Flexible dieting is based on the idea that there are no 'good' or 'bad' foods. It is a useful nutrition approach that encourages variety and flexibility leading to a more sustainable and enjoyable journey towards your goals. It is simply tracking your calories and macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) to reach your specific body composition goal. The idea is to be able to fit whatever foods you like into your day as long as you hit these numbers overall. This enables people to not feel restricted, make it fit in with your lifestyle and is a more sustainable approach then a quick fix or yo-yo diet.
The main benefit of flexible dieting is sustainability and longevity. This doesn't only link to weight loss goals but also muscle gain.
- Sustainable - There is no right or wrong, you can control your choices and diet and not let it control you or get in the way of your lifestyle. If you want to go out and enjoy a meal with a loved one you can, if you have an event you can plan ahead and still stay on track to your goals. It's much easier to stay on track when you can still live your life and enjoy your favourite foods while seeing progress.
- Enjoyable- Unlike many other diets you can eat all of your favourite foods and enjoy the process. Yes, you will lose weight starving yourself, doing a tea detox or just eating chicken and broccoli but you will stack it all back on plus more and will hate the entire process!
- Education and Awareness- Tracking your calories and macros teaches you about what food is made up of, portion sizes, what a typical day will look like and increases your awareness. This knowledge will stay with you and benefit you for years to come!
What to Look Out For
Flexible dieting is a great tool but it might not be for everyone. For those starting out it could be overwhelming trying to understand macros and how to make it work. A good place to start may be developing a meal plan with your trainer and incorporating foods you enjoy to eat. This will take the guess work out of it and make it simple while you start your journey. You can then start to increase your knowledge of foods and transition to a flexible dieting approach rather than a set meal plan.
Another common mistake is food quality. Just because you can hit your macros with chocolate, ice-cream and processed protein bars doesn't mean this is what you should do. I recommend an 80/20 approach, 80% clean, unprocessed foods and 20% of those higher calorie foods. This ensures you are still allowing for balance while fuelling your body with nutritious and satisfying foods.
Flexible dieting is an amazing tool to ensure your fitness journey is enjoyable, maintainable and sustainable. It allows you to get educated and take control of your nutrition to ensure you reach your goals without sacrificing your lifestyle.
At Vision we calculate your calories and macronutrients each 9 weeks based on your body type, goals, lifestyle and activity level. We then help develop meal plans, provide nutrition coaching sessions, shopping tours and seminars to help you get comfortable and have all the tools you need to take control of your nutrition.
Remember, sustainability and consistency are key in achieving your goals and then most importantly maintaining them.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.