Diets these days are setting people up for failure because they are unrealistic and force you to remove entire macronutrients from your nutrition. This simply isn’t the answer to your nutritional and weight loss woes. The bottom line is that it’s difficult to turn those harsh diets into something you can adhere to as a lifestyle and follow. For that reason, I want to tell you about a diet that I think you will have a much higher success rate with and that’s flexible dieting.
A Diet to Fit YOUR Lifestyle
Flexible dieting (also knows as “if it fits your macros” or IIFYM) is a fantastic way for you to introduce healthy nutritional principles into your lifestyle. Does it force you to eliminate entire foods groups from your diet? Nope. Does it force you to follow an extremely restrictive list of food? Nope. So, what does it do then?
What if I were to tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too? Well, kind of. Here’s the gist of what flexible dieting is all about. Clearly, you know what “flexible” means already. With this lifestyle diet, nothing is “off-limits” in the sense you can never eat it ever again for as long as you shall live. That’s just stupid. Whoever follows those diets must be clinically insane. With flexible dieting, the model is everything in moderation. I know what you’re thinking… “Matt, I’ve heard that all the time and when I follow it, I still gain weight.” Cool. But, have you ever tracked your calories and macronutrients to hit your daily numbers? Aaaaaaah. There’s the difference.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
You’ve probably heard that saying before. And it’s true. You don’t know what you don’t know. How do you know if you’re in a caloric surplus or deficit? You don’t. You can’t eyeball your food and compute everything in your head to know the difference. That’s why in order to know where you’re at, you will need to track your foods. MyFitnessPal does a great job of simplifying the process for you. Simply download the free app to your smartphone and you’re good to go. The platform is extremely simple to use and navigate and allows you to put all of the food you consume each day into their tracking software. At any point of the day, you are able to go in and see where you are with your calories and macros without needing to do any math on your end.
Why is tracking important? Well, if you want that piece of cake, you can have it as long as it still puts you within your daily intake needs. Obviously, the rest of the day you will want to be a little more on the conservative side, but with flexible dieting, you have the means to enjoy all the foods you love – including what all of the “gurus” out there consider to be a “poor food choice.”
You need to know though, that flexible dieting isn’t a means for you to consume junk anytime you want just because it fits within your dietary parameters. You don’t want to fill up all of your carbohydrates for the day with French fries and milkshakes (as good as that may sound). You still want to eat nutrient-dense foods as much as possible.
With flexible dieting, it fits your lifestyle. You don’t need to give up carbs. You don’t need to give up fats. You don’t need to give up anything. If you meet your daily intake needs calorically and from a macronutrient standpoint and have it set for you to lose weight each week, following their parameters should have you losing weight and dropping body fat.
Nutrition and weight loss are truly a numbers game. While not all calories are created equal, it’s a matter of surplus versus deficit. If you eat more calories than you need for maintenance you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than needed for maintenance you will lose weight. It’s quite simple when you track everything and get a clear visual of where you are at any given moment during the day.
Stop depriving yourself of the foods you love. The more you tell yourself you can’t have something the more likely you are to crave it and end up binging on the food anyway and completely falling off the wagon. Or the more you deprive yourself, the worse you will make the dieting process. So, stop all the nonsense and utilize flexible dieting so that you can enjoy your life, you can enjoy the food you consume, and you can still move closer to your health and fitness goals.