Since everyone is always asking me what I eat every day I figured I’d put together a bunch of pics of some of the regular meals I eat every month and my fave desserts (I eat dessert most every day). I like to eat. I eat out on Sundays (sometimes Saturdays as well) but cook all my other meals at home. Even though I don’t track I still meal prep as I’ve been doing some sort of food prep since my kids were young. I find it enjoyable and relaxing.
But then it got me thinking about flexible dieting and what it means and how some people really have a warped, perverted and very unclear understanding of what it actually is.
So first a quick primer on flexible dieting. Flexible dieting is simply a way of figuring out your nutritional needs via caloric and macronutrient requirements/preferences to best suit your strength, performance and/or body composition goals. If you don’t know how to do that you can start here with this free macro calculator: https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator
Does it work? Of course. 100%. You pick your goal and you set your calories and macros to work towards that goal whether it be fat loss, maintenance or a surplus to build. But if you mistakenly believe that food QUANTITY doesn’t count just because your food QUALITY trumps all – then you are very misinformed with respect to the laws of thermodynamics. You CAN and WILL gain weight eating all “clean” foods if you overeat, e.g. Eat more than you burn. At the end of the day or week or month – calories in versus calories out are what matter when we are talking about weight gain, loss and body composition. This does not mean that we do not account for fiber or vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). Of course we do. We care about our health and longevity more than we care about our aesthetic goals!
So I hope you see that it is all about balance and consistency. No foods are off limits. We do not demonize any one food or any food group. We view the diet as a whole and do not judge one meal or one day of food as being “bad.” We don’t use words like “dirty” or “sketch” (lol) to describe our food or meals. We don’t “cheat” on our diets. We don’t embrace Orthorexia or black and white thinking because
it reveals a deeper unhealthy mindset where food is given moral & religious significance it should not be given and eating “unclean” foods often fuels an obsession to purge via fasting, excessive cardio & other disordered eating.
It’s much more than semantics. Black & white thinkers are often the same dieters who engage in restrict/binge/restrict cycles with little long term success.
So it is the mindset that first needs to change. Food & eating should never elicit feelings of fear and anxiety- this is what leads to a mindset of absolutes and negative guilt/shame cycles. THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ARE ABOUT. THERE IS NOTHING HEALTHY OR FLEXIBLE ABOUT THAT. (Eat the French fry or donut and shut the fu** up about it plz)
And this is why I love the phrase “FLEXIBLE DIETING” I prefer “flexible nutrition” but diet as a noun actually means ‘the kinds of food that a person habitually eats.’
Moreover, in here we judge a diet cumulatively. We base our diet on the 80/20 rule. So for long term health and mortality, 80% of our diet ‘should’ be made up of whole minimally processed foods and the remaining 20% is usually filled with more processed fun or treat foods.
Now onto the hard part: you must work hard & be consistent before you can pull back & enjoy the ‘fruits’ of your labor. You cannot stick to plan for 4-5 days every week and then go off plan for 2-3 days and still expect to garner results. You may, but probably not. That’s wheel spinning. That’s losing and gaining the same 4 lbs of water weight. That’s not consistency. Consistency is getting it done week in and week out no matter how you “feel” and no matter what life’s circumstances are handing you. (See Importance of Consistency PSA)
Pick a goal, make a plan, set a timeframe, put plan in motion by prioritizing the steps and actions that will move you closer toward said goal. This will likely include meal prep, scheduled training time, working on increasing NEAT, making sleep a priority, limiting stress, limiting meals out and controlling one’s food environment if success is to be a reality. Even the couch potatoe WANTS success in his/her mind. He/she just doesn’t want it badly enough to make it happen. Only you can stop talking about it and actually do it. So take the step, make the plan, then set the plan in motion. But get rid of perfect. Perfect sucks. Perfect doesn’t work. Never will. It’s for people who are quitters because it readies the ‘easy out.’ “I can’t be perfect so I will just quit.”
You know what’s hard? Getting your ass up day in and day out and prepping your food and training at 4 am and caring for kids and partners and just getting it done in spite of your world being chaotic. That’s hard. Perfection is easy. Perfection is for the weak. Consistency is for badasses.
Eventually, as you become more and more successful moving closer and closer toward your goal you may start to move away from the confines of rigidity to a more laid back & flexible approach to your diet. Maybe you can eat out once per week with friends. Have a few drinks without eating an entire pizza & wings. But don’t self sabotage because you feel you ‘deserve’ it. Bullshit. Feelings have nothing to do with facts and goals. You deserve to set a goal, put a plan in place & execute said plan unto completion. Not perfection. But consistently and with your best. Whatever that means to you. Only you will know that. Because that is what badasses do. And the reward at the end will be all yours.
Join us in the group to discuss and see the rest of Justine’s awesome food porn (Ladies only please)