The Dirty Facts About Eating Clean

After years of being a couch potato, I finally developed a good exercise habit that I’m proud of. It was a struggle because I didn’t see anything fun about exercising. My next hurdle is finding the discipline to eat clean. Out of all diets to follow, I feel eating clean makes sense for me. However, getting my diet right continues to be a constant struggle. Diet will make or break your efforts. Below are my struggles with eating clean.

What is Eating Clean?

Eating clean is all about eating healthy foods that include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, etc. Basically you shouldn’t be getting your food from a drive-thru window and should be avoiding foods that are over-processed, high in fat, sugar, and salt. It also means eating 5 or 6 small meals per day and eating every 2 to 3 hours.

Fact 1: Eating 5 to 6 Meals a Day Can Be a Hassle

I love food which is why it’s a struggle to maintain a healthy weight. However, I’m not used to eating smaller meals throughout the day. I’ve always been a breakfast, lunch, dinner person – sometimes skipping breakfast because I’m busy.

Fact 2: Cooking Every Day Kinda Sucks

Eating clean means no fast-food convenience and if you’re super busy in your daily life (which a majority of people are) you’ll be spending a lot of time preparing your 5 to 6 meals for each day. Whether you do it every morning, every evening, or once for the entire week, that is time that has to be found.

Fact 3: It Can Take the Fun Out of Dining Out

I’m invited out to eat all the time. Eating clean means ordering meals that are lower in fat and calories or requesting they are made that way. Your family & friends may be dining on their fried appetizers and creamy sauce covered pasta while you’re squeezing lemon on your salad.

Fact 4: Avoiding Sugar and Flour – Ugh!

Sugar and bread are two of my biggest bad food habits. Breaking myself of those two will take tremendous amounts of effort on my part. Sugar and bread are everywhere. I think out of the entire diet this will be the hardest part.


My Plan of Attack

Obviously eating clean isn’t easy or else everyone would do it. I am going to have to develop the habit of eating this way just like I developed a good exercise habit. It will definitely be a mental challenge as well. Now when I eat food I need to ask myself if it will benefit or harm. Here are some things I plan to do:

  • Pick out “clean” recipes before food shopping
  • Shop for the entire week
  • Organize my tupperware to store pre-made meals in the fridge
  • Cheat on Saturdays to satisfy cravings

Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

15 thoughts on “The Dirty Facts About Eating Clean”

  1. for me, it was/is very gradual. a few years ago i started eating desserts only 2-3 times a week. in july, i decided not to eat any dessert-type foods (cookies, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, that kind of stuff) until thanksgiving. had my fill of the stuff on thanksgiving and decided not to eat any more desserts until x-mas. then a few weeks later i became curious: what would it be like not to have ANY sugar? so i cut white, brown, golden, all that kind of sugar out. what a surprise. this is SUCH a drug. right now i’m only sweetening with fruit, honey and maple syrup. it feels really good.

    i totally hear you on the 5-6 meals. part of the problem for me is that i have a family and they don’t want to eat like that. also, at least once a day i want to feel nice and full. hopefully i’ll be able to change that at some point, too.

  2. so … i’m curious … how are you coming along with this?

    i’ve moved on to not even sweetening my tea/coffee anymore. that’s good. on the somewhat humourous but not-so-successful side, the other day i thought, hey, let’s bake without sugar! came up with this fabulous recipe for molasses-maple syrup shortbread – and promptly dug into the cookie dough like crazy. ooops! no more cookie baking for me, i guess – not for a while at least.

  3. Eating healthy is like training to keep fit. You would not do push ups on one arm all day every week!
    Eating healthy is the same, vary what you eat, small amounts throughout the day.
    If you are training to keep fit, vary the training as much as possible, not too much at once and every day.
    simple really.

