I’m Still Unsure if Flexible Deiting is for Me…

I’m still not sold on this flexible dieting (FD) thing!  Can you help me?  Can I be convinced?

Well, I’ve got some unique testimonials to share with ya’ll regarding a four-week FD nutrition challenge that BullsEye Nutrition was a part of along with CrossFit Pineville.  These individuals are very unique and have been willing to share their personal experience using the FD approach.  Additionally, these individuals also incorporated intermittent fasting and supplementation into their FD during the whole nutrition challenge!  See their explanations for yourself and feel free to comment below!

First up is Macaira H.  WOW – that’s an understatement with Macaria!  Macaira was our first place winner of the nutrition challenge – interestingly she lost the least weight too – starting out at 155# and ended at 154# after four weeks; but her photos show differently!  Macaria’s busy schedule as a nurse had her internal time clock all goofy – BUT she was willing to instill her trust in Coach Amy and Coach Michelle and thought it was the perfect time to jump on board and give FD a shot!  And boy did it pay off!  Here’s what Macaria had to say about her experience:

Macaria CFP Nutrition Challenge
L Column = Initial / R Column = Final

“Ever since Robert (my husband) and I moved to Charlotte in September 2015, my nutrition and exercise regimen took a back seat.  I realized after a few months of eating anything and everything and not exercising, I just wasn’t feeling healthy or energized.  I joined CrossFit Pineville in January 2016 to get back in the habit of exercising a few times a week.  When the nutrition challenge came up at the box, I thought ‘PERFECT’ – It was an opportunity to hold myself accountable for my dieting habits.  Not to mention I had quite a few beach vacations planned, the biggest shocker for me on my flexible dieting plan was that my protein intake was seriously lacking.  I also realized carbohydrates are not bad and that I didn’t need to deprive myself from eating them.  Having the ability to eat everything in moderation truly helped curve my bad dieting habits.  What I learned most was that I was seriously lacking in protein and completely over thinking carbohydrates!  Also I loved the fact that nothing was off limits!  I didn’t have to deprive myself of a good meal or wine.  I have always been stuck on the numbers on the scale as well but through flexible dieting, I was able to see awesome changes in my body even though the scale didn’t fluctuate so much”.

“A positive was how much my body changed in 30 days – It felt great to get lean!  Another positive I found was that I was still able to enjoy bachelorette parties on this approach!  A negative was trying to figure out the nutrition and guessing carbohydrates etc. when I went out to eat with friends but that is just the nature of learning what you are fueling your body with and becoming more aware.  After the challenge and what I have learned, I have already given my coaches name to so many people.  I think it is a great way to balance your lifestyle – how to balance your nutrition without depriving yourself of the things you love.  I LOVE the fact that I had multiple parties and bachelorette parties and not once had to say ‘No, I can’t eat that'”.

L Column: Post-FD / R Column: Pre-FD
L Column: Post-FD / R Column: Pre-FD

Next up is Mallory F.  I think Mallory was one of the most hardworking individuals who completed this nutrition challenge at CrossFit Pineville thus far!  In fact, she was PREGNANT the whole time…AND still made her nutrition a top priority [and for the baby]!  Mallory was the third place winner from the challenge and she could not believe her progress in just four weeks of tracking her macronutrients and seeing her body transform.  Although with pregnancy, it is normal to gain weight to help nourish the growing baby; however, Mallory learned that her body still needed that right amount of nutrition and nothing more [or less] to prevent unwanted fat gain.  See Mallory’s successful thoughts about the FD nutrition challenge:

“I had heard about Coach Amy’s experiences and seen her success firsthand with flexible dieting and became very interested in her services when she decided to start BullsEye Nutrition.  I guess I was looking for the right opportunity to join, and the “Summer Shakedown Nutrition Challenge” at CrossFit Pineville gave me just the push I needed.  I knew my nutrition had been “off” since the first trimester of my pregnancy when fatigue, nausea, and food aversions forced me to eat mostly unrefined carbs.  I gained an unnecessary amount of fat my first four months of pregnancy and knew it needed to come off sometime.  I refused to believe that pregnant women couldn’t shed fat and change their bodies without harming their pregnancies – just like I refused to believe that active, healthy women who regularly did CrossFit pre-pregnancy couldn’t continue to CrossFit throughout their entire pregnancies with appropriate modifications (which look different for each woman and each pregnancy, by the way).  When I heard about the nutrition challenge, I told Coach Amy and Coach Michelle about my goals and they were supportive and understanding.  Both encouraged me to stick to the macro prescription, not to worry about calories, and to trust the process, promising me I’d be thrilled with the results… and I was!  WOW, had I unknowingly bought into the “low fat” culture that big agriculture in our country promotes.  I did not have near enough fat in my diet, which meant that I was hungry all of the time and that my body was actually holding on to fat because I wasn’t getting enough healthy fat in my diet (especially during pregnancy).  I also needed to up my protein intake by about 40 grams/day – super important for building lean muscle, and babies. ☺ I think, initially, I was a bit skeptical about the flexible dieting approach, because all I’d done previously is track calories, which was laborious, but effective, leading to a ~25lb weight loss pre-pregnancy.  Overcoming the initial hurdle in taking that next step and tracking macros was definitely a bit intimidating at first, but boy did the work pay off!  I ate tons of delicious food and STILL hit my goals!  Plus, I saw results soooo much faster than just counting calories alone and I was barely ever hungry (and that’s saying a lot for a pregnant woman)”!

