How to Eat Clean and Lose Weight: The Un-diet Diet

Ah, the word “diet” — perhaps the most fraught and misunderstood word in the health-and-wellness dictionary.

And it’s no wonder: A quick Google search for the word diet turns up over 450 million results, from top 10 lists to diet myths to articles showcasing experts from every conceivable side of the debate. Diets are good. Diets are bad. Diets are super effective. Oh, wait — no they’re not.

We here at Be Well are sick of all the back-and-forth, the questions and the confusion surrounding this most hotly debated topic. So we wanted the straight truth, the facts to help us decide what makes for a really good, long-term diet — in the least diet-y sense of the word.

That’s why this year at Be Well Philly Boot Camp (it’s just three weeks away, people!), we invited Philly-based registered dietitian Natalie Zaparzynski to set the record straight. She works with Best of Philly-winning Family Food LLC, Unite for Her and the PCOS Nutrition Center, and she’s insanely passionate about sharing her love for healthy eating and cooking with our community. So what’s she going to be talking about at Boot Camp? Exactly what’s at the top of this post: “Eat Clean and Lose Weight: The Un-diet Diet.”

We asked Natalie to give us a taste (ha!) of what’s to come, with a little preview of her talk. Check out our Q&A below, and plan to pick Natalie’s brain yourself at Be Well Philly Boot Camp on June 4th. She’ll be in our Speakers’ Lounge, happy to answer all your questions, at 10 a.m.

What does “eating clean” actually mean? Is it a weight-loss diet?
To me, eating clean means a diet full of whole foods. This means eating as close to nature as possible with minimal sugars and inflammatory foods. It may aid in reaching your weight-loss goals, but it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet.

How can I balance eating clean with a social life? Will I ever be able to eat out again?
Your social life doesn’t have to sabotage your health and wellness goals. You can have fun while making healthy, whole food choices. Sometimes it just takes a little more planning. This doesn’t mean you can never indulge or eat out. You can still enjoy your favorite treats. Make them a rare occasion so they’re a bit more special. Savor the moment.

Why has the concept of dieting gotten such a bad rap? Is it deserved?
We’ve turned the term “diet” into a word that means short-term, restrictive eating. More and more research shows these ups and downs in our eating patterns can wreak havoc on our metabolism. True health and wellness comes with long-term, sustainable lifestyle changes. Definitely deserved.

What are you hoping people take away from your session at Boot Camp?
Short term doesn’t work. Ditch the “diet” and eat more vegetables!

Like what you’re reading? Experience Be Well Philly live at Be Well Philly Boot Camp on June 4th!