How do you define flexible? Perhaps you envision Instagram worthy yoga poses of backbends with leg lifts. Forward folds with straight legs and nose to knees. Or maybe you pride yourself on having a flexible schedule. Prioritizing your health while making time for work, family, friends, and hobbies. We all aim to become more flexible—whether in Pilates class or while scheduling activities for the week. Flexibility is the romantic alternative to high strung and tightly wound lifestyle. It’s an attractive goal that can be applied to various aspects of our lives. Including your diet.
There’s nothing enticing about a meal plan that involves strict instructions of when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. It may appeal to us at first, inviting us to control what we put in our bodies and become more mindful of it. However, over time, this type of restriction can backfire, sending even the most disciplined fit girl into the donut shop for a jelly filled donut to satisfy her sweet tooth. So when you hear the term “flexible dieting” everywhere you go, our ears perk up and our appetites are piqued.
You may find yourself asking, “What exactly is flexible dieting?? Is it for me?” We’ve asked ourselves these same questions and have come up with the following answers to provoke thought and help you make an educated decision.
What It Is
Flexible dieting is the counting and tracking of macronutrients. Also known as “macros,” these nutrients consist of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Flexible dieting is attractive to most people because as long as you stay within your recommended grams of macros, you can eat whatever food you would like. This is why it’s also referred to as IIFYM, “If It Fits Your Macros.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? What makes flexible dieting attractive to most people is the fact that they can enjoy an occasional happy hour, indulge in a co-worker’s birthday and have an extra slice of pizza on Friday night.
What It Isn’t
While there are benefits to living the “flexible” lifestyle, there are also some pitfalls to eating this way. If your judgment goes out the window along with your desire to eat fruit and veggies, you may find yourself choosing pastries over protein pancakes and French fries instead of fresh strawberries as a snack. What’s wrong with that? Processed foods, such as pastries and French fries are also known as “empty calories.” They lack the nutrients our bodies need to function and feel their best.
How to Make Flexible Dieting Work For You
What makes flexible dieting so attractive? It embraces balance. We can, literally, have our cake and eat it too. When most of us think of a “diet,” we think of deprivation. The benefits of flexible dieting are that you don’t have to starve yourself, restrict yourself, or turn down a cupcake at your niece’s 5th birthday party. The disadvantage of flexible dieting is that by regularly opting for less nutrient-dense sources of carbs, proteins, and fats, you may deprive your body of important vitamins and minerals. Therefore, remain mindful of your food choices and while the occasional chocolate bar or fried cheese sticks won’t deter your progress, they should not be your primary source of fuel.
Whether you’re reaching for your toes or another serving of pasta, flexibility is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Embrace balance wherever you go with the Everywhere satchel. Worn as a crossbody bag or on your arm, the water-repellent nylon bag offers plenty of space for healthy snacks, reading material, workout clothes and more. How do you practice being flexible? Share a photo and let us know by tagging #solandselene.
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Megan has been a certified personal trainer for over ten years. Also a lifelong vegetarian, her fitness journey began in high school, when she was overweight and inactive. After joining her first gym at the age of 16 and making changes to her lifestyle, the extra weight dropped and her commitment to health and wellness continued to grow. In a world that overwhelms us with diet plans, new workout routines, and the latest “stress-busting, abs-lusting” claims, Megan Meisner Fitness will help you silence the distractions and focus on mindfulness, self-awareness, and support to reach your goals.