The Opera Bro Guide to Flexible Dieting - Chapter 8. Flexible Dieting Pros and Cons and Frequently Asked Questions!

Flexible Dieting Pros and Cons

 

I hope that I’ve displayed the full flexibility of flexible dieting and we’ve effectively gotten rid of the fourth obstacle:

  • The Diet Makes Them Hungry

  • The Diet Has Too Many Rules

  • The Rules Aren’t Very Clear

  • The Diet Is Too Restrictive

  • The Diet Doesn’t Taste Good

 

However, All diets have their flaws and flexible dieting is no exception. Although I truly believe that this style of dieting is superior to all other diets, I would be remiss for not addressing the flaws. I’ll list them out for you and then address the ones that I believe to not be too obvious.

 

Pros:                                                                   Cons:

  • Flexibility                                                           - Thinking of Food as Numbers

  • The Removal of Needing to Binge                    - Potential Obsessive Behavior

  • Feeling Empowered and in Charge of Food   

  • A Better Understanding of Food Composition


 

Thinking of Food as Numbers/Potential Obsessive Behavior

 

In some circles flexible dieting is considered unhealthy because it causes people to think of food as a number rather than a source of nutrition. And it is true that calculating calories and macronutrients can cause people to become neurotic. In some individuals the stress of hitting their calories and macronutrients exactly on point causes them to skip out on things. People will refuse to eat at a restaurant if the place doesn't list the exact macronutrients with grams per serving, They'll opt out of social events where food is around. They'll even skip out on their grandmother's sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving!

This is taking the principles behind flexible dieting and morphing them into another form of restrictive, rigid dieting. The exact opposite reason why we use flexible dieting in the first place. You should not feel stress about hitting your macro nutrients 100% on point, that's why I prescribe ranges with the macronutrients but still observing overall calories, for moments in life where you need that kind of flexibility. If you're prepping for a bodybuilding show or a photo shoot, then yes, you need to be more strict to hit those low percentages of body fat. But if you’re just trying to keep or even obtain a six pack then working within these flexible parameters will get the job done!


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What do I do if I go over my macros?

 

The principle of calories in vs calories out must be observed, for not all macros are created equal in regards to their caloric worth. If you go over any of your macros, just simply keep your overall calories for that day within the range you originally had them to.  

Like I have discussed earlier, macros are best when used in a sliding scale. That way we are appeasing the flexibility for which this diet is named. If for some reason you miscalculated and ate too many carbs for lunch, just eat fewer proteins and fats to compensate. It’s as simple as that.


 

Should I have a cheat day?

 

The point of flexible dieting is removing the stigma associated with good and bad foods and the need to binge. If something fit’s into your macronutrients and calories then that food is not a cheat, or bad for you, or something that will “make you fat” it is simply another food option you have that day.

However, every once in a while we all need a mental break from counting calories and macros and playing food math. In this case, don't think of it as a cheat day which has an immensely negative connotation, but as a non-tracking day. Most of the time during these non tracking days, you'll find that you won't get in enough protein, you'll go over your allotted fat and/or carb macros, but you'll also find that you more than likely won't eat as many overall calories. This is generally because when we are hyper vigilant about tracking we are looking to get the absolute most out of every macro allowed. Whereas on non-tracking days, we're much more lax about food.


 

Gross Carbs or Net Carbs?

 

On some packaged foods you’ll see “Only 4 grams of net carbs” then you’ll look on the back where the nutritional label is located and see 34 grams of carbs.

“So, which is it? 4 grams or 34 grams of carbs?”

The difference in numbers is due to the amount of fiber in that particular food. The net fiber number represents the total carbohydrate content of the food minus the fiber content. With flexible dieting we count TOTAL carbs regardless if the carbs come from fiber or otherwise. Always follow the nutritional labels on the back of the box or package. Things listed on the front are almost always a gimmick.


 

Do I have to eat junk food with flexible dieting?

 

No. Like I’ve mentioned before, you choose the kinds of foods you want to eat. If you don’t want to eat McDonalds, candy or truck stop hot dogs, by all means, don’t! Follow the numbers, pick the foods you want to eat and that make you feel good and get results.


 

Should I limit fruit, dairy, or carbs?

 

No. In fact, you need to get at least one serving of fruit a day. With dairy or carbs, let your stomach be your guide. If dairy makes you feel like crap, don’t eat it. If you prefer a higher fat diet, eat less carbs. Simple as that. There is no generic reason why you should limit any of these items.


 

Should I count vegetables? Aren’t they a “free food?”

 

In some diets that count calories on a point system, such as weight watchers, they don’t count vegetables towards their calories. Things like dark green vegetables have so few calories it only matters if you eat a sizeable amount of them. A few cups of broccoli and a whole bag of spinach won’t make a dent in your carb and overall calorie count. However, vegetables with a higher sugar, and thus higher calorie content in even moderate amounts should be counted. For example, Carrots.


