Does "Clean eating" help build muscle?

  1. Does "Clean eating" help build muscle?


    I've been looking on Google for the better part of an hour and most articles will say moderation is key and even "clean" foods like fruit can make you fat. So it's wise to balance macronutrients and keep an eye on the calories.

    But my real question is: "Will eating the proper macronutrient/micronutrient values of "clean" foods build more muscle than the same amount of macro/micro nutrients of "dirty" foods?

    And if so by what mechanism?

    I've been training for 7 years now (I'm 19) and I really want to maximize my time and efforts in the gym.


  2. Think of nutrition as a pyramid.

    Base layer, which will be the largest determinant of your results in energy balance. Calories in vs calories out.

    Next would by macronutrients balance

    Next micronutrients

    Next meal timing

    Lastly supplements, which will have a minimal impact on your results. Focus on calorie balance, then macros, then micros.
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  3. I don't exactly know what you mean by clean foods, but more natural whole foods and vegetables will provide more micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals which help optimize enzyme function, since many are enzymatic cofactors, and this can help you make gains!

  4. Quote Originally Posted by hambone2493 View Post
    I've been looking on Google for the better part of an hour and most articles will say moderation is key and even "clean" foods like fruit can make you fat. So it's wise to balance macronutrients and keep an eye on the calories.

    But my real question is: "Will eating the proper macronutrient/micronutrient values of "clean" foods build more muscle than the same amount of macro/micro nutrients of "dirty" foods?

    And if so by what mechanism?

    I've been training for 7 years now (I'm 19) and I really want to maximize my time and efforts in the gym.
    TO CLARIFY, what I mean by clean foods is fruits, veggies, lean and or unprocessed meats, b/w rice, s/w potatoes, whole wheat bread, etc.

    Dirty foods are processed or pre packaged meals, high fructose corn syrup, fast foods, fried foods.

  5. Intermittent fasting, moderate fruits and carbon. Fish, meat eggs and a lot of salads. Working out 5 days + running 5km. Stay to high quality foods. You can still get away with junk food because you are young but try not. You will need to stick to your plan and by the time you will get the results.
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  6. By eating clean you can build muscle with out the extra fat gain once you get up to 15-16% bf you start to decline in how much muscle mass is built so lower your body fat the better you build muscle.... dirty food is not really beneficial unless you are trying to get fat and that's how my genetics work when I eat crap food I get a good workout in but my waiste line suffers from it

  7. Quote Originally Posted by hambone2493 View Post
    TO CLARIFY, what I mean by clean foods is fruits, veggies, lean and or unprocessed meats, b/w rice, s/w potatoes, whole wheat bread, etc.

    Dirty foods are processed or pre packaged meals, high fructose corn syrup, fast foods, fried foods.
    I don't eat much fruit cause it has quite a bit of sugar in them but in moderation it's good I meen it is a natural sugar...

  8. To answer your question, when it comes to body composition, probably not as long as you get all needed vitamins through quality multi vitamins or supplement sources. However, I will state the obvious even though you didn't ask for it. It's probably better for overall health to sacrifice lower carb intake for the antioxidants and other goodies you receieve from fruit. I am definitely willing to gain 1-2% BF to eat more sugar from real fruit that will provide me with all kinds of health benefits. I used to basically eat zero fruit to keep my simple sugars low and therefore my BF lower but the older I get the less I really care about being shredded and the more I prefer to eat for longevity.

  9. As long as your body has all the macro and micro nutrients it needs, you will be able to get strong. But if you want to be leaner then clean eating allows for the most nutrition with less calories.

  10. easy answer is no....getting in extra calories will help you build muscle with a designed macro breakdown.....but just because you eat one thing over another, if the macros are the same, you shouldn't see a big difference in muscle mass

    however you can see a difference as mentioned above when it comes to nutrients, which imo is more beneficial for everyday life anyway
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  11. AnabolicMinds Site Rep
    The Solution's Avatar

    You need to read Alan Aragon's article on "The Dirt on Clean Eating"
    This answers all your questions

    Research Review: The Dirt On Clean Eating Written By Nutrition Expert Alan Aragon | SimplyShredded.com

    read this article in full. You will then have everything answered

    Applying Moderation: The 10-20% Guideline

    For those hoping that Iíll tell you to have fun eating whatever you want, youíre in luck. But, like everything in life, youíll have to moderate your indulgence, and the 10-20% guideline is the best way Iíve found to do this. There currently is no compelling evidence suggesting that a diet whose calories are 80-90% from whole & minimally processed foods is not prudent enough for maximizing health, longevity, body composition, or training performance. As a matter of fact, research I just discussed points to the possibility that itís more psychologically sound to allow a certain amount of flexibility for indulgences rather than none at all. And just to reiterate, processed does not always mean devoid of nutritional value.

