What is Flexible Dieting? Part II

​Flexible dieting allows you to dine out, not to miss the wine evening with the girls or the birthday cake of your bae. It set’s no boundaries regarding food choices, number of meals or your meal timeline. There is though some additional information that you should consider if you are serious about starting this way of life.

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If you haven’t read the first part of the article, you can find it here.

Here you will find all pro’s and con’s along with details about calculating your macros and lifestyle changes using the Flexible Dieting. As listed in Part I, you need the following five.

  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

Let’s start explaining them point by point.

Your TDEE represents the exact number of calories your body burns in a given day. It plays a huge role, because knowing what your TDEE is you can easily calculate your deficit or surplus. Of course, you could just track your food for a week or two and see how your body (weight) changes, but it might take more time to find your maintenance. Plus, I love science, math and formulas.

Your TDEE includes your basal metabolic rate (BMR), your non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and the thermal effect of food (TEF) and physical activity level (PAL).

BMR represents the number of calories your body burns at rest, while you’re doing absolutely nothing. These are the calories your body needs to keep you alive.

Physical Activity Level (PAL) includes all your workouts, exercises and planned physical activity.

NEAT represents the number of calories you burn while you’re doing your daily tasks. NEAT includes all your daily steps, climbed stairs, activity during work, household tasks and so on. So, if you’re working 12 hours at a desk your NEAT will be a lot lower than someone who is working as a waiter, let’s say.

Thermic effect of food (TEF) is energy required to digest and process the food we eat. Some foods like protein require more energy and others like fats require less energy.


​Once you have calculated your TDEE, you can then easily subtract or add ​15-2​5% of those calories and get your fat loss or muscle build total calorie intake for the day.

Protein contains 4 calories per gram

​Dietary fat contains 9 calories per gram

​Carbs contains 4 calories per gram

For example:

25 grams of protein or carbs will equal 100 calories (25 grams x 4 calories).

30 grams of fat will equal 270 calories (30 grams x 9 calories)

​​​General recommendations:

Protein: anything between 1.​5-2.8 g per kg of body weight is great for someone who workouts.

Fats: anything between 0.8-1g per kg of body weight.

Carbs: what’s left from your calories.

​​You should know that the amounts of each macronutrient highly depends on your age, health, body type, personal preferences and some other factors.

Yet, if you prefer fats more than carbs you can always have more of these on account of carbs. The thing is – there is no magic formula that will work for sure for you from Day 1. You should try it out for a few weeks and see how it works for you.

Where should you set your protein, carbs and fat intake is highly individual. A great starting point is https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/.

​There are many other online calculators which you can use to find what your TDEE is. If you‘re still confused, Nutrition Coach or Dietician could help you with that.

In order to meet your calories and macronutrients you should start measuring and tracking your food. Eyeballing is not recommended because some foods are very calorie-dense and you can easily underestimate the quantity. Plus, it’s proven that people overestimate their activity and underestimate the quantity of food they have eaten.

​Pro's & Con's of Flexible Dieting


Pros

  • ​Flexible dieting allows all type of foods.
    ​There are no restrictions as in other diets.
  • ​You can eat out
    ​You are not obliged to cook your own food. You can always get something on the go.
  • ​Becomes easier over time
    ​Once you have a bit experience it will be super easy for you to track your meals out.
  • ​Might help with binging Some people might learn to have a better relationship with food and stop overeating
  • Compensate calories within your week. If some day something unexpected happens you can always figure out how to compensate a deficit or a surplus in the next few days or in advance.

Cons

  • ​Some people overabuse
    ​flexible dieting and start consuming only packaged and processed food that tend to be less in total volume. These people increase their hunger and often end up overeating their target calories. These people may need to track fiber intake, as well.
  • ​Initially might take time
    ​Many people need time to learn how to track food and to read labels.
  • ​Obsession over numbers
    ​​​Some people might start obsessing about meeting their numbers absolutely sharp at any cost, which is not required in order to achieve your goal. If you need to eat 20 g carbs more today, it’s totally fine to reduce a bot the fats. Other people feel like they need to drastically reduce their food on the next day which makes them extremely hungry and the overeating / obsessing about food circle might start again.

Your weekly total average is more important than sticking to the numbers like a robot!

Conclusion:

Flexible dieting encourages food variety and eating mindfully. The more you love the food you eat to accomplish your ultimate goal, the more likely you will enjoy every day until then. And that means you will stay on track. That means consistency. And consistency will get you there, girl.


Enjoy your journey and you will be at your dream destination sooner than you have thought. 


Because life happens you will always have unpredicted situations, stress at your job or university, and you won’t be able to stick to the set meals or calories. Flexible dieting gives you a chance to achieve your goals no matter the circumstances.