Flexible Dieting

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a diet based around eating whatever you want, whenever you want? Though it might seem counterproductive, there’s actually a diet out there that does just that. It is called flexible dieting, and it’s quite popular.

The first thing you should know about flexible dieting is that it’s not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle. That’s a plus. Any diet with the gumption to say you can live the rest of your life on it should be taken seriously.

The Diet That Isn’t a Diet

With no meal plans, restrictions, and seemingly no structure, how does the flexible diet work? It’s based on your total daily expenditure (TDE) and macronutrient needs. The flexible dieter begins by calculating these measurements and then hits the ground running. 

To break it down, your TDE is based on your resting energy expenditure (REE) and non-resting energy expenditure (NREE). You don’t have to be an expert linguist to understand those terms. Basically, you’ll figure out how many calories your body burns resting (REE) and how many it burns exercising (NREE). Arguably, your NREE is tapped not only when doing actual exercise, but also just by moving around in your day-to-day activities. Even standing still affects your NREE!

So how do you calculate it? The exact equation for a woman’s NREE is (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age) – 161. From there, you’ll have to multiply your TDE number by one of the following, according to your lifestyle. Do this if you want to know the number of calories your body needs.

Sedentary (no exercise): TDE x 1.2

Lightly active (exercise 1-3 times a week): TDE x 1.375

Moderately active (exercise 2-5 times a week): TDE x 1.55

Very active (strenuous exercise 4-6 times a week): TDE x 1.725

Extremely active (elite athletes): TDE x 1.9

Are you overwhelmed by the math yet? Well, hold on, because what comes next is the actual weight loss. That’s the good stuff.

Losing Weight on the Flexible Diet: Does it Work

Once you know your TDE and have factored in your level of daily activity/exercise, the recommended calorie cut is 20 percent. That only sounds like a lot because it is. The flexible diet has you cutting one-fifth of your daily caloric intake to lose weight! Obviously, anyone is free to do as they choose and set their own goals. But, is it sustainable? Is cutting calories at the expense of eating whatever you want sustainable? This is where the flexible diet falls short.

What About the Macros?

Right. There’s still more to this. After determining your calorie goal for individualized weight loss, the flexible diet asks you to calculate your macronutrient (macro) needs. The macros in question are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; they’re the most important nutrients your body requires. 

The math behind this gets even more challenging, though. That’s why there are plenty of free and accessible macro calculators online. 

Though flexible dieting might appear appealing on the surface, it’s not what we recommend. One of the downsides to flexible dieting is that it can be a bit of a chore to keep up with. It’s not sustainable in the long term. The solution is eating healthy, whole-food meals, and doing so consistently. There’s no need for any complex calculations, counting calories, or over-exercising. The solution is simpler than most realize. We love helping our clients discover it.

We offer a 10-week course that will boost your metabolism and help you reach and sustain your weight goals! Contact us today to discover a healthy, attainable lifestyle without all the math.

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