    The 10-20% guideline isnít only something Iíve used successfully with clients; itís also within the bounds of research. Aside from field observations, there are three lines of evidence that happen to concur with this guideline. Iíll start with the most liberal one and work my way down. The current Dietary Reference Intakes report by Food & Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine lists the upper limit of added sugars as 25% of total calories . Similarly, an exhaustive literature review by Gibson and colleagues found that 20% of total calories from added sugars is roughly the maximum amount that wonít adversely dilute the dietís concentration of essential micronutrition . Keep in mind that both of these figures are in reference to refined, extrinsic sugars, not naturally occurring sugars within whole foods like fruit or milk. Finally, the USDA has attempted to teach moderation with their concept of the discretionary calorie allotment, defined as follows

    Itís important to keep in mind that protein and fat intake should not be compromised for the sake of fitting discretionary foods into the diet. In other words, make sure discretionary intake doesnít consistently displace essential micro- & macronutrient needs, and this includes minimum daily protein and fat targets, which vary individually. This may be tough to accept, but alcohol is not an essential nutrient.

    A legitimate question is, whatís the best way to distribute discretionary calories? Should they be confined to a daily limit, or can it be a weekly limit? The best answer is to let personal preference decide. If we use a 2000 kcal diet as an example, a flat/linear approach would mean that 200-400 kcal per day can come from whatever you want, while meeting essential needs otherwise in the diet. Weekly, this translates to 1400-2800 kcal, depending on the factors I previously discussed. One nonlinear option would be to break the weekly allotment in half, where 2 days per week you indulge in 700-1400 kcal of whatever you want, keeping the remaining 5 days relatively Spartan. Again, there is no universally superior method of distributing the discretionary allotment. The same principle applies to the choice of foods to fulfill it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hambone2493 View Post
    TO CLARIFY, what I mean by clean foods is fruits, veggies, lean and or unprocessed meats, b/w rice, s/w potatoes, whole wheat bread, etc.

    Dirty foods are processed or pre packaged meals, high fructose corn syrup, fast foods, fried foods.
    What builds muscle? A caloric surplus. You will have to play with your caloric intake to find what gives you a proper surplus to gain at a comfortable rate per week.
    Micronutrients will always reign supreme, as does meeting proper protein , fat and fiber intake before fitting in other foods you may classify as "Dirty"
    There is no real definition of clean foods, that is merely a perception of how people look at food and their relationship towards foods. Most people don't have a proper balance or moderation outlook to consume all foods and not shelter themselves to X or Y Food sources because they lack self control when they indulge on things that are in a higher caloric allotment.
    Anabolic Minds Site Rep
    www.anabolicminds.com

  12. Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post
    You need to read Alan Aragon's article on "The Dirt on Clean Eating"
    This answers all your questions

    Research Review: The Dirt On Clean Eating Written By Nutrition Expert Alan Aragon | SimplyShredded.com

    read this article in full. You will then have everything answered

    Applying Moderation: The 10-20% Guideline

    For those hoping that I’ll tell you to have fun eating whatever you want, you’re in luck. But, like everything in life, you’ll have to moderate your indulgence, and the 10-20% guideline is the best way I’ve found to do this. There currently is no compelling evidence suggesting that a diet whose calories are 80-90% from whole & minimally processed foods is not prudent enough for maximizing health, longevity, body composition, or training performance. As a matter of fact, research I just discussed points to the possibility that it’s more psychologically sound to allow a certain amount of flexibility for indulgences rather than none at all. And just to reiterate, processed does not always mean devoid of nutritional value.

    The 10-20% guideline isn’t only something I’ve used successfully with clients; it’s also within the bounds of research. Aside from field observations, there are three lines of evidence that happen to concur with this guideline. I’ll start with the most liberal one and work my way down. The current Dietary Reference Intakes report by Food & Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine lists the upper limit of added sugars as 25% of total calories . Similarly, an exhaustive literature review by Gibson and colleagues found that 20% of total calories from added sugars is roughly the maximum amount that won’t adversely dilute the diet’s concentration of essential micronutrition . Keep in mind that both of these figures are in reference to refined, extrinsic sugars, not naturally occurring sugars within whole foods like fruit or milk. Finally, the USDA has attempted to teach moderation with their concept of the discretionary calorie allotment, defined as follows

    It’s important to keep in mind that protein and fat intake should not be compromised for the sake of fitting discretionary foods into the diet. In other words, make sure discretionary intake doesn’t consistently displace essential micro- & macronutrient needs, and this includes minimum daily protein and fat targets, which vary individually. This may be tough to accept, but alcohol is not an essential nutrient.

