Why Eating Clean Works for Me (and it’s not what you think!)
Whenever someone asks me about my weight loss, I tell them up front that I’m a clean eater. And most people have one of two reactions:
1. They assume I’m a crunchy-granola, hippie who doesn’t share her armpits. Or…
I’m not a clean eater because I want to save the planet from pesticides, and I’m not a clean eater because it makes me feel morally superior. I’m a clean eater because it is the first weight loss plan that worked for me long-term, because it changed my relationship with food.
Clean eating means different things to different people, but for me it means:
- Limiting processed foods like crackers, chips, canned foods, frozen meals, soda, etc.
- Limiting foods that are enhanced or contain dyes, chemicals, etc.
- Buying hormone-free meats and dairy whenever possible.
- Buying organic when available (and affordable) and buying seasonally-appropriate foods. Apples in the Fall, oranges in the winter, etc.
- I also love a good Farmer’s Market and buying my produce from people, not corporations.
But why? Isn’t is more expensive, more time consuming, and isn’t it just easier to microwave a Lean Cuisine and go about your day?
Sure it is, but here’s what I learned substituting low-fat chips, lean cuisine pastas and 100-calorie packs of cookies: Those “diet” foods were never as satisfying as the real thing! So I’d end up eating two portions instead of one, or end up “cheating” and eating the real food anyway. Total fail.
And all my efforts at “moderation” changed completely when I stopped trying to substitute diet food for what I wanted, and just ordered a sensible portion of what I really wanted.
I’ve learned that when I want pasta for dinner, I need to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch, skip my English muffin or eat a vegetarian plate instead of chicken at lunch. By bulking up my meals with healthy greens like kale or protein-packed veggies like mushrooms, I give myself greater latitude to enjoy a portion of the food I really want at dinner!
Through clean eating I’ve actually noticed my cravings changed completely, and my taste buds, too! I use way less salt than ever before, and I find myself choosing spicier foods now, too!
And I’m not just saying this, but I would much rather have an apple than a fast-food snack wrap. And on the rare occasion when I reeeeeeally want something that’s not healthy (usually chocolate), I have a portion and move on.
So clean eating and keeping up with Weight Watchers’ Simply Filling plan have made me a clean eater, and have taught me moderation. And that’s worth a whole lotta “points” with me! 😎