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    Junior Member luvdemtigers's Avatar
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    Eating Clean - Anyone?

    Anyone else here tried to just eat clean to lose weight along with cycling? Ive been doing some reading on it wonder about normal people, like you guys, and if you have done it and if it works for you. Im reading a lot about it with bodybuilders. Anyone eat clean?

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    Bicycle Commuter Bluish Green's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard of "Eating Clean", so I found an article on it and read up on it:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2049770_eat-clean.html

    I am probably doing 90% of the Eating Clean approach without having ever heard of it, based on my Doctor's advice and what I have found to work for me. I cut out all processed snack foods and all sweets and eat a lot of homemade granola that uses real 100% maple syrup and honey instead of refined sugars. Plus the same approach on lean meats only and nuts like almonds. My biggest departure is probably that I still drink diet sodas and don't do 6 small meals a day.

    So no, I haven't specifically tried that approach, but it is not far off from what I am doing, and I have lost and kept off 60 pounds through the eating changes and bicycle commuting. The Eating Clean approach looks like a reasonable program that would be relatively easy to stick with. The recommendations on almonds, etc., line up with what my Doc told me, too. If you see a regular Doc, perhaps you could ask. Let us know if you do try it and have success.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvdemtigers View Post
    Anyone else here tried to just eat clean to lose weight along with cycling? Ive been doing some reading on it wonder about normal people, like you guys, and if you have done it and if it works for you. Im reading a lot about it with bodybuilders. Anyone eat clean?
    'Tis another silly diet. I love this chestnut: "It is eating the way nature intended. You eat the foods our bodies evolved to function best on..." especially when looking at some of the information on the diet. Let's start with the "foods our bodies evolved" with. Hominids evolved in Africa about 14 million years ago and moved out of the continent about 1.3 million years ago. That's a pretty short window in terms of evolution. If we were eating the "foods our bodies evolved" with, we'd be eating a diet that is very different from anything that we eat now. Cereal grains like rice, wheat, oats, and barley are all domesticated around 10,000 years ago which is a blink of the eye in terms of "foods our bodies evolved" with. Cattle were domesticated even later as were many of the food animals we use.

    Potatoes, corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, etc. are all New World plants which means that humans of European ancestry have been exposed to the for only the last 500 years. These are all considered to be good "clean" foods which are supposed to be "foods our bodies evolved" with. But if we old world hominids weren't exposed to prior to 500 years ago, they should be bad for us using the clean food ideas.

    Sugar, on the other hand, has been around in crystalized form since around 400 AD and in syrup form for much longer. Honey, having exactly the same composition as high fructose corn syrup, has been around for far longer. It's actually something that you could say we evolved with.

    The ideas behind the "Eat Clean" diet that I found aren't bad but they aren't all that special either. Nor should we get all nostalgic about the clean eating of our ancestors. Our recent ones didn't eat all that cleanly. If you read Civil War accounts...I suggest Hard Tack and Coffee by John D. Billings...you'll find that they ate some pretty ghastly things compared to even our highly processed foods of today. Salt pork is about as yummy as it sounds. And any kind of fresh produce was unheard of. Even canned stuff was rare.

    Eat a wide variety of foods in moderation. Forget the "foods our bodies evolved with" idea because that horse has left the barn long ago. We have access to foods that are of better quality and better nutrition than any of our ancestors have been able to eat since we diverged from gibbons 14 million years ago. Take advantage of that but, again, in moderation.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 07-21-13 at 11:22 PM.
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    I don't know what ''eating clean'' means to you guys, but to me it means not eating junk.

    Im working in the right direction, but am not perfect. Come august 1st im going to cold turkey all soda.
    I eat whole wheat bread, the occasional chicken salad, turkey sandwhich.

    I still have a lot of work to do, eating is the hardest thing to fix

    I don't know about you guys, but i've developed a night eating habit. It is 100% psychological, as I find myself wanting to eat around bedtime.

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    Junior Member luvdemtigers's Avatar
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    Well, Im not looking into the way we evolved so much as knowing that what I am eating now is not. Processed foods, canned foods, man made foods, foods with lots of unnatural chemicals. Ive never been one to look at what I eat as chemicals, but the more I research, the more I believe that it IS full of crap. It cant HUrT me to eat fresh, raw, vegetables and non processed foods. I COULD stand to cut out a lot of the red meats that I eat and I COULD try to eat more baked chicken and fish and nuts and seeds. Maybe that is what I need to get ut if this funky body that im in.

    I do see where you are coming from though, cyccommute.

