Clean eating?

Dela

Cathlete
Hi all, I know this question has been asked, but I'm still not getting it. When most people say "I eat clean" what do they mean? Do they mean I don't eat processed food and sugar? Or are they referring more to something like the Tosca Rena diet? Does clean mean no or low saturated fat? Can you eat fatty pork like a pork shoulder and still be eating clean?

Looking forward to hearing your input!
 

morgs

Cathlete
Hi Dela,

I am positive that when you see folks talking about 'Eating Clean' on this board they are referring to eating a diet such as the one Tosca Reno has written about. Some may, however, be follwing a differant diet plan than others , because Eat Clean can mean a few different things. There is a Glutan Free plan, a Vegan plan, however most do avoid refined carbs, processed foods, certain fats, oils ,sugars, and certain meats. I am not sure about the pork shoulder, however, Eat Clean does encourage lean meats, fish, and chicken, turkey, etc. I can tell you that following an Eat Clean lifestyle means: no sugar, frozen or processed foods like pizzas, frozen entrees, & fatty foods that you would get from a drive through like McDonalds and etc. I have been following this for quite some time, but at about 80 percent since I stilll allow myself my desserts and wine. I can tell you that since I have been following this I have really felt a lot better and more energetic ( LOOK better too ! ) Hope this helps.

Morgan
 

DixieGirl

Cathlete
Eating clean is basically eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. So anything processed is a no-no. Refined sugar & refined flour is not good. Whole grains, lean proteins, fruit and LOTS of veggies should make up the bulk of what goes in your mouth. It's important to also get enough good fats (like omega's) but stay away from saturated fats. I think of Tosca Reno as the "queen of clean eating" as her books can really educate and start someone on the path to a lifetime of eating well and being healthy. But there are others out there who advocate this lifestyle as well...Jillian Michaels, Jamie Eason, etc. Clean eating definitely takes a lot of effort and planning but is so worth it IMO. If you have never read one of Tosca's books, "Recharged" is a great one. It explains in detail all the questions you have. There are also lots of blogs and sites out there you can find that have tons of great info as well. HTH :)

Tracy
 

Dela

Cathlete
Thanks ladies! I suspect you are right, so many people use the term eat clean, but the definitions can be a little vague. I follow more of a "primal' style diet (Mark Sisson), for about a year now, it's just meats, fats, fruits, veggies and nuts, with a little dairy, nothing processed, but I don't think a diet like this is what people mean when they say "eat clean", it definitely permits even promotes fattier meats. I am pretty true to it, definitely during the week, mostly when I go out too on weekends, it's pretty easy to find good stuff to eat, but I'll have bites of stuff (bread/pasta/dessert) if I deem it's "worth" it, and I'll drink once in a while.

But, I'm really sick of not losing weight, which other people seem to do so "effortlessly" with this way of eating. It's a seemingly great way for me to maintain my weight, and still really enjoy my meals, but I think I may have to re-adjust and visit another style of eating to drop some weight.
 

JodelleFitzh20

Cathlete
I tell my clients, when it comes to eating clean "if it comes from a plant, you can eat it, but if it comes from a FACTORY PLANT, DON'T EAT IT". Another one I've heard before is "If the food has a mother, then you can eat it." Fruit loops do not have a mother. But a chicken had a mother. So does a carrot, it comes from a mother plant. That's what eating clean is all about, eating foods from the earth, and the less processed the better. That goes for beverages too.
I like Tosca Reno, but she still advocates alot of stuff that's not totally unprocessed, like flours and sauces. If you truly want to eat clean, you have to cut out the flours, even the "healthy" flours like spelt and whole wheat flour. They will keep weight on you just as much as bread and pasta will.
 

Dela

Cathlete
By all the definitions I think I eat pretty clean, it's just that I do not limit my meat to any category of leanness, I'll eat meat lean, fatty , and everything in between. But no matter how may ways I spin it, I am not losing weight. so something has to give.

