This was a email that I sent out regarding Flexible dieting and the response I had was AMAZING, which is why I thought I would share it here as well…I guess that’s the beauty of having a blog, isn’t it??!! You can do as you like hahaha…
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Thank you so so much to all of you for showing such an interest in learning a bit more about macros, and counting your macros. I have tried to put together quite a comprehensive breakdown of everything you would need to know. I used bit and pieces of things I have written (from my studies, as well as from my previous blog post on the subject) so if it is a bit higgidly piggidly…I apologise. Hopefully though, there will be something that you will be able to take away from this.
(Please note that I am not a nutrition expert, and this is all solely based on my own opinion BUT there are tons of websites, articles and ‘guru’s’ that you can contact to learn more…)
Have a very happy week!!
We live in a society that is driven solely on appearance. Time magazine said, in 2017, the weight loss market was worth over 66.3 billion dollars (http://time.com/4793832/the-weight-loss-trap/) Every second person is on a diet or trying a new weight loss challenge to earn themselves their ‘dream body’.
These challenges usually last 8, 10 or 12 weeks. Diets and exercise programs are handed out that are almost impossible to maintain on a long term basis. Once the challenge has come to an end, and we don’t have to live on a diet of egg whites and broccoli, generally speaking, the wheels start to fall off. Getting up at 4 am to go to the gym just isn’t as appealing when there isn’t a deadline. Saying ‘NO’ to the cake brought to work by a colleague almost feels impossible when there is no reason to ‘be on a diet’.
Every year a different diet is introduced. People want a quick fix, they want to be following something, and more often than not, they want anything that is going to yield results quickly. Based on a questionnaire that I created and handed out, the most popular diets at the moment are: The ketogenic diet (banting), the Paleo diet, The ‘bro diet’ consisting of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli with one cheat meal per week, the Vegan diet, IIFYM and lastly, The flexible diet. Is one diet better than the other?
That answer is completely up to you. In my opinion, and from my own personal experience, the ONLY diet that is going to work is going to be one that you can adhere to and maintain on a long term basis.
If following a ketogenic diet, where you can eat butter and full cream milk as opposed to rice and sweet potatoes, is something that appeals to you and is something you will be able to do full time then that’s exactly what you need to do, and you will, of course, see results.
With that being said, in order to lose weight we need to be in a calorie deficit, i.e. consuming fewer calories than we are burning or using on a daily basis. In order to put on weight we, therefore, need to be in a calorie surplus, i.e. consuming more calories than we are burning. So, after saying this, it seems pretty simple right? In order to lose weight, we need to eat less, and in order to gain weight, we need to eat more. Research analysts, Datamonitor, recently conducted a study which showed that only 1 in 100 people successfully manage to lose weight and keep it off. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-164233/Only-100-dieters-keeps-weight-off.html) Those results are pretty dismal, don’t you agree? But it seems so simple- Eat less, move more, lose weight. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy.
The diet one has chosen needs to be sustainable, as previously discussed, and people need to be educated about food and making the right food choices. Results from my questionnaire showed that often, when tempted to eat food that isn’t on the chosen diet plan, people tend to fail and simply give up. It is for this reason that I feel that a flexible dieting approach is the one that would yield the best results.
I personally know that I have a sweet tooth. If I am deprived from sweets and treats I know that I will crave them more and eventually give in, eating an entire slab of chocolate, as opposed to a few blocks or a few biscuits. If I can follow a diet where I am able to eat those things, and not feel guilty in doing so, I would be able to reach my goal weight and achieve my dream body. It does take longer, it does require time and patience and often, as well as a whole lot of creativity, but I feel as if it can be done.
A few of my posts on Instagram of my daily meals are below:
Now to have a look at Flexible dieting (my chosen form of eating)…
- Okay…So food is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients.
- Our bodies are dependent on both but the calories come from the macronutrients found in food.
- Macronutrients consist of Protein, Fats and Carbs. The part where it gets a bit tricky is here…they are equal to different calories…
1 gram of protein equals 4 calories
1 gram of carbs equals 4 calories and
1 gram of fat equals 9 calories
So if I make myself a mugcake that has 28 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fat, it would look a little something like this: (28 x 4) + (8 x 4) + (3 x 9) = 171 calories… which is probably the equivalent to a small portion of grilled chicken and some steamed broccoli…so which would you chose??
People are all different and obviously require different amounts of calories just to function. If you want to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than this number, and if you want to gain weight or add muscle, the amount of calories you consume needs to be greater than this number. There are tons of macro calculators out there that can help you to work out how many calories you should be eating, otherwise I suggest you follow one of these:
Please note that the above uses weight in pounds!!! If you were to calculate using your weight in kg’s…You would be VERY hungry!!!
I am currently only tracking my overall calories and my protein target. I have found that a downside to this way of eating is that it can become quite obsessive. This is probably the main difference between IIFYM (If it fits your macros) and Flexible dieting.
The choice is obviously yours. There are also nutrition coaches that can help you and that you can become accountable to. Ultimately, my goal is to be able to be one of them, or to be able to work along side one of them.
- You need to track/log every single thing that you are putting into your mouth. I use the app MyFitnessPal to track my food and to create the nutritional info for my recipes, but there are so many different app’s out there for you to choose from. You literally just need to type everything you are eating into the app (or you can scan the barcode) and it will basically tell you how many calories, how much protein/carbs/fats/fiber/sugar/and and and, that you have consumed for the day, or if planning in advance…that you will consume in the day. I will be honest, its quite something to get used to and it can be a bit of a hack, but in no time, you wont need to scan each and every thing that you lay your hands on, because you will eventually know (roughly) what each food is made up of.
There are lots and lots of foods that you can eat in high volume, because they are super low in calories. I have become the queen of volume eating, because I have a stomach that is like a bottomless pit…I kid you not. It’s for this reason that I rarely buy protein bars or whatever…I can make something A LOT bigger for the exact same calories and macros. If you would like some tips and some tricks, shopping lists, and even meal ideas, let me know…I will happily share that with all of you.
Again, if there is something that you are craving and would like a healthier alternative, please let me know.
I often post the calories or macros of the treats that I make in my stories on Instagram…I will have all the nutritional info in my recipe book…but more on that later 🙂
I also often share some of my favourite macro friendly finds…These are 2 that I often get asked about, as I have one of each…every.single.day!!!!