FORGET WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLDThroughout our culture, we are taught that certain foods are “good” and certain foods are “bad.” It’s evident everywhere you look. Everyone has their own conceptions of what is considered healthy from low carb, vegan, paleo, keto, vegetarian, and many more. Do you notice that there is a million different definitions of healthy? (I’ll touch on this in a later post). For the sake of this post, lets consider “healthy” as high quality, minimally processed, micronutrient dense foods. Is that ok with you? Most people think that in order for them to reach their fitness or body composition goals, they have to cut out all the “unhealthy food” from their diets and eat extremely strict/boring diet. Studies have shown that those who have a rigid/strict diet actually put them at a higher risk to binge on the food they were trying to eliminate. I am a firm believer that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. But having the “perfect” diet is not synonymous with having a “successful” diet either. Plus if you eat a super strict/boring diet, then you pretty much alienate yourself from society as well and who wants that? You will find yourself saying, “sorry guys I can’t go out to eat and watch the Final Four because I can’t mess up my diet or go off my meal plan.” What if I were to tell you that you don’t have to be that person!?
THE PERFECT DIET FOR YOUFirst, you need to ask yourself when starting a diet is, “Can I see myself doing this diet for the rest of my life?” If not, then it is the absolute wrong diet for you! You will eventually fall into one of these three categories:
- You’ll get tired of the rules and quit your plan before reaching your goals.
- You will reach your goal and then get tired of the rules and quit.
- You will reach your goal and maintain our progress, but you’ll be so miserable that being lean isn’t worth it anymore. Then you quit and/or go crazy.
- Do you want to lose fat and stay lean with minimal effort?
- Are you tired of losing 10 lbs and then regaining it all back after your diet stops working?
- Are you tired of giving up your favorite foods in order to lose weight?
THE DECISION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHINGJust over 3 years ago, I decided to give Flexible Dieting a try. I’ll be candid and tell you that deciding to start flexible dieting is in the top 3 of the best decisions I’ve ever made! (It’s up there with my religious denomination and starting my business, if that gives you any perspective.) My relationship with food is amazing now! Food is no longer the enemy! I do not eliminate any foods from my diet. If I am craving ice cream, I most definitely will be having ice cream! I started Flexible Dieting Lifestyle because I work with people on an everyday basis who struggle with their relationships with food. I was once one of them. They are constantly stressing themselves out with eating “clean” 24/7 and if they eat a type of food that is considered “bad”, then they beat themselves up about it. This type of relationship with food has led to so many people to developing eating disorders. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What are the foods that you eliminate from your diet when you try to lose weight?
- Does this lead you to binge on those foods?
SO WHAT IS FLEXIBLE DIETING!?Flexible Dieting, is most simply the tracking of your macronutrient intake to achieve a health and body composition goal. Your macronutrients are your proteins, carbs and fats. These macronutrients are the nutrients you need in large amount and are what give you your calories. 1 gram of protein = 4 calories 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories 1 gram of fat = 9 calories Most people are familiar with counting calories, but Flexible Dieting focuses on tracking your macronutrients. So you and I are more focused on hitting 175g Protein, 140g Carbs and 60g Fat, which equals 1800 calories rather than just 1800 calories.
- Protein: 175 x 4= 700 calories
- Carbs: 140 x 4 = 560 calories
- Fats: 60 x 9 = 540 calories
CALORIES VS. MACRONUTRIENTSWell calories in vs calories out is what determines weight loss or weight gain but macronutrient ratios are what influence our body composition/optimal health rather than just weight loss or gain.
- Sufficient Protein intake is necessary to build/preserve muscle mass and organ tissue.
- Sufficient Carb intake is necessary to provide your muscles with enough energy (glycogen) so you can hit your workouts with high intensity. They also play a huge role in the health of your Thyroid (engine for your metabolism).
- Sufficient Fat intake is necessary for production of vital hormones (hormone synthesis) that set the tone for all of the functions in our bodies.