 

Should I track things like spray butter, coffee, Splenda, etc.? Things that have very low amounts of calories?

 

The short answer: No, don't worry about the small things. However, if you use an excessive amount of any of these things (excessive being more than a few cups of coffee a day or a couple of Splenda packets here and there) then yes you should track it. However, if you consistently have the same amount of butter or oil spray when cooking your ground turkey on the stove and drinking the same amount of coffee with sweetener packs, then don't worry about it. That is a very small detail you shouldn't worry about.


 

What kind of supplements should I take?

 

I’m very much a supplement minimalist. I don’t blindly recommend a general supplement regime. The following are generally beneficial to the majority.

Fish Oil - “Fish oil is a common term used to refer to two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats are usually found in fish, animal products and phytoplankton. Fish oil is recommended as a source of these omega-3 fats as they are the cheapest and most common source of them.”

Vitamin D - “Most people are not deficient in vitamin D, but they do not have an optimal level of vitamin D either. Due to the many health benefits of vitamin D, supplementation is encouraged if optimal levels are not present in the body.”

Multivitamin - A multivitamin should not be a replacement for decent nutrition, meaning a diet that is plentiful in fruits and veggies. However, a multivitamin is very beneficial in aiding an individual in hitting a consistent amount of baseline vitamins and minerals daily.

Whey Protein - “Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, with the other being Casein Protein. Whey also delivers a large amount of the amino acid L-cysteine, which can alleviate deficiencies that occur during aging and diabetes, as well as other conditions.” I recommend protein powder only to people who can tolerate dairy well and who have jobs or lifestyles that keep them from consistently cooking their own food. It’s much more a convenience than a necessity.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) - “Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) refers to three amino acids: Leucine,Isoleucine, and Valine. BCAA supplementation, for people with low dietary protein intake, can promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. It can also be used to prevent fatigue in novice athletes. Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Supplementing BCAAs prevents a serum decline in BCAAs, which occurs during exercise. A serum decline would normally cause a tryptophan influx into the brain, followed by serotonin production, which causes fatigue. BCAAs are important to ingest on a daily basis, but many protein sources, such as meat and eggs, already provide BCAAS. Supplementation is unnecessary for people with a sufficiently high protein intake (1-1.5g/kg a day or more).” For those of you who like to train first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, a scoop of BCAA's is ideal. Otherwise don’t blow through a whole tub of it for the fun of it as they can be expensive.

For future reference, I recommend that when you have a question about supplements that you research the ingredients by using the website Examine.com. It’s the most comprehensive guide on supplements and their ingredients that exists, and it’s 100% free.


 

Can I lose weight with flexible dieting without exercise?

 

Yes, as long as you are in a calorie deficit you can lose weight with any diet. But I recommend that you accompany flexible dieting with resistance training. For one, in the absence of resistance training your body will use it’s muscle as fuel as it will expect that it is in a state of famine and because of how energetically expensive muscle tissue is, it’s easily dispensable.
 

If you have anymore questions, feel free to either email me at operabro1@gmail.com or go to the questions page on my training site: http://www.operabrotraining.com/program-questions

 

Any question you submit there will be answered ASAP.

 

 

Wrapping it Up

So hopefully I’ve outlined enough of the concepts, rules, and strategies used with flexible dieting that we can mark off everything on our list of “what makes people jump off their diets.”

 

  • The Diet Makes Them Hungry

  • The Diet Has Too Many Rules

  • The Rules Aren’t Very Clear

  • The Diet Is Too Restrictive

  • The Diet Doesn’t Taste Good

 

On a final note, I’d like to reaffirm why I believe so much in flexible dieting. As a kid who once felt trapped in a body that I hated and would go to bed angry with how unfair life was, tears soaking my pillow, flexible dieting represented something more than just a way of eating a candy bar every now and then. It was the key to being the kind of person I wanted to be while living in the body that I wanted to live in. Hollywood and fitness magazines make their money by selling elitism, exclusivity and extremes. They try to make the pursuit for a great physique on par with the quest for the holy grail, that in order to obtain these kinds of results you need to be of a certain order, of the right blood. Bull Shit. Getting a great body and keeping it is all about managing the variables you're presented with along with what you can control: Training and Nutrition. Before you read this book nutrition meant meal prep, avoiding social events, and sacrifice. Now with flexible dieting in your bag of tools, nutrition means knowledge of food composition and quantity control.

You may not have found all the answers to your diet woes in this book, in fact I hope it has awakened your inquisitive mind and now you're hungry for more knowledge. Great! The key to change is being excited about learning! What I've given you is a way to get you started. Your next move should be applying these principles to your life and refining them with self experimentation until you've discovered the optimal way to obtain your ideal body while living a lifestyle you LOVE!

 

Until Next Time...

 

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing!

 

Kasey (Ol’) Yeargain

AKA

The Opera Bro

 

You Can Find the FULL BOOK HERE -

OR, You can Get The Audio Book HERE

 

Posted on January 12, 2017 and filed under Tutorials, Books.