Trimming down and getting more muscular is a great way of improving health. However, it’s also clear that you don’t become healthy the moment you get abs – it’s a process that goes on for years and you might not SEE the change.
This is important when we look at flexible dieting – an example of changing your body without necessarily getting healthier. The “calories in, calories out” (CICO) approach works for losing fat, but it’s key that this is NOT the same as getting healthier.
Performance nutrition isn’t about getting washboard abs, though that can be a fantastic side-effect. It’s about nourishing your body, supporting the key processes with the right balance of nutrients, and ensuring recovery from activity.
CICO is fine as an intro to dieting – it’s a way of addressing one health problem (obesity and excess bodyfat), but it’s not everything. It’s a single step on the path to your best diet, but it’s only one.
Calories are a start, but the macronutrients, micronutrients, and other pseudo-vitamins that your body needs/wants are just as important. CICO might help you get the aesthetics you want without much effort, but it won’t give you the performance or health that you should be aiming for.
Take the steps you need to make your diet stick, but once you’re on the way to weight loss and muscle gain, focus on slowly building in better and better habits. If CICO is step one, it’s crucial that you use this as a chance to work on steps two and beyond!
Flexible dieting is okay, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of nutrition or dieting – beware!