Introduction to Flexible Nutrition
(IIFYM – if it fits your macros)
What is Flexible Nutrition (IIFYM)?
First and foremost…… it’s NOT a diet, but rather a nutritional approach that allows you to have freedom, flexibility, and variety when selecting the food that makes up your daily diet.
It takes your lifestyle and social events into considerations and no food/food groups are restricted or excluded. It allows you to enjoy your favourite foods (within reason) instead of excluding them whilst you work on achieving your weight loss/physique goals. Most importantly, it’s a nutritional approach that is balanced and one that you can maintain for life!
There are no cookie cutter meal plans/diets that force you to eat the same food day in & day out, sometimes for weeks on end! I think it’s safe to say the reason you are reading this right now is that you’ve been there, done that got the t-shirt!
We stick to those meal plans/diets for a few weeks (if that), but eventually “give in” to our cravings and end up “falling off the wagon” and binging ourselves silly on the food we’ve restricted or excluded, sometimes doing so for days or weeks! We then proceed to eat as much of the “off plan/off limits” food as possible because we know when we start our “diet” on Monday (AGAIN), we won’t be allowed to have it! And so, the vicious cycle continues!
Yes, you can lose weight and reach your goals following these meal plans/diets. People have, and will continue to succeed following them, but for the majority (myself included), we lose the weight but as soon as we go back to “normal life” we pile it all back (plus more)!
With flexible nutrition (IIFYM) instead of following a meal plan/diet built on restricting certain food/food groups, we simply follow a more balanced & flexible approach daily. By “allowing” this balance & flexibility we eliminate the need to “cheat/binge” and this naturally leads to a more sustainable lifestyle rather than a constant cycle of yo-yo dieting!
By using flexible nutrition as a tool, you will become more conscious of your food intake and will learn to stop demonizing certain food/food groups. It will slowly teach you that it’s “ok” to enjoy these previously “off limits” food/food groups (in moderation) without any guilt or shame!
Balance & flexibility will become your “normal” way of life, so no more starting a new “diet” on Monday…. EVER AGAIN!
Ok… so you don’t follow a meal plan, but then how does it work???
Flexible Nutrition (IIFYM) is simply eating food that meets your daily caloric & macro nutrient needs…… Stay with me here!
Calories are the “energy” that powers our bodies, and we need a certain amount of these calories every day for our bodies to function adequately. We get these calories from the food we eat and some of the drinks we drink. These calories are made up of three macronutrients (macros) – Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
These daily caloric & macro targets will be worked out and given to you according to you & your personal goals. They may stay the same for a few weeks, depending on your compliance & progress.
You will need to weigh/measure and track your food intake daily, your aim being to reach your caloric and macro (Carbs, Protein, Fat) targets every day.
There is no need to take a scale to restaurants or social events because flexible nutrition is just that…. Flexible! You will soon learn how to track your food and be more calorie conscious, so eating out or going to a social event won’t derail you from your goals.
Got it, so how does one track?
The easiest way is to download a tracking app. These apps are available for download on your smartphone, tablet and/or desktop. The two most popular apps are Fat Secret (FS) and My Fitness Pal (MFP).
All balancedB tracking content has been designed around the use of the Fat Secret app, but you are more than welcome to make use of either. They both do the same job, so it’s down to personal preference. You will gain access to the basic “how to use Fat Secret” instructions once you become a balancedB client.
So, can I eat whatever I want and still reach my goals?
We have become so accustomed to believing that we can’t or won’t reach our weight loss/physique goals if we eat certain “forbidden” food/food groups that when we do start seeing results whilst enjoying these foods, we naturally want to shout it from the roof tops for all to hear!
Because of this, we tend to boast to our friends about the junk food we are “allowed” to eat and we only post pics of our yummy indulgent treats on our social media feeds. This creates the perception that all we do is eat junk food all day! So, despite what you may hear or see on social media, Flexible nutrition is NOT eat as much “junk food” as you like all day every day!
It’s about a healthy balance, and for you to find this balance you need to stick to a very simple 80/20 rule daily. That being: –
80% of your daily food intake must come from minimally processed nutrient dense whole food. This food will make you feel fuller for longer, it will ensure that your daily fibre goal is achieved and that your body is well nourished!
20% of your daily intake can be filled with “what you feel like” food. This food will help keep you mentally & emotionally happy! If you want something you are craving, you simply track it so it’s included & accounted for in your daily macros!
By “allowing” yourself the freedom to have things you feel like or crave (daily if need be), you won’t feel deprived and thereby more likely to be consistent…. and what happens when we are consistent? We get RESULTS!
All it takes is a little discipline of setting aside a few minutes of your day to plan and track your meals, which will result in you reaching & maintaining your goal/s whilst still enjoying life with BALANCE!
If you are genuinely done with searching for a quick fix and ready to make a commitment to changing your lifestyle to that of a balanced and sustainable one, then drop me a mail and let’s make it happen…. The balancedB way! 😊