Flexible Dieting 101 !
Many people have the notion that eating "clean foods" will ensure weight loss. However in order to lose weight, you must have a calorie deficit. Eating quality food is critical for maintaining a healthy balance of micro and macro- nutrients, but you CAN have things you want without derailing your progress. When you are practicing flexible dieting, you want to keep the following tips in mind.
-How MUCH you eat is just as important as what you eat.
-Your foods should reflect your goals.
-We are all human and you WILL make a mistake.
-Be consistent over the long term and you will see results.
Eating to support your goals is not about restricting, depriving, or cutting out your favorite meals. Flexible dieting is simply the scientific approach to dieting. You can choose the foods you want to eat as long as it falls under the macros that you need for the day.
What makes flexible dieting better than following a strict meal plan? A typical dieting approaches do not allow any sort of flexibility and it usually takes a lot of food groups away. Think about the Atkins diet that eliminates all carbs But what happens when you crave something sweet that you "shouldn't" have? You hold that craving and you lock it away. But it never goes away, it grows in size, till it becomes an all consuming force. You break. You end up bringing on the foods that you have been craving. This can simply be avoided if you know that you can have it in a smaller portion.
Traditional dieting approaches fail for two main reasons:
1.)Restrictive & expecting perfection.
2.) Un-sustainable & no long-term approach.
So whether it be a cookie, a dinner party or a holiday, the flexible dieter realizes that they can enjoy themselves, and afterwards get back on track. They have no need to go on an all out binge, because they can flex whenever they like, and so don’t need a big release.
The thought process of a "diet" usually creates this overall tension in a person because they already have this thought of "when is my cheat meal?" Having this mindset can ruin your results before you even start. You start to amp up this one day out of the week to go overboard and that one day can undo everything you worked for in the week. Start to take a results driven approach to your nutrition. Foods are not forbidden but you DO need to be accountable for them. Tracking your macros is a great way to remain accountable and ready to take your training to a new level.
This approach is also sustainable for LONG term. Can you maintain a "fad" diet for the rest of your life? Probably not and at some point you will have to stop dieting to see changes in your body. It also allows you to have the foods you really enjoy and want to eat. This will help you to stay on track and want to eat to fuel your body !
Start by planning your macros- Protein, Carbs and Fats. Then, get a food scale and measuring cups. Track and log your food in a macro counter such as MyFitnessPal. Plan for success !