Who Would You Rather Be?So the question arises, would you rather be a lean 165 or a skinny fat 165? This is why counting macros is far superior to counting calories because it allows you to focus on improving body composition, not just focusing on the scale. I’ve had clients who’s weight stayed the same or went up when we switched around their macronutrient profile even though their goal was weight loss. Alex’s 2 Month Transformation Just look at Alex, pictured above, who was skinny fat in his before picture. In 2 months time, he dropped 7% body fat and gained 17 lbs! Not only that but he was able to eat twice as many calories due to his increases in muscle mass! That’s pretty damn awesome! Getting leaner and building crazy amount of muscle. I think we all want that and it is living proof that macronutrient ratio is more important than just counting calories! Ohh and don’t forget about his girlfriend (Perrin, testimonial above) that did the same thing! Flexible dieting turned them into a power couple!
Pop Tarts vs Sweet PotatoesOk…. Now to get to the part where it is going to sound like voodoo or magic, or whatever you want to call it. What you eat to hit your macronutrient targets is secondary in importance when we are talking about strictly body composition. So what does this exactly mean?
- Ex. Your friend eats a pop tart for his snack and you eat a sweet potato.
- Both are carb heavy choices One is considered “good” and one is considered “bad”
- As we stated above, carbs in the pop tart and carbs from the sweet potato both turn into energy (glycogen).
- So since our bodies do not necessarily distinguish between sources in regards to glycogen production, both will have the same affect in our bodies.
ACUTE VS INSIDIOUS DAMAGEJust as why I advocate the flexible dieting strategy to anyone and every one because it is the diet you can use for the rest of your life, I also advocate that our diet should be a tool to ensure that we live a long and healthy life!
- Acute symptoms and affects are what you will see in the short term
- Insidious symptoms and affects are the small changes that you will see in the long run.
- Most people think in the short term and do not think of the long term repercussions of their decisions. The same can be said with our diets.
- Ex. So lets say that our diet is consists of low quality protein sources like McDonalds, micronutrient sparse pop tarts, and a large amount of our dietary fat coming from the trans fat that tags along with our McDonalds.
THE PERFECT RATIO FOR HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE
THE 80-20 RULE
- 80% of your daily calories come from healthy (high quality, minimally processed, micronutrients dense) foods that you enjoy.
- 20% of you daily calories come from those foods that are at the opposite end of the spectrum that you once thought were off limits.
- 3 meals per day for 7 days = 21 meals .2 x 21 = 4.2 (so lets just say 4)
- Number of meals per week to incorporate my favorite foods: 4 meals per week
- The Best Diet is the one you can stick to.
- By not putting any foods off limits then you substantially reduce the risk of binging, developing an eating disorder, excessive concern with body size/shape, and an increased risk of rebound weight gain after dieting.
- By all means am I not advocating that you can’t eat 100% “clean”! If you thoroughly enjoy eating 100% healthy, minimally processed, nutrient dense foods, then go for it!
SO WHAT IS FLEXIBLE DIETING!?
- A diet that allows ALL Foods and is more focused on the hitting of our overall nutritional needs.
- A diet that allows ALL meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, nuts and legumes (beans) without demonizing any whole food source.
- A diet that is not a diet. It is simply nothing more than an understanding that all foods can be had to achieve sufficient nutritional intake for health and body composition. Life balance is the key to long term dietary success.
- Is a form of eating that allows you to enjoy foods without guilt of self punishment.
