How clean eating can lead to getting fat! - Bean

Surely this can’t be the case, right?

Let us explain with a little example:

Mary has had enough of feeling awful about herself, she’s put on a couple of stone over the last year and enough is enough!

She wakes up, and today is the day the ‘diet’ starts. She dusts off her blender, and blitzes every bit of fruit she can find – adding spinach and avocado and some flax seed thrown in to boot! There we have it, a super clean brekkie that Mr. Motivator would be proud of.

Off Mary sets for work, ready to take on the day!

(Calories in Mary’s ‘super smoothie’ probably upward of 400kcal)

Mid-morning comes along and Mary gets a little peckish, “I know” she says, “I’ll dip into my bag of cashew nuts, they’re good fats so it’s fine!”

(2 big handfuls of cashews = 200-250kcals)

At lunchtime Mary pops to the shops to grab some lunch, but instead of the usual meal deal, she’s feeling righteous so decides bread is the devil, so steers away from the sandwich fridge.

Instead she scans the ‘healthy’ section and ends up with a cous cous super food salad, a packet of mini lamb kofte kebabs and a tub of sundried tomatoes & mozzarella – healthy lunch sorted and not a slice of bread in sight, #winning!

(Calories at lunch:

Cous cous super good salad tub = 300kcals
Mini lamb koftes = 300-350 per pack
Sundried tomatoes and mozzarella = 500kcal per pack!)

After work Mary jumps in the car and proceeds to pick at the remainder of the cashew nuts from earlier, before she knows it they’re all gone!

(Another 200kcals!)

Once dinner comes around, Mary is super chuffed with herself because she’s just served herself up a couple of finest fishcakes on a bed of salad, she’s sure that’s a really healthy dinner, especially when she empties half a bottle of olive oil on the salad – but olive oil is a good fat so it’s all good, super clean eating right there.

(200kcal per fishcake + 200 for the glugs of olive oil!)

9pm comes around Mary and needs her sweet fix with a cuppa, so she scoffs down half a bar of chocolate, but its fine as its dark chocolate and she’s read that’s better for her.

(4 squares dark choc = 200kcal)

“today has been a success”, she proclaims. “I’ve eaten clean and avoided my usual ‘bad’ food, hurrah”

However, has Mary really eaten in a manner to promote fatloss

Let’s look a Mary’s eating in a little more detail.

Undoubtedly, Mary has started off in the right direction with choosing foods that are richer in nutrients. However, the vast majority of ‘clean eaters’ are venturing on such eating habits in order to reduce body fat levels.

We should by now, have a good understanding that energy balance is the number one component of a successful fat loss programme long term.

Therefore we need to eat less then we burn in order to stand any chance of losing body fat

Despite Mary’s clean eating, she has in actual fact, consumed approximately 2500 calories throughout the day. In order to just maintain weight Mary would need to consume no more than 2000 calories for a woman of her weight and height.

So the lesson we need to learn from this example is that, yes the vast majority of the time we should opt for fresh, nutrient dense food. But we still need to be very aware of the calories contained in the food we are consuming and the amount we need to be eating in order to achieve our goals.