Updated: Sep 14, 2021
'Oh man I love the cake!!!!'
A reference from Little Britain.... showing my age.
Talking about age, it was my Birthday yesterday and I very much enjoyed my birthday cake and I am not going to lie, I even had some this morning for breakfast.
Does this mean my life is now over? Do I need to just binge eat for the rest of the day? Does my diet now start tomorrow? No, no and NO!
I let you into a little secret, there is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' food! Some foods contain more nutrients and therefore offers more health benefits, but eating cake isn't bad for you. What is bad for you, is consistently eating more calories then your body requires to maintain your current weight (that is assuming your goal isn't to gain weight).
Foods that contain very few nutrients and are high in calories are often referred to as calorie dense foods. This is because these food are normally taste amazing and are very easy to consume, resulting in you consuming tom many calories.
Does this mean you have to avoid these foods? Hell no! In fact it is the opposite. For any diet to be successful it requires one important factor....adherence. If you are able to consistently stick to your diet, not feel restricted and still enjoy your life, you will then be able to achieve the results you want.
Let me introduce you into the world of flexible dieting.
What is flexible dieting?
A quick google search of 'flexible dieting' and you will find lots of different versions of this diet, but lets just break it down to it's foundation:
Calculate your daily calorie goal
Calculate your macronutrient (carbs, fat's and protein) goals
Track your food daily
That's it, it is as simple as that. The idea is that no food is out of reach as long you meet your daily calorie and macronutrient goals. Research suggests that protein is the most important macronutrient to meet, and fats/carbohydrates are completely down to the individuals self preference.
How to calculate your daily calorie goal
First of all you need to calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is the amount of calories you body requires to be alive. Secondly you need to calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). This is the estimation of how many calories your burn a day when exercise is involved. There are several different formulas to use to make these calculations, and there are hundreds of websites and apps that can do these calculations for you. If you are looking to lose weight you need to create a deficit from this number. This is usually anywhere between 10-25%.
How to calculate your macronutrient goals
Again there are lots of apps and websites you can use to calculate these numbers for you. As I mentioned before the most important macro to focus on is protein. A good guide is to aim for 25-35% of your daily calorie intake or 1.5-2.2g per kilogram of body weight.
How to track your food daily
The easiest way to track your food, is to use free apps like MyFitnessPal. For your diet to be successful it is important that you track your food consistently and accurately. This is a skill within it's self and will require you to weigh your food out. This may sound like a bit of a ball ache but like any skill in life, the more you practice the quicker and better you get at it.
Flexible dieting done correctly will produce positive results because you are working with science. Tracking your calories and ensuring that you are consistently in a calorie deficit will do this. No guessing game, no syns, no points, no bullshit. Just you getting a basic understanding of nutrition and how many calories are in certain foods. This then empowers you with the ability to make your own educated decisions on what foods to eat.
If you want to eat some birthday cake, who am I to tell you, you can't!
Have your cake and ENJOY it!
If you would like more information about flexible dieting or have any other questions, please just drop me an email and I will be happy to help.