When I start talking to my clients about flexible dieting (gah I hate that word) they often stare at me with a look of complete bewilderment. The idea that you can still eat your favorite foods and lose weight?? What is this madness? Well it's not madness, its a proven plan that's been effective for decades. In fact Weight Watchers have been using this model for ages, the difference is they don’t focus on macronutrients they look to create a caloric deficit so the client losses weight. Now this isn’t a bad thing if your goal is to solely lose weight but hopefully you also want to get stronger, add a little muscle and ultimately be sexy as hell. Skinny fat is a thing and it's not cute. Also sexy is subjective, I used to think Bob Hoskins was sexy. If you had to google that you're young or I'm old.
So what are macronutrients? There are 3 categories, Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates. Your daily caloric intake should include all 3 groups. If the idea of figuring out how much your body needs of each makes you go cross eyed, you can do what most people do and opt for the 40:40:20 breakdown of total daily calories. Thats 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fats. If you want to get technical, which I encourage you to do as it's a real game changer just go online and find a macro calculator to get precise numbers . You can add muscle, lose weight, gain weight, get lean all whilst eating things you still enjoy. I'm going to use myself as an example. My goal is recomposition. I don't need to lose weight but because of my body type I can hold onto to body fat so i'd like to turn that into muscle.
My daily goals are as follows. I used the app OTR app to figure out my macros.
Training days Rest day
Protein 149g Protein 188g
Carbs 408g Carbs 187g
Fat 43g Fat 72g
Calories 2610 Calories 2136
So my rest day is pretty close to 40:40:20 but my training days are 60:30:20. Now I need more carbs on training days to fuel my muscles but that number is cut in half when I'm not training. Understanding these numbers has really helped and thanks to the myfitnesspal app I've been able to calculate my daily intake. It doesn't take a lot of work and after you've been tracking what you've been eating for a few weeks, it starts to become second nature. Below is a little cheat sheet of good macronutrients.
Wait a minute what's with all this healthy crap, I thought I could eat want I want?? Ok so let me clarify, you still want to watch what kind of foods you're eating. Just because you can lose weight eating chocolate cake doesn't mean you should, what it does mean is you can have some every now and then and not feel guilty about it, same with a slice of pizza or a beer at happy hour. As long as you've stayed within your caloric range and met your macros for the day then you'll still see results. This really is simple, it seems like a lot of work I promise you it's not. At the end of the day you're going to feel and look better and it will make you a more conscientious consumer. Food quality matters though because not all calories are created equal, but the upside is carbs are no longer the devil. Just with everything in life, it's about creating balance.