On October 28th, I decided to eat one bagel every single day for 28 days.
The photo on the left was taken on October 28th, and the photo on the right was taken
on November 26- the day AFTER Thanksgiving. (Brave, I know.)
I actually look smaller on the right.
This goes to show you that weight fluctuates whenever it wants.
I couldn’t tell you what I ate the day before the picture was taken,
(I do not track my food year round- this is a topic I’ll save for another day.)
My weight, however, is more or less the same. In fact, I weigh .5 pounds more on the right- but you’d never be able to guess that by looking at the photos. Another reason why the scale doesn’t tell the entire story. (Side note: my weight can fluctuate up to 3 pounds between any given day or week without really changing the way that I look. So no, .5 on the scale is nothing. See pictures for what I mean.)
So how was I able to eat a bagel and not gain weight?
Lemme tell ya!
- If you understand how food and the human body actually work, you’ll know that there is no one food or food group that is inherently bad. You simply cannot gain weight from eating “bad” foods on a regular basis. It is all relative. Meaning, if you adjust your total calories and macros for the day, you can eat foods you enjoy, no matter how “bad” you’ve once believed they are. See, weight loss and weight gain is all a numbers game. Too many calories in = fat gain. Too many calories out = fat loss.
- I adjusted my total intake to make room for the bagel within my day of eating. More so, I adjusted my total carbohydrate intake to allow for room within my macros for the bagel. Each bagel had 53 grams of carbs. To keep the math easy, let’s say I’m allowed to have 153 grams of carbs each day- I knew I had 100 grams left over of carbs each day after eating the bagel. So, I adjusted my intake accordingly to allow for those grams of carbs. Same goes for total calories.
- “But, Christina, you’re just younger than me and can burn that stuff off.” Not true. Because of my Thyroid, my metabolism is for shit. In fact, my metabolism is slower than that of a 50 year old woman with a functioning Thyroid. So, that excuse is invalid.
- “But, Christina, you work out crazier than I do, so you just burn that stuff off.” Also not true. I had PLENTY of rest days over the past 28 days. On the days where I wasn’t training, I adjust my total intake for the day, and still accounted for the intake of the bagel. So, you, too can work in foods you enjoy no matter your activity level.
- You can over eat any kind of food. If it has a calories, you can overeat it. Plain and simple. People get themselves into trouble when they think that something is “good” so they eat it with reckless abandon. I’ll repeat myself: if it has a calorie, it can lead to weight gain. Some things are harder to overeat, like broccoli for example, but- it technically could still be done.
- Once you stop looking at food as “good” and “bad” and begin looking at the bigger picture of the relativity of it all, you will likely stop experiencing food guilt, binge eating, and any other misplaced emotions that come with food.
- By realizing that any and all foods are at your disposal whenever you’d like, there’s no need to feel guilty when you consume something that feels indulgent.
- When you realize that you can have ice cream whenever you damn well please, you won’t turn to food to make yourself feel better about a bad day, a stressful day, etc. Think about it. We OVEREAT those foods when we categorize them as “bad” because it feels naughty. It feels like a forbidden treat, a little secret. But, when you’re in a bad mood, had a bad day, feel sorry for yourself or whatever, you’re not going to portion anything out. You’re going to overeat it. And THAT’S how you gain weight. It is NOT the intake of the ice cream, or cookie, or cake, or chips that’s making you fat, it’s the AMOUNT in which you’re eating it. If you stop telling yourself that this food is bad, is naughty, should not be eaten, then you’ll stop turning to it to make yourself feel better, because you can have it whenever you damn well please. By eliminating the drive to overeat these foods by consuming them on a more regular basis, you will overeat less, you will experience less guilt, and you will probably start to lose weight because of that reduction in intake.
- Flexible dieting is NOT a case to eat like crap 24/7. It’s a case for moderation devoid of guilt. This is still the 80/20 rule. Majority of the time, you should be eating lean proteins and vegetables- mostly unprocessed foods. The other 20% of the time? Have what you want!Should You Try Flexible Dieting?
Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:
- Do I like the way that I eat?
- Am I excited to eat my food more often than not?
- Do I feel guilty when I eat certain foods?
- Do I like the way that I look?
Most people do eat foods they enjoy on a regular basis- but so much so that it causes weight gain and feelings of guilt. The other camp of people stress out so much about their food, putting strict rules and limitations on themselves, yet- are unhappy with their results or lack thereof. Which to me, just makes those restrictions and limitations all the more asinine. Think about it- you feel guilty all of the time, or miserable in one way or another, yet- your body isn’t reflecting a single morsel of effort? It doesn’t make any sense.Flexible dieting fixes almost all of those things. That’s why I am a proponent for it. Flexible dieting is the gateway to a healthier relationship with food. Flexible dieting paves the path to intuitive eating and eating moderately- which is the most enjoyable and sustainable way to eat.I encourage you to adopt flexible dieting as your go-to format for eating. If you have any questions about flexible dieting, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can listen to the podcast version of this episode by clicking here or downloading “Find Your Strong” on iTunes!