This dude must know what he is talking about!

If I drop my phone from 30 centimetres off the ground, it probably won’t break.

From 2 metres off the ground, it probably will break. My phone is fragil. Which means it responds negatively to volatility.

The human body, in all it’s glory, is anti-fragil, which means that it responds favourably to volatility. When I train my muscles hard for example, they become a little damaged, and then repair stronger than they were.

Diets are usually fragile and extremely vulnerable to volatility. There are a few main reasons for the failure of diets to be anti-fragil.

  1. There are no contingency plans for birthdays, holidays, social events and crazy working hours.
  2. The diet doesn’t factor in human nature, only mother nature.
  3. The success of the diet isn’t evaluated weekly and micro-adjustments aren’t made.

Cue flexible dieting.

Flexible dieting recognises that you may not be always able to stick exactly to your diet plan, and makes allowances for that.

Here’s an example.

Actual Meal Plan Meal:

  • 150 chicken Breast
  • 200 grams rice
  • Green vegetable
  • 5 ml olive oil

Flexible Version of the same meal:

  • 125 gram Steak
  • Baked Potato
  • Little bit of butter on the potato
  • Green side salad.

Our minds put meaning on food. We give steak it’s name. As far as your digestive system is concerned, steak is only protein, some fats and micronutrients, as long as if can digest it well. You can see here that the flexible version of the meal has a very similar macronutrient (protein, carbs, fat) profile as the meal on the actual plan.

Where flexible dieting gets tricky is when you are putting things into your body that aren’t equal to your plan. If your plan says potatoes and feta cheese, and you figure that a donut is about the same macro’s (which it could well be), the problem lies in what the food is potentially doing to you.

Food is foreign material that is trying to enter your body, when you put it down your throat. Any foreign material can be harmful to your body, or not harmful. Flexible dieting doesn’t hold up to traditional meal plans if you are replacing good quality nutrition with poor quality nutrition because of the following:

  1. A lack of micronutrients in processed foods.
  2. The potential for poorer quality foods to cause gastro-intestinal symptoms and create inflammation in your body.
  3. Psychological costs of eating low quality foods consistently (i.e. not fostering an athletes mindset or a delayed gratification mindset).
  4. The Taste-Palate Reward Hypothesis — constantly feeding yourself with flavour rich foods will only teach yourself to continue to demand these high flavour foods.

Whilst there is no such thing as good food or bad food (just the right situation or the wrong situation), there can be plenty of foods that fit into “the wrong situation” for you personally because you don’t digest them well, they don’t fill you up enough, or they cause you to think and act like a bit of a fruit loop.

Sugar for example is A-ok for most people. The problem is that sugar doesn’t fill you up…at all! Furthermore, it costs a lot of calories. So, if you have 1800 calorie dollars to spend per day, you probably wouldn’t want to spend 300 of those on sugar in your coffee because that means you will go very hungry later in the day if you do in fact want to stay inside your spending budget.

Flexible dieting and getting coaching and feedback on how to implement it properly can be one of the best strategies to assist you in formulating a nutrition system that is anti-fragil: it get stronger with volatility.

However, you still need to stick to your plan most of the time. If anyone has ever read the Bible, unbridled liberalism didn’t seem to work out too well for anyone. It doesn’t with dieting either.