Eating Clean – Social Suicide?

EATING CLEAN – this means your daily diet should not include;  saturated fats, pure sugar, alcohol or processed foods. Not an easy regime, especially for those of us who aren’t teenagers any more. To eat clean in our western society takes real dedication. Once you reach your 40’s, it is unlikely that your social scene is bouncing about every weekend in a nightclub. You’re more likely to be joining friends for dinner.

I spent three months in the remote jungles of Borneo and still managed to eat peanut butter and papaya jam. It came in our Malaysian army rations. We even walked to a small village and managed to buy sugary buns! This is not too much of a problem when most of your day is spent building a longhouse or hacking your way through the jungle as the calories are being used but we don’t move as much as did 100 years ago so we just store it as excess fat.

I find eating clean extremely hard as I love the odd glass of wine at the weekend and my social life is mainly made up of eating out in some form or another.

soul me

OK, this picture was taken at a Soul Carnival last weekend, where I danced for six hours straight but I don’t do that every weekend.

Plus, I am a woman and it’s a universally known fact that WE NEED CHOCOLATE. So is there a way to keep the body you have worked so hard for AND have a life?

An old body builders’ trick is to eat clean all week and have one cheat meal to boost metabolism and keep yourself from wanting to give up completely. One of the guys in our gym has a slightly different approach. He eats clean Sunday to Thursday and lets rip on Friday and Saturday.

He allows himself to eat whatever he wants on these days. Last week he ate a whole Toblerone – we are talking the huge ones that you get at the duty free! Plus another bar of chocolate and I think some pizza. You may think this is too much and he would ruin all his hard work in the week but he looks amazing! This approach is not only keeping him sane but also keeping him lean. I would also like to point out that he is not a teenager, he’s 40 years old.

So, why is it working?

His body is obviously not worried about dropping weight/fat during the week as it knows there is plenty to be had at the weekend. This yo-yo effect actually works well for our metabolism when it is done over this short period of time. As opposed to yo-yo dieting which sees the dieter on a very low calorie diet for a few months and then they go back to eating a ‘normal’ diet and the body slows the metabolism to conserve energy. This will usually result in a weight gain, which then pushes the dieter to go back to consuming very few calories and the whole cycle begins again but with even more weight gain as the metabolism knows there will be a famine again soon.

I am going to try this method from next week -I am away this weekend – and see how I get on. I find this difficult as my brain will not let me eat that much in one sitting. I usually stick to eating healthy 80% of the time and having the odd treat when I really want one.  Wish me luck!

 

UPDATE

It’s now week 3 of trying to eat clean 100%.  Let me just say this, IT SUCKS! Bored, bored bored!

Instead of being out for drinks and a meal with friends on Friday, I stayed home and cooked chicken; Saturday I did go out for a meal with my boyfriend and passed on the bread, the champagne, the twice-cooked chips and dessert. Sunday, our neighbours had a BBQ. I was offered an ice cold beer on a really hot day and had to politely refuse. So is eating clean going to ruin your social scene? YES

But it’s not all bad. I have never had too much problem with my weight as I have always eaten well when out for dinner. I find that eating as clean as you can as often as you can gives you the chance to have a normal social life without gaining weight. I never binge when I go out for a meal, but if I want chips I’ll have them.

I do find though, that being creative in the kitchen will go a long way to keeping you on track during the week. Play around with spices and different herbs to liven up a chicken breast. Even if you try one new recipe a week, you will soon build up a list of tasty, healthy meals.

Why not try my biscotti or courgette spaghetti?

Big love X

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