It's just weird, to really eat traditionally clean I would be adding all sorts of grains and carbs back into my diet, but the hardest part will be giving up my yummy meats. Have to figure out something livable for me, just don't know what it is yet :( WW just doesn't pan out for me, I start out too resistant about tracking calories/points, so I'm only fighting myself and quit. I did enjoy Core years ago, and could consider that again. Probably could find my old materials.
 

JodelleFitzh20

Cathlete
Dela, I can see how that must be frustrating for you. Let me ask you this: When you eat your fatty meats, are you eating them alongside carbs too? The reason I ask is because carbs and fats don't necessarily mix. You can get away with doing low carb veggies and say a fatty piece of steak, but if you are doing like whole wheat hot dog buns with an organic bratwurst, then the fat from the meat will aid in storing the sugar from the bread. Carbs and proteins do well together, Proteins and fats work well together, but carbs and fats are kind of not the best of friends, and they will most likely store as sugar, even if they are healthy fats and carbs. I think as long as you are eating organic fattier cuts of meat, then that's good. Our bodies are made to handle animal fat. We are not omnivores, but we were designed as carnivores. Is it for everybody? No. My body won't digest meat or chicken, but it thrives on fish and eggs and seafood. So if your body cries out for meat, then you must need it. However, I would just be careful with the amount of carbs you eat with it, and stick to lower carb veggies alongside it.
I've been doing research on our ethnic background can play into the kinds of foods that work best with our bodies. For instance: it would be wierd to put an eskimo on a low fat diet, since all their ancestry dates back to eating loads and loads of fats, right? Another example is that I am Norwegian (or northern european decent) and my body doesn't digest tropical fruits like oranges or pineapples, but I do very well on orchard fruits and if you think about it, Norway doesn't have tropical fruits, it has orchard fruits! I think there is some truth to certian foods for certain backgrounds.
 

Dela

Cathlete
Hi Jodelle, thanks for the detailed reply. I would say way more than not, I choose some kind of green veggie or salad with any meal, I rarely eat potatoes and really no grains other than the occasional treat type meal/snack. I have to admit, I do choose fattier meats like steak, lamb and pork and dark meat chicken, I do eat eggs a lot, lately with 1 or 2 chicken sausages depending on how hungry I am. Most of the fruit I eat is in the AM in a protein smoothie with almond or coconut milk (the low cal kind), lately I have been having some fruit at night, but only because my house is very low on food and I have been starving, I do need to get to a store :eek:. I don't even keep nuts in the house as much, I figured I was over eating the calories in those, but I'll buy them as snacks when I am out as a better alternative.

I feel pretty sure one of my biggest problems, is I really do not get in much general movement during the day, then only workout for an hour 5 to 6 days per week. I could change it, but I always fall into the rut of being too busy at work to leave my desk for very long.

I might read that Tosca book recommended above, maybe my body will do better with adding some grains and lowering the fat, although that makes me very sad. The low carbish style diets really appeal to me since I really am a big fan of meat in general. I remember my dentist did really well with a food combining diet using the principles you outlined above, maybe there is an answer in that? :confused:

Curious, how do you know how your body digests certain foods? Is it by how you feel after you eat them?

Thanks again!
 

lovetostep24

Cathlete
Dela -

I just wanted to chime in here...I eat similarly to you, Paleo, 100% during the work week and am a little flexible on the weekends. I think Primal allows some dairy whereas Paleo does not but otherwise I think they are very similar. Anyway, when I started out eating Paleo a few months ago I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to while sticking to the Paleo guidelines. Everyone said to eat when you are hungry. So I did. What I think happened with me though as I put on a few pounds, was that I can put away a decent amount of food and am not very good about stopping when I'm full - I'm from that must-clean-your-plate mindset. (Working on that ;)) Anyway, since then I calculated what my caloric intake should actually be, given my level of activity and my goals. So although I am not a huge advocate of calorie counting it did give me an idea of appropriate portion sizes and I have started eating more lean cuts of meat - which also allows me to eat more at each setting. I must say that since I did that and maintained the Paleo way of eating, I have dropped the initial pounds that I gained and am making great strides in losing the add'l body fat and gaining lean muscle mass. Plus cutting out the grains, dairy, etc. has me feeling better than I ever have. Also, I love fruit as well...have a need for something sweet after meals but I try to cut back on them as the day progresses. Not sure if that helps you at all but that has been my experience!

