Many people believe that when they start The Eat Clean™ Diet, it’s all about counting calories, fasting, and cutting things out of their diet—but that’s simply not the case! There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about what’s considered clean eating and what you’re “allowed” to eat or not eat.
I’ve spent decades studying, researching, and learning firsthand what true clean eating entails and how to turn it into a healthy lifestyle that empowers your mind, body, and spirit. If you truly learn how to Eat Clean™ the right way, it can not only help you lose weight—there are also other health benefits like strengthening your immune system, gaining more energy, and so much more.
As an effort to encourage you on your Eat Clean™ journey, I’m going to bust 10 myths about clean eating and tell you what it really means to Eat Clean™. Let’s get started!
Myth #1: Clean Eating is Expensive
When most people think of clean or healthy eating, they automatically assume that healthier food costs more. While that may be true in some regard, if you plan ahead and budget for your clean eating meals then you could actually save money in the long run.
Think of it this way, the less ingredients, sweeteners, and additives you put in your food, the less it’s going to cost. When you’re building your grocery list, focus on whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and build your lean proteins around it.
When you’re Eating Clean™, it will not only help you lose weight, but you’ll enjoy long-term benefits like increased energy, healthier skin, eyes, and teeth and an overall improved state of well-being. That’s a win all around!
Myth #2: Clean Eating is Time-Consuming
Another misconception is that clean eating takes too much time, but if you plan and prepare your meals ahead of time then you’re actually saving valuable time during your busy week. I love having a meal prep day (mine’s Sunday!) so that I can focus time and energy to plan out my meals and start my week off on a high note.
Some of my go-to plans for meal prepping include making a batch of overnight oats for breakfast, baking seasonal vegetables in the oven, and preparing soups for the slow cooker—which are totally easy and effortless. Always plan on making enough food for leftovers and have enough of a variety that you won’t get tired of having it a second (or third) time.
You may have also heard that clean eating requires major cooking skills, but it’s simply not the case. I have a number of quick and easy clean eating recipes, like my Cottage Cheese Pancakes (yum!) and Caprese Quinoa Salad. One of my favorite Eat Clean™ recipes is my comforting Cauliflower and Mushroom soup. Most of the ingredients should already be in your refrigerator or pantry and it’s on the table in 30 minutes!
Myth #3: Clean Eating Is Boring & Tasteless
This is another myth that is completely untrue, as long as you do your research. There are so many delicious, savory, sweet, etc. clean eating recipes to choose from.
When building your clean eating menu, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are staples—but that doesn’t mean they have to lack flavor. A number of natural herbs and spices are totally clean-friendly and can enhance everything from chicken and fish to carrots and sweet potatoes. You may have to experiment to find the right ones to match your taste buds.
Here’s another easy, clean lunch recipe that boasts tons of flavor from a mix of fresh vegetables and a can of low-sodium tuna—meaning no cooking required!
Myth #4: Clean Eating Means Never Eating Out Again
It’s hard to imagine a diet where eating out is still on the table, but with clean eating it is! Just like everything else in the Eat Clean™ diet, you just have to learn what to trim and what to add to your meal to make it Eat-Clean™-friendly.
The best part about clean eating is that you can choose how you want to modify your meal to make it clean.
Many sit-down restaurants offer lighter fare options where you can literally eat clean straight from the menu—like a grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and a baked potato (just skip the loaded version). So no matter where you and your girls go for your next night out, check the menu for lean protein options, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats where possible.
Myth #5: Clean Eating Requires Perfection
Is there anyone in this world that is perfect? Absolutely not. Are you sometimes going to have a bad meal or bend the rules? Absolutely yes. If you do have an unhealthy meal, then just get back at it for the next one. No matter what, don’t get too hard on yourself and don’t punish yourself for a bad choice here or there.
Clean eating isn’t an all-or-nothing lifestyle—meaning once you’ve fallen then you can’t get back up. Focus on obtaining a healthy balance between eating in moderation and finding opportunities for a treat meal every once in a while. It’s also good practice to stick with multiple smaller meals per day, as an effort to curb hunger and stay full. The fuller you feel, the less you’ll be tempted to snack.
Myth #6: Clean Eating is Just Another Fad Diet
The Eat Clean™ diet isn’t going away—at least not while I’m around! I’ve been working on my personal Eat Clean™ journey for years, and it not only works for my own well-being but it’s been proven to work for so many others.
When you consider the overall concept of clean eating, it simply comes down to this: try to consume a variety of unprocessed foods like lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats on a daily basis. Clean eating is much more than just a diet you try for a few days to lose weight and move on. As mentioned before, the benefits go beyond physical health and also help create a more mindful way of living through your mind, body, and soul. It’s a total, and sustainable, lifestyle change that has long-term effects that outlast any short-term diet.
Myth #7: Clean Eating Doesn’t Include Carbs
One of the pillars of clean eating is focusing on complex carbs—so this myth is completely untrue. Imagine a diet without vegetables, brown rice, beans, and whole grains! In order to achieve a balanced diet, you have to incorporate complex carbs.
The benefit of complex carbs, compared to simple carbs (like fruits and dairy), is that they contain more nutrients, are high in fiber, and digest more slowly. This makes them more filling and is a great option if you’re looking to lose or maintain weight.
Myth #8: Clean Eating is Only for Weight Loss
This next myth ties directly into one of the points I was making above—that clean eating is for people who want to lose weight. That is definitely a true statement, and the Eat Clean™ diet can help with weight loss, but it’s beyond that. It’s also about the holistic benefits like a stronger immune system, more energy, a better, healthier mindset, and an overall mood boost.
Myth #9: Clean Eating Requires You to Give Up Your Favorite Foods
If I had to give up all of my favorite foods for the Eat Clean™ diet then I don’t know how long I would last! Clean eating is all about finding the perfect balance between making better choices and altering your favorite foods to fit within the Eat Clean™ diet.
Yes, it takes a bit of creativity sometimes, but that’s part of the fun—finding out how you can modify your recipes or what ingredients can be swapped to create a healthier version. You’d be surprised how swapping out flour for whole wheat flour doesn’t make much of a difference in taste, but it sure packs a punch of nutrients. You can also figure out ways to eliminate added sugars and sweeteners but still have a treat that’s good for your body and soul.
Myth #10: Clean Eating Is Hard to Stick To
I won’t lie and say that clean eating isn’t hard—it’s definitely hard at first. But once you get a groove going and really commit to figuring out what’s working for your body, then sticking to it is a no-brainer. Once you start to feel the benefits, some of which appear almost immediately, it’s hard to go back!
Choose a meal prep day and make it a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Try some of your favorite recipes with a few different ingredients to make it clean-friendly. Go to your favorite sit-down restaurant and try to find the menu item with the cleanest ingredients.
As you continue your Eat Clean™ journey, or if you’re just getting started, continue to do your research and search for the facts.
Remember, the Eat Clean™ revolution is more about considering what you’re putting into your body versus what you’re removing from your diet. It’s not about forcing yourself to eat less or having bland meals that will break the bank. Emphasize unprocessed foods, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
With the Eat Clean™ diet, you’ll reap physical, mental, and emotional benefits like more energy, a stronger immune system, and a renewed state of wellbeing. If you’re looking for inspiration and encouragement along the way, with a healthy dose of expertise, check out my exclusive membership program full of monthly tools and resources.
Have you started your clean eating journey? Share your experiences or struggles in the COMMENTS section below. We’re all in this together!
With great love and wishes for wellness,