    And Bluish Green, I have done the 6 meals a day thing before, but never with fresh fruits, etc.

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    Junior Member luvdemtigers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackvans1234 View Post
    eating is the hardest thing to fix
    You said a mouthful there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by luvdemtigers View Post
    Well, Im not looking into the way we evolved so much as knowing that what I am eating now is not. Processed foods, canned foods, man made foods, foods with lots of unnatural chemicals. Ive never been one to look at what I eat as chemicals, but the more I research, the more I believe that it IS full of crap. It cant HUrT me to eat fresh, raw, vegetables and non processed foods.

    I do see where you are coming from though, cyccommute.

    And Bluish Green, I have done the 6 meals a day thing before, but never with fresh fruits, etc.
    See im super paranoid because of pesticides and all that they use on common fruits (apples for example).

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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Not a silly diet, as much as a traditional diet that we evolved to thrive on. I try to eat "clean" but it isn't easy given the modern food supply, and I doubt I would be that fanatic about it. I probably will not give up Clif bars on rides, though they are semi-clean.
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    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    The biggest reason I ever went over 200lbs was the excessive amount of soda I drank, I probably drank a minimum of 3 cans per day. I stopped drinking soda excessively, dropped 25+ pounds with some help from the bike. Unfortunately I still have my junk food habit so the weight doesn't quite feel lost, but I'm working on that. I've begun to enjoy fresh grown veggies and fresh fruit more now, and it actually doesn't cost much more than the processed foods than I once thought. I'm actually riding my bike more AND as a added benefit I'm starting to feel much healthier.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    'Tis another silly diet. I love this chestnut: "It is eating the way nature intended. You eat the foods our bodies evolved to function best on..." especially when looking at some of the information on the diet. Let's start with the "foods our bodies evolved" with. Hominids evolved in Africa about 14 million years ago and moved out of the continent about 1.3 million years ago. That's a pretty short window in terms of evolution. If we were eating the "foods our bodies evolved" with, we'd be eating a diet that is very different from anything that we eat now. Cereal grains like rice, wheat, oats, and barley are all domesticated around 10,000 years ago which is a blink of the eye in terms of "foods our bodies evolved" with. Cattle were domesticated even later as were many of the food animals we use.

    Potatoes, corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, etc. are all New World plants which means that humans of European ancestry have been exposed to the for only the last 500 years. These are all considered to be good "clean" foods which are supposed to be "foods our bodies evolved" with. But if we old world hominids weren't exposed to prior to 500 years ago, they should be bad for us using the clean food ideas.

    Sugar, on the other hand, has been around in crystalized form since around 400 AD and in syrup form for much longer. Honey, having exactly the same composition as high fructose corn syrup, has been around for far longer. It's actually something that you could say we evolved with.

    The ideas behind the "Eat Clean" diet that I found aren't bad but they aren't all that special either. Nor should we get all nostalgic about the clean eating of our ancestors. Our recent ones didn't eat all that cleanly. If you read Civil War accounts...I suggest Hard Tack and Coffee by John D. Billings...you'll find that they ate some pretty ghastly things compared to even our highly processed foods of today. Salt pork is about as yummy as it sounds. And any kind of fresh produce was unheard of. Even canned stuff was rare.

    Eat a wide variety of foods in moderation. Forget the "foods our bodies evolved with" idea because that horse has left the barn long ago. We have access to foods that are of better quality and better nutrition than any of our ancestors have been able to eat since we diverged from gibbons 14 million years ago. Take advantage of that but, again, in moderation.
    Well said.

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    You pretty much have to be a hunter gather to like like ancient man. Not to many people are willing to do this. There is a lady that I know that is doing the paleo diet. I asked her if she wanted some wild polk salad and she looked at me like I was crazy.

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    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    IMO paleo is a fad.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    What is problematic about these diets built on a theme is that often some parts of the theme make sense and others do not. The theme itself carries what doesn't make sense as baggage.

    Paleo, primal, and "clean" diets have implications built in their names. When you argue to a proponent that they in fact do not eat at all like their paleolithic ancestors they say that they don't need to, paleo means something else. And the goal posts move. However, there are some themes you can pin down, like paleo usually involves no processed food like sugars and no dairy, no grains, and no legumes. Because the underlying theory is global there is little case by case analysis. For example, there are people who cannot tolerate gluten for one reason or another. Celiac disease is the most serious. Allergies also can occur. So fine, those people should not eat gluten products and they will feel better and be healthier if they do not. But if you are not intolerant show me the evidence that grains are bad as an entire category of food. An unsupported theory about ancestors isn't going to cut it, especially as use of grain actually does predate paleolithic man. There also isn't good evidence that milk products are bad unless you are lactose intolerant. Yes, many of us actually evolved in modern times to digest milk. We are not biologically equivalent to paleolithic man. And the bacteria that inhabit our gut is not the same bacteria that inhabited the our guts 10,000 years ago.