Natalie
 

RapidBreath

Cathlete
I've done different kinds of diets, primal, paleo, low carb, low fat (way back when, Susan Powter) and for me what works best was recognizing when certain foods just made me plump up (Like a chicken not from Foster's Farms) and watching my calories. Cycling really seems to help. Also, I absolutely have to measure cereal of any kind and corn oil is out.

Dela- The problem you may be encountering is the chicken sausages. It may not be the calories, the carbs, or even the sodium but rather some other preservative that is the culprit. I can't tolerate dough conditioners, well I can tolerate them but I really hated being obese. I really feel the issue is the sausage. Often there is hidden soy in those and soy is not my friend because it is an estrogen source and it inhibits your ability to use your own thyroid. Avoid processed meats for a while and see what happens. Also, if the meat you get says that they are adding sodium and 'other flavorings' that could be MSG which in some people induces insulin resistance which can cause weight gain in some people (notably, me.) Btw, it doesn't matter if its organic, if it says 'flavorings' and is processed it does make me fat, no matter what. Have you tried adding coconut oil to your diet? Coconut oil really helps up my metabolism.

Have you checked out Sandra Ahten's free podcast called The Reasonable Diet, it has helped me with my all or nothing thinking and with accepting the fact that my body requires a certain amount of calorie counting, not just to keep from eating too much, but from eating too little of the right things. You might want to look into why a simple thing like calorie counting (in a world with digital scales, disposable tupperware, and fitday) bothers you so much? Is it that you don't want to tell yourself what to do? Or is it that you just really don't want to feel crappy (as we all do in a deficit during weight loss.) and this is your way of avoiding it? Because, I have got to tell you, everybody feels crappy during weight loss. Its just a fact. I was working on that yesterday. I always know when I have hit that feeling. I am a bit hungry and sluggish but I push through by using mental strategies that help me tolerate it: 1. I know that I don't ever want to be obese again 2. I love having my feet not hurt from being overweight. 3. I know that this is not forever. 4. and the most important part is I know that what I am doing is working because of how I feel.

I really hope that helps and I hope I'm not stepping on your toes, if that last bit was not relevant to you, just forget about it.
 
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Dela

Cathlete
Thanks Natalie, that does help, I definitely can eat, and I don't always get full even when I really think I should be. I think you are right, I have to drop my favorites and just use those as my "treat" meals like the steak and pork. I guess I need to start learning how to cook fish, that would help in any way of eating I suppose. White chicken is just so blah!

Dela -

I just wanted to chime in here...I eat similarly to you, Paleo, 100% during the work week and am a little flexible on the weekends. I think Primal allows some dairy whereas Paleo does not but otherwise I think they are very similar. Anyway, when I started out eating Paleo a few months ago I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to while sticking to the Paleo guidelines. Everyone said to eat when you are hungry. So I did. What I think happened with me though as I put on a few pounds, was that I can put away a decent amount of food and am not very good about stopping when I'm full - I'm from that must-clean-your-plate mindset. (Working on that ;)) Anyway, since then I calculated what my caloric intake should actually be, given my level of activity and my goals. So although I am not a huge advocate of calorie counting it did give me an idea of appropriate portion sizes and I have started eating more lean cuts of meat - which also allows me to eat more at each setting. I must say that since I did that and maintained the Paleo way of eating, I have dropped the initial pounds that I gained and am making great strides in losing the add'l body fat and gaining lean muscle mass. Plus cutting out the grains, dairy, etc. has me feeling better than I ever have. Also, I love fruit as well...have a need for something sweet after meals but I try to cut back on them as the day progresses. Not sure if that helps you at all but that has been my experience!

