What does "eating clean" mean exactly?

I always see people talking about "eating clean" and I wonder what exactly they mean.

Can you give me examples of eating clean?

Is the purpose of eating clean to lose weight? Or is a lifestyle? Or is it only before athletic events, cause I've heard it mostly among female body builders and athletes...


Most Helpful Guy

  • This pretty much means eating non-processed food. So no soda, no "pseudo-juice" like SunnyD, no candy bars besides straight-up squares of dark chocolate, no pre-packaged meals, no "snack foods", no "diet-food"...pretty much avoiding anything that comes in a box.

    You're gonna be shopping on the outside of the grocery store for most of your stuff/

    So pretty much if you're eating clean you're gonna be eating mainly fresh produce (canned is OK on occasion depending on what canned foods you're gonna be eating), fresh cuts of meat (aka, not things like hot dogs or sausages), dried grains that you gotta cook yourself (like rice and pasta)...and the most "processed" thing you're gonna be eating is dairy products.

    • In the plan I mostly use, she allows for frozen produce in place of fresh. But otherwise, you're exactly right.

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 4

  • Ow, that is a highly debatable topic whose definition varies from person to person. The gist is you avoid processed foods, you eat fresh meats and produce, lean meats or fat-trimmed beef, and whole grains. Avoid all junk foods. In addition, when you cook, you use only the healthy oils (think extra virgin olive oil) in light quantities, or you bake the foods.

    This one I (mostly) stick with:


    Should mention, her late husband published a magazine, which contained the deep-level explanations of human physiology and metabolism, which I applied and lost around 90lbs of fat, put on around 15lbs of muscle (estimated by body fat percentage) in little over four months, and I used her plan to eat.

  • No processed foods, lots of healthy food. So the volume of food is sometimes pretty high, but all of it is stuff that's in your diet for nutrition reasons, rather then 'its crap but tastes good'.

    • It may be to lose weight while maintaining lean mass, or it may be to add muscle mass while not adding a lot of fat.

      Models tend to just try to not eat, but doing so leaves them weak and slow.

      Atheletes and body builders want to be lean and explosive.

      So they need to treat food as fuel and aim for good quality food in the correct amounts.

    • Show All
    • Its more an aspirational statement I'd guess. They might try to 'mainly' eat clean and eat clean 100% leading up to an event or whatever. Depends on the person. If they want to walk around with awesome abs all the time, they're likely going to have to eat very clean all the time. A lot of fighters for instance don't eat super clean between fights, but eat very clean in training camp and drop 5-10 lbs of fat during those weeks (plus another 10-20 of water weight right before)

    • If it helps, another way of thinkinng of it, is imagine food had no flavor, and we ate only based on nutritional goals.

      If what you eat matches up with that, you're eating clean ;)

      I would say atheletes/bodybuilders would use the phrase 'cut' to refer to losing weight 'clean' more often to maintaining or body recomping, 'bulk' to eating everything in sight adding mass, 'clean bulk' to eating slightly over maintenance while adding muscle with minimal fat.

  • 0|0
  • @Update: The purpose of eating clean is to give your body good and useful nutrients.


What Girls Said 1

  • I don't think I've ever heard that phrase.

    • I;ve heard of this phrase before...it pretty much means eating non-processed food