Today’s article is courtesy of our guest blogger, Patricia Ramos. She’s a power builder, bikini athlete, and a good friend of mine. She’s one of my favourite local athletes to watch and be inspired by because her approach to fitness is realistic and relatable. I’ve only very recently gotten into flexible dieting and she’s one of the first people I call whenever I need a little help here and there. Today, she helps break it down for us as simply as possible. Fitness and dieting have never been more fun and delicious. Thanks, Pat!
We have been taught repeatedly that saying no to “bad” foods and only eating “good” foods is the only way to see results. Giving in to “bad” foods is cheating, and should be punished. On the other hand, over-exercising and going on highly restrictive diets are considered the norm, and are the two most crucial aspects of seeing results. Knowing these, it’s no wonder that Flexible Dieting (also known as If It Fits Your Macros) has been gaining momentum as one the more popular ways of dieting/eating today. People are sick and tired of going on the same, boring diet, only to gain it all back on a cheat day (or week). This is where Flexible Dieting shines, and it’s where you could possibly break through that binge and restrict cycle, just like many others.
What if you could eat pizza, ice cream, cookies, burgers, pasta, and rice dishes and still be able to achieve your physique goals?
At first, they said it couldn’t be done. Now millions strong, the IIFYM has blown up, with many of those posts belonging to bodybuilding competitors. Bodybuilding. Competitors. These are people who you’d expect to be eating bland, boiled chicken and lettuce leaves all-year-round, but they are, in fact, eating delicious food all the way up until show day.
Flexible Dieting works for a wide range of people because it is simply the counting of macronutrients to achieve a certain level of body composition. Your macronutrients are protein, carbohydrate and fat. It follows the belief that simply cutting out food groups and restricting to only ‘clean’ or ‘good’ foods are not the only ways to influence body composition. Rather, total caloric intake, is what ultimately matters.
Of course, to maintain overall health, although not entirely necessary to change your body, is still a common goal for many. This is where fiber intake and micronutrient intake come in.
Benefits of Flexible Dieting
- It’s Effective
Flexible Dieting is effective because it is not the source of the food that determines whether or not you lose weight. A calorie deficit, or eating below your maintenance calories, is what will help you lose weight. This can be achieved by calculating your maintenance calories and decreasing from there, regardless of your food sources.
- It’s More Sustainable
If you love to eat bread or pasta, there is a way to incorporate it into your diet so that you don’t have to be miserable for the entirety of your dieting period. This helps people adhere to their protocols for longer, which ensures lasting results without the negative side effects associated with prolonged dieting.
- It’s Closer to ‘Normal’
When you’re dieting, it can be hard to be the odd man/woman out. When everyone is enjoying the holiday festivities, you don’t want to be huddled in a corner with a salad and steamed chicken breast with no seasoning, do you? Flexible Dieting gives you the freedom to eat whatever is in front of you, within reason, as long as you know how to track your macros.
How to Get Started with Flexible Dieting
- Get a food scale.
Your food scale will be your best friend, at least for a while. It will help you quantify your serving sizes for accuracy and precision. For example, one cup of rice will look different to everyone, so weighing it instead of eyeballing it can be more helpful when tracking macros.
- Download MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal is a food diary with an extensive database of foods and beverages. They have practically everything you can think of. Simply set your goals and input your information, and it will do most of the work for you. Follow the prescribed calorie count for one week, and assess whether your weight maintained, dropped or increased. Adjust in increments of 100 calories either up or down if you dropped or increased in weight.
- Avoid Guesstimating Too Much
Estimating may be unavoidable, but when you can, try to control as much of your food intake as you can. For example, rather than eating out for pizza, try to make your own at home so that you can track the ingredients and macros. This will help you hit your calorie and macro goals more precisely, which is important for weight loss.
If you have any questions about Flexible Dieting, please feel free to contact:
http://fitme.ph (plenty of articles on IIFYM/Flexible Dieting)
FITME.PH on Youtube
Patricia Ramos on Facebook
For any questions or inquiries or if you’d like to share your fitness journey with us, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org