Natalie
 

Dela

Cathlete
Oh no, I don't take your comments negatively at all. I do dislike counting calories, I try, I write things down, used a variety of online tools, then I just stop. I have been able to really focus and did count points years back, it worked well for me at the time, but never have been able to regain that level of control. Following points for me at the time was kind of a religion, and that worked, but I did have to believe in it heart and soul and felt like I HAD to write down points almost as much as I HAD to breathe. Otherwise, it just seems like a chore I don't want to deal with.

Good tip on the chicken sausages, I don't think that's it, because this has just been a stall forever at this point, and that's definitely not a staple food for me. I did finish the package, so for now I'll just leave them out and see.

It's always an internal fight for me, I LOVE food and trying new fun dishes, and great restaurants, I don't often eat out just to grab something, I want it to be unique and good, and I truly enjoy the experiences, but I don't love having this extra fat. So I constantly struggle with, do I want to lose the weight more than I want to enjoy that part of my life? I truly have not found a way to enjoy restaurants the way I do AND count calories. I do have to make a choice.

I felt the Primal eating style would really help me balance both desires, but sadly, it's not, but at least I maintain. And I really have given it quite a while. I went 7 months hard core, then it fell apart a bit and I started having too many non primal items, so I decied to try something else, so I followed a carb cycling diet to a tee, I lost 3 pounds the first week (low carb week), then nothing for the next 6, and deemed it was not worth all the planning and portioning for no results. Then back to primal for the past few months, and I just stay the same.

I'm looking at a diet right now in Oxygen, that is certainly healthy and is close to how I eat (minus the fatty pork of course), and in smaller amounts with lots more veggies, it gives portions and amounts of everything, so if I follow it as written, I guess it has built in calorie counting. Once I get past the first week of September, I will be more free to focus on preparing meals, and hopefully can wrap my brain around reducing portions. I'm thinking either I need to re-think a WW style but I might need the structure of all my meals planned out for me like this magazine diet has.

Sorry for the long post, and thank you and everyone for all this fantastic insight, this has been a life long struggle for me, I was never the right weight my whole life.

I've done different kinds of diets, primal, paleo, low carb, low fat (way back when, Susan Powter) and for me what works best was recognizing when certain foods just made me plump up (Like a chicken not from Foster's Farms) and watching my calories. Cycling really seems to help. Also, I absolutely have to measure cereal of any kind and corn oil is out.

Dela- The problem you may be encountering is the chicken sausages. It may not be the calories, the carbs, or even the sodium but rather some other preservative that is the culprit. I can't tolerate dough conditioners, well I can tolerate them but I really hated being obese. I really feel the issue is the sausage. Often there is hidden soy in those and soy is not my friend because it is an estrogen source and it inhibits your ability to use your own thyroid. Avoid processed meats for a while and see what happens. Also, if the meat you get says that they are adding sodium and 'other flavorings' that could be MSG which in some people induces insulin resistance which can cause weight gain in some people (notably, me.) Btw, it doesn't matter if its organic, if it says 'flavorings' and is processed it does make me fat, no matter what. Have you tried adding coconut oil to your diet? Coconut oil really helps up my metabolism.

Have you checked out Sandra Ahten's free podcast called The Reasonable Diet, it has helped me with my all or nothing thinking and with accepting the fact that my body requires a certain amount of calorie counting, not just to keep from eating too much, but from eating too little of the right things. You might want to look into why a simple thing like calorie counting (in a world with digital scales, disposable tupperware, and fitday) bothers you so much? Is it that you don't want to tell yourself what to do? Or is it that you just really don't want to feel crappy (as we all do in a deficit during weight loss.) and this is your way of avoiding it? Because, I have got to tell you, everybody feels crappy during weight loss. Its just a fact. I was working on that yesterday. I always know when I have hit that feeling. I am a bit hungry and sluggish but I push through by using mental strategies that help me tolerate it: 1. I know that I don't ever want to be obese again 2. I love having my feet not hurt from being overweight. 3. I know that this is not forever. 4. and the most important part is I know that what I am doing is working because of how I feel.

