As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of flexible dieting.
It’s the perfect diet for most people when done right as it allows you to enjoy your favorite foods, and even indulge in a cheat meal once per week while still making very similar fat loss progress as a super clean diet.
In today’s article I wanted to dive deeper into flexible dieting and go over a few “X Factors” which will speed up your results on any type of flexible dieting plan.
Just so we are on the same page, the words “flexible dieting” means the same thing as “IIFYM – aka if it fits your macros”
Let’s dive into the biggest mistake most flexible dieters make which really sets them back. I’ve seen this mistake over and over again, so make sure not to make the same one!
The Biggest Mistake Flexible Dieters Make! (Don’t do this!)
Chances are you have seen someone post on Instagram about IIFYM and you are under the impression that you can sit back and eat pop tarts all day and lose body fat and get shredded.
Quite frankly I blame the bodybuilders and fitness models on steroids for this phenomenon, as enhances athletes seem to love sharing there “junk food” eating habits and how they stay so shredded.
Don’t be fooled, it’s the drugs, NOT the pop tarts making them shredded!
While you could technically enjoy pop tarts occasionally (especially during your weekly cheat meal), it doesn’t mean you are eating junk with every meal.
Now, just because you figured out that you need to consume about 2,000 calories per day on your shredding diet does not mean you CAN’T reach your goal eating a bunch of junk food, but you certainly would have to be a genetic anomaly.
For 99% of us, eating excessive amounts of sugar, barely any fiber, and a bunch of trans-fat is a terrible diet, and just because you are hitting your calorie quota with this diet does not mean you are healthy.
The biggest flaw with eating whatever you want whenever you want on the Flexible dieting plan is your energy levels will suffer, your health will be bad, and your fat loss and muscle building hormones will have a negative impact.
Although losing body fat quickly can be as simple as eating less calories than you are consuming, we have to factor in foods that will lower our energy levels and decrease key hormones in our body that are responsible for fat loss and muscle building.
I think one of the smartest things you can do is limit your “cheat meals” to once per week, and sneak in a few of your favorite foods throughout the week in smaller quantity.
This is a time tested approach and has resulted in tons of amazing shred transformations for my clients.
There is some science to this cheat meal for shredding success. Let’s dive into that next.
Cheat Meal Timing!
I found this out the hard way. It was a typical Flexible Dieting day for me but I was on a pretty intense shredding diet for an upcoming photo shoot. I was eating about 2,100 calories per day and it was finally my “cheat meal” day in which I had a slice of pizza and some pop tarts!
I scarfed down my once per week cheat meal around 11 AM after my workout – and I was already at 1,000 calories.
This means that I could only consume 1,100 calories for the final 12 hours of the day! This was not fun, and I had to down a ton of water and veggies to keep myself full.
I guess what I am trying to say is that typical “cheat foods” like pop tarts and ice cream don’t contain any fiber – so they will pack you full of calories without making you full.
If your cheat meal gets out of hand like it very easily can, you will find yourself eating 2,000 total calories with almost zero calories to spare!
This happened recently to one of my clients, who had a huge dinner and then ate an entire piece of cheesecake not knowing the meal was a total of 2,000 calories! This is why it's important to know how many calories your cheat meals are so they don’t get out of hand.
I recommend not consuming more than 40% of your total daily calories from cheat meals so it's easy for you to stay under your daily calorie count and stay on track for your shredding plan!
If you don’t follow this rule it can make staying under your total calories for the day almost impossible, especially if you indulge in your cheat meal really early in the day.
Why Clean Diets Suck!
I’m not a fan of the 100% clean diet at all for many reasons, and I think it actually slows down a lot of dieters and causes them to get frustrated and give up.
That is why with all of my programs I have a flexible dieting approach that lets people eat their favorite foods while still making really fast progress towards their ideal physique.
Let’s have a chat about the boring bland bodybuilding diet, just in case you need some extra motivation to avoid it at all costs!
You wake up and you eat some egg whites and oatmeal. A few hours go by and you have some almonds and an organic protein shake.
Next up is another delicious lunch of grilled chicken, brown rice, and steamed vegetables. Your afternoon snack is the usual handful of mixed nuts, and for dinner some more delicious steamed protein and veggies!
Imagine doing that diet above for 3 months straight while also crushing your workouts and staying motivated?
This boring and bland diet can lead to loss of emotional pleasure from eating, and really make the entire process of long term dieting unbearable for most people.
That’s where Flexible dieting comes into play, allowing you to eat the foods you enjoy while still making fast progress!
I hope you guys found this article useful. I thought looking at a few of the finer details and X factors is important for success when flexible dieting, so I shared the 2 biggest mistakes I have seen people make over and over again.
If you found this content useful and/or are interested in your own custom flexible dieting plan, I encourage you to check out my 12-Week Shred Plan!