The topic of clean eating comes up all the time. I invariable find myself discussing clean eating whether I am talking to friends over dinner or speaking in front of a group of people.
I realize that eating clean may mean different things to different people and that’s okay. You may find that your concept of clean eating changes over time. Mine sure did. In the early days of my weight loss efforts, eating clean meant:
♦ No chocolate before getting out of bed.
♦ The bag of chips for the football party stayed unopened until the party.
♦ Ordering a salad at a fast food restaurant instead of large fries.
♦ Diet Coke rather than regular Coke.
That was eating clean to me back then. As the years have gone by, my interpretation and execution of clean eating has evolved and changed. A few years into my weight maintenance experience, eating clean might have meant:
♦ Buying organic produce.
♦ Not making many casseroles.
♦ No soft drinks.
♦ Whole wheat bread instead of “honey wheat.”
♦ Baked chips rather than fried.
For the past few years, eating clean has changed yet again and become more nuanced.
♦ Being hyper vigilant about reading labels for excessive sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and chemical additives.
♦ Being aware of where my food is sourced.
You can see that my definition of clean eating has evolved over the 16 years that I have maintained my weight.
I believe that it is not the term “clean eating” that is important, but rather the intent behind the term. What matters to me is not whether your definition of clean eating is the same as mine, but rather that we are all striving to eat a diet that is good for us, good for our children, and good for the environment.
My family has rolled with the changes in our diet over the years. My older kids remember eating Pop Tarts for breakfast and Kids Cuisine frozen dinners on Friday nights. Now they hate store bought bread and know the difference between polenta, couscous, and quinoa.
I’d encourage you to not get hung up on the term clean eating or compare your diet to someone else’s diet. Work consistently toward making healthy choices that will help you lose the weight you desire and give your body the best food possible. Clean eating isn’t a one-size-fits-all term. It’s a way of life that will change, evolve, and develop over time.
For my family, clean eating is healthier eating. I can tell a difference in how I feel. I’ve been this weight (minus pregnancies) for a long time, but even as I’ve gotten older I feel better and have more energy. Why? Because I always try to put better foods into my body and my body is responding positively.
After all, you might be able to maintain a weight loss (or lose weight) by eating the “right” amount of junky calories a day, but you won’t be able to maintain your health very long with a diet of fried foods, cokes, and sodium filled processed foods.
For me, eating clean has changed over the years and will likely change more as time goes by.
So what’s your definition of Eating Clean? Are you where you want to be, or do you see yourself transitioning into other directions as time goes on? Diane