What does it mean to eat flexibly?
It means eating what you like to, while giving your body what it needs to achieve your goals. As simple as that.
“It’s about finding the simplest, most effective ways to get the body you want with as little effort and anxiety as possible”
– Armi Legge, Evidence Mag
It does not necessarily means obsessively counting macros and calories to the point you can’t eat with your significant other if you don’t know the exact macros (leave that to our hardcore-IIFYM folks), nor restricting your food choices for whatever imaginary reason (er…clean eating/paleo, better not).
It’s important to note that Flexible dieting does not mean eating junk 24/7 nor eating “clean” foods only either (whatever that means).
It does mean, however, that you know what your nutrient needs are, and that you purposely try to achieve them while you let yourself enjoy your food and lifestyle with balance and moderation.
- You get to eat what you like, from pizza to ice cream, nothing is off the limits.
- You are aware of your needs of whole, nutrient filled foods, and know how to achieve them.
- Your health, both physical and psychological will improve importantly. No need for guilt nor suffering over food.
Food will become a part of your life, not the centre of it. You’ll end up having the best shape of your life AND you get to enjoy the process.
How is all of this even possible?
In a word, science.
Tons of research backs the fact that is the total amount of food we eat and not the specific foods choices what determine if we gain or lose weight.
Plus, if within that total amount of food we eat we manipulate our total nutrient targets the right way, we’ll get optimal results in our body composition (i.e. lose weight in the form of fat and keep most of our muscle mass, or add pounds of muscle mass with minimal fat gain) and in our health.
To put the icing on the cake, it has been noted that, if most of our nutrition comes from whole, minimally processed foods, we can still enjoy some junk food and still lose fat or pack muscle without having negative effects in our health.
Summarizing, for now
- How much you eat is what determines whether you gain or lose weight.
- Nutrient distribution of the diet is important as well, for it determines how you gain or lose that weight.
- If most of your diet is full of nutrients, some junk food won’t do any harm.
In the next part of this series, we explain how to use all this to get the physique you dream!