Establishing a healthy lifestyle is like setting up a room’s fengshui – all of the elements need to be aligned properly and work towards the same goal.
Attaining a balanced lifestyle is anything but straightforward. While studies reveal that almost two-thirds of Brits are trying to lose weight most of the time, it’s estimated that more than half of the population is either overweight or obese.
In spite of the fact that many popular diets promise weight loss and other health benefits, many of them fail to deliver these results. However, flexible dieting has emerged as an effective alternative for people who want to establish a healthy lifestyle without following a stereotypical diet.
Below, we’ll discuss the concept behind flexible dieting, reveal the benefits, and tell you what you need to do in order to implement this wholesome eating method.
Hint: Flexible dieting isn’t actually a diet!
What is Flexible Dieting?
Flexible dieting is a dietary model that doesn’t impose restrictions on the food you eat. Instead, it focuses on measuring and monitoring the macronutrients you consume on a regular basis.
As long as you intake the right ratio of macronutrients, you should be able to achieve your dietary goals and establish an all-around healthier lifestyle.
Also known as counting macros, this eating method has a scientific component. Each person’s macronutrient intake is defined by our particular lifestyle, activity level, and objectives. Many people will also call it a “macros diet plan” or macros plan but it’s not really a “diet plan” at all, it’s a lifestyle.
And, unlike any type of traditional diet, flexible dieting doesn’t demonise foods or deny cravings.
Instead, macro counting promotes the idea of consuming any type of food in a balanced manner. In this sense, macro counting is not a traditional diet, but a holistic change you need to embrace long-term.
Remember that there is no magic bullet when it comes to flexible dieting. You need to look at your lifestyle and circumstances in order to set the right goals. Your daily macronutrient values need to be tailored to your particular case in order to yield the best results.
The Benefits of Counting Macros
Flexible dieting doesn’t limit what or when you can eat, so it gives you more control over your life. In addition, you’ll learn a lot about your body and what it needs in order to properly adjust your food consumption.
Flexible dieting has numerous benefits, but the three most important are:
It Actually Works
There is nothing more frustrating than following a diet religiously without reaping any results. If executed correctly, macros counting will help you meet your goals and provide visible results relatively quickly.
Remember that your main objective should be to establish a healthier lifestyle, but you can always set additional goals like losing weight or gaining muscle mass.
Traditional diets tend to induce binging because they are too restrictive. Instead of breaking your healthy streak with a massive binge, macros counting allows you to treat yourself in order to calm your cravings. This makes it inherently more sustainable from a psychological and physical point of view.
Counting macros means you’re consuming enough nutrients to meet your goals. You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods or pass on social events because of the type of meals being served.
In other words, flexible dieting means you won’t have to think about food in a negative way ever again and this was the biggest thing for me! Having a healthy relationship food is crucial to a healthy state of mind.
The Why and How Behind Flexible Dieting
The mantra behind flexible dieting is to give your body the three macronutrients it needs in the right amounts. These nutrients play a key role in many of the body’s basic functions, so you can directly affect your physical condition by controlling the amount of macronutrients you consume.
Cutting out or over consuming macronutrients can result in hormonal imbalances and other problems. These, in turn, can result in low energy levels, slow metabolism, and weight gain.
Flexible dieting compels people to identify the amount of macronutrients they need on a daily basis to reach their goals. Once you have this value, you can implement healthy eating habits that don’t cut out any foods.
Macronutrients are compounds that your body needs in large amounts to regulate its basic functions. These are:
There are thousands of different types of protein in the human body. These are in charge of speeding up chemical reactions, distributing vital substances throughout your body, and regulating hormones, among other roles.
In a nutshell, protein is one of your body’s building blocks and it is incredibly important for muscular growth as well as recovery. Consuming the right amount of protein will give you the energy your body needs without putting on additional weight.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding fats is that they make you… well, fat. Needless to say, fat doesn’t make you fat, and as a matter of fact, it helps your body regulate and normalize hormonal activity.
On the other hand, consuming the right amount of fat can help regulate body functions such as:
- Protection of vital organs like your liver, heart, and kidneys
- Excretion and regulation of nutrients at a cellular level
- Maintain cell membrane function and structure
It’s worth noting that fats are either saturated or unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are regarded as the “good” type of fat because they have a good effect on your body. On the other hand, saturated fats are associated with high cholesterol levels and other negative signs.
Carbs have been given a bad rep by a number of fad diets, but they are a vital part of your brain’s functionality.
Carbohydrates are actually a major energy source that serve as your brain’s main fuel because they help break down fatty acids. Some studies even suggest that low-carb diets may directly affect cognitive function, so finding out what your ideal carbs intake is necessary to achieve your health goals.
Changing Up Your Dietary Habits
Flexible dieting is not something you implement for a short period of time. You need to make a complete shift in the way you think about food. In order to successfully start macro counting, you need to:
Calculate Your Necessary Macros
There are different online tools you can use to help calculate your ideal macros consumption. Once you have chosen the best macro calculator, figure out the amount of nutrients you need to take on a daily basis to reach your objectives and write down these values.
Get the Tools You Need
Macro counting can be done on the fly, but it gets much easier if you have the right tools. For instance, instead of estimating amounts, you can purchase a digital scale that gives you exact weight values.
You can also find an array of apps or document templates to download in order to keep track of your food intake.
Track Your Macros Consumption
Once you’ve set everything up and have your support systems in place, simply start following your goal and tracking the results you see. Keep in mind that your body and your particular circumstances are unique, so you may need to make your own adjustments to get the best results.