Flexible Dieting

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Eating plenty of nutritious foods is important for overall health and longevity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25073782 ), but there are no foods that directly cause weight loss or weight gain. Sugar isn’t your enemy and “healthy fats” aren’t your savior.
The key to understanding these “shocking” statements is understanding the concept of “energy balance” (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/healthy-weight-basics/balance.html ) which is the relationship between the amount of energy you eat and the amount you burn.
The “boring” physiological reality is that meaningful weight loss requires eating less energy than you expend and meaningful weight gain requires the opposite (eating more than you burn).
Eat too much of the “cleanest” foods in the world and you will gain weight.

Flexible dieting has been recently a revolutionary new way of eating. Also known as If It Fits Your Macros is simply the counting of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) to achieve a body composition goal.
In a nutshell, Flexible Dieting/ IIFYM can be summed up in three steps:

Step 1: Calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) based on your current weight, age and lifestyle.
Step 2: Calculate your macros in ratios that help you reach your desired goal.
Step 3: Track your food intake and try to meet your calories and macro limits each day.

There are three main macros: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. One gram of each macro has a calorie value.

1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories
1 Gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories

When food enters your stomach your body isn’t thinking “Healthy or unhealthy?” it is simply breaking down the food and processing the macronutrients.
Essentially, to change your body you can eat whatever you want so long as you hit your calorie/ macro goals.

To maintain and improve overall health, although not necessary to change your body, I’d recommended tracking your fiber intake as well. This will ensure that you are getting enough micronutrients as well.
The American Heart Association recommends eating 14g of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Fiber-and-Childrens-Diets_UCM_305981_Article.jsp#.WS6uUMakKUk).

Flexible Dieting is the first thing that you will stick to consistently over a long period of time. From mine and my pupils experience, it seems to kill the “Diet, Binge” cycle many of us have found ourselves on. By allowing yourself flexibility you can join in on meals with families and friends, so long as you keep track of what you’re eating.

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