how to eat clean ?

Anders

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi,

I am just curious how people manage to eat clean for the most of their life ? I am quite average in terms of weight, but I absolutely love candies, chips, chocolate you name it. How do people manage to eat healthy day in and day out ? Doesn't life become very boring without a lot of chocolate and chips ?




Anders
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
If eating the 'fun stuff' doesn't get in the way of your goals and aspirations I wouldn't worry about it.
If it does, then it comes down to making a choice...

"I'd rather climb 14a and eat what I want, than climb 14d and measure out my food"
- Sonnie Trotter
 

Mike Torres

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Ultimately you either want something enough to make whatever sacrifices are required to get there... or you don’t. Either one is fine. But you need to make the choice for yourself and then follow through.

Living in the middle is torture - this is just a blanket truism in life.

This kind of stuff doesn’t come down to tricks or hacks without doing the (hard) “internal” work first. It really comes down to who you are right now and who you want to become. Figure that out, and the rest just falls into place.
 

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
I think people have a few problems regarding their food: having an emotional connection to it, not eating consciously and using food as a means of escaping their feelings.

Because we are taught that eating sweets is bad (without the actual experience of how bad it is - only with the experience of the sweet taste), people feel bad about it and try to regulate their eating forcefully. Most fail, some keep trying, some accept it and a few manage to eat clean through willpower (and later habit).

But if you just settle the above, eating "clean", healthy is just a natural consequence.
 

Anders

Level 5 Valued Member
1) I like candies, but I mostly eat it two days a week. I am relatively fit, at least compared to people outside StrongFirst. So I much rather prefer my "mediocre" fitness, than to take it all out and just eat whatever. Still, I do prefer to excel in fitness. The question in terms of food would be: Is it easier to just never eat sweet and candies, or is it better to sometimes eat it.

2) KimoSabe: What you are saying seem to align with what Intuitive eating is preaching. Eat whatever you want, and in what quantities you want but pay attention to what the food makes you feel, and what the food does with your mood, your energy level etc etc.

3) With so many other things I have a quite easy time, and what is healthy aligns with what is fun: I don't train because it is healthy, I train because it is very fun for me. I read a lot of books and very rarely watch television, but because this is "wise", but because I no longer feel attraction to watching television. I had a crush on a Swedish crime program, but after some episodes my crush just dissapeared and then I found out I rather not watch any more, because it simply does not excite me anymore. I rather read some "boring" and difficult history or philosophy because I like thinking and I like new perspectives. But with food what is fun and what is healthy do not align.

***
Mike Torres: I am curious. When you see chocolate or family or friends offer you candies do you want to have some, or do you simply don't want it ? Do you have to remind yourself that you are making these sacrifices in order to stay ripped or what are you thinking ?

Hitherto I have been able to eat lean month in and month out, but I have not been able to eat lean over years. Hm.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I've found that when I eat less junk food I have less craving for it. I actually went through what seemed very much like withdrawal symptoms for several days when I gave up cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. The effect was so strong I decided it's probably best to avoid them.
 

Mike Torres

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Anders Honestly, it’s not really a conversation I have with myself much. I did for a long time though. For the last 10 years or so, I eat clean 99% of the time because... it’s just what I do. It’s habit.

But no, I also don’t stress about having chocolate (always 85%+ dark chocolate!) or dessert occasionally. I have definitely found that if I do that too frequently though, the cravings come back— but with practice, I’ve gotten pretty adept at just flipping the switch back when I need to.

Assuming it’s important to you, having flexibility in what you eat is a lot like modifying a training program. When you’re learning what works and what doesn’t work for you, don’t try and improvise. Once you’ve figured it out, you can be more flexible since you have the experience to know.

I wrote about this a bit here (while on vacation).

 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
As @Mike Torres insinuated, it's a choice you have to make with yourself. You have to ask yourself, are my current habits leading me to where I want to be (physically, mentally, emotionally) in the future? If not, then you have to re-evaluate.

There is nothing wrong with eating things you enjoy. Some of the time. But if your habits don't support your goals, you have to have some inner dialogue.

From your initial post it sounds like this not may apply to you, but @KimoSabe makes a great point about intuitive and emotional eating. If these concepts apply to you, it may be helpful to figure out "WHY am I eating this food right now, even though it goes against my goals? WHAT situations/emotions/feelings make me want to eat sweets?" If you can determine the answers to these questions it may help you in your quest. By the way: this is simple, and NOT EASY. Emotional eating can be tough on people.
 

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
2) KimoSabe: What you are saying seem to align with what Intuitive eating is preaching. Eat whatever you want, and in what quantities you want but pay attention to what the food makes you feel, and what the food does with your mood, your energy level etc etc.

Absolutely. I think it's the best way of eating if health is the primary goal. At the very least, it's invaluable to know what is good for you and what isn't by experience.

From your initial post it sounds like this not may apply to you, but @KimoSabe makes a great point about intuitive and emotional eating. If these concepts apply to you, it may be helpful to figure out "WHY am I eating this food right now, even though it goes against my goals? WHAT situations/emotions/feelings make me want to eat sweets?" If you can determine the answers to these questions it may help you in your quest. By the way: this is simple, and NOT EASY. Emotional eating can be tough on people.

If anyone is reading this thread who this does apply to, the essential, simple to follow (but not easy to do consistently, as @wespom9 mentioned) practice is just eating when you eat: no talking, no phone, no overthinking - just you, the food, its taste, how it feels in your stomach, chewing slowly... If you eat like that for a few months, you will know for sure what and how much you need.
 

