Over the years, in my attempts to lose body fat and build muscle, I have tried most popular fad diets and also experimented with many strange nutrition protocols. I had the belief that in order to get results I had to treat food only as fuel and that if I wanted results then enjoying food was not part of the process!
And so, with grim determination, I would plan my day, eating every three hours, with meals consisting of food approved by my strict diet criteria. To ensure that I ate these (and ONLY these) foods and that I ate at the right time, I would pack a cooler bag filled with my meals for the day. I believed the myth that the more frequently I ate, the faster my metabolism would be, resulting in greater fat loss.
I also believed that I would begin losing muscle if I didn’t eat every 3 to 4 hours and so it was all about cooler bags and emergency foods, like biltong and almonds, to keep me in a permanently “fed state”. Looking back I cringe at how neurotic I was! In an effort to eat the most optimally “healthy” foods, I did things like mix tuna and sardines with a little olive oil and brown rice. Nutrient rich for sure, but so disgusting!
I also bought into the myth that I needed to always eat “good”, “clean” foods as opposed to “dirty” and “unhealthy” foods. So it had nothing to do with enjoying food. “Bad” foods had to go! Good-bye to yummy foods like bread, cheese, desserts (in fact anything with sugar!), sauces, sweetener, potatoes and coffee! And in with the good, healthy, superfoods!
Brown rice, fatty fish such as sardines (YUCK!), plain tuna, plain chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, quinoa (WHAT!?), steamed broccoli, egg-white omelettes, and anything else that was boring, bland and bleh! And since no one can eat clean 24/7, I would have a weekly cheat day and gorge on pizza, chocolates, sweets and whatever else I considered bad and unhealthy! But one, big binge day can undo all the efforts of the past week. And so I lived for many, many years.
However, I honestly don’t believe that determination, willpower and motivation like this can last forever. Not for most people anyway and certainly not for me! I couldn’t go back to that way of life now – I just couldn’t! I would rather be overweight than go back to that existence.
So now, based on what I have learned about nutrition, specifically flexible nutrition through peers, experts, study and my own research, I have discovered how to tailor my diet for both maximum health and maximum enjoyment. And although I am in my fifties, I am in THE BEST SHAPE of my life, leaner, stronger and with more muscle than ever before.
And at the same time I get incredible joy and satisfaction from the way I use a flexible dieting approach. I eat all the foods that I enjoy – NO restrictions – but of course I do limit the quantities. And I eat when I want to. Sometimes I have breakfast and sometimes I don’t. Turns out that breakfast IS NOT the most important meal of the day! I eat lots of carbs in the evening, because the myth that carbs, and especially carbs at night, make you fat has been debunked as well!
In the field of nutrition there are SO MANY myths, assumptions and other forms of BS that it becomes confusing and overwhelming. So if you are sick and tired of trying to eat healthy, but don’t know who or what to believe anymore, then perhaps it’s time to start learning how to be a flexible dieter (lose body fat, gain muscle & feel amazing)! You will NEVER look back or have to undertake another extreme, restrictive fad diet ever again!