Is Clean Eating Just Another Fad?

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I’m feeling my weekend of less-than-stellar meals this morning.  Actually, I started feeling them Saturday morning when I woke up with puffy eyes and generally feeling off.  I was out of town, and while we thought we were choosing good restaurants to dine in, we were wrong.   Friday night’s dinner was particularly bad, both in taste and quality.  Saturday’s lunch was, well, awful.  At least Saturday night’s dinner was just mediocre.  Sunday was a step up, but I’m glad to get back to my usual eating routine today.

Many people would describe my eating routine as clean eating. It’s a term that’s got a lot of confusion surrounding it these days.

So that gets us to the question posed in the title of this post. If it’s defined the way I think about it, “clean eating” isn’t just another diet that classifies foods as good or bad.  As we say in our most recent FitBriefing, Clean Eating: Just Another Weight Loss Diet Fad?”,  it’s about whole foods, produced in a sustainable way.

But I add a twist that’s not often in the definition. I think it’s about food that tastes great, too.  For me, eating well is about enjoyment as much as how it makes me feel.  Can we really separate the two things?

Our FitBriefing talks about more aspects of clean eating in more detail.  I’ll just list here what we have to say about the benefits.

Clean eating:

  • helps you start each day with enthusiasm and energy.
  • makes you look forward to feeling hungry and satisfying that hunger with good-tasting foods that make you feel great as you eat them and after.
  • changes what you want to eat so there’s no push-pull when it comes to making decisions about food.
  • helps re-balance your body, including your metabolism and ultimately your muscle/fat ratio.
  • reduces risk for chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and more.

Be sure to read down to the section “There’s Still Room for Ice Cream.”  The title says it all.  And that’s a relief to many of us who are struggling with diet deprivation.  Clean eating really doesn’t mean giving up foods; it just means focusing on the quality of the foods we eat.

So as I write this post, I’m sipping green tea and wrapping my mind around taking a walk before I get going on all the work on my plate today.  I’ve never been one to go along with fads so while clean eating may sound like one, I’m sure glad it isn’t.

What do you think about clean eating?


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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