I’ll give you the first reason right off the bat; it’s easier. Meal plans are often touted as the obvious choice, with flexible dieting scoffed at or labeled an excuse to cheat on your diet and pretend it all adds up; well there ain’t no cheetahs in this safari, we’re living like lions out here, and to quote Matthew McConaughey’s Michael Pearson from the 2019 film The Gentlemen, “There’s only one rule is this f***ing jungle; when the lions hungry, he eats”
First reason aside, what else does Flexible Dieting have to offer?
The ease it provides is definitely what I myself would place at the forefront, with the (as the name implies) flexibility this approach has allowing you to live a life unconstrained by other disciplinary approaches, a factor that drives many away before they even begin.
But is there more to the package? Oh, there most definitely is. The adaptability it provides is just the tip of the iceberg, and in this article, we’ll touch on not only the other key aspects of what this dietary approach has to offer, but also on just how you can ensure that this doesn’t turn out to be a case of something too good to be true, rather the beginning of the next chapter of your fitness journey, packed with a lot more enjoyment snuggled in cozily in the room that needless monotony left behind after it got rightfully booted from the equation.
The Paradox of Variety and Consistency
Now, an initial concern tends to arise: will this affect my consistency, being able to eat whatever I want?
In my experience, no, it won’t. If anything, it’ll have the opposite effect. You’re not obsessively adhering to the old “5 meals a day, first being oatmeal and 1 cup of milk, second being fruit and a protein shake, third being…” rhetoric, but rather a set of requirements to fulfill. This will vary depending on the situation, but typically, you have your calorie goal and macronutrient goals within it. Some focus entirely on protein with the rest being flexible, some have exact numbers for each pillar. Some allow any and all foods, some choose to discard many or adhere to a select few. This will be up to you or your coach. Here we’re discussing the raw concept itself.
Now, the real selling point here, is that this protein goal, this calorie allowance, can be filled by any foods that are (literally and metaphorically) on the table. If you have 2500kcal to fill, and 160g of protein as a minimum target, then that day could consist of grilled chicken, rice, and broccoli, or it could consist of calamari stir-fry, fruit salad, some protein cookies, and a latte. As long as you hit your goals, the day is a success.
Through this variety, the monotony of a meal plan is subverted, and long-term consistency becomes that much more feasible. When you’re not dying for a break, pushing on becomes that much easier.
Your Cravings and You Working Together Against Fat
Now, in the prior point, we alluded to a similar principle as we will here, but in a different time frame. A desire to indulge in other foods that we desire will make a consistent meal plan tiresome in the long run, but what about in the moment? Maybe you love your chicken and rice, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting a little chocolate after. And saying “no” to yourself for the 14th time this month for such a seemingly small thing get’s old after a while.
But thankfully, with flexible dieting, a “No, that isn’t in the meal plan” turns to a “Yes, let’s make it fit”. No longer are your options rigid and inflexible. If you want something, you can make room for it and stay right on track.
Fancy some chocolate? One serving size is 100kcal, so you eat 100kcal less of rice and you’re golden. Craving some pizza today? This pizza says it’s 1200kcal on the box, you can pair it with a couple of protein shakes, skip a meal, and you’re golden. As long as the numbers add up, all is as it should be.
Being able to embrace short-term cravings rather than kick the can (because they’re not going away just by ignoring them,) makes a demanding diet sustainable long term, which is the only timeframe in which true, lasting results are achieved. Work with them, rather than against them, to make everything that much easier.
The Freedom It Brings Is Almost as Good as the Results
And further still piggybacking off of the previous point, we have a somewhat obvious but noteworthy fact: Any process, if enjoyed, becomes that much easier to continue along.
Playing into the psychological aspects, even; does it not suck to reject dinner invitations? Not even be able to indulge in merely trying someone else’s food when offered to you? Rejecting alcohol is another one: it pretty much ruins the bar-hopping, nightclub, and the overall party scene for many, given how much of a focal point it is for these activities (and those participating). No one likes being “that guy” that can’t partake in any of the fun stuff. But in this case, you won’t have to be anymore. Just as you can fit in cravings, you can fit in other activities previously out of reach.
Wanna come kayaking tomorrow morning? Rather than “Oh, I have two meals to eat within that time, I’d have to either bring them with me and awkwardly eat them, or simply turn down the offer” you can simply accept, and balance it out later. Bring a protein shake and add a little rice to your next meals, or just fast and feast once you’re home; you have options.
Your life will be less stringent in this regard, less hyper-focused on food and its demands, and overall more complete in other regards. No singular pursuit is getting in the way of the rest. You’ll be free to live and progress toward your fitness goals, all in harmony.
A More Flexible Approach to Slip-Ups
Not all the pros are just good things on their own. Some, like this one, are an improved ability to handle the bad. Let’s say you have one drink too many, or maybe using the wrong sweetener when baking, and now have a tray of brownies 200+kcal overmark, each! What do we do?
With meal planning, the first day isn’t even something you would’ve been able to entertain, and those brownies would’ve had to find someone else’s stomach to get comfortable in. But now, you can improvise, adapt, and overcome (thank you, Bear Grylls). The morning after your drunken slip-up, while you nurse that hangover, you use sugar-free syrup and a lower-calorie milk option in your pancakes, as well as substituting toast for some strawberries. Those brownies? Your new pre-workout meal, which, with a little less fruit after dinner, fits right in.
We’re all human, we all make mistakes, many within our control, many outside of it. And whether they’re your fault or not, they are inarguably your responsibility, because the only one that can do this for you, is you. So give yourself a tool to do exactly that, to levy you out of these tricky scenarios, making your arsenal that much more expansive for the ongoing war against that pesky fat tucked into the sides of your lower back.
Now, these tool is a valuable one, just as all these benefits are strong selling points for such an approach. The only concern remaining, however, is the feasibility of all of this. Flexible dieting requires, in its extended freedom, a greater level of oversight and control; an increase in responsibility which many find to overpower what they can realistically juggle alongside things like a social circle, hobbies, and a full-time job. But you don’t have to juggle it, because there’s one last piece to this puzzle that ties it all together.
The Guiding Hand Through the Flexible Jungle
I can tell you from experience, flexible dieting can be a bumpy start. It can mess with your head, the feeling that you’re “cheating” or that you must be missing something, and that’s not to mention the temptations, the extra tracking, the potential costs, and so on and so forth. All of this though, the mistakes that you’d make along the way, can be easily avoided through the expertise of someone who’s not only made these mistakes already himself but learned from them, so that you can skip straight to reaping the results through the fruits of his labor.
Through Fred Chevry’s system and under his guidance, you’ll turn what was once a treacherous trail into a clear-cut path to success, which each step paved neatly along the way. If that sounds like something you need, click here to learn more and get yourself started.