Friday, June 19, 2015

How flexible is flexible?

Yesterday the discussion of Macros and 'flexible dieting' came up on our ride home from the airport. The debate was regarding the flexible nature of the Macro 'diet'.  As the name suggests the intention is to be less rigid with timing of food, quality and quantity. But when does this become simply an excuse to eat poorly and claim you are on track?

I have my own personal opinions regarding nutrition and the values of your diet. The first is that for me, the macros DO allow me to not feel like I can't have a single infraction. The notion that on a day here and there I can have a little leeway with my food is relieving. The alternative, for me personally, is that I find myself fearing any food that is on the 'no list' and my food schedule becomes too militant.

That being said, I do also have a very strong opinion regarding quality of food. It matters. Pizza and twizzlers do not make you feel the same as fresh fruits and vegetables. The fuel might add up to the same numbers but it's not serving your body the same. Additionally, part of the purpose of adhering to a plan/ diet etc is to encourage you to be MORE aware of what you are putting in your mouth. It is to motivate folks to value themselves enough that they take time to cook or plan so that they are ensuring a healthy option, not just a convenient one.

Thinking about this with regard to the Macros made me realize that part of this is the nature of all diets (and human nature): pushing the limits. "How much can I get away with?" (Pause for a life lesson) NOT the way to approach anything whether that be work, relationships etc. and not diet either.

The next question then becomes which infraction is better/ worse. I haven't had pizza, chinese or donuts in over a year but I have had 2-4 drinks per week regularly. That's my choice and balance. In my humble opinion, you can't pick and choose what is worse and better if it's a generally unhealthy choice. It becomes a personal decision as to where you will be flexible and what would serve you most to keep you 85% on track.

So, in our final week of the challenge, take inventory once again and see where the flexibility can best fit for you. Assess and learn so that you can have continued success moving through beyond the first G60.

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