The truth is out: flexible dieting is not a diet…What?
Flexible dieting is a nutritional concept. All food is made of up of macronutrients and micronutrients. The 3 main macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Manipulating the ratio of these will allow you to change your body composition much more effectively than counting calories.
Flexible dieters see no “clean” or “dirty” foods; they see only the ratios of nutrients in a food. For example, when I look at a banana, I’m not counting a number of calories in it. I’m looking at how many grams of carbohydrates are in it and making sure it fits into my daily allowance of carbohydrates.
So you’re telling me that I can have my cake and eat it too? Absolutely. One professor lost 27lbs by eating Twinkies. Another lost even more by eating only McDonalds. Do I recommend that? Of course not!
We should stay away from simple calorie counting and weight loss and move towards body composition and track your nutrients. Put simply, wouldn’t you want to not just lose weight, but actually look leaner and stronger? Wouldn’t it be great to bulk up without gaining too much fat? Flexible dieting is the tool for you.
Flexible dieting sometimes gets a bad rep amongst health enthusiasts because many practitioners only track their macronutrients and not other essential vitamins, minerals, or fibre, which can lead to health complications. This is why it is vital to still employ sound nutritional strategies while eating. If all you eat is Twinkies, then you might feel lethargic. It’s all about portion control and creativity. I have trained several people with this dietary approach, and many have successfully enjoyed a portion of ice cream daily while dropping body fat. How? They watched their carbs and fats the rest of the day. Simple as that.
You get to pick and choose what you eat. The beauty of this diet is flexibility. You can finally eat out with your friends, not need to plan and stress as much, and still make substantial progress on your fitness goals.
Here’s what you need to do:
Garner a rough estimate of your macronutrient requirements (fibre recommendations for men and women are roughly 38g & 25g respectively, and 30g to 21g for adults over 50). Do this by going to the macronutrient calculator at IIFYM.com. You’ll be asked to enter your metrics and goals.
Next, download the MyFitnessPal app. Input your macronutrient ratios and voila! Simply enter what you ate throughout the day and keep track of your macronutrients and micronutrients. Keep track of your carbs, proteins, and fats, and you will discover that you will have more favourable body composition changes than simply counting calories. You’ll relish the freedom of truly eating whatever you want with this method. The best diet tip is consistency. Simplifying the diet process makes it easier to adhere to be consistent. Happy flexible dieting!
Manu Edakara is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. His background is in resistance training and exercise psychology and he has worked with NCAA athletes as well as ageing populations. He is currently prepping for his first Men’s Physique competition.
Happy to answer questions at Instagram.com/the_manuscript