    A legitimate question is, what’s the best way to distribute discretionary calories? Should they be confined to a daily limit, or can it be a weekly limit? The best answer is to let personal preference decide. If we use a 2000 kcal diet as an example, a flat/linear approach would mean that 200-400 kcal per day can come from whatever you want, while meeting essential needs otherwise in the diet. Weekly, this translates to 1400-2800 kcal, depending on the factors I previously discussed. One nonlinear option would be to break the weekly allotment in half, where 2 days per week you indulge in 700-1400 kcal of whatever you want, keeping the remaining 5 days relatively Spartan. Again, there is no universally superior method of distributing the discretionary allotment. The same principle applies to the choice of foods to fulfill it.


    What builds muscle? A caloric surplus. You will have to play with your caloric intake to find what gives you a proper surplus to gain at a comfortable rate per week.
    Micronutrients will always reign supreme, as does meeting proper protein , fat and fiber intake before fitting in other foods you may classify as "Dirty"
    There is no real definition of clean foods, that is merely a perception of how people look at food and their relationship towards foods. Most people don't have a proper balance or moderation outlook to consume all foods and not shelter themselves to X or Y Food sources because they lack self control when they indulge on things that are in a higher caloric allotment.
    I can't over state how important the 10-20% guideline is. I used to eat all "clean" foods 100% of the time. I would have wicked cravings for "dirty" foods and binge on them once I had a cheat meal. A few years ago, I applied this guideline and believe me when I say cravings are non existent now. I all myself some sort of "dirty" food every day, usually post workout or sometimes pre workout. I time the "dirty" food post workout because I think of it as a reward for training hard. Having a serving or two of cereal everyday will not kill you or ruin your composition. If anything, it will keep you on track and you can live a normal life and not obsess over living life; going out with friends, going to a wedding, going to an event, etc.

    Here are some additional articles worth reading.

    I've come to realize that 100% nutritional discipline is never required for optimal progress. The difference, in results, between 90% adherence to your nutrition program and 100% adherence is negligible.

    So allow yourself the extra 10% wiggle room. Do you like frappuccinos at Starbucks? If so, have some during your 10% allotment. (Also, if you're a man and admit to liking frappuccinos, either get off the Clomid or take some TRIBEX immediately!) My favorite 10% food is pizza. Once or twice a week I allow myself to have some.

    This 10% wiggle room will allow you the freedom to eat a few extra things not on your menu without the guilt and subsequent psychological crash that usually accompanies such perceived transgressions.
    https://biotest.t-nation.com/article...-s-top-10-tips

    Every day, 10 to 20% of your diet can satisfy wants, while the remaining 80 to 90% should satisfy needs.
    https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-lo...-vs-orthorexia

    Adhere to the 90% rule. Make 90% of your meals consist of nutrient-dense foods, then have your cake and eat it too. Just don't eat it on a daily basis.
    https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-lo...to-the-90-rule
    Performax Labs Product Specialist
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  13. AnabolicMinds Site Rep
    The Solution's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by AntM1564 View Post
    I can't over state how important the 10-20% guideline is. I used to eat all "clean" foods 100% of the time. I would have wicked cravings for "dirty" foods and binge on them once I had a cheat meal. A few years ago, I applied this guideline and believe me when I say cravings are non existent now. I all myself some sort of "dirty" food every day, usually post workout or sometimes pre workout. I time the "dirty" food post workout because I think of it as a reward for training hard. Having a serving or two of cereal everyday will not kill you or ruin your composition. If anything, it will keep you on track and you can live a normal life and not obsess over living life; going out with friends, going to a wedding, going to an event, etc.
    ]
    a serving of cereal is like 100 calories brah. That is far from dirty lol.
    most cereal's have more micronutrients then "Clean" foods like rice, people are just too blind to see that.

    The biggest thing I see is the caloric dense foods. Lets look at like real baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies), lasagna, pizza and other foods that yeah you can eat 2-3 slices of and not even flinch. Nor does it really fill you up volume wise. These are the things people have the largest trouble with.

    While we all like to be anal *******s and track calories take a step back for a second. Do you get paid to track your calories? If you go over or under a day is it going to make or break your goal? no. this is a hobby. people need to realize a meal off here and there means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It is just some people take this to an extreme, when in reality none of us will ever be pro, and it will only cause a degrade in our relationship towards food eliminating certain sources because we fear of overindulging and lack of self control.
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    www.anabolicminds.com

