What is Flexible Dieting? Part I

The End of Restrictive and Boring Meal Plans

Tired of plain chicken breast and cucumber? Missing your salad dressings? Can’t live for the rest of your life without chocolate? I bet if you have ever failed with any diet, you have thought “Why can’t I just eat everything I want and still look great!?”. Well, you can. With Flexible Dieting.


If you’re still looking how to lose the extra body fat, you’ve probably come across to all kind of diets. Among the most famous and widespread Keto, Paleo and so on you’ve more likely than not seen here and there the acronym IIFYM or read about people who are flexible dieting. What exactly are they doing and why I will try to explain in this article.

What is Flexible dieting?

Flexible dieting can also be called IIFYM that stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”.

Macros (macronutrients) are the main nutrients that make up our total calorie intake from the food we eat. These are protein, carbohydrates and fats.

​Flexible dieting is a relatively new nutrition concept which main principle “Calories In vs. Calories Out” is based on the Biological thermodynamics, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only converted into other form.

Thence: if we consume more energy than we expend, we’re going to store energy. Everything comes down to Energy Balance.

Your energy balance is determined by the calories you consume from the food you eat and drink and by the calories your body need for its natural processes, your daily activities and tasks.

“Calories In vs. Calories Out” (CICO) means that of you consume more calories than your body needs, you will store energy. If you consume less calories than you need, your body will start losing weight.

What exactly fits in your macros?

Flexible dieting allows you to eat according to your lifestyle.

​You are to choose your own foods, how you combine then, when to eat them and so on.

​This puts an end to your worries about lunch boxes on the go or too expensive products recommended by your personal trainer or some fab social media star. 

You can eat a different variety of foods every single day.

No need to skip family gatherings, your colleague’s birthday or the holiday treats.

You can eat everything as long as it fits into your macronutrients.

The difference between flexible dieting and many other strategies is that it doesn’t exclude food groups. You’re allowed to eat all foods as long as they cling with your macronutrient targets and your overall health.

​The body doesn’t tell the difference between individual foods.

Which for you means that you should stop labeling food as good or bad.

​There are no “good” or “bad” foods.

​If a pasta dish, a fruit salad and doughnut contain the same amount of carbohydrates, it’s up to your personal preference, which carbohydrate source you want, as they still be broken down into sugars.

As you already know the basic principle how CICO works and that everything could fit your macros, this means you can eat ALL foods as long as you are in a deficit.


Any Doubts?

You might be asking yourself why then there are other diets that are soooo famous with their FAT LOSS results and completely cut off the “bad” and “unhealthy” foods. What about clean eating? What about the sleeping evil in carbs? Well, you should continue reading this article.

​What Flexible Dieting is NOT?

It sounds too good to be true, but this is how the body works. As long as you are in a deficit (burning more calories than you consume), you will lose weight.

But if you want to achieve a more specific goal such as achieving more ripped look or building some serious muscle, you’ll need to be aware that eating only chocolates and candies won’t get you there.

IFFYM is not fit all the junk / sugar / transfat in your diet.

IFFYM doesn’t exclude clean eating.

IFFYM doesn’t ​have a list of forbidden or allowed foods.

​Although you might associate clean eating with boring, tasteless food, think of IFFYM more like combining clean eating with some fun, enjoyable foods.

If you’re diet consists only of junk, you might not get all the required proteins for your goal and you might be consuming too much fats and carbs. The satiety factor also deserves to be mentioned, as these foods are calorie dense, not containing enough fiber and you’ll be feeling more hunger or cravings by eating only them.

Because 365 days of eating chicken breasts + rice + broccoli = me super depressed, hungry and unhappy. Who wanna live such a life?!

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You should strive to achieve some balance – go for nutrient dense foods, fit in some of your favorite dressings, desserts, pizza or whatever you have a tooth for. Just be mindful about quantities and allow yourself to experiment every now and then. Change your menu often. Thus, you will get all the required macro- AND micronutrients and you still can have your occasional piece of chocolate or muffin with your midafternoon coffee WITHOUT sacrificing your goal.

Eating clean used to be my mantra, too. Not anymore!

​What you need to start Flexible Dieting

  1. Determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)
  2. Determine Daily Calorie Intake
  3. Determine Accurate Macronutrient Ratios according to your preferences, goals and body response
  4. Start tracking your food intake
  5. Meet your target macronutrients

The above 5 points are an inalienable premise if you want to nail your Flexible Dieting, this I will over in the next part of the article.

There I will cover all the calculations and details, along with the pro’s and con’s of devoting to this way of life, how to have fun out and still be on track, and more.

Because Flexible dieting is a Non-Restrictive Lifestyle!

Main takeaways:

  • Flexible Dieting might be the tool you need to fix your relationship with food.
  • All foods are included! Even sugar popcorn, crispy fried potatoes or butter caramel topped ice cream.
  • You can eat completely different foods every single day and still lose fat or build muscle.
  • Choose your meals according to your budget and schedule.
  • It’s important to balance nutrient-dense and fun foods so you don’t end up ravenous and with “empty” calorie budget by noon or if you want a really nice body composition.
  • Non-restrictive approach allowing you to have your favorite tastes daily is more likely to become sustainable which is crucial for long term success.

What is Flexible Dieting Part II​? How to dine out, pro's & con's, and more.