If you recently started a diet, congratulations. This is the first of many steps towards a healthier you (hopefully). I say hopefully because more than likely you’ve slashed calories and may be eating nothing but boiled chicken and broccoli five times a day. I know, sounds delicious right? This is the point where most diets derail before they really ever get started. So I ask, is food holding you back? Let me explain. If you go from eating whatever you want, to nothing but chicken and broccoli, you are setting yourself up to fail. This is like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and then quitting cold turkey. Sure people feel fine for a day or two, but once those cravings start kicking in most people crack. Once you crack that can lead to binge eating. Binge eating leads to weight regain, or gaining more weight than before. This starts the vicious cycle of weight loss and gain. Frustration, guilt, and letdown are some common feelings that follow. Does this sound like something you have experienced? There are numerous popular diet trends to follow. That is an entire blog topic on its own. The key is finding what you can adhere to the best and not feel super restricted. Personally I follow flexible dieting. It makes the most sense to me and I find it extremely east to follow. Basically you eat what you want, not however much of what you want. Sounds way too good to be true right? It comes down to moderation, caloric intake, and calories burned. 80 percent of what I eat I would consider “healthy”. With flexible dieting comes tracking your macros. Macros are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Find your caloric intake, then split it over your macros. Your goal is to hit your numbers daily. So while I eat very health, I also eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, and have beer. All while maintaining a 6 pack year round. Just like anything, it takes hard work, dedication, and adherence to a plan. This isn’t an excuse to eat like crap all the time, rather enjoy foods you like while you get in the best shape of your life!