The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to eat clean!

*hem hem*

Fuck clean foods!!!!!

This idea of good foods and bad foods is maddening, especially when it has little to no affect on your BODY COMPOSITION (notice how I didn't say health?) as long as your macro nutrients are balanced out, you will continue to get results. 

I need a minute.

Alright, I've cooled off. Now, let me explain...

Firstly, this stems from people asking me to help with diet. I'll ask them what foods they generally like to eat so I can help with a calorie plan based around their favorite food choices. Almost always the response is "I eat pretty clean."


Just so you know, You guys never have to prove anything to me. I don't eat clean. I eat cheeseburgers every other day. I eat Oreos every day. Waffles and peanut butter are my true loves. I don't really consider any foods to be "bad" for you, but I know that there are some foods that will be difficult to balance out the rest of your daily diet with and aren't (in my opinion) tasty or filling enough to take a whole days worth of calories in the form of fats and carbs (again, neither of which are bad or bad for you.)

My question for you is, what does clean eating mean?

"I don't eat processed food."

You eat processed food...Alright, some of you may not, but you're more than likely eating something that has been processed if you're the average "health conscious person."

This is taken from the website:

What Is Processed Food?

"We have to determine what processed really means when we're talking about processed food," says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD. She says, for example, that she considers white bread refined since most of the healthy fiber has been removed during the processing. "It's also processed, but keep in mind, that as a cook you're doing processing yourself. Have you ever heard of something called a food processor? I think we get really caught up in the word processed without realizing what it truly means."
Processed food falls on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:
  • Minimally processed foods — like bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.
  • Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
  • Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
  • Ready-to-eat foods, like crackers, granola, and deli meat, are more heavily processed.
  • The most heavily processed foods often are frozen or pre-made meals like frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.

The Positives of Processed

Processed food can be beneficial to your diet.
  • Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available.
  • Some minimally processed food like pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people. "Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables," says Giancoli. "They're more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you're not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you're going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice."
"You have to look at the big picture," says Giancoli. "Be a detective — read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel. Food is complex and we need to get to know it."

 Unless you live on a farm, raise your own cattle, grow your own feed, and foster your own crops, your food has more than likely been processed in some fashion by humans. I'd say it's unavoidable, but I don't really know, I've never tried it, nor do I think I have the resources to commit to it fully. In our current society it is beyond inconvenient to eat "Clean" all the time. It's expensive and the food is not readily available.

My favorite behavioral study.

Regardless if you were capable of eating "clean" all of the time, that doesn't make you immune to gaining weight and it doesn't give you the physique that you desire. What it can give you is better health, a longer life, and an inflated sense of superiority, but a six pack that does not make.

The Theory of Health Relativity

The reason there are so many diets out there and all of them have shown stories of success and failure is because WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS. Our genetic make up is very similar, but people respond differently to certain stimuli. If my friend Rachael ate even a third of the dairy I consume daily, she would die. That is a fact (she is allergic to dairy.) Food and nutrition is not universal. There are people who eat "clean" every day their whole lives that die of massive coronary's at 43 and there is that one grandpa who eats bacon, eggs, and a stack of flap jacks every morning with maple syrup who lives to be 103 maintaining his cognitive capabilities until his last breath.

The key to being healthy is finding what works for your body by process and elimination. You'll know fairly quickly if you are severely allergic to something, and you'll know after a while if you are even mildly intolerant. The minute you stop consuming the product your skin will clear up, your energy will increase, and you won't have stomach issues. 


I discussed extensively in my blog post "IIFYM: How to have your cake and eat it too" about how you can eat some of your favorite foods and still lose or maintain your weight. However, people take this system way too far. People take it as "I can eat whatever the fuck I want." Well, yes, yes you can, but you'll pay for it in one way or another. Either your body will be robbed of nutrition because you've been eating gobstoppers as your primary carb source rather than fruit, or you'll be starving because you've had nothing but calorie dense sugar rushes for 10 days while ignoring things that will fill your body with sustenance and nutrition.

However, the opposite end of the spectrum is just as ridiculous. Demonizing and restricting every piece of food that has too much fat, or too many carbs or even went through some form of processing is keeping you from living a balanced life. You'll be alienating yourself during social gatherings, and you'll be developing a very unhealthy relationship with food and the people that don't meet your standards for clean eating.

So damn smug...

Even Oreos are made up of carbs, fats, and proteins. It doesn't take a genius to understand that your diet is going to be out of balance if you eat a whole package of them, but eating a handful of them a day could actually be working towards your physique goals while giving you that sugar craving you desire.

Bull shit

My Suggestion:

Eat for your goals:

If you want to be Ripped, Lean, Cut, Shredded, whatever, find out your macro nutrient needs by either consulting a body building coach, a nutritionist with this specialty, or experiment with it yourself with this online calculator. Then eat below maintenance, increase cardio and slowly decrease your carb intake as you continue to kill it in the gym.

If you want to be big, muscly and strong, and don't mind gaining fat along the way: JUST EAT. Eat lots of protein, eat plenty of carbs, and dietary fats. Load up on fruits and veggies, take naps often, and work your ass off in the gym.

If you want to build muscle while maintaining your current body fat percentage, either eat at your maintenance calorie level and work your butt off in the gym, or eat in a slight surplus, (again, finding your macro nutrient needs on this calculator) and work your butt off in the gym.

If you want to eat healthy: Start growing your own vegetables and fruits in your garden. Develop a great relationship with a person who raises live stock, or get your own farm, save up your money for the local markets but do as much research as possible before you buy anything, god forbid you accidentally ingest something that might have trace amounts of toxins in it (I'm being obnoxious, I know.)

Eating because of Beliefs

I respect people who choose to eat Vegan, vegetarian or really any type of diet based upon their beliefs. I fully sympathize with people who feel strongly enough about certain views that they take every day action to better their cause. I won't give you money or an award, but I admire your dedication.


You can get off of your high horse and stop acting like you're better than everyone else because of your diet. That's not for all people who practice these diets, and its not just for people who practice meatless diets. The same people who are constantly bragging about how paleo or keto and how other people would get better results if they just did what they did, they can step off of that ladder as well. I know when you're sticking to your diet because you post a picture to instagram (Follow me @TheOperaBro) every time you do. Let's not mention that taco I saw you shuttle down your throat the other day.

You can get results and be healthy with lots of different diets, its all about finding the foods you like, believe in and can sustain.

The Point of this post is:

 "Eat what you want to eat, but understand that eating in a specific manner will get you specific results." 

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