I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely Amanda Marie from Daily Dose Fitness who follows the flexible dieting approach to her nutrition. I’ve been following her awesome posts about flexible dieting (also known as If It Fits Your Macros or IIFYM) on Facebook for some time now and always find her refreshing, upbeat and knowledgeable – exactly what I like to read on my social media (whingers be warned, I will unfriend you!)

Amanda’s journey is somewhat similar to mine as she also has PCOS and has managed it completely through her diet and exercise. She started on the same path of changing her nutrition to clean whole foods, and now through the flexible dieting approach has achieved a balance of deliciousness, health and hot body composition! She has done a few bikini competitions but decided to hang up her heels now to focus on more strength training, ultimately planning on competing in powerlifting. Strong woman, sexy woman!

Read on to find out more about her journey and how she uses flexible dieting to achieve a healthy lifestyle and balance.

Amanda's transformation over the years

Amanda’s transformation over the years

ZOMT: Tell me about what the catalyst was for your health and fitness journey and how you first started making changes.
Amanda Marie: I was very overweight 3 years ago and struggling with PCOS and insulin resistance. I was told if I did not shift the kilos I would develop Type 2 diabetes. I did not want to have to deal with that for the rest of my life so I hired a trainer, ditched the diets and set about creating a new lifestyle. I documented this via my blog mevsthebulge.com.

Z: As a fellow PCOS lady, I know how hard it can be to achieve hormonal balance. How have you managed this personally?
AM: Weight training has definitely been effective in helping manage PCOS, as well as a very balanced diet.

Z: What’s the best way to incorporate “treat” or “cheat” meals without the emotional head explosion or it negatively affecting body composition? (Let’s assume it’s someone aiming to lower body fat or maintain).
AM: I have found flexible dieting to be the most effective way to manage nutrition. By working out your macronutrient and calorie needs, it allows the freedom to enjoy all the foods you love, without impacting your body composition or emotions. I enjoy all the foods I love, in the right serving sizes for my needs and goals.

Z: What was your experience like stepping on stage to compete as a bikini model? Are you planning on doing it again?
AM: The first time around was quite difficult as I followed a very typical bodybuilder style diet and training regime, only eating certain foods in heavy repetition and lots of fasted steady state cardio to go along with my 5-6 days of weight training. I vowed that if I did it again, I would do it differently.

So the second time I followed flexible dieting, as described above, and no steady state cardio. It was a much more enjoyable experience as it enabled me to enjoy all the foods I love (yes, even chocolate and icecream in occasion!), although it still did create emotional and physical issues for me as being so focused on my body and how it looks became quite an unhealthy obsession.

I decided to not compete anymore as it wasn’t really the lifestyle I wanted for myself. I now focus on strength training and would like to one day compete in powerlifting.

amanda-marie-1

Talk about an inspirational transformation. This lady has it down pat!

Z: How do you stay motivated with your nutrition and training?
AM: It’s just apart of my life. 🙂 I love to lift! It’s makes me feel good about myself. The nutrition part is easy. I get to way whatever I like! Plus, I eat quite a lot to fuel the style of training I do.

Z: Number one tip for beating those sugar/junk cravings?
AM: Allow yourself to have them, ensuring they fit within your daily energy needs! There are no “good” or “bad” foods. Weight gain comes from excess calories, which can come from anywhere in your diet, not from certain foods or food types.

Z: What’s your favourite meal at the moment?
AM: Don’t think I could pin point a favourite, I’m a foodie so I enjoy a wide variety of different foods.

Check out this yummy recipe from Amanda – a perfect, high protein breakfast that would taste more like dessert!

pancakes1

Low Carb, High Protein Banana Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 scoop vanilla whey (I used Gaspari Intrapro)
75g banana
2 egg whites
1 tbs golden flaxseed meal
1 tbs coconut oil
25g extra light cream cheese
Lemon juice
Vanilla stevia drops (optional)

Method

  1. Blend 3/4 of a scoop of protein powder (set 1/4 scoop aside) with the banana, egg whites, flaxseed meal and coconut oil in a food processor or with a handheld blender.
  2. Heat a good quality, non-stick pan over a low-medium heat and using a 1/4 cup measure, spoon the mixture into the pan and cook until small bubbles appear on the surface. Flip onto the other side and cook for a further 45-60 seconds. This should make 3 small pancakes.
  3. For the frosting, simply combine the cream cheese with 1/4 scoop of vanilla whey. I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a few drops of water to get it to a creamy consistency. If you need more sweetness, a few drops of vanilla stevia can be added or regular stevia for that matter.
  4. And that’s it!!! Seriously, I will be eating these regularly for a very long time. Nom!

Nutritional info: 361 cals, 24g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 40g protein

Find Amanda in these places

Facebook

Daily Dose Fitness

I found this on the Daily Dose Facebook page - gold!

I found this on the Daily Dose Facebook page – gold!