10 Things I've Learned About Flexible Dieting
Let’s get something straight. This isn’t a diet. Diets suck. I really wish someone had thought through that name a little more, though.
Flexible Dieting is a lifestyle. It’s a choice. One you have to make each and every day. Then again, I guess calling it a Flexible Lifestyle could give you the wrong idea, huh?
Like a lot of things in fitness, Flexible Dieting goes by many names. So when you hear these things, remember that we’re talking about the same thing:
If It Fits Your Macros
1. IT’S NOT AS HARD AS IT SEEMS
There was nothing more intimidating for me than learning about my macros. Did she really just say I had to do math to figure out what to eat?! I promise you, once you get over the hump of learning what this diet means, you start to unlearn the bad habits you’ve grown up with, and learn that it’s easy to take control of your diet. Better yet, you can make a game out of it. Stay tuned, I’ll be writing about the basics to flexible dieting.
2. CARBS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY
In fact, while you were over here cornering carbs for their wrongdoing, sugar was running around like a kid all jacked up on Mountain Dew destroying your metabolism. Pay closer attention to the processed sugars in your foods.
3. MYFITNESS PAL IS LIFE
These days there are apps to track other apps, services that tell you exactly how out of shape you are, and I’ve actually seen an app that is only there to tell you where the closest toilet is (IT HAS PICTURES). If someone were to ask me what my most used and cherished app is, I would cut them off before they finish and say MyFitnessPal. This app puts everything you need to be a successful flexible dieter in your hand. Stay tuned for a post of MyFitnessPal Hacks.
4. THERE ARE 52 GRAMS OF CARBS IN A BAG OF SOUR PATCH KIDS
It’s ok to eat that thing you crave, but it’s all about portion control. As much as I’d like to devour three bags, there is such a thing as gummy gut, and it’s not conducive to a successful leg day. Don’t cut out that thing you love, just eat it in moderation and make it fit your macros.
5. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE POOPS
No one wants to talk poo, but fiber really should be considered a 4th macro nutrient. The sooner you hit your fiber for the day, the better you’re going to feel. If you’ve ever felt bloated and constipated, then a clean diet is the solution.
6. USE ALL THE SPICES
If someone came out with a salt that paired well with more salt, I think Americans would be piling it on their plates left and right. If your food doesn’t taste good without added spices, you probably should re-think what you’re about to eat. After nearly a year of eating clean, I can tell you that my body actually craves healthy food now, and I notice when I eat something that my body isn’t accustomed to.
7. STAY THIRSTY, MY FRIENDS
I never realized how little water I drank until I spent a couple weeks meticulously tracking the amount I consumed. I actually remember thinking how scary it would have been if I had meticulously tracked the amount of alcohol I used to consume. I now drink at least a gallon a day, and if I ever dip below that I notice. The easiest way I track water is having a designated water bottle and keeping a running tally in my head of how many times I’ve filled it up.
8. SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS, SNACKS!
When I first jumped on the flexible dieting bandwagon, I thought they were crazy. I was constantly eating something, and when I wasn’t eating, I was already planning out my next snack. Now I totally get it. It’s all about little meals spread throughout the day. Snacks on snacks.
9. ALCOHOL IS THE DEVIL’S JUICE
We’ve all been there. You go out and don’t plan to drink, but four beers and two shots later, you’re rolling through Jack in the Box at 2am. Alcohol causes you to make questionable decisions that fly in the face of all logic. If you cut down on this habit, I can guarantee you’ll see better results. Step one is admitting you have a problem.
10. LUNCH BOXES ARE BACK IN STYLE
I’ve been no stranger to showing up at a get-together (or anywhere really) with my food measured out and ready to go. You’re going to get looks, yes. But there will be far more people interested in your commitment rather than the fact that you actually have a separate measured-out container of mustard in that lunch box.