Nutrition

Flexible dieting: life changing!

Give fad diets, juice plans and meal plans the elbow, it’s time to take control, says Emma Storey-Gordon…

What is flexible dieting? Flexible dieting is based on eating sensibly. This approach allows you to eat foods you like and avoid foods you don’t like. It is also built around the fact that if you create a calorie deficit you will lose weight no matter what you eat, therefore there is no reason to avoid your favourite foods or force yourself to eat food you don’t enjoy while trying to lose weight.hat is flexible dieting?

 

I think we can agree flexible dieting sounds brilliant!

You get to eat the foods you want;

You can still drink alcohol;

You can eat out;

You don’t need to meal prep;

You can be spontaneous (ooh, what’s reduced in Tesco today);

You can try new foods;

And best of all because of all… it is sustainable long term.

 

Sounds like rainbows and butterflies, but flexible dieting is hard! And I’m not just talking about understanding macronutrients or learning how to track foods. I’m talking about the self-restraint required. It’s quite easy to say no to something e.g. ‘I’m not drinking at all’ or‘I’m on a diet and it’s not allowed’. That is definitive, it is set in stone, that’s the rule so you stick to it, don’t question it. That actually takes very little will power.

 

However, if you decide that you will have two beers because you want to and you’ll fit them into your calories for the day, you may find it takes a lot more will power to stop at two. If alcohol is not your bag then imagine this with biscuits. It is quite easy to say no to having any biscuits but it is hard to stop at just one or two.

 

Why? Because moderation is hard! Saying no is relatively easy, that’s why rule-based diets work so well. ‘I can’t have that, it’s not on my diet. End of.’

But that is a short-term solution. Do you honestly think you can live NEVER eating after 6pm, NEVER eating carbs again or avoiding alcohol FOREVER? I’m sure you *could* but why would you want to when you don’t have to!

 

The problem with strict diets is that, by their very nature, they are ‘all or nothing’. You’re on the diet or you’re off the diet. As the name suggests, flexible dieting is not like this.

 

My long-winded point is that flexible dieting is hard but it is so worth it. Invest time, effort and will power in learning the ropes once and you won’t have to jump on and off diet plans, juice cleanses and meal plans ever again. Just imagine the money and heartache you will save when you no longer need to yo-yo diet every few months.

 

I don’t think I know anyone who has tried flexible dieting (for more than a few weeks) and gone back to restrictive ‘fad’ diets afterwards. As cheesy as it is, the realisation that if you get the foundations of your diet right you can enjoy flexibility really is life changing!

 

I know that short-term results and minimal effort is appealing but if you invest some time now, it will certainly be worth it in the long run. Understanding how to lose unwanted body fat and not just mindlessly following fad diets will allow you to maintain your results long term.

 

 

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