I really hope that helps and I hope I'm not stepping on your toes, if that last bit was not relevant to you, just forget about it.
 

RapidBreath

Cathlete
Ok. . . then there are two other resources for you to try.

1. IOWL: I talk about this free podcast all the time. I suggest listening to it in bed before you go to sleep. This seems to help get it into my head and helps with motivation. Its by Renee Stephens. The most important episodes are 1-18. You don't really need the rest. What it does is help you get in touch with your body and readjust that mind/body connection. The cool part is: no calorie counting, no off limits foods, and no weirdness like skipping a beautiful meal out.

2. I still think that you might benefit from Sandra Ahten's Reasonable Diet podcast. I know the episodes are old but the information never goes out of style. The thing that works and has helped me the most is what I call the floating cheat meal. I allow myself the opportunity to eat out if I really want to. But, I'm not going to eat out all the time. I could but jeez, then its not really special anymore. This style of diet design (you create it for yourself.) gives you your power back. Just look at your week on a Sunday and select what wonderful meals you would like to have. If its two or three things, so be it. That means that you have the opportunity to eat in a manner that produces weight loss 18 other times (assuming you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, thusly ending up with a total of 21 meals/week.)

I completely understand about the food obsession. I am a major foodie myself. I cook, I bake, I love food experiences. The thing that I notice in your post is that you seem to think that if you adopt an eating style during weight loss that it must continue forever, well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't. As a matter of fact, I suggest that you have what Leigh Peele calls "a refeed' every 3 days. Thats not a binge (not that you do.) but its eating to satiety (not over fed.) and replenishes micronutrients that get low when we are in a calorie deficit. (which you can get to through intuitive eating which I learned from IOWL.) I hope that helps. I'm so glad my last post was ok.
 

lovetostep24

Cathlete
For people that don't like to count cals, I love recipes that already have all of the breakdowns!! :D

For me, I pick two or three meals that I want to eat during the week and make them on Sunday and figure out the calories for each serving. Then those are the meals that I eat Mon-Fri for lunch and dinner and I already know where I am for calories that day and what else I can fit it and still be in my calorie range. (It may be weird that I can eat the same food for a few days in a row but it works for me plus I can stay out of the kitchen during the week and as a divorced mom that works out well! :))

Secondly, I think of the foods that I love to eat and kind of think of it as a challenge to make a super healthy version of it and make it still taste really good. I have failed many times but have certainly come up with some things that I really like. There are so many ways to cook chicken, lean ground beef, ground turkey (and fish too but I don't eat fish, take fish oil supplement)...the possibilities are endless. Don't think you just have to eat a plain chicken breast for every meal for the rest of your life. ;)

So, again this just works for me, I am super strict during the week and I think knowing that I can relax a bit on the weekends helps me get thru it. I generally have my whatever I want to have meal on Friday night, and back to it on Saturday and Sunday unless I am going out or to a family event but even then I don't go overboard. Good food in moderation. Keep in mind that food fuels our bodies and our body is the only one we will ever get so we want to feed it right. ;)

Again, just trying to help and I wish you the best!

Natalie
 

Dela

Cathlete
Ok. . . then there are two other resources for you to try.

1. IOWL: I talk about this free podcast all the time. I suggest listening to it in bed before you go to sleep. This seems to help get it into my head and helps with motivation. Its by Renee Stephens. The most important episodes are 1-18. You don't really need the rest. What it does is help you get in touch with your body and readjust that mind/body connection. The cool part is: no calorie counting, no off limits foods, and no weirdness like skipping a beautiful meal out.

2. I still think that you might benefit from Sandra Ahten's Reasonable Diet podcast. I know the episodes are old but the information never goes out of style. The thing that works and has helped me the most is what I call the floating cheat meal. I allow myself the opportunity to eat out if I really want to. But, I'm not going to eat out all the time. I could but jeez, then its not really special anymore. This style of diet design (you create it for yourself.) gives you your power back. Just look at your week on a Sunday and select what wonderful meals you would like to have. If its two or three things, so be it. That means that you have the opportunity to eat in a manner that produces weight loss 18 other times (assuming you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, thusly ending up with a total of 21 meals/week.)