    If anything, man has evolved to be flexible eaters. Look at the huge geographical differences in how people have historically eaten.

    Of course there are aspects that make sense. But what makes sense should be evidence based, rather than based on a questionable theory. Yes, excess sugar is bad. Yes, gluten and milk products are bad for some people. Yes, calorie density is important, fruits and vegetables are filling without a big calorie penalty and have valuable nutrients. Yes, the ways some food are processed in order to preserve them are shown to be problematic. But that would mean use of yogurt for breakfast for the non-lactose intolerant would trump use of bacon.

    It still is hard to beat Michael Pollan's advice:
    “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

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    I agree with a lot of what you said, but not this:
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccomute
    Hominids evolved in Africa about 14 million years ago and moved out of the continent about 1.3 million years ago. That's a pretty short window in terms of evolution.
    Evolution is capable of moving much more quickly than that. One reason a lot of these "evolution"-based diets are kind of bunk was said well by goldfinch - we've evolved to be flexible eaters. Another good reason is that, more than ever, we've become globally homogenized. Lots of happy (sadly, some not so happy) interbreeding among different populations worldwide means that you don't know which tendencies you might inherit from any one of your ancestors - curly hair, baldness, lactose tolerance (intolerance after infancy was the historical "norm" until pastoral cultures developed)? My mother has been pushing the Blood Type diet on me, and it makes some similar claims. Interesting reading, but I take it with a grain of salt, and try to eat what keeps my body and mind healthy.

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    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackvans1234 View Post
    I don't know about you guys, but i've developed a night eating habit. It is 100% psychological, as I find myself wanting to eat around bedtime.
    Right after dinner BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND FLOSS. If you get a craving, brush your teeth again and floss... after all that work, eating is the last thing you want to do. It's work for me and my teeth are getting great check-ups!
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    I dunno bout clean, but I'm tracking calories. Around 1500 a day in is my weekday standard. Then try to keep it under 2500 on the weekends. Then ride the bike 6 days a week and racquetball twice a week to burn 'em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster View Post
    I agree with a lot of what you said, but not this:

    Evolution is capable of moving much more quickly than that. One reason a lot of these "evolution"-based diets are kind of bunk was said well by goldfinch - we've evolved to be flexible eaters. Another good reason is that, more than ever, we've become globally homogenized. Lots of happy (sadly, some not so happy) interbreeding among different populations worldwide means that you don't know which tendencies you might inherit from any one of your ancestors - curly hair, baldness, lactose tolerance (intolerance after infancy was the historical "norm" until pastoral cultures developed)? My mother has been pushing the Blood Type diet on me, and it makes some similar claims. Interesting reading, but I take it with a grain of salt, and try to eat what keeps my body and mind healthy.

    I agree with all that. There are parts of many of these theme diets that make sense. Without going into the validity of the "theme" (Cavemen almost certainly lived on much more forage, fish, wild poultry, eggs etc, than red meat. Red meat can kill you, in their case immediately, in ours it's more of a long term thing.) But most of them mandate an end to processed sugars, any food that comes in through your car window, bread and pasta. Which, might not be so bad, if they weren't made with white flour, but they are also often part of a high sodium processed or fast food meal, they are also really easy to eat.

    But the whole part about "Lose the junk food, no processed sugar" eat less, eat foods which have some nutritional value. Get your fiber.

    That works.

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    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    We are not eating clean but healthy'r.
    A lot of the foods and recipe we are using are based on the "super foods".
    Veggies and lean protein. Last week I made a couple of cold soups and salads, beet and red pepper soup, orange and olive salad, just to name a couple. A piece of meat in the side.

    Insert exercise and drop the coke's and sweets add plenty of water. Weight loss is inevitable. For me its slow but it is happening.

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    I've developed bad food allergies within the last year, so I've been making things like jam and salad dressings from scratch. I've always baked bread and made things like spaghetti sauce rather than buying the premade ones. It's possible to get just as fat eating good homemade cooking as it is eating the premade stuff. Having to cook everything and having a pantry full of ingredients rather than things to munch instantly might discourage snacking, or it might make you more likely to go out to dinner on days when you're too tired for lots of cooking.

