Have you ever heard of Flexible Dieting?
Today I’m going to share with you my story about how I got through a “clean eating” diet which almost led to having an eating disorder and why I switched to a “ flexible dieting ” in order to achieve a healthier, full of happiness lifestyle.
“Eat Clean” Diets Suck
Let’s be honest. Everyone of us at some point of our lives said that to themselves. Whether you want to lose weight or have some health issues you said to yourself “From now on, I’m going to stop eating junk food and make clean eating my priority.”
The Ugly Side Of “Clean Eating”
What Makes a Food “Clean” or “Dirty”?
When I first got into fitness and proper nutrition, I used to define foods like pizza, burgers and ice cream as “dirty” or “junk”. Why? The answer is simple – because I thought all these foods tend to be processed, high in fat and bad for your health.
But let’s take a step back and think about this logically…what makes, for example, a piece of skinless chicken breast “clean”? Is it because of the way it was raised? Or is it the macronutrient profile?
What is "Flexible Dieting" ?
Flexible Dieting is also called “IIFYM” and it’s a method of dieting that revolves around meeting daily macro nutritional intake targets (protein, carbohydrates and fats).
The idea behind it is that you can still eat the foods that you love as long as you hit your macro nutrient targets.
How “Flexible Dieting” Changed My Way Of Thinking
Since I was tired of eating tons of food in just 1 specific day, I decided to give this IIFYM (flexible dieting) a try. The first thing that I had to do was to figure out what my macros should be for my goals, and set up a new eating “plan”. Once I did that, I started incorporating foods like donuts in my diet and to be honest I felt a little bit weird at first. I never really thought that I could enjoy my favourite foods by not eating an entire packet of it because most of the times I used to make my cheat days a priority. This often led to binging and sometimes I even ate more than 15k calories of all the “forbidden” foods in no more than 5-6 hours.
I was really impressed with the difference and I definitely felt it as well. Thanks to Flexible Dieting, I was back to feeling strong again, my training improved, I didn’t feel foggy, I was mentally doing better, and most importantly my love for fitness was back. I was back on track and felt like I was on top of the world!
So, my philosophy to hitting my macronutrients everyday is 80% nutrient dense, whole foods mixed in with 20% foods that I simply want to eat because I want to eat them.
You have to pay attention to the quality and quantity of your food, but don’t stress out if you snack on something like a few potato chips or an Oreo. Just make sure to control yourself.
If your family happens to be going to a restaurant for dinner, you should feel zero anxiety about what you are going to eat, how its made, what ingredients are used, etc.
If you're traveling, you can still bring some staple foods that you love and make up a regular part of your diet, but also enjoy the flexibility of eating on the go and living in the moment.
CONCLUSIONEVERYTHING IN MODERATION
My suggestion is to realize first and foremost that our diets should be focused on whole foods above all else, especially if the goal is a healthy body and sound mind. But don’t be scared to allow yourself some of your favourite treats. You have to make that switch because once you allow yourself to enjoy all foods in moderation, you will stop wanting to eat everything in sight. With the Flexible Dieting, you will be completely content having 1 cookie, 1 small serving of ice cream, or a handful of chips without going overboard with any foods. In the end, this is the lifestyle and way of eating that works best for me and I highly recommend it to you as well!