Basically, you can eat whatever you want as long as you’re hitting your macronutrient (protein, carbs, fats) requirements for the day. Macronutrients are where calories come from.
The “whatever you want” part is the flexible part. But there’s a certain rigidity that comes with sticking to your numbers that can lead to disordered eating if you have obsessive tendencies (hi).
Long story short, I weigh everything I eat and avoid dining out/social events because I’m uncomfortable with not knowing or being able to control what I’m eating. And that’s stupid. Plenty of people (see here, here and here) practice flexible dieting without this problem.
Since I am coming out of competition prep and into a lean bulk, I don’t have an incredibly amount of pressure to lose fat (in fact, I will likely gain some over the next few months). This new freedom from extreme fat loss serves as an opportunity to actually have a life again without giving up my healthy lifestyle.
I talked with my coach, we decided to do a bit of “exposure therapy.” I’ve challenge myself to dine out at least once a week — to have at least one meal that I didn’t weigh and prepare myself. This way I would get experience estimating and tracking, and I’d be able to see how this kind of thing won’t negatively affect my progress.
Today, I completed my FIRST challenge! I volunteered with a couple of girlfriends (who are very supportive and I wish I were as fun as they are) with a group in Atlanta called Community Bucket. Every couple of weeks, the Community Bucket team rallies up a group of young adults to do community service projects at different parks, shelters, food kitchens, etc. around Atlanta. And then after the work is done, everyone goes out together to a local pub or restaurant.
We volunteered at Urban Sprouts Farms, which I’d describe as kind of a hippy version of EPCOT (not Epcot as it exists currently, but EPCOT as it was intended to be) that’s still in its infancy.
After that, we headed to Augustine’s in Grant Park.
See how I deal in Part 2!