Anders

Level 5 Valued Member
When you eat healthy foods in a moderate amount you really feel all your feelings. When you eat candies and salty/sugary food you experience a high, and then a very low/hungover. Instead of feelings there is bodily discomfort. I guess a part of becoming an adult is to accept discomfort and not try to run away from it by quick-fix like eating candies.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
The following should be taken cautiously, since as we've all discussed there are many emotional and psychological factors with eating (without even touching on disordered eating), but in Dan John's immortal words...

"Honestly, seriously, you don’t know what to do about food? Here is an idea: Eat like an
adult. Stop eating fast food, stop eating kid’s cereal, knock it off with all the sweets and
comfort foods whenever your favorite show is not on when you want it on, ease up on
the snacking and— don’t act like you don’t know this— eat vegetables and fruits more.
Really, how difficult is this? Stop with the whining. Stop with the excuses. Act like an
adult and stop eating like a television commercial. Grow up.
"
 

SMalishev

Level 5 Valued Member
DJ says it like it is and as it really should be.
Eating clean is just another bs slogan from Big Wellness.
Is Big Wellness a thing, now? Or is that celebrities promoting things they're conveniently already peddling?
 

Antti

Level 8 Valued Member
Well, if all the people shared a similar body composition ideal and achieving it was easy, everyone would have it. So there must be something very hard in it.

Could it simply be a question of values? Plenty of people enjoy their food and drink more than than fitting an image, that most likely is not one of their own. Or is it a question of self-control and instant gratification?

I'm also a little torn on the image that the fitness industry typically feeds us. Looking at the longevity studies, a certain layer of subcutaneous fat is healthy. So by the health standard all the six pack guys are doing things wrong and it's not "fit", so to say. I can understand it being a prerequisite for a sport, that makes one more competitive, but it's not healthy or ideal, or what a layman should seek.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 8 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
My rule is simple (I think it is from Nate Miyaki, but I cant find the exact quote, so I will paraphrase):

If I can cut its head, pull it from the ground, or pluck it from a tree, I eat it.

If it is in a multicolored box with list of extra added vitamins and minerals and whatnot, I don't eat it.
 

Pantrolyx

Level 5 Valued Member
Well, if all the people shared a similar body composition ideal and achieving it was easy, everyone would have it. So there must be something very hard in it.

Could it simply be a question of values? Plenty of people enjoy their food and drink more than than fitting an image, that most likely is not one of their own. Or is it a question of self-control and instant gratification?

I'm also a little torn on the image that the fitness industry typically feeds us. Looking at the longevity studies, a certain layer of subcutaneous fat is healthy. So by the health standard all the six pack guys are doing things wrong and it's not "fit", so to say. I can understand it being a prerequisite for a sport, that makes one more competitive, but it's not healthy or ideal, or what a layman should seek.

Yes, different values are important here.
I could probably see some benefits if i stopped consuming chocolate, beer and sweet pastries entirely. But I dout that my quality of life, all factors taken into consideration, would improve. Having some "reward rituals" every now and then, is something I find extremely important psychologically.

On the other hand, while I really enjoy the taste of meat, I no longer buy it, make it or eat it unless I am being served it as a guest somewhere. Here, the ethical considerations outweigh the preferences in taste, in my case.
 

SMalishev

Level 5 Valued Member
Well, if all the people shared a similar body composition ideal and achieving it was easy, everyone would have it. So there must be something very hard in it.

Could it simply be a question of values? Plenty of people enjoy their food and drink more than than fitting an image, that most likely is not one of their own. Or is it a question of self-control and instant gratification?

I'm also a little torn on the image that the fitness industry typically feeds us. Looking at the longevity studies, a certain layer of subcutaneous fat is healthy. So by the health standard all the six pack guys are doing things wrong and it's not "fit", so to say. I can understand it being a prerequisite for a sport, that makes one more competitive, but it's not healthy or ideal, or what a layman should seek.

That sounds really interesting, do you have any reading material on that subject or studies?
So effectively (for males), one's visceral fat is minimised through not overdoing regular food or "bad foods" and training, but the layer of subcutaneous fat that seems like the holy grail to burn, is better left there?
 

Antti

Level 8 Valued Member
That sounds really interesting, do you have any reading material on that subject or studies?

I've read this all over the web and in my studies. There should be plenty of results if you just google "visceral vs subcutaneous fat".

So effectively (for males), one's visceral fat is minimised through not overdoing regular food or "bad foods" and training, but the layer of subcutaneous fat that seems like the holy grail to burn, is better left there?

I think in part men have been dealt a worse hand and they gain visceral fat more easily. Some of it is genetic. But in my understanding the visceral fat should be easier to get rid of, so it in part balances out.

The subcutaneous fat, at least if it's not in excessive amounts, should be healthy.

When it comes to training I think some research supported that the visceral fat is easier to get rid of, and that it also responds better to HIIT vs steady state or such. It's not long ago that I heard this at a seminar, so it may not be 100% peer reviewed yet, but I found it new and interesting.
 

Alexander Halford

Level 7 Valued Member
it’s just what I do. It’s habit.

And this is how the success stands, because habit is a one of the things hardest to beat. As in training "consistency trumps intensity", here it's the same, because success measure in nutritional battle is not reaching the goal, but maintaining it for longest time. A real key.
 
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