Flexible Dieting is also known as “if it fits your macros” (IFFYM).
It could also be the “something extra” you need to really enjoy your healthy lifestyle.
Because, let’s be real, it’s tough to eat clean 100% of the time.
And most of the time, it’s not even your fault!
You’ve decided to change your diet.
You’re doing really good.
Then all of a sudden, somebody shows up with food from your favorite restaurant.
There goes the willpower.
You’re getting tired of starting and stopping and you just really want to get it together and reach your goals.
If you can relate to this, flexible dieting may be just the thing you need.
3 Things You Need to Know about Flexible Dieting (aka If It Fits Your Macros)
- What is flexible dieting?
- How does it work?
- What is the catch?
By the end of this post, you will have a really good understanding of each of these 3 points.
You will then be able to decide for yourself if this is the diet you’ve been waiting for all your life.
Let us begin.
#1. What is Flelxible Dieting?
Flexible Dieting is a way of eating that allows you to eat “junk” food and still reach all your fitness goals.
I’m talking things like:
- and Ice cream
Yes, I realize this sounds wayyyy too good to be true.
And yes, there is a catch – which we will talk about shortly.
For now, you just need to understand this one point:
Flexible dieting can allow you to reach all of your fitness goals without missing out on all your favorite foods
How Does Flexible Dieting Work?
With normal diets, you have foods that are good foods.
- and Broccoli.
Then you have bad foods like
- and Burgers
Flexible dieting works by completely removing this idea of “good foods” vs “bad foods”.
Instead of focusing on eating only “good” foods, you switch your focus to
- The amount of food you’re eating overall per day
- The amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat per day
With flexible dieting, it doesn’t matter whether you eat only macdonalds.
If you get these two things right, you will still reach your goal.
It works regardless of the goal.
Here’s an Example
To make this more practical, let’s say you weight 140 pounds.
You’ve decided that you want to try this flexible dieting, “if it fits your macros” thing that everyone is talking about.
You have to ask yourself 2 questions.
- How much do I want to eat overall per day?
- What is the amount of carbs, fats, and protein I want to eat per day?
For a 140 pound woman, you might settle on 2,000 calories per day and 40% carbs 40% fat and 20% protein.
Using these numbers as a guide, you can literally eat whatever you want.
You just have to make sure that you stay right around 2000 calories per day and you make sure that those calories are split into 40% carbs 40% fat and 20% protein.
Just as a reminder, this is an example and not a recommendation.
Your calories and your carbs/protein/fat percentages will vary depending on your current body composition and your goals.
So I hope now it makes sense to you how flexible dieting works and why so many people love it.
At this point, you might be screaming – sign me up! THIS IS WHAT I NEED!
Not so fast because there is a catch.
What is the Catch of Flexible Dieting?
Catch #1: Meal Tracking
To properly implement flexible dieting – at least for beginners, you must get good at tracking your meals.
For some people, this comes easy.
For others, this is much more unsavory than eating lettuce all day.
If you’re super organized and you don’t mind tracking your meals, flexible dieting just might be right for you.
And once you get used to it, you will reach a level of proficiency where you don’t have to track anymore.
It’s pretty sweet.
But there’s another catch.
Catch #2: Micronutrients
I can only assume that you want nice skin, healthy nails, and healthy gorgeous hair – in addition to a banging body.
Sadly, it is not possible to have all these things without eating what you would normally think of as “good” foods.
That is, things like broccoli, spinach, carrots, and fruits.
These “good” foods contain micronutrients that are essential to the complete functioning of your body.
So, technically, you can ignore them and eat only delicious processed foods with flexible dieting.
BUT it is simply not a good idea to do so.
What’s the point of having the perfect hourglass figure, round butt, and bikini abs if your skin is crusty and your hair looks fried?
I’m just saying.
It’s all about balance! 🙂
So What Can You Do Today?
You can try it out for 24 hours and see how it works for you.
- Order a food scale to measure your food.
- Download a meal tracking app that you like (I use Lose It)
- Calculate your ideal calories and your percentages for carb/fat/protein (here’s a good calculator)
Track your food for 24 hours to see how you do.
If you enjoy it, flexible dieting might be right for you.
If you hate it, well, at least you tried!
Quick note on the percentages to use.
There is no hard and fast rule that you must follow but there are general guidelines.
Many people feel good with 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fat.
It is also a popular starting point for beginners who then play with the ratios to find their perfect sweet spot.
If your goal is to lose fat, err on the side of fewer carbs and lower calories
Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time.
Keep experiementing and tracking your progress and you will definitely find what feels best to your body.