What is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible dieting/IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is simply calculating your daily caloric intake and breaking it down and the counting your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) to achieve a desired body composition goal. It follows the belief that there are no foods that will magically and miraculously make you lose weight and there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” foods, they are all just macro ratios. To change your body, you can eat whatever you want so long as you hit your macro goals.
Once your daily caloric intake has been determined, the calories are then broken down into three main macros: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates. One gram of each macro has a calorie value.
- 1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories
- 1 Gram of Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
- 1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories
All foods consist of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients “Macros” are large molecules (protein, carbs, fat) whereas, micronutrients “Micros” are smaller nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
I don’t know about you, but before discovering Flexible Dieting, the word “Diet” felt like temporary suffocation, an ends to a mean. I’d feel my anxiety levels rise. Time to turn my willpower into overdrive and prove I can do this diet thing, again! We know how that works out. More often than not, most failed diets leave you feeling worse off, creating or exacerbating an eating disorder, excessive weight gain, and a warped perception of food in general.
Diet smarter, not harder.
Since the approach to Flexible Dieting is maintainable and sustainable, it’s more likely for one to adhere to it for its mental and emotional stability. For me, it’s the first and only diet I’ve been able to adhere to for any length of time, years actually. From my research and experiences, it’s the “The Key To Food Freedom” replacing the antiquated methods of dieting and eliminating the diet-cycle.
With flexible dieting, you can have your cake and eat it too!
The beauty of Flexible Dieting is just that; it’s “flexible.” It’s a maintainable and sustainable approach to your fitness and lifestyle goals. By allowing yourself flexibility in your diet, you’re able to enjoy social and special events, holidays, and meals with your friends, family as long as you hold yourself accountable and keep track of what you’re eating.
The keyword being: tracking, it is the most efficient way to change your body. Whether you prefer to track your overall daily calorie intake or through the practice of macro-tracking, the point is you must track. Without this data, you have nothing to measure or manage.
By focusing on your macronutrient intake rather than eating certain foods, you can still achieve your goals while enjoying life with everyone else.
To lose weight/fat one must be in a caloric deficit. Although the quality of your food is important, if you’re not in a caloric deficit, you can eat all the “good foods” you want and still not get the results you set out to achieve. This holds true for all diets, including flexible dieting, however, it uses the ‘no foods off-limits’, no restrictions, no extremes, as long as it fits your daily calories/macros.
To break this down, when the food enters your body it doesn’t go into separate subcategories of your stomach, thinking is this food “Healthy or unhealthy? Where should we put it?” No, it does what the stomach is designed to do, break down food and process the macronutrients.
With flexible dieting, there is no deprived food. You lack nothing. If it doesn’t fit your macros, it doesn’t fit. It’s as simple as that. I like to think of it as setting a (calorie) budget, and if you can’t afford something, you can’t buy (eat) it.
Think of it as setting a (cash) budget. For example, say your daily calories are 1500, and you need to spend your calories accordingly in the appropriate protein, carbs, and fat departments.
For simple math purposes, let’s look at this example as a cash budget. You have $1500 for the day, and you must spend it the three “macro” departments, $500 on protein, $500 on carbs, $500 on fats.
Don’t worry, you’ll get more money/calories to spend the next day. Unlike real shopping, unfortunately, you don’t get a refund on poor (food) choices. Choose wisely! 😉
However, just because something fits your macros, doesn’t necessarily mean it should, the quality of your food choices will determine the quality of the results you will achieve. I recommend using an 80/20 approach to flexible dieting and be aware of what you put in your body, for example, eating whole, real, foods while leaving room for “fun stuff,” i.e., treats, alcohol. Although it’s a macro-based diet, it is essential to get your vitamins and minerals for optimal health and wellness (mind, body & soul).
You wouldn’t fill up an exotic car with low-grade gas, neither should you fill your body with low-grade foods.