Did you know...?
You can lose weight eating nothing but cookies.
You can lose weight eating nothing but chocolate.
You can lose weight eating nothing but ice cream.
You can lose weight eating nothing but sugar.
You can lose weight eating nothing but carbs.
Would I recommend doing this? Absolutely not. It is unhealthy and kinda ridiculous.
BUT, the point is that no food can magically make us fat simply because of what it is. There is a lot of fear out there around foods that contain sugar or gluten or protein or whatever else that is popular to fear lately.
I always recommend a balanced diet of mostly whole foods, but there is no reason to be afraid of any food for fat gain. If one can lose weight eating nothing but chocolate, then should we fear chocolate?
Diets like clean eating, whole30, or paleo CAN work because they TEND TO reduce our total caloric intake. But if we don't understand why, then what happens when results stop when we are already still eating clean? Do we eat even cleaner? Maybe start spraying our food with windex? :-D
Save your sanity. Don't eliminate or deprive and then get frustrated and crash and burn. Instead ADD healthy habits that work to replace the less desirable ones over time. Perhaps add a new veggie (high in volume and satiety while low in calorie!) to your meal, go for a 20 minute walk after dinner 3x a week, or stash a protein bar in your purse or glove box for "emergencies" so we don't head for the high-calorie drive-thru or vending machine.
Small changes that can really make a significant difference over time!
P.S. The picture is Tyler and I eating dole whip at Disney World a few years ago! Yummm.