Most of us, at some point or other, have been trapped in a vicious cycle of dieting to deprivation, breaking down in to a state of binge eating and then repeating the whole, ugly process again. Yes, we’ve all tried ultra-low carb diets, baby food diets and juice-cleansing diets to attain lean and sleek physiques (usually within an unreasonable amount of time). And sure, it may work in the short term, but in the long term? Not so much.
What if there was a better, more sustainable way of achieving your goals? A diet that incorporates your favourite foods, never makes you feel guilty, lets you maintain your ideal weight and, most importantly, improves your RELATIONSHIP with food?
Let me introduce you to flexible dieting!
The concept behind it is simple – instead of relying solely on counting calories, you count your ideal macronutrient intake (grams of carbohydrates, proteins and fats) according to your height, weight and activity levels. If you want to lose weight you eat below your macronutrient allowance to reach a deficit and, if you want to gain weight, you eat in surplus of your target.
It’s the least ‘judgy’ diet with no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain or maintenance, your choice of food is not limited. You can even eat calorie-dense meals, as long as you stay within your macronutrient allowance.
One of the biggest misconceptions about flexible dieting is that it is an excuse to eat more junk food. But this is not the case. Consuming nutrient deficient food is never the answer, in fact this will prevent your body from performing at its best. Balance is still key and the ‘80/20 rule’ (80% clean eating and 20% indulgent eating) still applies.
What about the age-old argument that tracking food is complicated and time consuming?
Sure, it does require a little more effort, but tracking your food teaches you so much about your food portions and eating habits. And, with all the apps out there, analysing, logging and photographing food has become convenient, fun and even fashionable.
In no time at all, you will be able to understand your food choices and portions by merely eyeballing the plate. A great skill to master for social events!
The point? Flexible dieting works for long term results because it is based on balance, moderation and building a healthy attitude towards food. It doesn’t guarantee quick results, but it will definitely guarantee more PERMANENT ones while you enjoy your food and work towards your goals.
The proof is in the pudding. Flexible dieting has given me the freedom to enjoy the foods I love without feeling guilty and while maintaining my goals. My best advice for following this type of lifestyle – use an online calculator to calculate your macros and don’t be afraid to enjoy your food!