Clean eating versus balanced eating: Which really works?
Clean eating describes eating whole, unprocessed foods and eliminating any food that's not natural. It encourages to chose food that's less refined, for example brown rice instead of white rice. Clean eating followers will also focus on reducing sugar, salt and fat intake and try to avoid drinking their calories in the form of soft drinks or sodas. Eating clean focuses on eating five to six small, nutritious meals a day instead of counting calories or measuring portions.
The natural food movement has been a very popular eating trend in the past, and it seems like with all the nutritional research conducted over the years, more and more people have been adapting it as a way of life.
Balanced eating and clean eating are very similar, but the balanced way of eating will still leave some room for occasional treats. For some people, balanced eating might work a bit better from the psychological point of view as it feels less restrictive. You eat clean maybe 80 or 90% of the time and leave out the 10-20% for guilty pleasures like a slice of cake or pizza. By allowing yourself to indulge once in a while, you don't feel deprived of any food. This might also come handy in any social gatherings where there aren't a lot of healthy food options. You can still enjoy great company and not stress about the french fries or burger that you had to eat because of no other better food options.
From my experience of working with people who want to lose weight, following a balanced diet plan works better, especially if you are just getting started on eating healthier. That feeling of not having to completely cut out any food and having the room for occasional treat can work as a great motivation. And once someone starts eating healthier, they feel better, more energised, lose some weight they naturally tend to progress towards clean eating, as they no longer find pleasure in eating processed foods.
Cutting out processed food, sugar and unhealthy fats will always result in weight loss. Sticking to a whole food diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and some healthy fats will be your best bet in the battle of the bulge. Clean eating might produce faster results, but in my opinion, balanced eating, with the occasional indulgence might result in more sustainable long-term weight loss.
Nika Karan is a mum, bestselling author, yoga teacher and Holistic Health Coach with a diploma from Institute For Integrative Nutrition in New York. As a highly sought after transformation coach, she has been featured in many notable local publications.
Find out more at www.nikakaran.com and on Instagram at @nikakaran.