I completely understand about the food obsession. I am a major foodie myself. I cook, I bake, I love food experiences. The thing that I notice in your post is that you seem to think that if you adopt an eating style during weight loss that it must continue forever, well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't. As a matter of fact, I suggest that you have what Leigh Peele calls "a refeed' every 3 days. Thats not a binge (not that you do.) but its eating to satiety (not over fed.) and replenishes micronutrients that get low when we are in a calorie deficit. (which you can get to through intuitive eating which I learned from IOWL.) I hope that helps. I'm so glad my last post was ok.
What you said about the "forever" mentality is SO true, wow, that's actually pretty eye opening. If I think about it, of course all my past experience shows I do one thing, then relax, then do another, then relax, but for some reason, every time I think of trying to lose again, I DO feel like whatever I choose is forever!

I am going to look up all 3 of the people you mentioned to get some more details, I really like the info you gave from Sandra, when you put it THAT way, it does sound so much more do-able, thank you SO much again!
 

Dela

Cathlete
For people that don't like to count cals, I love recipes that already have all of the breakdowns!! :D

For me, I pick two or three meals that I want to eat during the week and make them on Sunday and figure out the calories for each serving. Then those are the meals that I eat Mon-Fri for lunch and dinner and I already know where I am for calories that day and what else I can fit it and still be in my calorie range. (It may be weird that I can eat the same food for a few days in a row but it works for me plus I can stay out of the kitchen during the week and as a divorced mom that works out well! :))

Secondly, I think of the foods that I love to eat and kind of think of it as a challenge to make a super healthy version of it and make it still taste really good. I have failed many times but have certainly come up with some things that I really like. There are so many ways to cook chicken, lean ground beef, ground turkey (and fish too but I don't eat fish, take fish oil supplement)...the possibilities are endless. Don't think you just have to eat a plain chicken breast for every meal for the rest of your life. ;)

So, again this just works for me, I am super strict during the week and I think knowing that I can relax a bit on the weekends helps me get thru it. I generally have my whatever I want to have meal on Friday night, and back to it on Saturday and Sunday unless I am going out or to a family event but even then I don't go overboard. Good food in moderation. Keep in mind that food fuels our bodies and our body is the only one we will ever get so we want to feed it right. ;)

Again, just trying to help and I wish you the best!

Natalie
Hi Natalie, thank you again, your philosophy also ties into RapidBreaths suggestion for the 2 or 3 bigger/cheat meal per week. And I don't mind eating the same thing for a few days in a row, sometimes I cook a chili or a stew and my husband isn't home a lot to eat it, so I end up just by default eating it daily until it's gone.

I really feel so much more inspired right now from all of these posts, I have some really great ideas from here that I want to think about piecing together into something that will work for me. Of the top of my head, I do think I will need to relax on the primal rules a bit and add in some grains and beans as they make me fuller with less food, I really like the idea of batch cooking and portioning out the amounts so I know the calories. And in general, I don't go out all that much, and rarely ever during the week, so 1-2 special meals would be plenty to give me the comfort level that I'm not "torturing" myself.

Thank you!! :D
 

JodelleFitzh20

Cathlete
Dels to reply to ur above question, the way I can really tell when a food doesn't work for me is that I get digestive trouble, I might get a headache which I don't normally get, I might even feel anxiety for no reason. That's how I found put I was gluten intolerant. My heart would race for no reason after I ate anything withgluten. And when I eat lower carb with lots of veggies and healthy fats I never feel that way. It's imperative that we listen to our bodies as they will always give clues as to what works and what doesn't. If u need meat and fat then I would pay attention to that and work on incorporating more movement at work thru out the day. Even just standing while u talk on the phone can burn more calories and strengthen ur legs:)
 

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