Yes. It’s true. You can be an athlete AND eat dessert, too.
I caught up with Dustin Chronister, aka The Flexible Baker, to find out how he manages to somehow fit dessert into his daily life without derailing his goals in the gym. Dustin is the author of an e-book featuring all sorts of delicious, macro-friendly treats. Looking at the pictures of food that he posts on his Facebook page, it almost seems impossible that he is able to enjoy such outrageous desserts while maintaining a fit physique, but he does and he swears you can too:
Me: First of all, Dustin, how often do you eat dessert?
Dustin: I usually will only have a dessert once a day to round out my macros left after dinner. I usually eat very ‘bro’ throughout the day because its just easier with work and saving time – two meals consisting of meats, veggies, and simple carbs every day. I may throw in a protein bar, or fiber bar or something along those lines if I am in need of extra calories. Unfortunately, dessert doesn’t happen at every meal, but I do enjoy it once a day.
Me: So you are a macro counter. That explains the name “The Flexible Baker.” How long have you been tracking macros?
Dustin: I have strictly tracked macros for just over a year, and loosely another few months more.
Me: What do you consider to be the pros and what are the cons of flexible dieting?
Dustin: Some most common “cons” to macros are not being able to enjoy everything you use to at the same time, or nearly as much of something. For example, I use to go out for Wing Wednesday and I would eat 20+ wings! No way would my fat macros allow that now though! That then leads into another problem: Eating out. Maybe new trackers absolutely dread this side of macro counting- not knowing what to order or where to go, so they say, “screw it” and never go out and enjoy themselves. I believe those are some of the biggest cons to macros.
Now, let’s get to the pro’s. For me the pro’s highly out weigh the cons. Macro counting has allowed me to figure out how to fine to tune my nutrition to: A. Fuel my training with proper amounts of food, B. Break me away from that clean eating mindset, and allow me to still eat the foods I love in moderation even when dieting knowing I can and still will hit my goals, C. It really helps you build healthy relationships with food without the idea that foods are “bad” or “unclean,” and D. It allowed me to get very creative with the foods I eat regarding how I prepare them and what I choose to eat. I’m always experimenting in the kitchen, especially with dessert.
Me: I’m sure some people may worry that they can’t fit dessert into their macros (especially women who have low fat for the day). Can you give an idea of what typical macros might be on one of your dessert recipes?
Dustin- That’s the biggest misconception that I hear from people. Women will say, “Oh, I can’t eat what you have. I don’t have the macros that a man has.” Well, one of my protein cakes is 564 calories / 4G fat / 64.4g carbs/ 64g protein for the ENTIRE cake. A female could definitely make a slice fit into macros for the day, or even eat half the cake! I think people see a picture of dessert and instantly think they can’t enjoy it when in fact they can! My desserts are made with non-traditional substitutes that are macro-friendly. For example, I use applesauce instead of oil in some recipes.
Me: Is that what inspired you to create a macro-friendly cook book? Hearing that people wanted to enjoy your desserts, but didn’t believe they could?
Dustin- Honestly, it was some of my close followers on Instagram who are very active on my posts, as well as a local friend, who suggested that I make one. After I really started to pump out creations, people kept asking me if I would make an ebook. I never had any intentions of making one, but you gotta give the people what they want!
Me: What kinds of desserts are in the book?
Dustin- All sorts! Cookies, a few cakes, brownies, snickerdoodle bars, cheesecakes, and banana bread! I really like the carrot cake myself.
Me: I tried the Snickerdoodle Bars. They were delicious and I couldn’t believe that they were made with mostly protein powders and a few other ingredients. I also loved that the recipe was so easy to follow. I’m a terrible cook, but your instructions were so succinct.
Dustin- I’m glad it was easy for you to follow! They look yummy! (I sent him some pictures).
Me: So, why do you think its important for people to enjoy dessert even when that goes against traditional thinking in terms of health?
Dustin- When you were young and someone told you something was off limits, did it make you want it more? Well at least for me it definitely did. I feel that happens quite often with diets. Someone is too restrictive and then either breaks down and binges to the point of self regret, or they have a planned ‘cheat meal’ where they consume so many unneeded calories, mainly from fat, and that can mess their progress up even more. Adherence is the biggest key to dieting, and I feel enjoying the things you love while dieting will help one adhere to the program.
Me: So finally, I see that you have some recipes up on your website (theflexiblebaker.com). What does the ebook offer that the site doesn’t?
Dustin- Yes I do! Loads of recipes on the site! So the biggest difference is I made recipes in the ebook over and over and over again to perfect them as much as possible and kept the macros as low as possible. Most recipes on the site I will make 1-2 times and share them. I also worked on having a nice variety of flours, methods, and ingredients in the book that not all my recipes share on the site. The cookbook also really breaks down each recipe and gets into detail for every step, as well as a very helpful notes section.
Me: Well, the Snickerdoodle Bars were great and I can’t wait to try the others. Thanks for speaking with me and for sharing the awesome recipes in the ebook. I want to make those Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes next! Can’t believe they are only 129 calories each!
Dustin- Of course. I’m always happy to help others and to show that people can take control of their eating without restricting and wasting time with yo-yo diets. I would love to be a source of knowledge for people to help them along their journey and I’m starting to do that through the website and ebook!
Check out Dustin’s e-book for all of his low macro desserts! You can get a copy for only $5.50.