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Flexible Dieting

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Flexible Dieting


              Flexible “dieting” or really just should be referred to as flexible eating, is an option viable for anyone trying to get to know their body better and try maintainable results. While some people thrive on an all or nothing strict diet, for others it may seem too restrictive for the long term. Being super restrictive can often lead to binge eating or too many “cheat” meals. With that being said, macro tracking, also known as IIFYM (if it fits your macros) can be a great strategy for staying on track and balanced.

IIFYM is a way of eating that allows for you to essentially choose how you want to consume your calories. If you eat a fat, no matter what the fat it is, it will register as the same calories, but r, your body will know the difference between a healthy calorie or an unhealthy calorie, so there’s more to it than just hitting your numbers… For example, if you want to spend my 150g of carbs per day on chips, you will feel completely different than if you divided those calories throughout the day with nutrient rich carbs such as sweet potato, oatmeal, fruit etc. Configuring your optimal macros will take some trial and error to learn how your body responds to each macronutrient and where you’ll have some wiggle room. With practice and consistency, you’ll be able to create a flexible plan that matches your lifestyle, while continuing to move towards your goals.

To start out, I would recommend tracking your macros without changing how you’re eating. Tracking can be quite an eye-opening experience that will show the good, the bad, and the ugly. Once you actually understand how you’re eating, you can slowly and methodically start to manipulate the macros to achieve your desired results. Different body types respond differently to carbs, fats, and proteins. Your body type and your goals will determine how you should structure your diet and what percentage of your daily calories each macronutrient should be.

Now, when calculating macros, you basically find out the amount of calories per macronutrient you want in your overall calories and start to figure out how manipulate them from there. Here are the basics:

                             Protein: 4 calories per gram

-          Daily recommended: .7-1 gram per lb. of body weight

-          If I am muscular and weight 150lbs, I probably would do upper range closer to 1 gram/weight = 150x1g=150g of protein per day = 150g x 4 calories =600 calories that come from protein

-          Examples: chicken, salmon, dairy, meat, shrimp, tofu, etc.

Fats: 9 calories per gram

-          Daily recommended: between 44-78 grams

-          Once you find what works best for your body, you will know whether to choose higher or lower range

-          Say I want 50g of fat, then 50g x 9calories=450cal

-          Examples: avocado, oils, salmon, nuts, butter etc.

Carbs: 4 calories per gram

-          Daily recommended: no exact recommendation -can manipulate depending on goals & body responsiveness

-          You can add your fat and protein calories, then subtract from overall daily calories to see how many calories remain

-          Once you know your maintenance calories, do a couple hundred calories under to lose weight.

-          Ex: 2000 calories is maintenance calories for the day. I want to lose weight, so I cut to 1800 calories per day. So far calculated in my example above, I have 600 cal from protein, 450 cal from fat. Now, 1800 cal – 1050cal (650p + 450f)= 750 left for carbs. 750cal divided by 4 calories/gram= 187carbs per day

-          Examples: pasta, bread, sweet potato, oatmeal, apples, mango, veggies, cake

I know this isn’t overly complicated math, but actually applying it to your life and creating a structured plan is where things get tricky. Our process is as follows:


Step 1: Don’t change anything about your diet, just track everything you eat and drink for two weeks.

Step 2: At the end of two weeks, identify the two biggest flaws and come up with two strategies to fix just those things.

Step 3: Work on step 2 for two weeks, then assess. Did you fix those two major flaws? If yes, proceed to step 4, if not, change your strategy and work on step 2 again for two more weeks.

Step 4: Pick the next two biggest flaws and work on those.

Step 5: Repeat this process until you find a plan that moves you in the right direction while aligning with your lifestyle.


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