Eating clean is simple, but not easy. Here are some common mistakes that clean eaters make when approaching the clean eating lifestyle:
1. Not understanding 80/20. The 80/20 rule exists so that you don’t feel deprived or like you’re restricting yourself to the point where you binge on unhealthy foods. You should eat 80% healthy, and save your 20% for those moments where you want to treat yourself. But you have to understand how much 20% actually is, and don’t justify every single craving by saying “this is my 20%” when in reality your 20% is becoming more like 50%. Moderation is key.
2. Not preparing for snack attacks. It’s not just about willpower — it’s about eating healthy snacks so you aren’t starving and then walk into your kitchen and instead grab unhealthy foods since they’re easier and more available and you’re hungry.
3. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach. There are so many temptations at a supermarket — so many well-placed unhealthy foods. In order to resist, make a grocery list beforehand and eat a meal before going.
4. Not learning how to cook. I used to be all, “Imma strong independent woman and I don’t need to know how to cook!” which, ironically, made me dependent on convenience meals/dining halls/eating out for food. So this summer I learned how to cook and started making my own food — and suddenly everything changed! I was able to eat what I want when I want, and I was able to eat healthy instead of settling for expensive convenience foods or semi-healthy foods from the dining hall.
5. Not discovering new recipes. This morning I ate a breakfast cookie, you guys. It’s everything you think it is and more — oats, greek yogurt, whole wheat flour — oh man. Healthy and delicious. You know how I found it? I went looking for great, clean recipes. I experimented with the recipes I found, and then substituted ingredients and tried out different methods of making breakfast cookies until I found my own favorite combination! By falling in love with healthy recipes, you’ll enjoy eating clean and healthy instead of making it a chore.
6. Beating themselves up about falling off the wagon. Listen, nobody’s perfect. You just have to work it. Love your body, treat it right, and don’t throw out a whole day or whole week because maybe you splurged a little too much.
I hope your clean eating challenge is going great so far! We’re already nineteen days in — congrats to everyone for making it this far!
See you tomorrow,