The problem with clean eating is real. While eating healthy can be good overall, using certain language as related to food can cause harm.
It’s hard to keep emotion out of eating with all we are surrounded with, especially online. But it’s really important for our overall health, and if you are raising kids, even more so.
April with Foxy Over Forty
April is badass mom from the site Foxy Over 40 (site coming soon)! She is a soon-to-be Registered Dietitian interested in helping people embrace a more sustainable moderation based lifestyle approach to eating.
You can connect with her on her Instagram account where she gives loads of free info and helps others find a life they love long term.
Clean eating is a term to describe food that is minimally processed and presented in their whole natural state.
It is looked at by many as a fad diet that believes that eating whole foods and avoiding anything processed can offer health benefits.
Many licensed professionals do not support the clean eating fad. They say that it is not backed by scientific evidence and it implies that food carries a moral value.
This can have potential negative mental health effects and lead to malnutrition when entire food groups are cut out. It can also form unhealthy eating practices.
Is clean eating elitist?
Because of the way clean eating is portrayed, it gives off a sense that if you eat certain things, you are bad/wrong/etc. This assumes you can afford it.
When it comes to people in low income areas, money and time is something that isn’t readily available. So when you attach things like being a good parent, or providing well for your family to only eating certain things, it tells those that can’t do this that they are failing.
The other issue is the disparity in education for what and how eating healthy looks like and how it can be done within the allotment of time and money you have.
It’s hard enough to figure it all out for those of us that do have education on the topic, so basically we are setting those people that don’t up for failure. And then on top of it pushing the idea that they are failures because they can’t do it.
Is clean eating healthy?
There isn’t scientific evidence that following the clean eating fad diet has any health benefits. In fact following a diet that is super restrictive can actually result in negative health effects.
The key is to find balance in our overall eating, and actually enjoying what you eat. When we force ourselves
The Vicious Cycle of Restrictive Eating
When you set yourself up for failure, you will fail. And much of the food world today unfortunately sets us up for this. We start with these extreme diets with the promise of the perfect end result.
The issue is that what we are expected to do is not sustainable long term. So when we get to that spot of not being able to continue, instead of looking at the diet itself, we blame ourselves.
We then feel like failures, and tell ourselves we just can’t do it. We can’t meet the goal we wanted to meet. When in fact, we can. If done correctly and in a way that allows us long term success.
Tips to Sustain a Long Term Healthy Relationship with Food and Diet Goals
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work and meeting those goals is a lifestyle not an overnight transformation. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Separate morals and food.
- Find a path that is real, one that doesn’t promise success short term.
- Focus on one thing at a time, you can’t tackle it all. Add more as you feel comfortable and successful.
- Make sure to eat a “treat” every day, there is no restriction.
- Don’t look at foods as “bad” or “good,” it’s just food.
- Learn to omit the feelings of guilt and focus on the successes.
- The long term game doesn’t just focus on weight loss, it’s also the restructuring of your mental health and relationship with food.
- There is no “cheating,” you choose to eat something and that’s ok.
- Learn to read labels and not focus on the marketing on the front of the product.
- Eat things you love, and balance things not as nutritious with a nutritious choice too so you eat things you crave and love.
- Watch what you say in front of your kids, they will learn through you.