The Basics On How To Flexible Diet
Let’s face it, whether you’re simply trying to lose weight to look better, or if you’re following a bodybuilding routine and happen to be dieting down for a competition or a photoshoot, dieting in the conventional way, well, it pretty much sucks. When we think of most generic bodybuilding diets, we think of foods like: plain grilled chicken breast, turkey mince, plain baked potato, boiled rice, and steamed vegetables, all washed down with plenty of water. While healthy, those foods are far from appetizing or enjoyable, which is why so many of us have mental blocks when it comes to dieting. But what about if you could enjoy foods that you love, which are not considered “diet-friendly” and still burn fat and shred up in the process? Well, thanks to flexible dieting, you can. Here’s a look at the basics on how to flexible diet.
What is flexible dieting? – Flexible dieting is also known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), and it is basically a form of dieting in which you meticulously track your daily macronutrient intakes in order to ensure you burn body fat and build muscle. Our macros are made up of: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, which each gram of these macros having a certain caloric value. 1 gram of protein and carbohydrates contains 4 calories, whereas 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. Whereas most dieters will simply count calories I.E 2000 calories or less per day, flexible dieters will track calories from each macro, depending on their goals. So, for example, 80g of fat, 150g of protein, and 170g of carbohydrates would equal to 2000 calories. This in turn has a very strong influence on overall body composition, as opposed to just weight loss.
Can you eat “unhealthy foods”? – In a word – Yes. With flexible dieting, the entire principle works on the belief that there are no miracle foods guaranteed to build muscle or burn body fat, and that, providing you track your calories, get enough of the right macros, and remain in a caloric deficit, you will burn fat, or build muscle, or simply stay in maintenance, depending on what your goals are, and which macro combination you are following. That means that, if you have been tracking your macros and you have, say, 70g of carbs left, 40g of fats, and around 40g of protein, you could theoretically enjoy a bacon double cheeseburger for your dinner, as long as it didn’t take you over your macro requirements.
Is this an excuse to binge on junk? – No. A common misconception associated with flexible dieting and IIFYM, is that it is a way of eating unhealthy junk food and still losing weight. In reality, this is not the case at all. To begin with, we need plenty of fresh and healthy foods because they are very good for us, but secondly, if you were to try and binge on nothing but junk food and still lose weight, by the time you hit your macro goals, your food intakes for the day would be far too low. The idea is that your diet is made up primarily of fresh, healthy, and nutrient rich foods, with the added bonus of being able to dine out for dinner, enjoy dessert after your meal, or simply grab something considered “unhealthy” whilst on the road, and still remain on plan.
Written by Tyler McPeak