Clean-eating has come under scrutiny of late, with the likes of Deliciously Ella and the Hemsley + Hemsley sisters distancing themselves from the term.
These bloggers-turned-celebs have argued that the perceived meaning of the phrase has changed over time – while it was once about cutting down on processed foods, it’s now often used in connection with fad diets.
But one Instagram star is not able to turn her back on the term so easily.
Personal trainer Alice Liveing is better known by the alias Clean-Eating Alice and she’s already released two books under the name.
Speaking in an interview with AOL’s Build series, the 23-year-old said she picked the name when she was new to social media, having recently embarked on a healthy weight loss journey herself.
“I had seen the term about and from my perspective it rang true to what I wanted to do to my diet, which was to basically clean it up a little bit, get a bit healthier,” she said.
“I think now looking back, I would have thought the word that I was looking for was, just ‘a bit healthier.’”
In its most extreme form, clean-eating has been linked to orthorexia – an eating disorder characterised by “an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food”.
But Liveing, who’s racked up more than 495K followers on Instagram, said she “doesn’t regret” using the phrase in her title.
“That’s the name and I stuck with it and run with it and now having published two books that’s kind of what I’m known as,” she said.
“But I absolutely see the argument for [not using the phrase]. We absolutely shouldn’t label food as clean or unclean, there’s no such thing as a good or a
bad food, there’s only good or bad diets.”
She added that we should never be made to feel ashamed about “succumbing” to certain foods and eating should not be something we develop anxiety over.
“It’s been a conscious decision to publish the books under that name because
that’s what my Instagram is, that’s what people know me as, but absolutely I think we need to move away from this dark side of clean-eating.
“I’ve tried to explain my reasoning behind it, but I don’t believe in restriction, don’t believe in cutting anything out and I eat absolutely everything. [I] have a very balanced diet and a very balanced approach to everything that I do I try to make my audience as aware of that as possible.”
During the interview, Liveing also said she believes men are just as susceptible to body image concerns as women.
“I think there’s just as many problems with men and actually something that hasn’t had a light shone on it very much,” she said.
“I think they might not be obsessed necessarily over certain foods, but definitely with things like being much more aware of body confidence and their physique.
“This big, muscly physique is kind of hot and on trend, and everyone wants to go train. Just as much as women are embracing weights, men are too.
“I definitely think it’s something that hasn’t been highlighted but there are obviously going to be issues there.”