Dieting is a numbers game. Ingest fewer calories than you burn, and you’re guaranteed to lose weight. However, calorie counting isn’t easy for everyone, especially if it means giving up your favorite foods. That’s why many individuals wanting to shed those extra pounds have turned to flexible dieting. Instead of traditional calorie counting, this weight loss method allows you to eat foods based on their carbs, fat, and protein while limiting, but not eliminating, sugars. The result is a diet that works and keeps you motivated.
Flexible dieting, also known as the macros diet, breaks foods into three broad categories that provide the energy necessary for daily body function and proper body composition: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Unlike other diets, flexible dieting allows you to create your own ratio among these food groups to fit your specific goal.
To build muscle and lose weight, a high-protein diet is ideal, while those aiming to train for an event should increase carbs to fuel their body. Low-carb diets are proven to help you lose weight, but you should also increase fat to give your body the energy it needs.
As a general rule, start with a ratio of 50 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, and 20 percent protein, and alter the ratio to suit your needs. Once you’ve found your proper ratio, remember that 1 gram of protein is 4 calories, 1 gram of fat is 4 calories, and 1 gram of carbohydrates is 9 calories. This will help you find the balance in your diet based on the calorie intake for your body type, age, and gender.
One of the many myths of flexible dieting is that you can eat anything you want — doughnuts, candy, or cake — as long as you hit your ratio. While this is true to some degree, it’s not a useful calorie allotment. If you use 50 percent of your carbohydrates on doughnuts, you leave little room for nutrient-rich carbs such as brown rice.
What makes the macros diet different is that you can consume sugar without the guilty feeling of indulging in a simple pleasure. The key is moderation. Consuming 80 to 100 grams of sugar, including natural sugars such as fruit, is perfectly acceptable. When in doubt, apply a rule of 85 percent natural sugars to 15 percent processed sugars. In this range, you can still achieve your goals without sacrificing a treat here or there.
Once you’ve found the ideal macros ratio to suit your goals, you need to track your daily food intake. Fortunately, we have the best app for tracking macros. With easy-to-read graphs, a changeable macros ratio, and a comparison between your goals and your actual intake, you can stay on track. You’ll lose weight, gain strength, balance your hormone levels, and increase your energy levels, so you feel like a new you.
If you’ve struggled with traditional weight loss methods in the past, flexible dieting is a method that’s worth trying. You’ll feel healthier and look better than ever, while also giving your body the nutrition it needs to excel.
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