What is the Flex Diet?
The Flex Diet was created by cardiologist James Beckerman, MD, in an attempt to help his patients get healthy. By incorporating lifestyle changes and great-tasting meals, his patients not only experienced increased energy, but sustained weight loss. The Flex Diet is a three-part diet that encourages individual choices, yet emphasizes small changes that can have a big impact on health. Small, yet impactful changes include eating dinner at the table, exercising during commercials, and drinking six glasses of water every day.
How does the Flex Diet work?
The Flex Diet consists of three phases: Today, Every Day, and Your Way. The Today phase begins with small changes to diet and lifestyle to lay the groundwork for a sustainable, healthy life. This two-week phase also jumpstarts weight loss. During this phase, a variety of small lifestyle changes are suggested. Individuals can choose which ones fit their lifestyle and begin to slowly incorporate them into daily life. This approach demonstrates how small changes can yield big results. Some examples of such recommendations include: weighing in daily, keeping a food diary, getting adequate sleep (at least 7 hours a night), joining a support group/finding an accountability partner, and taking a “before” photo.
The Every Day phase is a three-week phase that outlines meal options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and suggests exercises. In addition, emphasis is given to creating new healthy habits such as walking during breaks at work and taking leftovers from home to work instead of eating out. Suggestions for eating out are also given. Other recommendations during this phase include eating fish once a week, eggs twice a week, avoiding bagels and white rice, and taking walks after dinner.
The final phase, Your Way, gives the participant the freedom to choose what is next. Since The Flex Diet is about choices, this section provides almost 100 different changes that can be made to further one’s healthy lifestyle and weight loss. Some of these recommendations include shopping at farmers’ markets, exercising in the mornings, eating slowly and until you are 80% full, and laughing every day.
What foods can be eaten on The Flex Diet?
The Flex Diet incorporates good sources of protein and fat, raw vegetables and eggs at least twice a week.
- Lean protein as tofu, and lean chicken
- Fish at least once a week
- Good fats such as olive oil
- Salads and vegetables as the main course
What foods are restricted on The Flex Diet?
The Flex Diet discourages dairy, processed foods, foods prepared by restaurants and many beverages outside of water.
- Processed foods
- Restaurant food
- Carbohydrates, bagels, and other pastries
- Sugary beverages
- Fruit juice
- Diet beverages
- Alcohol (limit to weekends)
Who should try The Flex Diet?
Individuals who are looking for guidelines on how to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle without rigid “rules”, will enjoy the freedom of choice given with The Flex Diet. The diet is easy to follow for most people, offers slow, sustainable changes, and takes into account areas of daily life that effect weight in addition to food and exercise such as stress and relationships.
Who would have a hard time implementing the Flex Diet?
The Flex Diet may be difficult for individuals who need rigid rules to follow. The Flex Diet is well, flexible, so some individuals may find the freedom of choices overwhelming and the volume of suggestions difficult to choose from. Additionally, individuals that rely on restaurants or take-out for majority of their meals may find it difficult to remove them as a source and to begin preparing meals at home.