Many people think that exercise is the most important part of individual fitness success when, in fact, nutrition and a balanced diet are the two most critical elements of any fitness program.

What you ingest controls everything from muscle gain to fat loss, and at Pursuit, we utilize what we refer to as flexible eating (sometimes called flexible dieting), which is built on the foundation of macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats), nutritional balance, and your overall caloric load (how many calories you eat).

With the abundance of misleading information about dieting and nutrition that is thrown at us on a daily basis, it is our goal to help you gain a true, comprehensive understanding of your metabolism, fat loss, and how muscle plays a crucial role towards your success. Our fitness trainer team will also teach you why carbs are important and how flexible eating makes obtaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle easy.

  • For flexible eating (IIFYM) to be effective, you must first understand that the most basic element of nutrition is a calorie. A calorie is a unit of heat that the body uses to burn as energy.
  • The total number of calories you ingest controls your ability to gain muscle or store as fat, depending on what and how you are eating.
  • The number of calories you should consume and burn depends on your age, gender, and a variety of other factors.
  • If you are looking to build a lean muscle mass, you must consume more calories than your body burns, but you have to be careful because too many calories from the wrong foods will lead you to begin to gain weight. On the other hand, if you are looking to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories in comparison to what you burn.

Alright, take a deep breath; nutrition is not as complicated as many like to make it. By taking the time to understand our local gym’s three principles of flexible eating, you will learn how your body works and how to reach your goals.

The First Principle Of Flexible Eating

The first thing you must know is that with flexible eating, you can eat anything you want… as long as the food fits into your macronutrients plan. How? It’s just a simple math equation. At the end of the day, the difference between building muscle or losing fat all depends on the calories you ingest versus the calories you burn. Therefore, as long as you keep track of what you eat, you are golden.

What we mean is that if you would like to have a donut, you can! As long as you adjust your macronutrients for the rest of your day to compensate for the calories the donut offers. It should go without saying that you cannot only eat junk; you will never achieve your fitness goals doing this. But it does mean that you do not have to feel guilty at a party, a birthday celebration, or when you go out. With flexible eating, you can have your guilty pleasures now and then, as long as you are aware of your macro plan.

This leads to our next point. Why do a lot of people who consume junk tend to get fat and perform less adequately? Because of the math! More than likely, these people are eating more “junk” than they are burning calories. Junk foods by nature are less satisfying and filling than nutrient-rich foods; therefore, we tend to consume more of them, which increases our caloric intake. Let’s take a closer look:

  • If you eat 500 calories in rice and 500 calories in potato chips, obviously they both contain the same amount of calories. But here is the trick. The rice is going to be more filling and has more carbohydrates, whereas the potato chips have more calories in fats. You do not get full off the same calories worth of chips as your do rice, so you eat more, increasing the number of calories you ingest.

The Second Principle Of Flexible Eating

While the first principle of flexible eating deals with the math, the second is a little trickier.

  • Macros are not only about calories. For true success, flexible eating also takes into consideration your baseline metabolic rate, current caloric intake, weight, percentage of body fat, activity level, goals, workouts/training, gender, and insulin sensitivity.
  • You must pay attention to how your body responds to what you eat and tweak certain conditions and activities as your fitness level begins to improve.

This principle of flexible eating is all about building your metabolism and creating an effective, flexible plan. That’s why you have our fitness gym team as your coach – so we can provide guidance.

The Third Principle Of Flexible Eating

The third principle of flexible eating is the most complex of the three, which is why it is the most common problem that we see in society: under-eating and metabolic adaptation (the slowing down of your metabolism).

Those who are at risk of these problems are those who yo-yo between working out and a variety of diets. By following strict programs, they begin to see results, stop, and then go back to their old habits, gaining all their weight back. Just try again, right? Wrong! When these people try to lose the weight they put back on, they can’t, often chalking the problem up to genetics, age, or some other rationalization that simply is just not true. So what’s the answer?

Your body is designed to survive and by going back and forth with diets, you are messing with your natural metabolic process, increasing the time it takes to burn energy, which makes your body store calories as fat. Both under-eating and overeating can lead to this problem, leaving many frustrated and at a loss.

At Pursuit, we want to help you build your metabolism back and guide you on a path towards success. Check out our classes and schedule a free consultation with us today!