  14. Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post
    a serving of cereal is like 100 calories brah. That is far from dirty lol.
    most cereal's have more micronutrients then "Clean" foods like rice, people are just too blind to see that.
    Sure, a serving is only 100 calories, but I was to the point where I would avoid it because of the sugar content. My ED was bad. I know others feel the same about "dirty" foods. Even though they are low cal, some are afraid of the sugar. Hell, for a long period of time, I even avoided fruit.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist
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  15. I'm sure most people who would actually make an account on AM are motivated enough, but the advice above me is huge. So many people I know put so much effort into a ridiculous diet and training routine that make them hate life. Two months later, they're eating like crap and not training anymore. Being fit is a long race, not a sprint. I know I could have used this advice 10 years ago!
    "In this world, empires rise and fall. Ages come and go. The only thing that's certain: Everything will someday die."
  16. AnabolicMinds Site Rep
    The Solution's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by AntM1564 View Post
    Sure, a serving is only 100 calories, but I was to the point where I would avoid it because of the sugar content. My ED was bad. I know others feel the same about "dirty" foods. Even though they are low cal, some are afraid of the sugar. Hell, for a long period of time, I even avoided fruit.
    I If you struggle with your relationship to food you do realize you will have to take "Uncomfortable" Steps in order to get comfortable and control your bad actions. This is the biggest struggle people get. They get bad advice, they think its right, shelter themselves to X or Y Foods, and then negate so many things out there becuase they think its like a toxic plaque. Cereal, Fruits, Ice creams, candy, desserts, pizza. You can eat all of these things, and hell if you decide to go HAM and smash 4-6 pieces of pizza so what? You live and you learn, and for most cases it will help you overcome your ED because next time you will know how to portion control and eat to when you are satisfied. This helps you take on a fear of the food you have a bad relationship with, and helps improve it.

    Taking the uncomfortable step of being able to put down food after a few servings, a few slices, or a a 3-6 cookies is a step in the right direction to show you that you can still eat these foods and not fear them. And OMG even if you don't count the calories and move forward guess what it wont make a damn difference. You won't ever get paid to count your calories, and if you happen to go over by 100 calories, or you don't know what your calories were when you went to bed wont make or break your future, or a week from now when if you held a pound of water it will all be gone.

    People stress WAYY too much over what they are eating, the calories they are eating, and what sources they can only eat. When in the grand scheme of things if you meet your protein/fiber intake and train regularly and make good choices in the long run you will make better progress then trying to overanalyze and nit pick every single small detail.

    Balance comes from practice, some practice is easy, and some is hard. The ones who challenge themselves to make a better effort with their relationship with foods are the ones who stop stressing over it and move forward and make the most progress. For 99% of us who train we will never go pro, we wont get paid to track our calories or watch what we eat, and if we want to indulge then who the fuk cares? Nobody. We are human, food is just there for comfort , fuel, and energy. If we fear food, we have a lot of worse things in the world we could fear.
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  17. Quote Originally Posted by Swindler View Post
    I don't eat much fruit cause it has quite a bit of sugar in them but in moderation it's good I meen it is a natural sugar...
    Fruit is not so bad. Like you said, it comes down to moderation.

    For you to experience any negative effects from fructose, you'd have to consume around 50-75 grams in a sitting. That's equivalent to eating five to seven apples, one after another. You'd have to eat three or four of these "servings" a day, for a grand total of 15-28 pieces of fruit! As they teach us to say in college...well, duh! If you eat too much of a sugar — or anything, for that matter — you'll get fat.

    In fact, fructose has been shown to facilitate both mobilization of endogenous lipid stores and lipid oxidation. For those of you who don't have a medical thesaurus handy, this means that getting a little fructose in your diet might actually help you lose fat.(2) It's even been noted that fructose causes a superior thermic response when compared to glucose or sucrose. The thermic response caused by glucose diminishes with age, but that's not the case with fructose.(3)
    https://biotest.t-nation.com/article...orbidden-fruit

    Quote Originally Posted by Martyfnemec View Post
    I'm sure most people who would actually make an account on AM are motivated enough, but the advice above me is huge. So many people I know put so much effort into a ridiculous diet and training routine that make them hate life. Two months later, they're eating like crap and not training anymore. Being fit is a long race, not a sprint. I know I could have used this advice 10 years ago!
    The bold portion is so true. Like I mentioned before, when I was eating "clean" 100% of the time, I would fall off with a binge. A friend of mine needs to lose weight for health reasons; he is obese. His eating habits are bad and when he says I am going to change them, he tries to do a complete 180 and go from eating all "dirty" foods to all "clean" foods. After a week, he falls off and goes back to the old eating habits. People who want to make the change cannot go from one extreme to another. It does not work in my opinion.
    Performax Labs Product Specialist
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  18. Man it is so true about eating clean all the time I would do the exact same thing after eating really clean for 2 or 3 weeks I would finally cave and eat 2 boxes Debbie cakes and a gallon of milk.. lol. But I have since allowed my self basically 1 and sometimes 2 cheat meals a week that is usually loaded with carbs I basically have no carbs in my diet so it's like a refeed day and since I have incorporated this my craving for crap like Debbie cakes has pretty much been none existant...
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