nutritionist, not the internet.
So we exposed two clean eating myths, and I hope by now you are starting to see that the main myth or idea that we are trying to debunk is that there is a specific set of rules around what clean eating is. These perceptions are constantly changing. Pretty much any food, depending on who you ask, could be deemed “unclean” by a certain group of eaters. For example, any type of grain to a paleo enthusiast, any type of meat to a vegan, the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that you need to make decisions for yourself based on what you learn (from reliable, verified sources) and what you feel in your body. Be open to the opinions of others and respect others pursuing their version of “clean eating.” The bottom line in a clean diet is to be true to whole foods, that are as close to their natural state as possible. Eat a variety of foods – especially fruits and vegetables. And don’t cut yourself short. Nutrient deficiencies are caused both by choosing the wrong foods and not enough food. Lastly, eating “clean” should make you feel good – and this is related to way more than just the food you put in your mouth. It has to do with the company you share when you eat, and the emotional and psychological impact your diet has on you overall.