Myth: Clean Eating is the Key to Weight Loss


Clean eating will not in itself help with weight loss.

Clean eating: oatmeal cereal, apple and smoothie
Clean eating: oatmeal cereal, apple, and smoothie
Nutritious fruit and vegetables
Nutritious fruit and vegetables

Firstly, what is clean eating?  Clean eating means consuming minimally processed foods such as unrefined, whole, unprocessed, wild, pasture-raised, hormone-free – the way nature intended.  On these diets, you try to consume very little added fats or sweeteners.  It is not necessarily an organic diet, but organic diets and clean eating are similar.

Secondly, will clean eating help me lose weight?  After doing some research I can understand why it is easy to jump to the conclusion that cleaning eating will help with weight loss, but if you do not create a calorie deficit, you are unlikely to lose weight.  I will admit that, in general, clean eating is probably more healthy.  Eating foods that do not have added preservatives, fats, or sweeteners is certainly helpful in losing weight, but we have to remember that too many calories will result in a calorie surplus and fat deposition whether it comes from a carrot or a piece of carrot cake.  If you are consuming more calories than you are burning, you will not lose weight.

The bottom line: I hate to say that all calories are the same, but they are not, but a calorie deficit is needed for weight loss, and a clean diet that is poorly distributed among the food groups will result in malnutrition, a calorie surplus, and fat gain.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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