Nutrition, Opinion

Flexible Dieting, Flexible Results?

There is so much debate as to what is the best diet out there. There’s the paleo people, the keto crowd, the meal planners, and everyone thinks their way is the best and talks bad about the others behind their backs, it’s almost like high school cliques for the fitness industry. You all know what team I’m on personally, definitely team flexible dieting, but I’m honestly on team whatever works best for you. I really wanted to take today to dive into flexible dieting because I believe it is the best way to track your food and make sure you are on the way to results, while also living your life. Flexible dieting gives you grams of each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) as goals for your intake for the day. This allows you to pick and choose what you eat in order to meet those goals, giving you flexibility with your meals while also keeping you accountable. Sounds pretty great right? It is. However, you need to do it right.

I follow a flexible diet so I can eat this:

But I also eat a lot of this:

When IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) first hit the scene, it was met with a lot of backlash. There were jokes upon jokes of “fitness people” eating nothing but pop tarts and fried chicken and burgers all day while thinking they were healthy. And yeah, a lot of people did that. It’s very easy to get carried away with letting yourself have treats (because hello, they’re there and you can have them), but we need a balance. Flexible dieting really teaches you that balance. Nothing is off limits in this diet, but if you eat nothing but calorie dense foods with no nutritional value (candy, fried food, etc), you don’t leave yourself with much food. Those dense foods have high macros, which can leave you with almost nothing else to eat for the rest of the day. You can’t forget about your vegetables while flexible dieting. You can’t forget about those vitamins and minerals that you need for a healthy, functioning body.

I don’t believe any diet that restricts your foods is healthy, hence why I love the concept of flexible dieting. The problem is, is that flexible dieting requires you to have the willpower and dedication to give yourself that balance of healthy foods and treats. Once you have found that balance, and it took me some time as well, it is a wonderful tool. Tracking my food in terms of macros has given me the tools to be able to almost guesstimate what macros foods have, which can let me not track for a bit and not derail my progress completely. I believe a good diet doesn’t just tell you what to eat, it gives you the tools to make it a lifestyle and not just a diet anymore. If you let it, flexible dieting can give you those tools. You can take the concept of balance and put it into your lifestyle, giving yourself freedom from the typical diet, whether you’re tracking macros or not. Find a diet that works for you, but don’t let it run you. Learn from what you eat, and more importantly how you eat, and build a way of eating that works for you. Let fitness fit you.

Even Pups T. Dog enjoys a flexible dieting approach!

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