The Dangers Of Clean Eating, According To Eloise Head - Exclusive

Eloise Head, the person behind the incredibly successful Fitwaffle social media accounts, knows a thing or two about fitness and food. She started Fitwaffle as an account that focused on both exercise and eating, but the brand has transformed over time into a recipe empire built on Head's indulgent, easy-to-make desserts.

Despite her success as a pastry queen, she's still a regular at the gym, and before she was a full-time recipe creator, she had a career as a personal trainer. She has spent a lot of time thinking about how to balance eating the sugary desserts you want with taking care of your health.

If you're similarly interested in fitness and spend time on the internet, you've no doubt come across the concept of "clean eating." Although the term is somewhat nebulous, it generally refers to eating nutritionally dense, minimally processed foods, per the Mayo Clinic. But while there are certainly some benefits to approaching eating in this way, Head says there is a dark side to focusing too much on clean eating. She shared her concerns with Mashed in an exclusive interview.

For sustainable health, seek balance

Ironically, trying too hard to eat healthily can actually result in worse health outcomes. It's not because eating healthy foods is secretly bad for you; rather, trying to eliminate all "bad" foods from your diet is a recipe for failure. "When you restrict yourself, it can be bad for you mentally because whenever you restrict yourself from something, you feel deprived," Eloise Head explained. "When you feel deprived of something, you are more likely to binge or overeat that certain thing because you view it as a bad thing."

Per Head, if you instead allow yourself to eat the foods you crave as part of a balanced diet, you're less likely to engage in unhealthy habits like bingeing. "By being able to enjoy foods in moderation, you take away that pedestal that you put certain foods on and it becomes just another food."

You can see this philosophy in practice in Head's typical daily eating routine. She eats healthy (but filling) foods like Greek yogurt, chicken, and vegetables, and she doesn't do anything drastic like eliminating all carbs or sugar. Of course, she saves a little room for dessert every day.

Eloise Head's book, "Baking It Easy," is out now. You can buy it here.