This blog post is written by Buff Babes Nutrition Coach, Adee Zukier, and originally posted on Working Against Gravity.
There are countless different health and nutrition programs available today. Some have great promise but fail to meet expectations, while others are effective but too difficult to follow. The one thing that all these programs have in common is in their restriction of specific food items or even entire food groups. We have been taught to believe, you cannot have your cake and lose weight too!
Yes, if you decide to follow a Flexible Dieting program you can have cake, pizza, cookies, and all the other foods that have been forbidden for decades. So many people are excited by this new mind set towards food that they want to share it with the world and go to social media to share their donuts along side their abs. This has placed an unwarranted stigma on counting your macros as a whole, leading many to the conclusion that Flexible Dieting encourages eating junk food and disregards food quality all together. This is far from the truth.
Of course there are people out there that abuse the freedom counting your macros provides but I can assure you those people are hungry, and unsatisfied. Filling your macros with low quality, calorie dense food items like donuts will not give you much food to eat in terms of volume. Not to mention it will leave you chugging shakes to meet your protein requirement.
I will illustrate my point with some visual examples:
Below is a photo of some scrambled egg beaters, fruit salad, and avocado coming to a total weight of 450g compared to a quest bar that is 60g in weight.
This second photo is of 600g of cherry tomatoes compared to a 22g sour key. They both have the same caloric intake and 23g of carbohydrates.
Having Some but Not All
For many, after trying so many restrictive diet programs with little to show for it, incorporating some forbidden food items back into your diet is incredibly freeing. After being convinced that a donut will make you fat and ruin any of your progress it is understandable that many people develop guilt and shame around these foods. For these people, having a slice of pizza causes anxiety and what was once an enjoyable treat to share with friends on movie night has become a trigger for a complete binge. Anyone who has been on a rigid diet before can understand the slippery slope where one bowl of ice cream leads to the entire tub.
Flexible Dieting is a great way to learn moderation and become okay with having some but not all. The flexible approach to counting your macros removes the guilt, shame and anxiety associated with “junk foods” because you know they work in your plan. By following a flexible dieting approach, you can be certain that you are not ruining your progress due to moderate indulgences. The program does not specifically encourage eating these junk food items but is rather making the option available. Donuts are not going anywhere, they are delicious and people will continue to buy them. So rather than restrict them all together Flexible Dieting provides you with the skills and framework to allow for you to satisfy your craving while also achieving your goals.
Buff Babes has decided its time to get excited about our real food as well as our indulgences. Head over to #RFFYM or #TeamWAG and you will see that real food fits your macros too!
Don't believe us? This is what members of Buff Babes have to say about the controversy:
“The beauty of flexible dieting is it allows me to have a treat once in a while as long as I plan for it and I don't have to feel bad about it.”
“I experienced guilt whenever I ate outside of the foods allowed. This often led to blowing the diet for the rest of day. I withdrew from social events and isolated myself for fear of blowing my diet or not being allowed to eat outside of the prescribed plan. Now, because of the flexible nature of WAG, I am liberated! I am free from guilt and look forward to eating.”
“For many of us, I think it will always be a work in progress. But I absolutely think I've developed a better relationship with food overall since starting Buff Babes.”
“I used to have a totally all or nothing relationship with food and would categorize things into "good" and "bad". Since starting Buff Babes, I have discovered a wonderful way to eat everything and anything as long as it fits my numbers, learning what portions *actually* look like and not lying to myself that half a pack of cookies "can't make that much difference.”