The latest trend is here in the dieting world- Flexible Dieting!
Recently it was IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macro’s. Before that – the Keto diet, they all have their benefits.
But right now it’s Flexible Dieting, and the great news is that it’s not just a trend or a fad as it’s here to stay!
I’ve been coaching Flexible Dieting for nearly a year so am pretty chuffed it’s getting the recognition and limelight it deserves, and rightly so! 🙂 So let’s get into the key points of felxible dieting…
What Is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible Dieting is pretty self explanatory. In short it’s flexible, so much less restrictive than many other diets and as a consequence it seems to be helping people keep their results in a more permanent way.
Flexible Dieting holds the same principles as most other diets, that it needs to put you in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. This is how weight is lost, as long as calories burnt are less than calories consumed then you’ll lose weight. You’ll also gain weight if it’s the opposite. 100% true.
The main differentiator to flexible dieting however is the amount of flexibility it provides to your ‘diet’, go figure. From my experience, and a few others of thought leaders in the world of flexibile dieting, the actual quantity of your diet consumed has been shown to have much more importance specifically than the quality of your diet…
I’ll go deeper here. Essentially, if you want to perform well in your sport you NEED to eat the most optimum amount of calories/macros your body needs to function best at what it does. Self explanatory right? Food is fuel! Even if you have a goal to just lose weight though, calories = calories . So as we discussed before if you want to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you burn daily. Therefore the variable here is food quanity, not specifically food quantity!
You can have a really quality diet consisting of whole grains, good carbs (rices etc.) vegetables and fruit, but if you’re eating way too much and overconsuming the likelihood is you’ll be in surplus calories contributing to weight loss. I’ll be the first to say it, it’s a lot harder to overconsume on a quality diet due to the lower general caloric density than in junk food, but it’s possible. So again, if you want to progress your specific goal you want to be sure the quanity is right before we consider quality.
This is the driving force behind flexible dieting – get the quantity of your calories right whilst choosing whole or good quality foods wherever and whenever possible. Simples! 🙂
And as per our ‘it’s important to get quantity right’ ethos, it allows for a lot of flexibility when it comes to what foods you consume.
Remember, as long as you’re eatig less calories than you burn, weight loss will happen! 🙂
So of course, enjoy the occasional treat and meal out. If you can track your calories or macros and hit your prescribed amount for your goal whilst squeezing treats or occasional junk food in your diet, who the hell wouldn’t say that’s a more fun method!? Yes, I’m slightly biased!
I coach the clients I work with to hit their calorie or specific macro-split goals but encourage ALL of them to embrace indulging when they want and embrace the occasional alcohol drink. If they fall off the wagon one day it’s just as simple as telling them, great, that’s one day out of 365, pick yourself up tomorrow and get right back on it. That’s the beauty of it though. There’s no dwelling on eating junk food or going over your prescribed daily calorie goal, you simply just pick it up the next day and start smashing it.
You know, I don’t know about you but food is my LIFE. I think about it every, 27 minutes (?). I pre plan what menu choices I want weeks in advance when I know I’m out for a meal in the future. And I live for weekend brunch, pancakes, avocado toast, the lot! Screw the price, I love it. 🙂 Why the hell should I live a day any more restricting myself to chicken and brocoli when I can cconsume the same amount of calories enjoying my diet and food more.
I’m not saying that it’s the wrong way – eating chicken, rice and brocoli for every meal works for some people. It just doesn’t work for ME though and I damn well know it doesn’t work for EVERYONE.
The plus about this diet is the fact there’s no restriction and the positive level of food-relationship it encourages. I embrace my granola bars and cookies. But I know 80% of my diet is gold so that 20% is my mental flexibility. Not only does it make me feel good eating what I want but I know I can stick out a ‘diet’ where I’m not in any way restrictive. Binges of food are far less frequent and I actually rarely fall off the rails.
One great thing is I’ve had a few overweight clients come to me suffering with a bad relationship with food and the relief when they hear they can have some treats is profound. Even with the clients that suffer from binge eating junk food, we give them permission to enjoy those foods and, surprise surprise, the permission results in them eating less junk food? wtf.
Infact my MyFitnessPal streak up until recently was 190 days straight of logging my food every day. Sure some days I went over, some days I didn’t track EVERYTHING, but I know if I as consuming bland, boring-ass meals every day I’d be lucky to make 30 days.
I owe my results of muscle gain and new found energy to Flexibile Dieting and can honestly tell you it was the driving force behind me starting a nutrition coaching business nearly one year ago.
So I am 114% fired up that it’s getting into the limelight and you can damn well expect that I’ll be over here, eating my granola flapjacks, getting the leanest I’ve ever been and helping my huge variety of clients chase their physique goals the same way.
How to do this yourself!
Now there is a way to go about doing this, and the starting point is to figure out your current metabolic rate.
As a coach I’d coach people through this process and figure out the maths but here’s how you do that, and it mainly involes trial and error:
Take the sort-of-true fact that 1lb of fat has roughly 3500 calories of fat. You need to start your calorie prescription at a level nearby to your current consumption, so you will have to track for at least 3 days to figure out your natural, average daily calorie consumption.
Say for instance Day 1 I consumed 3000 calories, day 2 – 2800, day 3 – 2600. That’s an average of 2800. I’d start my official tracking here and set a daily goal of eating 2800 calories a day!
On day one of eating 2800 you need to measure your weight, whilst eating as close as possible to 2800 calories a day by tracking your food.
You need to keep consistent every day as this method requires that consistency, otherwise we won’t be as accurate come day 7…
When you get to day 7 we weigh ourselves again. Here we assess whether we have lost or gained weight from day one, and this is the most basic indicator that these calories at 2800 a day will either need to be dropped next week (as I gained slight weight and wanted weight loss), OR increased next week as I’m aiming for weight gain and lost weight…
This process will need to be calibrated over the period of a month for best effect to fully realise your average daily metabolic rate. Simply increase/decrease calories by 5% (I encourage no more, as any more are generally big fluctations and can impact metabolism to some degree. Then it’s just about playing the long game. When you start losing weight at a nice steady rate, stick at it and don’t you dare sit in a huge calorie deficit, this only contributes to other health issues if performed for too long! As a guide don’t aim to lose more than 1lb a week in any sense, even that is a fast weight loss. I hold clients at 0.5lbs a week which in turn equates to a daily calorie deficit of 250 calories, a pretty healthy deficit to go for and one which is pretty sustainable – KEY to flexible dieting.
So there you have it, a tried and trusted method I use for all my clients but you need to bare in mind you won’t immediately lose weight on day one. You’re playing a long game here whch requires some lifestyle change. don’t forget that weight naturally increases and decreases daily with the flow of hormne output, so an increase in weight is NOT, i repeat NOT, the end of the world.
I HIGHLY recommend you get in touch if you want help figuring this out. I’ll happily consult for free but obviously do my best work when we work together over time. The about is a general principle of ow to do this yourself but obviousloy doesn’t account for personal circumstances such as relationship with food or lifestyle choices.
At the end of the day, the framework is very simple you just have to do the work.
I will take this method every, single, day, in order to eat what I want and still drive my body goals.
Remember, life is for living, and I refuse to go one day more feeling bad about the food I’m eating.
Give Flexible Dieting a go. I guarentee you’ll come out of the process loving food more but also progressing in a MUCH more fun environment.
Charge up, team!