What is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible Dieting, also known as IIFYM or if it fits your macros, is a diet that focuses more on the macronutrient number and less on the nutritional value of a food. You still need to eat less to create a caloric deficit, but the focus is on what kind of food you are eating. The majority of the food in your diet needs to come from clean sources including whole natural fresh foods, and should be high in fiber, while about 20% can come from your favourite treats. Basically, the idea is that you can have your cake and eat it too! Research shows that those who follow more flexible diets eat less, lose more weight, are generally in a better mood and can sustain their diet for longer than those who attempt more rigid diets.
How Do You Use Flexible Dieting?
After you have determined how many calories you need to eat to lose weight, which is generally 10 to 12 times your body weight, the next step is to figure out your macronutrients. Use a ratio aimed at fat loss: 40-50% of calories from protein, 30-20% from carbs and 20-30% from fats. Divide these calories up over four to six meals per day.
The next step, and perhaps the most exciting part of the diet, is choosing your macros. Stick to about 80-90% of your food choices from whole sources including fresh fruit, vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, good for you fats and lean sources of protein. Flexible dieting is also about maintaining a high dietary fiber intake which can help stabilize blood glucose levels and the remaining 10-20% can be from not so good choices like your favourite sweet treats or greasy indulgences!
What Can You Expect?
The best part of flexible dieting is that it is sustainable in the long run. Allowing for small provisions of ‘treats’ or bad foods supports not only psychological satisfaction, but also prevents you from suffering severe energy crashes, or craving foods that you would normally abstain from on a diet. On the flip side, this means you need to exercise some restraint when indulging in your favourites — which can be quite difficult for some!
What Supplements Should I Use While on an IIFYM Diet?
On any diet, your energy levels will feel lower than normal, as you are restricting your calories. To give you the extra boost you need to make it to the gym, we recommend VEGAN FREAK. This all-natural pre-workout provides a superfood support blend and comes in two delicious flavours: Natural Vanilla and Natural Dark Chocolate.
A paleo diet can help combat the risk of a host of health problems, such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes by removing high sugar foods in the diet. Learn more about that and its other benefits in Part 5 of the Fat Loss Diets series!