Here at Flexible Physiques, we pride ourselves with being on the forefront with nutrition. The main question we are focusing on is, what is flexible dieting? Most people tend to think of dieting as strict cutting of specific nutrients i.e. fats and carbohydrates. While this is a traditional method, simply limiting these food groups from your diet may not be the most ‘flexible’ approach. Before we dive into semantics, I’ll share with you how I got started with flexible dieting.
Several years ago, I was the same as many “bros” out there who would continually try and eat 6 to 7 meals per day. What were these meals comprised of? Well you guessed it! Mostly chicken, brown rice, and broccoli (or some variation of the sort). Everyone in the industry knows this all too well, especially when it comes to terms such as ‘clean eating’. Fast forward a year or so, and I’m starting to take a pragmatic approach to my nutrition and looking at how I have not made much progress (besides increasing strength) since I first started my journey. Yes, I could gain weight relatively easily by increasing calories, but I never objectively looked at my diet. One day I decided to take the dive into figuring out macronutrients and what is optimal for gaining/cutting/maintaining weight. It took a lot of research to figure out, but after my first successful cut (dropping down to 180 pounds from 200) In 12 weeks, I was hooked.
So what is this principle based off of? In layman’s terms, it revolves around something called our TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and manipulating our food intake (in calories) to either gain weight (hopefully muscle) and lose weight (hopefully fat) based upon this number. Beyond this, you can create a diet that 1. Reaches your calorie intake dependent upon your goals and 2. Hits your other macronutrient goals to satisfy nutrient requirements for the day (Protein for muscle gain/retention, fat for optimal hormonal balance, and carbs for performance in the gym).
So with all of this in mind, you can create a diet employing foods you love, which is nonrestrictive and allows you to live your life without revolving around the diet. The scale should not run you, you should be able to run the scale dependent upon individual goals. Food options are endless, no longer are we confined to a boring bodybuilding diet of chicken, brown rice, or broccoli. Any food is a possibility if you can fit it into your daily calorie/nutrient allotment. So put down the brown rice, enjoy your favorite foods, and remember, don’t overthink it!
Next time we will hash out some more scientific details about flexible dieting, and look at eating disorders such as orthorexia nervosa! Stay tuned!