  4. it is a pain in the arse huh? worth it? completely but hard none the less.

    my husband always starts his sunday nights with:

    i should eat better but it’s such an effort and…

    (thats where I tune out. after years of offering to HELP :))


  5. I’ve been packing my lunches on Sunday since I don’t even remember. I just do a load of cooking on Sunday. I bought some semi-expensive glass Pyrex ‘tupperware’ because I think glass tupperware makes food last longer and taste better.

    I use the bigger Pyrex for storage and the small one cup sized Pyrex for the daily distribution of my “5-6 small meals”.

    Yes, I have to wash the Pyrex every night (not too much of a hassle considering most of my eat clean mini-meals were stored in throw-away zip-lock baggies).

    Trust me, almost anything can be gotten used to. That old adage or cliche about ‘habits are formed in 30 days or less’ is completely and solidly true. JUST DO IT – like Nike used to say – for 30 days without stop and you’ll find yourself suddenly disdainful of people who can’t find the time to create, pack and eat healthy meals 😉


  6. Had gastric bypass 18 months ago, I think it has stopped working must do something to restart. So I picked up an Oxygen Magazine and read about clean eating this will be a summer project for me hope it becomes a part of my life I have a lot of chronic health issues and need all the help I can. Wish me luck

  7. Last I recall, viewing foods as “clean” versus “dirty” was symptomatic of some eating disorders?

    Make wise choices then just enjoy your food, and if you find it makes you uneasy and seems “unclean,” PLEASE see your healthcare provider, asap…

  8. Great tips!

    I’m in the same boat as you are–I love eating and often have a hard to squeezing in all of those little meals.

    An alternative to 5 small, complete meals is eating 3 larger meals and eating 2 snacks between those meals. I often switch between the two depending on the week.

    For those worried about spending time preparing food, stir fries are your best friend! They are simple, satisfying, packed full of protein and low in carbs, and great for on the go because you easily squeeze it into tupperware.

  9. I know it seems difficult in the beginning, but if you prep your food the night before, it becomes a lot easier.

    If it helps, just plan your usual 3 larger meals for the day, and eat half of those meals every 2-3 hours. You don’t have to plan 6 entirely different meals.

    And remember, it’s fun to snack! Pack and apple with a small container of almond butter or a low fat cheese stick. These meals will only be as complicated as you make them.

    Also, as you get more into it, you will find that your tastes change. You’ll look forward to your nutritious meals far more than the junk you may be craving now.

    Hang in there. Take baby steps. You’ll get there!

  10. For everyone who is putting down the idea of 5-6 meals a day has not read the book. For example, one of the mid-morning or mid-afternoon “meals” is an apple and a small handful of almonds. That seems pretty easy no matter where you are. If you can have a mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee, you can have an apple easy enough. It is just about keeping you blood sugar levels and metabolism going. Even if you have a family you can still cook and eat the three meals. B,L,D are still the main meals. Even if you do not follow it to the letter, still read the book and incorporate what you can. She even has an option for those not completely ready to go for it. Some are saying that they don’t like to snack. But I am sure that if we wrote down what we eat each day we will find that we probably are snacking somewhat. This way of eating just gives you tips and suggestions so you can make healthier choices. I have been doing it for awhile now and seriously, even if I do not lose another pound, eating this way makes me feel so much better. And it really is not as hard to incorporate as you might think.

    1. agreed – 100%. If ppl are making excuses, they are not ready to do it. Its all about eating foods that were put on this earth for us – without changing them too much! If you have 3 meals a day you are probably overeating at each – so break them up with snacks. Those are the very basic principles of eating clean – finding excuses will get you nowhere. I started off slow, and now I couldnt imagine eating any other way. Ive also become a great cook!
      Good luck to u all!

  11. Wow, I agree! One thing that’s been the hardest for me is lunch time with colleagues. We all want to get out of our office so lunch out was happening 3-4 times a week. I started to pack healthy snacks and encouraged my co-workers to go to the park and walk instead of eating a lot of food and washing it down with coffee. We’re all losing weight, plus the walk helps us let off steam!

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