We promote a flexible diet because it lets you decide when and what you want to eat and it gives you control. It allows you to follow a healthy lifestyle rather than restricting you from certain foods. You may think, but how can you control what you eat and still be in a diet? Flexible dieting works because you track what you eat to ensure that you do not go over your daily calorie allowance.
You need to learn to budget calories in exactly the same way you would budget your money for the day. If you consume all of your calories first thing in the morning or you spend all of your lunch money on breakfast, you’re not going to be able to eat a sufficient meal in the evening as you will not have any money (read: calories) left. This will leave you hungry and increase the risk of you overconsuming your calories.
What is a calorie?
A unit of energy that consists of macronutrients.
What is a macronutrient (Macro)?
Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats & Alcohol.
Think of calories in the same why you think about your salary – there’s a finite amount and when it’s spent you land in your overdraft and in debt! That is the same as when you have gone over your calories for the day. Think of fat gain like your overdraft, the bigger the debt the higher the potential fat gain.
Flexible dieting gives you control of what you eat, up to your daily allowance. Although, you need to take into account that you have three other targets to meet, your macros. Flexible dieting gives you the freedom to explore a range of foods as long as you ensure you can hit your macros for the day. This means you have a set weight (g) of macros to eat e.g. 140g protein, 240g carbohydrates and 55g of Fat. Every individual person would have different macros because it is calculated based on your body weight and activity levels.
How many calories are there in macronutrients?
Protein = 4 calories per 1g
Carbohydrate = 4 calories per 1g
Fat = 9 calories per 1g
Micronutrients are Vitamins, Minerals and antioxidants. They assist in producing digestive enzymes, helps keep a strong metabolism, helps the breakdown of macronutrients into energy and have many other benefits. They come in the form of fruits and veggies which is essential for overall health.
Flexible dieting removes the “Good” foods and “Bad” foods stigma.
All foods are made up of calories.
Society and the media tell us that chocolate and processed food is bad for us. We then associate it with the word ‘bad’. Therefore, at any point you eat chocolate or processed food you instantly feel bad because you know “it’s not good for you” and this shouldn’t be the case.
From a fat loss perspective, we know that eating too many calories chronically is much worse for your health than hitting your macros with processed food is.
Another prime example of this is if you drink a smoothie full of fruit, you would perceive this as ‘good’ because it’s fruit. From a fat loss perspective, a smoothie may have more calories than a chocolate bar which you would associate as being ‘bad’. The higher the calories, the closer you get to hit your daily allowance faster.
How do I find out what my macros are for me?
If you are thinking of adapting to a flexible diet approach, do not guess your macros or calories. This can be unsafe and damaging to your health. It is crucial for the macros to be calculated correctly for weight loss and weight gain. If you make it up yourself and your plan is to lose weight, you might find that you will be consuming more than your body naturally requires which will be detrimental to your goals. If you have any queries regarding receiving your personalised macros, this is part of our online coaching services. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.