Why Eating Clean Sucks

Why “Eating Clean” Sucks

by Terrence Thomas


Let’s discuss a mental construct that I believe is one of the major causes of yo-yo dieting. The idea that I’m talking is the “eating clean” and I believe has infected the entire health and fitness industry.  Here are three concepts about eating clean that explain how this mindset can sabotage your health, fitness, weight loss, and physique goals and what you can do to make sure you are not doing this to yourself.


1. Stop using the term “eating clean”.

The very idea that you are eating clean means that at some point you are not eating clean.  In other words you’re eating in a way that supports health and performance during a certain time and then the other times you are eating like crap. I don’t know about you but that sounds very much like an eating disorder. The mindset behind eating clean is that you are in some way depriving yourself. When the mind is in a dynamic of deprivation, it is relying on willpower to resist temptation. Eventually you will run out of willpower and the natural tendency is to either quit eating clean or go to the other extreme, which is to eat garbage or binge eat. Having “cheat” days are supposed to help deal with the deprivation aspect of “eating clean” but the mental dynamic of resisting or succumbing to temptation is still in play.


If you are constantly bouncing from eating “clean” to not eating clean you are on a yo-yo diet. On average, when you ask someone what eating clean means, they say eating in a way that helps them lose fat or get healthy. Why not eat like this all the time or at least consistent enough that when you do choose not to “eat clean” that it won’t totally derail your efforts.  Follow the 80/20 rule. In other words, if your are eating, living and managing yourself in a way that promotes health, fitness and vitality 80 percent of the time then when you should be able to tolerate the occasional culinary, or recreational vice without irreparable damage to your body.


2. Send the idea of Bulking up back to the 1970’s. If you want to gain quality muscle that lasts for a lifetime, eat quality whole food all the time. Eating garbage foods and supplements that only make you look swollen and puffy will give you the illusion that you are BIG.  If you want to have a real, bona fide brick shit house of a body, you must feed your body real whole food, train intelligently and consistently. Training intelligently means knowing when to crank it up and push it to the limit but also knowing when to back off.


3. Stop playing Tug Of War with our mind.

If you want achieve your health and fitness goals with zero resistance and a feeling of peace, stop creating extremes in behavior. Think lifestyle instead of dieting. Eat real food all the time and sprinkle in some treats instead of eating pathologically strict and then totally flying off the handle and single handedly keeping a local ice cream shop in business.


Disclaimer: With that said, I am fully aware of what it takes to achieve extreme levels of fitness, leanness and muscularity. For example if you are a physique competitor and are in pre contest training, you are asking the body to do something that by nature it does not want to do. This takes some specific training, diet, and supplementation strategies to achieve this and when done with a relative degree in intelligence can be done safely and at a high level. The key here is intelligence.  #BeBeautiful #BeStrong  #BeHealthy

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