Flexible Dieting... What Does It Mean?
When I first started my fitness journey, I remember my first personal trainer giving me a meal plan. In this meal plan I had 6 meals that I had to consume RELIGIOUSLY. He specifically said “If you want to get big and lose weight, I need you to eat everything on this meal plan. No exceptions”.
Let me share with you guys what my first ever introduction to dieting looked like:
1 serving of coconut oil
6 whole eggs
2 Slices of whole wheat toast
1 protein shake
6oz of Tilapia
4 oz of russet potatoes
1 protein bar
4 oz of chicken breast
1 cup of rice
1 scoop of Whey Protein
6 oz of lean ground beef
4 oz of potatoes
1 cup of spinach
1 serving of casein
That’s right. Imagine eating that every single day for 6 months. Guys I can NEVER eat Tilapia again. With all that being said let’s talk about flexible dieting, what it looks like, why I have been following this style of dieting for 3 years, and why It’s my go to for anyone who is starting a fitness journey.
It’s Simple... As long as you don’t overcomplicate it.
The base of flexible dieting is you get to consume the foods you enjoy while still tracking your macros and seeing results in the gym. First things first, determine what your goal is. Depending on your goal (Weight loss, Muscle Gain, Competition prep) will determine how your meal structure will look like.
I’m at this exact moment in a maintenance phase. I am consuming 3,000 calories on my training days and 2,800 calories on my OFF days. A maintenance phase is when you decided that you want to stay at a certain weight so you consume enough calories to keep your weight level, along with burning enough calories so the scale doesn’t shoot up.
Once you determine your goal the next step is to figure out your macros. Macronutrients are Carbs, Fats, and Proteins. These main components make up your calories, you can find them on the back of all foods on the nutrition label.
There are tons of ways to determine your macros. There’s a lot of calculators out there along with a ton of APPS. Personally, I have used the APP MyFitnessPal for about 3 years. I find it very easy to use, you can scan your food, track your exercises, and now there's a community forum that you can use to talk to others on their fitness journey. Once you download an app or use a macro calculator, you’re ready to get started.
SO... I can eat WHATEVER I WANT...right?
Here’s where things always seem to get tricky. Yes, Flexible dieting means that you can eat anything you like as long as you stay within your macro range. BUT we shouldn’t. Just because a BK Burger fits into your macros it doesn’t mean we should consume one every day because we love them. You have to remember that your body is your temple (Cue yoga music). What we put into our bodies is important to how we use that energy. Back in 2018 I had finished my last bodybuilding competition of the season, I was going through a break up, and life seemed to suck. SO, I ate like an asshole. I gained the most weight I've ever gained in the offseason. I weighed in at 187LBS and my body fat count was through the roof.
The funny part of this story is that as I type this right now, I weight 185LBS and I look COMPLETELY different. Here’s why... I didn’t use my calories for evil lol YES, I did enjoy myself, I’m a sucker for pizza and unlimited sushi. This year I had more balance though, I didn’t eat until I couldn’t move, I trained hard, and I made sure that I was consuming nutrient dense foods.
YOU CAN DO IT
To quote the greatest in the world Arnold Schwarzenegger “milk is for babies”
I know that had nothing to do with this article but I thought it was funny, deal with it.
Flexible dieting and counting macros can be time consuming. I know many people who claim they don’t have the time to follow diets or meal prep but in all honesty guys, if your health and fitness goals are important you will make that time.
Flexible dieting has allowed me to reach my goals and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. A life that allows me to eat what I like while also maintaining my gains. If you want to learn more or are interested in working with a coach on how to track macros, achieve a healthy lifestyle, and crush some fitness goals please email me at RMHFitness@hotmail.com.
As always, thank you guys for reading and catch you on the next one!