Clean Eating versus Dieting

Speaking from experience, I cannot tell you how many diets, and how much money I spent many years ago (as a young health-conscious woman) on pills and programs to lose weight, only to gain it right back.  You know those programs where you must “count this or that,” and write everything down, or eat certain specific packaged meals and take a specific metabolism booster… who knows what that really was! This approach is very mechanistic and sets us up to fail…HELLO!! This is the dirty little secret behind the multi-million dollar dieting industry…diets don’t work, but people continue to come back for more, believing the problem is with themselves.  Have you ever experienced being promised a “new you’, only to be let down shortly after the diet or program was over? I know I have, but this was during a decade when I truly did not know any better, albeit I had undiagnosed health issues to boot, even had I been fully optimal in my health, these crazy dieting programs would have sabotaged my efforts nonetheless!  Every time I gained more than I had lost, it left me self-conscious, disappointed and feeling like a failure. The truth of the matter is DIETS DON’T WORK! They never do because they are not sustainable. At some point, your subconscious adopts deprivation mentality…consider the first three letters of the word “diet.” Your subconscious hangs on to this and believes you’re cut off from certain foods forever and this is the perfect foundation for FAILURE. Of course, the problem is not really with you – it is a result of being taught incorrect and misguided information. I truly believe the last ever “diet” I used is what also an integral component involved in the imbalance of my immune system and thyroid gland (I discuss this in my upcoming thyroid program).

To elaborate further, I will say that certainly, sometimes you do lose the weight (potentially at a cost to you financially, your health, and your body) for a short period of time, but a diet cannot give you long-term sustainable weight or fat loss. When going through these drastic changes of dieting, your body goes into survival mode and your body releases hormones telling your brain that you are starving. So when the diet is over, your body wants to replenish what it lost, plus some.

When you are dieting, you are consuming less food, e.g. calories, so your metabolism slows down and you also lose muscle in the process. In no circumstance, in a healthy body, would you want to lose muscle mass! Instead, we need to focus on what is being put into our bodies, and not how much of it. My mantra is “count chemicals, not calories.”

There is a stigma against people who diet and then gain the weight right back, suggesting that they, the individual,  somehow the reason they gained the weight back due to lack of will power, strength, laziness, or cheating; this puts entirely too much power in weight being a choice or a product of not trying hard enough to be what everyone wants you to be. I read a great quote from an article in that said, “Nutrition and fitness should be directed towards a healthy and improved lifestyle- NOT appearance (that is just a benefit).” This is SO true! I found when I didn’t make weight loss the ultimate end goal, but instead viewed food as either nourishing or potentially toxic, weight loss was a welcomed side effect.

I want to be clear here in that clean eating is not a diet, it is a lifestyle choice that should be forever.  It is making the conscious decision to be happier and healthier, not only for you but for your family.  Clean eating is all about being aware of the pathway your food had to go through from growth to your plate. It is focusing on consuming whole or real food and reducing or eliminating processed, refined, or handled food from your diet. It’s also about healthy digestion and enjoying your food over a relaxing, soothing meal. The parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” system, CANNOT be properly facilitated to digest food properly if you’re eating hurriedly or eating in a stressful environment or over distressing conversation. Focus on making meals pleasant and enjoyable, with gratitude and a focus on all the abundance in your life.  And as for the seasonal cleanse programs I run, these are not diets – these programs are intended to reset and support the body in transitioning season to season (especially spring to summer, and summer to fall) looking to foods Mother Nature provides throughout the year. I believe in eating in accordance with the seasons…foods harvested various times of year actually have an intended purpose to support specific organs. Isn’t it amazing how Mother Nature figured all of this out for us? All we need to do is respond in-kind, and listen to wisdom.


Focusing on raw, organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and good fats, the benefits go far beyond just weight loss.  You gain more energy, improved body system functioning, better skin, and hair… the list goes on!  A few general tips to remember when eating clean include:

  • Limit processed foods (if it’s advertised on television, it’s probably processed, devitalized, empty calories)
  • Increase fruit and veggie intake (raw and organic are the best options, try to choose fruits & vegetables that begin with #9 on the label)
  • Cut down saturated fat (do consume unrefined, virgin coconut oil)
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Remove sugars or artificial sweeteners (toxic and addictive)
  • Eat lean meats (grass-fed and organic)
  • Cut out refined grains (they are inflammatory & spike blood sugar)
  • Hydrate – not with sugary sports drinks but with water. If you don’t like water try adding lemon or raspberries for a hint of flavor.

Now food is only one part of the weight loss equation. To lose weight and reach optimal health and wellness, you should exercise regularly, practice stress management, eliminate negative thinking habits, get appropriate amounts of quality sleep, hydrate, and focus on your daily nutrients. Clean eating will help you and your family feel better, long-term. And when you feel better, it not only shows, it’s contagious!