I think both sides are too dramatic. There is much more to nutrition than calories- but you don't need to "eat clean" whatever that means, all the time either. There's a happy middle ground that you can find where you eat a well balanced and nutritious diet- and still enjoy some of the treats that you like.
My philosophy is to get protein first, eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, some whole grains, and use the excess calories however you wish. It's a very sustainable approach- does not at all feel like a diet.
Alright, I keep hearing two sides to this story and it's driving me crazy. People tell me I can eat whatever I want as long as I burn it off and/or stay within my daily calorie goal,..others tell me I won't lose unless I eat clean bc its more about nutrition and macro-nutrients than calories. Since December, I've lost about 30 lbs, and I'm on my way to losing another 20, so obviously I've been doing something right. But It seems as if my weight no longer wants to budge, and I'm wondering if its because I haven't been eating as healthy (yet still staying within my daily calorie allowance). I just need some honest answers please.
STRICTLY in terms of weight loss, a calorie is a calorie. However, if you eat "clean", you may find it easier to lose weight. For example, a slice of whole wheat bread is going to keep you full for longer than a cookie with the same number of calories will. Also, "clean" foods tend to have fewer calories per unit volume, so you may be able to eat more in terms of size that way. Not to mention that you'll probably have much more energy and feel better.
I think it's best to understand what clean eating is. In all my years as a competitive bodybuilder and trainer eating clean meant eating foods that prompted the body to be most efficient at burning fat and expending energy without burning muscle.
As we dropped weight we wanted to drop as much body fat as possible without losing muscle. Eating "clean" is the best way to attain a lean hard balanced physiques that is ready for action.
So what does that mean?
For starters let's look at carbohydrates. Clean carbs are things like oatmeal (slow cook), whole grains, yams so on a so forth. Carbohydrates with a LOW GLYCEMIC index. These carbs when consumed are released slowly and the body uses them for energy without an insulin spike. When we eat simple sugars or things that have a high glycemic index we spike our insulin which then crashes doing two things.
1. Triggers a fat storing response.
2. Triggers a hunger response. ( think of eating Chinese food and feeling stuffed, but then you are hungry 30 mins later.)
Again, when we eat clean we avoid this pit fall and tend to have more energy and appetite control. We also maintain our fat burning and muscle building "zone"
So while a calorie is a calorie, eating clean is more akin to putting good software into your computer. The better the operating system you upload the better your computer runs.
I am being very general in this response, I am happy to be more specific if anybody wants a more detailed answer.
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