Including some of your favorite foods can make a certain ‘diet’ possible (even EASY) to adhere to, while making another diet (for instance a keto or vegan ‘diet’) almost impossible to adhere to, even if the certain diet worked for someone else. In this article I'm going to explain exactly what it means to be ‘Flexible Dieting’, what that involves, and how to implement it - and give you a couple of strategies that will help you be successful!
This year many of you have made it your New Year's resolution to lose weight. If this is a resolution you have made in the past that has failed that's alright! (statistics show that the MAJORITY of New Year's Resolutions are unsuccessful - over 90% in fact.) Let's make that happen once and for all!
To achieve this and maintain the results, I am offering a solution that has worked not only for my clients but millions of people around the world - Flexible Dieting.
First of all - let’s clear up what the word DIET really means. As a noun, the diet is the sum of foods consumed by a person or other organism. In nutrition, the word diet often implies the use of specific food intakes for health or weight-management reasons. As a verb, the word diet typically infers that one is trying to lose weight. However, someone trying to gain weight can also be ‘dieting’.
Everyone is dieting, they just have different goals. (even if you aren't following a ‘diet’, you still consume foods, and those make up your DIET). Really what I would like to make clear is that your diet shouldn't be thought of as a point A to point B period of your life. Now that that is clear as mud (lol), let’s find out what Flexible Dieting really is!
The term ‘Flexible Dieting’ means to be flexible with your diet (or dieting strategies) during life (i.e flexible with the foods you consume). I like to think of it as the act of implementing moderation. As I've discussed before, adherence to a diet is the number one thing that makes or breaks any diet. Flexible dieting can also be known as counting macros, IIFYM, etc.
Food is much more than simply fuel for our bodies (it also has very big social, cultural, and even religious importance in societies). Flexible dieting allows people to enjoy food/life no matter what the scenario, by allowing you to plan accordingly. It refers simply to learning to implement moderation of your favorite foods in a combination with healthy nutritious foods to attain your goals, something that we need to learn how to do to be successful now and for the rest of our lives. Flexible dieting promotes autonomy and freedom, without sacrificing success.
To take control of our diet first we must understand that calories govern everything. Calories are in the honey, agave, or other ‘natural’ sweeteners we use. Calories are in the ‘organic’ foods that we buy (fruits, veggies, etc). They are also in that stick of KitKat you have been craving, those couple of Skittles you decided to eat, and every other item that enters your mouth to be digested for energy. Bottom line is that all calories must be accounted for in order to be successful with weight loss, because after all, losing weight is a game of Calories in < Calories out. To optimize your calories to gain muscle and lose fat, click HERE.
That being said, it's helpful to think of calories like a budget (find yours out HERE). You might have heard your friend say that they have a super fast metabolism, this means that they have a very large food budget. You may have also been told that you have a slow metabolism, this means that you probably have a very small food budget. No worries, we can always increase our personal budget of calories (find out how HERE). Use Apps like MyFitnessPal to track your calories and remain within your budget. I recommend keeping protein intake high (around 0.8 - 1.2g/lbs of body weight), incorporating delicious, hormone and antibiotic free, local meats and poultry - like our friends over at Nutrafarms provide, lots of fruits and vegetables to make sure your fiber and nutrient goals are met, and have fun with the available calories you have left after you hit those goals! If you need some ideas, click HERE.
Of course calorie counting can be tedious - at first. But once we learn how to successfully manage our calorie budget, tracking is not essential for the rest of our life. Think back to your financial budget - it's much easier to know where you need to manage your spending if you take a look at your bank account and price tags than it would be if you didn't pay attention to them. Another good analogy would be driving. It would be very hard to follow the speed limit with your eyes closed - why don't we take a look at the speedometer instead.
Calories out must be greater than calories in to lose weight.
Adherence to your diet makes it work - or not. (incorporating the foods you love can help)
Flexible Dieting means balancing your favorite foods with ‘healthy’ and nutritious foods to stick to your calorie budget.
To find out exactly what YOUR BUDGET looks like, and how to optimize it for body composition (gaining muscle and losing fat), click HERE.
Happy Dieting - Coach Alex
Please feel free to contact me with any questions about how I can help you achieve your fitness goals..