“The positives:  fast results, not hungry, get to eat lots of delicious food (whatever you want, if it fits your macros), improved performance inside and outside of the gym, and stable energy!  The negatives:  just like any dieting approach, takes lots of time, energy, and planning.  Fail to plan, plan to fail!  I found low-carb, high fat and high protein recipes on Pinterest to be extremely helpful throughout the process.  Boy did I eat a lot of egg bakes but I got to eat bacon and sausage a lot, too. ☺ I had no idea how in the world to calculate and adjust my macros – there’s definite science behind it.  I felt so confident and assured when Coach Amy and Coach Michelle told me we would adjust my macros each week based on how I “looked, felt, and performed.”  I don’t think I could’ve done it on my own, especially initially; plus, I learned about and experienced the difference using advanced nutritional techniques like carb-cycling, and put intermittent fasting in my back pocket to lose the baby weight post-pregnancy”.

Finally, we’ve got Gary S.  Gary is one of our newest coaches at CrossFit Pineville and just retired from the good ole, hard-working world this past spring time!  Having Gary on staff has provided all of our members the perspective that the consistent work Gary continues to strive to put towards his health, lifestyle, and nutrition!  Hitting that retirement age has not stopped Gary from pursuing his long-term goals.  In fact, Gary competed in the Battle of the Ages competition held at CrossFit Pineville this past year – this proves that age is just a number!  See what Gary has to say about the nutrition challenge he participated in:

Top Row: Initial / Bottom Row: Final
Top Row: Initial / Bottom Row: Final

“I began flexible dieting strictly as a way to improve my performance in CrossFit.  The initial goal was to maintain my weight at approximately 160 pounds and didn’t feel it was necessary for me to drop any more weight.  What was very beneficial is that a group of us from our CrossFit box were all participating at the same time for an initial 1 month period.  The first and most important thing I learned is that I actually needed to drop a few pounds in order to get the performance gains I desired.  Losing a few pounds, mostly in my core, really made a difference.  Second key learned was that I was eating way too many carbs and not getting enough healthy fats.  I could still drink the occasional beer or eat some pasta but really needed to pay attention to the food intake if I wanted the results.  Some positives I found with flexible dieting were:  1) definite body composition changes in a very short time, 2) the weight loss combined with focus on workout schedule and a lot more work on mobility and stretching contributed to significant gains in my performance.  However, some negatives I personally found were:  1) I initially struggled with tracking, as the first week of the challenge I was vacationing with family members but then I quickly fell into a routine (key was to plan ahead in setting daily menus), 2) I really felt hungry most of the time and it wasn’t because my 3 meals per day were any smaller; I just had to focus on cutting out the daily snacks between meals (most of which were heavy on the carbs)”.

As a coach, I have learned that providing clients with basic knowledge and understanding of how to count macronutrients as well as learning to trust the process is KEY to the FD approach.  When I think about these individuals [and my current/past clients] they are willing to make their nutrition a TOP PRIORITY in their lifestyle.  By exposing them to a FD approach can only help them understand that they can truly use this “diet” within their lifestyle, if they are willing to put in some work.  In all, FD is a LONG-TERM commitment and helps those reach their LONG-TERM goals.  You won’t have to constantly “count your macros” 24-7/365; you can most certainly go on and off a FD protocol depending on your goals at that time.  Most of use want that quick fix but quick fixes won’t teach us anything with whatever we do or want to accomplish – so learn to BE PATIENT, learn to TRUST THE PROCESS, learn to hold yourself ACCOUNTABLE, and learn to understand that NO ONE IS PERFECT – this is what FD teaches us and having at coach at BullsEye Nutrition will help you succeed towards your long-term goals!  Hope this helps those who are questioning their nutrition lifestyle and are looking for more personal help and accountability – so become a part of the  #teambullseyenutrition TODAY!

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