If you like what you saw, feel free to check out my Best Selling Recipe Book for even more delicious low-calorie recipes: https://www.flexibledietinglifestyle….Fajita Bacon Cheeseburger Crunch Wrap Recipe Macros for each Burger: 430 Cals, 37g Carbs, 14g Fat, 39g Protein! Ingredients (makes 2 Crunchwrap Burgers): 2 Large Tortillas of your choice (mine were from Trader Joe’s) 10oz 96/4 Lean Ground Beef (Weighed Raw) 2 Slices Turkey Bacon (from Trader Joe’s 60g Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Guac 40g Low Fat Queso (Mine had 3g Fat per 30g serving) 28g Light Shredded Mozzarella 50g Green Peppers 50g White Onions Sea Salt + Garlic Powder Egg Whites for Egg Wash Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F. Take 10oz 96/4 Lean Ground Beef and season with Sea Salt + Garlic Powder and form into two 5oz burger patties. 2.) Preheat two pans. One for your burger and bacon. One for your peppers and onions. Both pans on a 6/10 heat. 3.) Thinly slice your green peppers and onions. Spray your pan with non stick cooking spray once preheated and add your peppers and onions to it. Add cover on top and cook till they are to soften. 4.) Spray your other pan with non stick cooking spray once preheated and add your burger patties and turkey bacon. Add cover on top and cook until your desired rareness/wellness. 5.) Now add some sea salt to your peppers/onions and add a couple splashes of water to them. This will help soften them even more and help caramelize without oil. 6.) Once all your ingredients are ready, lay down your tortilla and then add your ingredients in this order: Reduced Guilt Guac, Low Fat Queso, Light Shredded Mozzarella, Peppers/Onions, Turkey Bacon, Burger. 7.) Wrap Like Crunch Wrap like shown in the video. 8.) Add Egg White Wash on top 9.) Bake for 10 Minutes on 450 Degrees F. Then slice open and enjoy! Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla Recipe Macros for the Whole Quesadilla: 441 Cals, 37g Carbs, 13g Fat, 44g Protein Ingredients for Each Quesadilla (makes 2): 2 Large Tortillas of your choice (mine were from Trader Joe’s) 10oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Weighed Raw) 90 Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip (from Trader Joe’s) 56g Light Shredded Mozzarella Franks Buffalo Sauce Sea Salt + Garlic Powder Egg Whites for Egg Wash Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Preheat stove top pan to 6/10 heat. Take your 10oz Chicken Breast and season with sea salt and garlic powder. 2.) Spray stove top pan with non stick cooking spray and then add your chicken breast. Add cover on top of pan. Cook until sides are no longer pink and then flip over. Add a splash of water to help the chicken stay moist. 3.) Once chicken is done, shred with your hands into small pieces and add into a bowl. Then add your buffalo sauce and mix it all together. 4.) Now lay your tortilla down flat and add to one side of your tortilla 45g of your spinach and kale dip. Then your buffalo chicken. Then your cheese. 5.) Fold over the other side and press down. Add your egg wash and then add to the oven. 6.) Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and then take out, slice up and enjoy those cheese pulls!
WHAT YOU LEARNED TODAY
- Eat smart and flexible, not stupid and restricted.
- Food is not meant to stress you out! It’s a tool that helps us live the life we desire!
- If you are currently doing a diet you do not see yourself doing for the rest of your life, STOP immediately.
- Eliminating foods you love from your diet sets you up for failure and science shows that.
- Calories in vs calories out = weight gain or weight loss
- Macronutrient Ratios = Body Composition/Health
- The 80-20 Rule = 80% from “healthy” foods, 20% from foods you once thought were off limits
YOUR HOMEWORK ?
- You will need to order a digital food scale. This is the one I have.
- Also, Download the MyFitnessPal app on your phone and start playing around with it. Here’s a great tutorial video I created taking you step by step on how to use it.
- Start tracking your intake if you can because in the next post I’ll be outlining how to figure out your macros and you’ll need to of tracked 3 days of your normal intake as the first step.
- Important! Please do not change your eating or use the macros MyFitnessPal has given you. This will ruin why we are doing the 3-days of tracking. This 3-days of tracking is to see where your metabolism is at right NOW. Don’t change a thing of how you normally eat.
THE “ONE” THAT MAKES OR BREAKS IT……….I would love to read in the comments what that one food is that would make a diet impossible to stick to if you were told that this food was off limits. Mine is rice cakes (yes I know that is lame). Feel free to make fun of me below and don’t forget to share yours as well! And being the nice person I am ? Here’s the next post I promised again so you can just keep those gainz a comin! Thanks and God Bless! Zach P.S. Friend me on Facebook or follow on Instagram to see all the other awesome stuff I post (well awesome to me..) that doesn’t make it to the blog!
Want more content like this?
Join our FREE Flexible Dieting 101 Course