Sunday 31 July 2016

Eating Habits - Clean vs Unclean

They say you are what you eat, and I am certainly a believer on the impact food has on your mood and behaviour, but kicking bad habits can be hard, and you can see people jumping from one extreme to the other. Now we're at the point where there is a backlash on clean eating, so where do we actually draw the line? 

For me, I always focus more on my exercise compared to food, as as long as I'm moving my body, I generally feel good about myself, whereas food can peak and trough massively depending on if I have an occasion, I'm celebrating, it's my time of the month, how stressed I am etc. What I will say is that as an ideal I try and stick to the 80:20 rule, being good more often than not, but I'd make the rule over the course of a week rather than a day. I also have a huge sweet tooth so I do get myself into situations where my cravings control me rather than the other way around, which isn't ever ideal. 

I am a huge foodie though, and I love meat, a good steak or burger is one of my favourite things to order at a restaurant, and I would rather order a sweet to a starter, but that does also depend on whether it's lunchtime or dinner. 

It's an interesting topic with all the clean eating backlash going on at the moment though, I'm not really sure how I feel, but I think ultimately it comes down to peoples personal preferences and choices. If you want to eat healthy, then do, if you don't, don't, as long as you're aware of the positives and negatives of doing so and you're comfortable with your choice then it shouldn't matter to others. Health and well being are hugely important, but what that looks like differs from one person to the next as all of our bodies are different, and that's what's great about our genetic make-ups. 

Personally, I used to base my food restriction around the scales, when it tipped too much, it was time to manage things again, but lately it depends on my body and what it's telling me. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and I'm more in tune with my body compared to what I was before, but I can tell when I'm bloated that I need to cut certain things out, if my mood is unproductive and grumpy it's also an indicator that I'm having too much sugar as it makes me feel massively unmotivated. Knowing this about my body allows me to manage things much more effectively, and knowledge is power. If I want a pizza for dinner, I'm going to have one, but chances are I'd have worked out that day and I'd have mentally prepared myself for that meal, and you bet I'll enjoy it. Balance.

There is nothing worse than eating something and then feeling guilty about it afterwards, I mean yes I am no stranger to eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's pretty much all to myself, and I will have a massive sugar high, and then crash and feel guilty about it a bit, but that's more because that's glutinous and I know I'll work it off the next day or whatever so it doesn't really make a huge impact to how I look or feel long term. 

So, to conclude, clean eating I'm for it, I love feeding my body good stuff that strengthens it and makes it feel nourished and I feel empowered, if I do it for long enough it also kills my sweet tooth which is always a plus. But non-clean eating, I'm also for it, not all the time, but some of the time. I don't plan these as cheat meals and I don't have a super clean diet on a daily basis, but I eat balanced and nutritious and allow myself what I want when I want it, within reason. 

People just need to stop judging and imposing their habits onto others and it'll make things much easier, after all, if you're basing peoples diets on what they say they eat on Instagram, that's a joke, and if you never eat anything healthy, then you're not getting a good balance to your diet and are probably in a very temperamental mood a lot of the time. But whatever, we're all different and are allowed to enjoy and celebrate these differences. Now pass me the steak and I'll have a strawberry cheesecake or ice-cream for dessert. Cheers!


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