    For those trying to quit drinking soda, if you miss the bubbly feel, try drinking club soda now and then. It has no calories and you can still get the bubbly feel. It's nice with a little lime or lemon squeezed into it.

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    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Back when I was spending a lot of time in the gym with aspiring bodybuilders the term eating clean meant staying away from processed fatty foods. I don't know if somebody has tried to codify that into another "diet scheme," but most of the professional bodybuilders and fitness models I have run across maintained a high protein diet choosing the least processed foods. They stayed away from white flour and sugar in particular, but when shopping used a couple simple rules, "fresh is better than frozen, frozen better than canned," etc. It's tough to stay clean but there are some simple decisions to make.

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    ^Important to note that, depending on your biking regimen, a high-protein low-carb diet might be inappropriate. I do better with a bit of carb-loading if I'm going out for any more than 30 miles at a time. Not to say it has to be white bread and pastries.

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    Senior Member McCallum's Avatar
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    "Clean eating" is practiced by bodybuilders and health-conscious people alike. Clean foods are natural, free of added sugars, hydrogenated fats, trans-fats and anything else that is unnatural and unnecessary. Many people use this diet as a way to lose weight. Used as a way of life, clean eating can make you feel healthy and full of energy. Follow these simple steps to start eating clean.
    If this is the definition of clean eating to which you adhere; then; yes as much as possible. I am beginning to think that the more refined a food is the more it is not good for me. I have not cut all refined/man-made food out of my diet. I still use artificial sweeteners for coffee; eat things like hamburger/chicken/tuna helper; soups but we eat a lot of fruits and vegies along with that and for the most part eat only one serving of the helper any given me (instead of splitting three ways like we could). I am drying fruit for a "candy" treat (sweet taste). We are looking at more whole grains. So the answer is yes and no!

  23. #23
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Diet, in terms of what you eat and how it affects you, is not a one size fits all. One of the more interesting examples of this I have seen (and post once in a while) is from Outside magazine, where a writer trys the then trendy: Abs Diet, the Paleo Diet for Athletes, the Mediterranean Prescription, the Okinawa Program, the advice of a personal nutritionist, and the USDA's nutritional pyramid.

    The writer had to stop the Okinawa diet as it drove his cholesterol dangerously high, but many people have no problems with the same diet

    http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...-vs--Food.html

    As to Paleo, clean and primal here is an interesting counterpoint
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...rer-really-eat

    all in all eating fresher, less processed, more homemade where you know exactly what the ingredients are is not a bad idea.
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  24. #24
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    The worst thing about Paleo is the name. It gets a bad rap because people focus on describing it based on what Paleo man ate. No one knows exactly what Paleo man ate and the diet isn't meant to be interpreted literally.

    The basic tenants are: center your meals on lean meats and fish. And eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you want. Things to avoid are grains, sugars, dairy and all the processed garbage that makes up the majority of the "modern" diet.

    I agree with squirtdad in that there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to any dietary plan. The "Paleo for Athletes" book by Loren Cordain, PhD, is targeted toward endurance athletes. Even then, individual results will vary.

    But whatever name you want to call it, the Paleo plan is pretty much just common sense clean eating. I found a great Paleo cookbook filled with tons of delicious recipes. If you're interested, check it out at http://getleandiet.net
    Kyle in SD
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Wiggles_dad's Avatar
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    I am a cyclist, a runner, and a health enthusiast. However, I am also a former bodybuilder and "meat head." This thread caught my attention because the lingo "eating clean" provoked nostalgia to my former days when I gave little though to actual health and was a self absorbed narcissist that cared about getting "huge" and "ripped." The fact that I had 4% body fat and was strong and muscular gave me the false pretense that I was a certified health expert and I could tell everyone how to eat and how to work out. I'm sorry for digressing but take it from me, I used to preach this doctrine and it is all wrong!

    Yes, if "eating clean" is not eating junk, then it is good for you. But please do yourself a favor, pay little attention and give little credibility to advice from bodybuilders and bodybuilder culture. The culture is loaded with fads, lore, and pseudo Science. While some of the advice given may be healthy, the dogma of small, high protein, low glycemic, meals throughout the day is not grounded on hard Science. Rather, it is the result of a distortion of facts (some of which sound reasonable), anecdotal folk-lore, and toxic marketing and advertising.

    Nobody argues that eating a diverse source of whole, unprocessed foods in moderate quantities is the right thing to do. I just offer caution when following diets with dogmatic rules and advice from people that are validated by superficial measures. Eat healthy and stay active.

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