I want to talk to you guys about something that I think is really important: the real Flex Friday. I’m sure you’ve seen lots of hashtags and instagram posts of people flexing with #flexfriday, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It means something different to me now, and I really want to share it with you. Flex Friday is a great strategy that I like to use, and I am passionate about incorporating it into my IF You Carb Cycle program.
To those of us in the program, Flex Friday (and it doesn’t have to be a Friday, by the way) is the one day of the week where we don’t pay attention to any of the food rules. In carb cycling we alternate between high-carb and low-carb days, and we try as hard as we can to stick with it. Flex Friday is the one day out of the week where we can just relax and build treats into our routine. I love to have my flex days on my Friday because it gives me something to look forward to, but you can schedule it within your week to fit your needs.
There are a lot of wonderful benefits to having a flex day. I have tried many different strategies for fitting treats into my eating schedule. I’ve tried living the 80/20 rule, which I still think is a great place to start. 80/20 is an eating plan where 80% of your time you are eating clean, and 20% you are relaxed. I’ve also tried mini-flex days throughout the week. Out of anything I’ve tried, though, I feel like what gets me on track the fastest is the one day a week.
When you know that you have one day a week to relax with your eating, it becomes a reward. It gives your body and your brain time to rest. Starting a new nutrition or fitness plan takes a lot of brain space. Until you get into the swing of things, you spend a lot of time and effort wondering about the different foods that you are eating, and that’s okay! It is a bit like a part-time job, but even with a part-time job, you need days off. I have a lot of clients say that they would rather keep going than take a flex day, but I always try to steer them towards at least one treat during that day, just so they do not get burned out.
Your metabolism also benefits from flex days. When you are used to eating a certain way, throwing a flex day in forces your body to re-adjust back to your healthier eating. This is called a “refeed day” in the fitness world. It is like hitting a reset button so that you do not plateau.
During my program we don't eliminate any food groups. We eat clean foods, and we are strategic about where during the week we place our carbs. The things that are more of a treat, like alcohol, sugar, bread or pasta, we try to keep on flex day. So, if you are craving ice cream (like I am right now!), try and save that for a flex day. When it comes around, you can have that ice cream, and you will enjoy every bite because you PLANNED on it!
If you want to be part of a non-restrictive lifestyle that still allows for the occasional planned treat, then IF You Carb Cycle might be for you. Click here to read more!