If we are looking to nail the flexible dieting lifestyle for the rest of our lives here are the top tips that might help you. So, if we establish that for the sake of argument, we are going to eat 1500 cals per day, then this can be broken down into the 3 macro nutrient groups of Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat.
Protein has 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram
Fat has 9 calories per gram
There is nothing wrong or bad with any of the three macros. Fats, Carbs and Protein all have their place, and it will be an individual preference and trial and error once again to find the ratio that suits you best.
If your goal is to lose weight on 1500 calories a day the 40/40/20 ratio is a good way to start.
The ratio means: 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat. This is equivalent to 150 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, and 33 grams of fat. This is your daily target of macro nutrients, and it doesn’t matter where your macronutrients come from. If you hit those targets each day you will reach your goals.
You are going to need an app like My Fitness Pal to track the ratios of foods and calories as you start off to follow this flexible dieting lifestyle . It will also be a bit of a faff as you learn about the macros of certain foods and how calorific some things are. However eventually it will become like second nature, and you won’t even need to track or count calories once you find what works and get your daily staples and routines. I can help with My Fitness Pal if anyone needs it.
If you set up an account on My Fitness Pal. Then press the 3 dots in the bottom right corner (more…). Press the button Goals. Then where it says nutrition goals select the first option Calories, carbs, protein & fats. This is the place you need to set your macro nutrient ratios and the number of calories you are going to eat each day. Then go back to press diary and you can start logging each meal that you have each day. You can scan bar codes and enter in your own foods too.
So, does it sound too good to be true? You can eat crisps and chocolate? Well yes you can, but you also need to be mindful of what happens when you don’t use your calories to their best advantage. If a bag of crisps, has you reaching for a chocolate bar after an hour, then it is not worth it. If a chocolate bar triggers a binge, then once again – steer clear.
This is not to say you shouldn’t add in your favourite meal or snack each day. If you love a halo Ice cream for a treat on a Saturday night and you can fit those 340 cals in your macros, then this is how you are going to make this change in eating work in the long term to follow a flexible dieting lifestyle.
Food choices are important, the more junk you eat, the less full you will feel due to low protein and fibre and low volume of the food. The best thing about flexible dieting, is that you can save any day. You see so many people diet and eat a chocolate bar on a dieting day. They then throw the entire day out the window because that chocolate bar has now ruined it. With the flexible dieting approach if you do “slip up” and want that chocolate bar, you merely insert it to your calories for the day and re-adjust. Day saved.
MACROS & The Ketogenic Diet & The flexible dieting lifestyle
I have mentioned that it is important to keep a food diary. This is not only to make your more mindful, but to also learn if certain food or ways of eating don’t suit you. The ratio of macros is not set in stone. As you get more confident you can play around with your macros to find a way of eating that suits you best. The ketogenic diets has a different macro ratio approximately 10% carbs, 20% protein and 70% fat. So, for 1500 cals per day you would be eating 38g carbs, 76g protein and 116g fat.
One of the reasons that people love this diet is that the weight loss in the first few weeks is rapid and this motivates people to stick on this path. Unfortunately, what is lost in the first couple of weeks is mainly water, so once the diet settles down it becomes the same as every other diet – about calories in vs calories out.
What I have found through keeping a food diary is that I am very sensitive to sugar – even in fruit. I can eat an apple and within a 30 mins be craving more sugar. I can have a skinny latte and because of the increased sugar in the milk which has replaced the fat – it is also a trigger for me to want more sugar.
The macro ratio that tends to work well for me is 13% carbs (50g), 36% protein (133g) Fat 51% (85g). I suit a lower carbohydrate diet because they trigger me and spike my blood sugar. I also like to eat more protein than is stated on a ketogenic diet. I tend to get my carbohydrates from vegetable and berries, but don’t eat any other fruit. My fats come from avocados, meat, Greek yoghurt and eggs and unsweetened almond milk.
Keeping a food diary will be important to understanding how to change your macros to avoid any trigger foods and also a tool like a healthy eater flexible dieting calculator could be totla game changers.
There is nothing wrong with complex carbohydrates but do try to make sure they come from the best sources like vegetables, beans & pulses, peas, and wholegrains rather than pasta and bananas.
Think about how you are going to structure your day to make that calorie count work for you. If you like a snack on the sofa at night make sure you factor this in. If you like to drink a bottle of wine at 6pm make sure you factor this in too! Think about getting out of the house and joining a local gym or group training session. Finding a personal trainer in Northwich can really help you to succeed too don’t just leave things to chance and hope that your superstitions and beliefs will get you lucky with no effort.
This is how I structure my day and calorie count:
6am wake up.
From 6am to 12:00pm I only drink coffee with unsweetened almond milk and some pre workout drink before I work out. This works out at only 100 calories consumed before 12pm.
So this is my structure for 1500 cals:
100 cals 6am – 12:00
350 cals at 12:00
350 cals at 3pm
450 cals dinner at 7pm
250 snacks (Vimto and my Greek yoghurt and strawberries) at 8pm.
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