I get asked a lot about clean eating and iifym and which I think is right…so here goes.
I’m kind of in the middle of both…I don’t cut out food groups and allow treats in moderation but I enjoy eating clean, wholesome nutritious foods too.
There’s more to this than what people think. Clean (I’m going to use this term for foods i explained above) food is commonly known as nutrient dense, lower calorie, contain lots of antioxidants etc, lots are high in fibre which keeps us full and then there’s volume. Most clean foods, because they are lower calorie and more dense, are high volume foods. This means, they take up a lot of room on your plate…so then also in your stomach! Think of a big plate of meat and vegetables in comparison to a chocolate bar for the same calories. The meat and veg fill the stomach, stretching the stomachs stretch receptors, sending a message to the brain saying you’re full. The fibre in the veg also slows down digestion keeping you fuller for longer. Now think of a chocolate bar. It doesn’t really stretch your stomach, so doesn’t send a full signal, hence feeling hungry straight after again and wanting more food. It can also cause an insulin spike and crash makes you feel hungry again. This is just one example but other volume foods are fruits, vegetables, complex carbs and proteins.
So…as dieting is already hard enough…eating volume foods can really help as they fill you up, you can get more bang for your buck with calories, they contain lots of goodness for our bodies, lots are high in fibre to keep you fuller for longer, give us long lasting energy…so make dieting a bit easier than if you were eating low volume, higher calorie foods (foods we know as treat/cheat foods).
Now…again, I am not saying it’s bad to eat these foods, I have treats and I enjoy them, but I have them in moderation, otherwise I would quickly use all of my calories up. This is when you’re most likely to binge or not stick to a diet because you’re hungry and miserable so think stuff it! Also, these foods can be a trigger to eat more of it so If you know any foods that do trigger you to binge, maybe avoid having them in your house and only have them when you can go out and buy just 1.
I have been here eating a protein bar for convenience instead of a large volume meal, only to then eat more later because I wasn’t full, or had foods in the house I know trigger me and over ate. We’re only human so don’t beat yourself up!!!
So…eat foods you enjoy, there’s no longevity in eating foods just to fit your macros or for the sake of it, but choose your foods wisely to help you towards your goals.