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Updated: Apr 14, 2020

I have been into health and fitness my whole life and have tried every fad diet under the sun. I’ve done juice cleansers, keto, I’ve only eaten fruit and vegetables for a whole month! I’ve done very restrictive eating, sticking to the same meals day in and day out. I would eat very simple, plain foods like chicken, rice and broccoli which was very boring and frustrating when my friends wanted to go out to eat and I would watch them all enjoy their yummy meals while I was stuck eating ‘boring and healthy' foods.

Then I came across Flexible Dieting. Flexible Dieting is when you do not restrict any food groups and don’t get stuck eating the same meals every day. It’s pretty simple actually you can eat what you want, when you want, as much as you want as long as it fits your macros. You are given a daily or weekly calorie goal and macro split and as long as these foods fit into your macros you can have it!

At the end of the day it is all about energy balance. If we understand energy balance we understand fat loss! Energy balance is calories in vs calories out. We need to burn more calories than we consume in order to lose body fat. Calories are king! Being in a calorie deficit makes you lose weight however your macro split will determine how you feel while in a calorie deficit. Eating foods that are nutrient-dense which have heaps of micronutrients will make you feel better and give you more energy rather than filling your calories with ice cream, chocolate and chips which will make you feel more sluggish and your calorie output won’t be as high. If you have not already read my blog on energy balance I recommend you give that read after you finish this one!

“Good foods and bad foods” We need to stop with this mindset of this food is good and this food is bad. There are simply foods which are more nutritious and then there're some food which are a whole lot more delicious. Just because a food isn’t optimal doesn't mean it is ‘bad’ for you. The more we take something away the more we are going to grave that food and then eventually binge out on it. You want a diet you can stick to long term, something you can turn into a lifestyle. Your diet should be filled with both nutritious and delicious foods! It is all about balance and feeling good. Compliance is key! You could have an amazing plan set up for you but if you can’t follow it or end up binging out after restricting yourself for so long then there’s no point. Compliance is everything. With flexible dieting it is a lot easier to be compliant as you are not restricting yourself from enjoying the foods you love.

I like to follow the 80/20 rule. For 80 percent of the time, I am eating nutritious foods that make me feel good and provide me with the energy I need to train hard and then 20 percent of the time I eat delicious, yummy foods and treats that I love that also make me feel good and make me more compliant with my diet. It’s all about balance. A well-balanced diet should include nutrient-dense foods and foods that you actually enjoy.

Lauren Sibbald

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