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Will Clean Eating Help You Lose Weight Or Build Muscle?

Would you like to know if clean eating will help you lose weight or build muscle? Do you think eating nutritious foods can help you get the body of your dreams?

This post will help you know what is clean eating and all you need to know about how it affects you when it comes to losing weight or building muscle.

What is clean eating?

Clean eating basically means that you need to eat whole foods that are minimally processed or refined so that they are as close to their natural form as possible.

So one needs to avoid processed foods that have additives like sugar, salt, fat added to them to make them taste better. Also, foods that have preservatives added in them so that they have a longer shelf life.

Instead, one needs to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

What are the benefits of clean eating?

Since whole foods contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that are required for the proper functioning of the body, clean eating can provide the following benefits:

Clean eating can give you more energy

Whole foods provide the body with essential vitamins like vitamin B and nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, etc.

These vitamins and minerals are essential to provide proper functioning of your cells.

Whole foods will also help you regulate your blood sugar levels and help you avoid fatigue that eating foods high in sugar and refined carbs can cause.

Having a breakfast that is high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients will help keep you energetic up to lunch time or even longer.

Clean eating improves your cardiovascular health

A diet that includes clean foods like fruits and vegetables will help you lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as stroke and high blood pressure.

Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C will help strengthen your blood vessels.

Eating healthy fats from nuts, seeds, fish, etc. will help lower harmful cholesterol in your body and lower your risk of heart diseases even further.

Clean eating helps prevent cancer

Studies have found that eating highly processed foods, processed or fried meats increase the risk of getting cancer.

On the other hand, it has also been found that eating fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants lower the risk of cancer.

Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and tomatoes are found to be especially beneficial for lowering the risk of cancer.

Clean eating helps your mental health

Clean foods that are high in vitamins and minerals help release dopamine that helps you feel good.

Foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help lower stress and even fight depression.

Does clean eating help you lose weight or build muscle?

We have already seen the benefits that eating clean foods can provide to your body because of the vitamins and minerals that they supply.

However, when it comes to losing weight or building muscle, there is not much that clean eating will guarantee.

You could eat most of your foods from clean sources but still end up looking weak and skinny fat.

This is because when it comes to losing fat and building muscle, how much you eat plays a far more important role than what you eat.

To understand the science behind losing weight, you need to understand about energy balance.

Basically, your body needs to get a certain amount of energy (measured in calories) to be able to perform its daily functions and physical activities. This is known as the total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

If you consume the same amount of calories as your body burns, then you are in a neutral energy balance and your body will neither lose nor gain weight.

If you consume fewer calories than what your body burns, you will be in a negative energy balance or a calorie deficit. Since your body is not getting sufficient calories from food, it will tap into your body fat to get the additional calories that it requires. This is how you will lose weight.

If you consume more calories than what your body burns, you will be in a positive energy balance or a calorie surplus. Since you are providing excess calories to your body, the body will start storing this in the form of fat and muscle if you are working out. This is how you will gain weight.

Click here to know more about how to gain weight, lose weight, or just maintain weight.

Also, check out how you can create your own weight loss meal plan.

What can you do to lose weight?

As we have already seen, the only way your body will lose weight is if you put it in a calorie deficit where your body burns more calories than what you consume.

It does not matter whether you eat clean or eat junk food, if you can manage a calorie deficit then you will lose weight.

To lose weight, you will need to follow the below steps:

  1. Calculate your TDEE using a calorie calculator that you may find online.
  2. Calculate the calories you need to consume in order to get into a calorie deficit. This is usually about 20 to 25% fewer calories than your TDEE.
  3. Track your weight, waist measurement, etc, every week to see if you are losing weight. If so, keep continuing with the same calories. If not, then you again need to lower your calories a bit and continue.

Click here to get the detailed guide on how you can lose weight.

How can you build muscle?

When it comes to building muscle, it is advisable to eat clean so that you can get all the sufficient calories and macros required.

This is because macronutrients like proteins are necessary for building muscle and you cannot avoid those.

So to gain muscle, you need the below steps:

  1. Calculate your TDEE using a calorie calculator that you may find online.
  2. Calculate the calories you need to consume in order to get into a calorie surplus. This is usually about 10 to 15% more calories than your TDEE.
  3. Use a good workout program to build strength and muscle and achieve progressive overload at the gym.
  4. Track your weight, muscle measurements, etc, every week to see if you are gaining weight and muscle. If so, keep continuing with the same calories. If not, then you again need to increase your calories a bit and continue.

Click here to check out a detailed guide that will help you track the macros you need to build muscle.

Also, check out some good beginner workout programs that you can use to gain some muscle at the gym.

For beginners, it might be possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Otherwise, you will need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle.

Also, you don’t just have to eat clean foods to build muscle. You can use what is called as flexible dieting or IIFYM (if it fits your macros), where you can eat 80% clean foods and the remaining 20% could be any food that you enjoy as long as you meet your calorie and macronutrient requirements.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you learn all about clean eating, the benefits it provides, and whether it will help you lose weight or build muscle.

I also gave you some quick tips on how you can go about losing weight or building muscle, so do check out the links to know more details about them.

To summarize, you don’t need to use clean eating if your goal is just to lose fat. However, it can be useful to eat clean when you want to build muscle as it will help you get the sufficient vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and macronutrients required by the body.

Clean eating is also good if you just want to get a healthy body that functions as it should. However, feel free to eat about 80% of healthy foods and 20% foods that might be junk but you enjoy. It will keep you sane and healthy without restricting your food choices.

If you have any questions about clean eating, any workout programs, or fitness, please leave a comment below.

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