Flexible dieting is a sensible approach to dieting and is by far my favourite. I am not a big fan of being defined by the restrictions and ‘camps’ that surround a normal diet. Whilst the ketogenic diet removes all carbohydrates, clean eating removes anything that tastes nice and brings you joy and slimming world just confuses the fuck out of everyone. Flexible dieting can include a combination of all foods and is defined purely by your imagination.
What is flexible dieting?
Flexible dieting is an approach to managing your weight by letting you be exactly what it says on the tin….flexible. Instead of defining foods being either good or bad, you are controlling total calories and letting your habits and lifestyle fill this up with how you please.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you have 2000 kcals to play with on a daily basis. You could fill this up with nothing but boiled chicken and broccoli and cry yourself to sleep at night.
You could eat balanced nutritious meals most of the time, and then fill up your remaining calories with the foods you enjoy. These types of foods may be classed as ‘bad’ or ‘junk’ foods, but as long as you are controlling your calorie intake, you will be heading towards your goal.
How can I implement it?
The only way in which you can use this within your dieting approach is by calorie counting. With the power of your smartphone, you can use apps such as MyFitnessPal to help make this as easy as possible. By tracking all of the food and drink you consume, you have to ability to fill that calorie target up with foods as you wish.
By using a flexible approach to dieting you can still go out for meals, enjoy social events and even have a few beers (if it fits within your calorie intake). Instead of locking yourself away for 12 weeks to lose that ‘last 10 lbs’, you can still enjoy your normal life and still make progress.
Does this mean I can eat chocolate for breakfast?
As with any dieting approach, you can be sensible or you can join the dieting cult and wage a full blown war on carbs. This is the same with flexible dieting. Instead of using this approach as an excuse to eat like a dickhead, use it to still enjoy some of the foods you enjoy whilst making progress.
Whilst you could eat nothing but chocolate and ice cream to meet your calorie target, it is not recommended. We still need to be aware of our bodies requirements for vitamins and minerals, our hunger levels, our protein intake and our dietary fat intake.
I like to advise an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you are eating meals that are highly nutritious, balanced foods, high in protein, high in vitamins and minerals and contains enough fibre. The remaining 20% can be used to fit around your lifestyle. This may include a couple of beers at the weekend, a takeaway or a cupcake from the office feeder.
Will ‘bad’ foods make me fat?
There is no such thing as good or bad foods. Some foods are more optimal than others but all foods can be justified with the diet at times. I want to remove the association with junk foods and the guilt that goes along with that. Your biggest target should be to control your calorie target and reach that with meals you enjoy.
Food that are classed as ‘bad’ or ‘junk’ are usually higher in calories. They are usually higher in fats, sugar and salt, which is why they taste bloody delicious. For this reason, they are also very easily consumed. We need to be sure to track these types of food accurately and effectively. It is easy to destroy a bag of Dorito’s and realise you have blown your calorie target out of the water.
If you want to learn how to get the results you want and eat the foods you enjoy, get in touch today. I can provide a step by step guide to getting you in decent shape. Stop guessing and start working. 1 on 1 personal training and online training slots are available to suit your needs and budget.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.