|My Clean dinner, July 2013|
Why do I do that? It worked soooo well for me. It was the difference that changed a 40 year situation. My 40 year emotional eating never took a day off. Brain fog from sugar and wheat stayed for days and weeks. Before clean eating, I was not the person I felt I was meant to be.
I realize that clean eating can have many definitions for each stage of weight loss and maintenance. I would encourage you to define what it means, where you are, and consider changes to optimize for your current life situation.
Clean Eating for me: Eating within my current food template to fuel my body, maintain my health ( including weight), while keeping a clear mind and my emotional eating in remission. Every. Single. Meal. Each. Day. For.Life.
Weight loss Clean Eating : Meant staying within my pre-packaged meal plan and within the lean and green guidelines. Did I go off plan? Yes. Rarely, and I noticed I did not feel good when I went off plan. I was paying a lot of money for this weight loss program, so not eating clean meant a stall in weight loss and $$ out the window. It also meant that I had to deal with emotional or mini-binge eating. Eating clean forced me to deal with that. Huge leaps forward for me in setting up a stable transition.
Weight loss transition to weight maintenance clean eating: I used the recommendation from Barbara Berkeley, MD to do a 90 day "opt out" (see the book Refuse to Regain) Three months of eating Primarian (no starchy foods, no grains, no processed foods) and one allow able off plan food (mine could not be trigger me to over eat).
Opting out helped me ease into maintenance and kept me from resuming old habits. It worked well for me. I could have repeated my past history of going back to old habits and slippery slope thinking. Did I go off plan? Yes, a few diet cokes here and there, my off plan allow able foods were medifast bars or pancakes. Those were the days! I was a little nervous about regain, but I could see the diet transition going well. I could start the mental changes of a major transition while my food stayed stable.
Weight Maintenance the first year, clean eating: After May 3, 2012, I started a gradual transition into a more Paleo template. I noticed that I needed to be on the lower carb side (110 to 80 grams a day) for the first half of the first year, and now a little lower (50-75 grams a day) for the start of the second year. Did I go off plan? Yep, I bought a huge bag of the best raisins I've ever eaten from California's central coast and drove down California Highway 1 eating way too many raisins (just like skittles!). I realized it and got back on track. During this time, I phased out slowly the Medifast, Lara Bars, and artificial sweeteners. I did not go back to my old habits or caught it early. I stayed +/- 3 pounds of my goal weight. Eating bars for snacks was a tough habit to break.
Weight Maintenance the first half of the second year, clean eating: During Jan-July 2013 I did a Whole30 Challenge. Clean eating was set up by the structure of the Whole30 plan. Did I break them, yep, nothing big. I had some sesame oil inadvertently one night with dinner. Big deal- not. I did not stop the challenge or start over. I learned so much- kicked the bar habit, decreased the Medifast to 1-2 products a month. Fewer urges to emotional eat. I slept great!!! I also did a low carb challenge that helped me transition off nuts and Medifast. It prepared me for the next six weeks of complete stress, grief, and joy.
|Clean cruise food, yummy!|
Imagine this: I laid on my bed like the people on the lower decks of the Titanic. My thoughts went something like: "I'm sinking and going down with the ship... oh, uh,... crap! really it's just a lapse, it won't be a relapse." I thought to myself. No worries. Back on plan the next day, back to clean eating" And, I did. Ship didn't sink, life got back to normal, I gave myself huge props for addressing it head on and moving on to the rest of the trip. It started with the right mind set and next clean meal.
|Lunch in the Space Needle, Clean eats, hot day, crisp salad made in the hotel room|
What didn't work in the past:
1) Weight loss- I ate trigger foods within my WW pt range (tootsie pops!?, skinny cows- mooo, and multiple 100 calorie packs)
2) Weight Transition- I kept eating trigger foods and did not address small gains.
3) Weight Maintenance: I did not stay here long and did not put an effective plan into place. Large gains.
4) Weight Maintenance long term: never made it to 1 year out. I gained my weight back.
I encourage you to define clean eating now, use it as a tool to reach weight, health, life goals and be prepared to fine tune as you go. It's never too late. It's not set in stone. What is your definition of clean eating. Can you feel it when you don't eat clean? Do you change up when life changes so your goals are still met? Do you change up your food when it's no longer working? Discuss.
|This newly transitioned frog (size of my thumb) found a bug, natural fuel for froggy|