Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Pete Koumasidis. I am 25 years old and I am an accountant. I have been doing CrossFit for three and a half years and started coaching 7 months ago.
When did you start flexible eating and why?
I started flexible eating 7 months ago after I attended my CrossFit Level 1 coaching course. During the 2-day course, they discussed nutrition, the Zone diet, and its benefits. I was interested in learning more as this seemed like something that was far from your average “diet” and seemed very manageable. When I told Georgette my interest in the Zone diet, she told me about flexible eating and how well it worked for her and how similar/better it was than the Zone diet. That day, I signed up for flexible eating and Georgette provided me with all of the necessary information and macro numbers I needed to get started. All I needed was my very own scale!
What is your personal definition of flexible eating?
Flexible eating is a way to balance and measure your daily intake of protein, fat, and carbs based off of your performance goals (whether it is to lose weight, gain muscle, etc.). The body breaks down and converts fat, carbs, and protein the same way no matter how those food groups are eaten (steak, cake, potatoes, etc.). Flexible eating is all about being consistent and has changed the way I think about eating forever. It removed the temptation of “bad food” or “food boredom” as I can now plan my day accordingly and if I wanted to fit a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in my daily breakdown, I can, as long as it fits my macros! Flexible eating allows you to eat the foods you like (with the proper balance of each food group) in order to see those results you have been aiming for!
What was your diet like before flexible eating?
Prior to flexible eating, I thought I was a eating healthy as I was in good shape and did not think or consider the need of any nutritional insight. I tried to stay away from “bad food” and to eat mainly protein and vegetables as I considered carbs as “bad”, “fattening”, and “unhealthy”. Boy was I wrong….
What has been your biggest breakthrough since flexible eating?
My biggest breakthrough since flexible eating was that I was eating significantly less protein and carbs prior to starting. I found myself for the first few days seeing what I would typically eat in a day and noticed that I was under eating. Considering my exercise activity per day and my performance goal of wanting to increase muscle mass and get stronger, this was a huge dilemma as to how and why I was not seeing the results I wanted to prior to flexible eating. My thought process of not eating carbs was wrong as the body needs the carbs to fuel energy throughout the day. In regards to protein, I am now eating the necessary amount in order to build and repair muscle. Very quickly after flexible eating, I started to notice drastic changes in my body both mentally and physically. I now feel more alert throughout the day, stronger, better, and faster in the gym, and overall more healthy and happy!
What are your goals regarding flexible eating and beyond?
My goals regarding flexible eating currently is to reach my ideal weight of 200 pounds (5 more pounds to go) and to continue to get stronger in the gym. Consistency and dedication towards flexible eating, the help of Georgette, and the gym is key!
What are your three most important guidelines you give yourself?
The three most important guidelines I give myself are as follows:
Track and measure on days which are convenient for you. I typically track Monday-Friday and allow my weekends to be free.
Don’t let “tracking” ruin your social life. If you get invited to go to dinner, do not say no just because there is no way to measure without bringing your scale with you to dinner. (Side note: some places have their menus uploaded into MyFitnessPal). After some experience you can eyeball serving sizes to get rough estimates in your intake or you can stick to ordering the proteins on the menu which state “6oz filet”.
Try to fit in a treat at least once a week. I tend to fill out my daily journal in MyFitnessPal at the start of each day, so some days I pre-enter a piece of chocolate or ice cream. After all, as long as if fits my macros it is okay!
What is the best piece of advice you wish you had when starting flexible eating that could help newbies?
The best piece of advice I would give to someone just starting flexible eating is to not give up and be consistent. You will have a ton of questions to start but that’s what Georgette is there for! It is a bit overwhelming to start but once you get the hang of it, measuring your food becomes second nature and you’ll never go back! I tend to meal prep on Sundays which gives me a peace of mind during the week as days get hectic with work. After about a week or two, flexible eating becomes fun as it is like a puzzle in order to try to hit all your carbs, protein, and fat exactly (triple zeros!).