What is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible Dieting is simply counting the amounts of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) that you consume to achieve your body composition goal.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients or “Macros”
make up the majority of our diet. There are three main macros: Protein, Fat,
and Carbohydrate. One gram of each “macro” has a calorie value. It is important to understand how many calories are in each macronutrient when calculating macros.
• 1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories
• 1 Gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
• 1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories
The fourth macro is Alcohol. Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. Alcohol should be calculated based on calories. You can choose to use carbs or fats when counting alcohol macros in your daily allowance.
What foods contain protein?
You’ll find protein in animal based foods such as poultry, red meat, fish, eggs, whey, and dairy. Protein is also found in smaller amounts in foods like beans, lentils, and nuts.
What foods contain carbohydrates?
Whole food carbs sources include starchy foods like grains, potatoes, and beans, fruits and vegetables. You can also find carbs in many processed foods like breads, sweets and diary products.
What foods contain fat?
There are three main types of fats: saturated, unsaturated and trans. Trans fats are fats that you want to avoid because they can increase risks for heart disease and cancer, among other things. Trans fats are found in deep fried foods and processed foods.
Saturated fat is typically found in animal fat products such as cream, cheese, butter, other whole milk dairy products and fatty meats which also contain dietary cholesterol. Certain vegetable products have high saturated fat content, such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil. You will want to eat these in moderation as they can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. However there are some benefits to consuming saturated fat such as for men, this fat can help with maintaining normal level of testosterone and in women, it can help with the regulation of the menstrual cycle.
Unsaturated fat is are healthy fats you want to have in your diet. Generally theses fats come from plants and fatty fish. Some examples include olive oil, nuts, salmon, avocados. These fats are shown to help lower cardiovascular disease, improve cholesterol, and can also help improve brain function as well. One of the best unsaturated fats is omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fatty varieties of fish.
Counting Macros Verses Calories
The amount of calories an individual consumes verse how much their body uses determines if they will lose or gain weight. Counting macros out weights counting calories when you look specifically at body fat loss, preservation of lean muscle and hormonal balances. One of the key macros is protein. When protein levels are set to a percentage of lean body mass, it will allow the ability to maintain as much lean muscle while in a weight loss phase which supports a higher metabolism.
Rather than typical calorie counting (for example, eating 2,000 calories a day) Flexible Dieters track macronutrients (for example: 150g Protein, 170g Carbohydrate, 80g Fat = 2000 cals) which more effectively influences body composition rather than just weight loss or gain.
Flexible Dieting follows the belief that there are no miracle weight loss foods. No good or bad foods, just macro ratios. For example:
McGrilled Chicken Sandwich:
• 25g Protein
• 33g Carbohydrate
• 15g Fat
Brown Rice, Tuna, Olive Oil
• 25g Protein
• 33g Carbohydrate
• 15g Fat
Both are the same macros and so both will achieve the same results in your body composition. When food enters your stomach your body isn’t thinking “Healthy or unhealthy?” it is simply breaking down the food and processing the macronutrients. Essentially, Flexible Dieters believe that you can change your body eating whatever you want so long as you hit your macro goals.
What Are the Benefits?
All different diets have their merits, but Flexible Dieting is by far our favorite at TheBodyShop Online for four main reasons:
The most important tool in weight loss is a calorie deficit. It is necessary for losing weight. Although quality is important, quantity is the greater determining factor in weight loss or gain. If you’re not in a calorie deficit you can eat all the “diet food” you want and make no progress. By tracking everything that you eat, you stop the guess-work and take control over how & when you reach your goals.
Utilizing flexible dieting for your weight management program is a great way to create a healthy balance between eating whole foods your body needs to function optimally and eating some of those things that are not as nutritional dense but fun to consume.
The premise is a diet that is composed of 85% whole foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy make for optimal health and allow you to get in necessary micronutrients your body needs. But wait, what about the other 15%, these are your fun foods like ice cream, alcohol, cake, whatever your heart’s desire. We are not saying that you will not have to say no to something every once in awhile because let's be serious you want to make progress and saying yes to everything you want all the time is not going to get you to your goals.
Flexible dieting is just that: Flexible.
By focusing on your macronutrient intake rather than eating certain foods you can still achieve your goals while enjoying life with everyone else. One of the challenges we’ve found around dieting is the awkward social element. Bringing Tupperware containers full of rice and chicken to family dinners is not the solution! Research shows that a more flexible approach leads to less anxiety, and more successful weight management. By allowing yourself flexibility you can join in on meals with families and friends, so long as you keep track of what you’re eating.
We speak to potential client everyday who are caught in a super restrictive way of eating. They have been on then “Diet, Diet, Diet, Binge…Diet, Diet, Diet, Binge” rollercoaster for years with little to no continued success.
Food is not just physical, it’s also psychological. Many people that we speak to have an unhealthy relationship and fear of food. Flexible Dieting is seems to kill the “Diet, Binge” cycle many people find themselves in. Because you can eat whatever you want (in moderation) it’s more mentally & emotionally sustainable!
As a client of TheBodyShop Online you will find that flexible dieting can work with any type of diet including keto, paleo, vegan, or etc.
Getting Started with Flexible Dieting with TheBodyShop Online is so simple!
Step 1: When you become a client your nutrition coach will conduct a survey to determine your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) based on your current weight, exercise level, and lifestyle factors.
Step 2: Next your nutrition coach will calculate your macros to help you reach your desired goal. Once you macros have been set they will design three meal plans using foods you’ve selected!
Step 3: You can follow the plans your coach has written and/or track your foods based on your recommended macros each day.
We would love to work with you to help you reach your goals, click here to get started today!