Flexible Dieting

( Or How to Eat Donuts and Still Lose Weight )

That statement should have gotten everyone's attention. But what does flexible dieting mean?

OK, the donut part was more of a hook to get you to read the following. As we all now, dieters are failing by the millions, due to a number of reasons , the biggest one being a lack of willpower.

Some of them are so motivated that they don't stray from their diet for weeks, counting every calorie, eating at the perfect time and then....they implode. Due to stress or worries they fall off the wagon completely and stay off it.
This is where flexible dieting comes in; you need to allow yourself to live. If you are on a mild caloric deficit (400 calories per day or less), schedule a cheat meal once a week, so you can go to dinner with friends without worrying. I would give myself a 4-hour window for this and eat a side of fries or a dessert to your liking.

Athletes who run a more severe deficit and have a competent coach need to have a 2-3 day re-feed every week, combined with a heavy weight training session.

This will allow them to stop the muscle loss and revive their metabolism in order to continue to lose body fat. What does that mean?

When you diet for an extended period of time, such as more than 14 days, bad things start happening in your body: HGH and testosterone drop, cortisol goes up and leptin drops. This goes especially if excessive amounts of cardio are being performed. The results: you get hungrier, more irritable and start losing muscle. Fat loss, on the other hand, comes to a screeching halt. Not a good situation for a bodybuilder or strength athlete. Flexible dieting or smart cheating reverses that.

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The added calories (which should mostly come from carbohydrates) will cause the body to produce testosterone and HGH again as well as raise leptin levels, which regulates your satiety. You can optimize this hormonal state by doing a heavy whole body workout the day after your cheat.

Won't I get fat from the extra carbs? No, here is the situation: imagine you have 20000 $ credit card debt and someone gives you 10k. Would you pay off the credit card or start a savings account? Your body works the same way, first it will replenish muscle and liver glycogen, then start storing fat. This only occurs after 48 h of overeating so you should be safe unless you grossly overdo it.

Most importantly, flexible dieting gives you a psychological break and you don't feel that your diet is done for good, if you have a donut...hmmmm donuts.....It will actually help you to get lean!

'Til next time


Maik Wiedenbach

Maik Wiedenbach is an Olympic athlete, personal trainer, and nutritionist. He shares his training wisdom in the 101 Fitness Myths and 30 Secrets for Bigger Arms! ebooks, and the Desk Athlete DVD. Superb.

When not in the gym, he may be found training clients over at Adler Training; and also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Swing on by.

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