What is flexible dieting?
Flexible dieting, or IIFYM (if it fits your macros) is a form of food tracking based around macronutrients that meet your body composition, energy expenditure and fitness goals.
Four key aspects to understand flexible dieting
- Macronutrients: Carbs, proteins and fats are all tailored to suit either a calorie deficit to lose fat or calorie surplus to gain muscle. The split between these three will depend on your body type, however, some people work better on carbs and others on fats. Some people love protein, however, others need more for satiety and others need less for a high-calorie diet.
- Tracking: Now that you have the basic information on macros, what now? Your answer is tracking! Using apps like My Fitness Pal allow us to keep track of our macros, and calories, to ensure we are meeting our needs. Being able to track gives you the honest truth about what you are consuming.
- IIFYM: IIFYM is a sustainable approach to ‘dieting’ as it allows for flexibility by following an 80/20 approach. Eating clean, whole foods high in micronutrients such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains 80% of the time. Then 20% of the time eating foods that fit your macros but are considered ‘unhealthy food.
- ‘Unhealthy foods’: Foods which may be low in micronutrients, calorie-dense, heavily processed etc are considered as unhealthy foods. The 80/20 approach might mean five healthy meals throughout the day and a piece of chocolate at night. Or six days of healthy meals and a meal out on the weekend. The approach that is sustainable is the one that suits you and what you enjoy!
Tips for you to stay on track!
- Eat in volume: Eating foods such as veggies which provide volume and micronutrients to your meals is key to staying full when dieting.
- Track your food: Being aware of the portions and calories we are consuming is very important to staying on track with your nutrition. Eating untracked or unplanned cheat meals may end up putting us into an excessive surplus, leading to unused energy and ultimately storage of this energy as fat!
- Enjoy your food: Going out for events with your friends and families and eating foods you love is crucial in order for you to gain balance in your life. Enjoying life is possible without sacrificing your health. It is all about that balance.
Yours in health,
Lauren Killey / Clean Health Personal Trainer
Clean Health Fitness Institute
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