Dr. Layne Norton: Flexible Dieting

Feb 15, 2019

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Dr. Layne Norton- Flexible Dieting


Dr. Layne Norton is a science geek who likes to lift heavy. During this episode of Sheer Strength Labs, Josh interviews Dr. Norton, who is a world-class level powerlifter and an ex-pro natural bodybuilder. Layne owns the website BioLayne.com and every month helps thousands of people get lean, shredded, and strong. Josh and Layne discuss flexible dieting, what it is, why adherence rates are so good, and why everyone should give macro dieting a try.

Meet Layne Norton

Layne was always insecure when he was younger and wanted bigger muscles. That, along with his interest in science, led him to a university degree in Bio. Chemistry and a PhD in Nutritional Science. While in graduate school, Layne started his consulting company, which led him to powerlifting, natural bodybuilding, and his coaching business.

It’s Not a Weight Loss Problem

Often people think they don’t make progress with dieting or fitness because they don’t have the ‘right’ diet or magical training program, but lack of progress is actually due to lack of consistency.

Anybody can be consistent on a diet for 8-16 weeks, but if we are talking about fat-loss, then the norm is generally yo-yo dieting. People are able to lose fat quickly on an extreme, unsustainable diet, but when they go back to eating as they did prior to the diet, they gain the fat back. Research shows that people are more unhealthy after they rebound to their previous weight than if they didn’t bother dieting at all.

People don’t have a ‘weight loss’ problem; they have a ’keeping it off’ problem.

The Statistics

Six out of seven people who are overweight will lose a significant amount of body weight during their life.

  • 70% will regain the weight within one year.
  • 85% will regain within two years.
  • 95% will regain within three years.

Dieting essentially has a 5% success rate, so we have to get the idea out of our heads that we can diet however we want. If it’s not sustainable, then it’s not going to work.

Flexible Dieting

This is where you are tracking your protein, fat, and carb intake, and based on those goals, can fit whatever you want food-wise into those. There aren’t ‘evil’ foods but rather context of how you eat foods. People give flexible dieting a bad rap, but those critics eat the same food on ‘cheat’ days.

High fructose corn syrup is demonized, but as long as fructose stays under 40% of total calories, which is an enormous amount, there is no evidence that it contributes more to obesity than other calorie sources. Also, the reason carbs are associated with weight gain is that sugar is highly palatable, so people eat more of it and not be as filled. The easiest source of calories to consume is carbs.


Flexible dieting is self-regulating, where you have a lifestyle and your diet fits within it. Rather than living in a binge, restrict, and guilt cycle, there are other options. If you want to switch over to this diet, then the best way is to set up calories. When you start flexible eating, don’t even try to hit certain number goals, just get used to the act of tracking and taking notice of what you’re eating. If you don’t know what you’re eating, then how do you know what to make adjustments for? Tracking where you are will give you a better idea of where your metabolism is and what adjustments you need to make.

If you don’t track your calories, then you will believe there are magic foods. It’s not that some foods, such as white fish, have magical properties, it’s that you dropped 50g of fat out your diet. You can enjoy all the foods you love by simply tracking the macronutrients. The best thing to do is find a website or app you like, learn the software, list what you ate, how much you ate, and it will let you know your protein, fat, and carb intake.

Resources Mentioned

Bio Layne

My Fitness Pal

My Net Diary

My Macros Plus

Body Building

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