Recently, I discussed some of the reasons why our diets have failed in the past. You might have had a few light-bulb moments as to why you haven’t been getting the results you want or expect. I have definitely been there! My own experience with many diets lead me to believe some foods are good for you and some foods are bad for you. I used to think that the only way to lose weight was to eat “clean”. Chicken + broccoli = good. Ice cream + doughnuts = bad. Thankfully, this isn’t the case at all.
Labelling foods as good or bad doesn’t actually help us to lose weight. This is because our bodies do not identify foods as good, bad, healthy or unhealthy – they identify the macronutrient breakdown of the food we consume. Every food we eat is made up of macronutrients, which include protein, carbohydrates and fat and each of these have a corresponding caloric value which add up to give the total caloric value of the food:
- Protein = 4 calories per gram
- Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
- Fat = 9 calories per gram
Knowing this will go a long way in helping you understand the freedom of food selection that flexible dieting creates.
SO WHAT IS FLEXIBLE DIETING?
Flexible dieting has been recently gaining momentum as a revolutionary new way of eating that is backed by science. It involves meeting daily targets of protein, carbohydrate and fat that have been calculated specifically for you in order to reach a specific body composition goal. This may be to lose fat, build muscle or just to maintain weight and improve your overall health. The focus is on reaching these personal targets, with food selection left up to you! And I mean that — there are ZERO food restrictions. All the normal rules you find in a typical diet don’t exist (that’s right – carbs, sugar, processed foods, wheat, and dairy are all “allowed”). Basically, flexible dieting is completely personalized to you and your lifestyle.
As a result, flexible dieting helps to create a healthy relationship with food and essentially takes the worry out of dieting. There’s no ‘cheating’ or eating the ‘wrong’ foods. And because there is no guilt, there’s less stress and fewer urges to binge or get off track! The best thing about flexible dieting is that it is designed to fit around your lifestyle and preferences. You can eat out at a restaurant, or enjoy a food you have been craving without worrying about going off track, as long as the foods you eat fit within your daily macronutrient and goals. Without all the limitations and restrictions, you can create enjoyment and sustainability with your diet which in turn improves long term adherence and most importantly — helps you get results! You can read more about flexible dieting here.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Now that I’ve (hopefully) sold you on giving flexible dieting a try, let’s get started. I know it might seem a little overwhelming but it’s more simple than you think and if we break it up into steps it becomes a lot easier:
1. Set a goal:
Do you want to lose fat? Do you want to gain muscle? Or do you just want to transition to a more flexible and sustainable nutritional approach and maintain your body weight?
2. Calculate your personal calorie and macro targets:
Calculate the calorie intake you need to achieve your goal and then calculate your personal macronutrients based on your body weight and preferences. Or simply click here to use my online calculator!
3. Get the tools:
All you need to get started is a food tracking app (I use My Fitness Pal), a set of food scales, body weight scales and a measuring tape.
4. Set up your food tracking app:
Set up your app and enter the calorie and macronutrient targets you have calculated above.
5. Start tracking your food:
Enter in the foods you eat and ensure that you are reaching your macronutrient targets each day.
6. Track your progress:
Track your weight and measurements regularly and don’t forget to take progress photos too! This is the best way to assess the changes that are occurring in your body. Regularly assess your progress to ensure that you are heading towards your goal!
All of this is explained in detail in my Fit & Flexible E-Book. Click here for more details.
Personally, I feel flexible dieting has completely revolutionised what and how I eat. I have the ability to eat with family and friends, satisfy any cravings I experience and ensure I have a healthy relationship with food, all while still achieving the results I want. If you want to experience these things too then what are you waiting for? Click here to get started now!