Can flexible dieting help with weight loss?


In this article we provide a basic look at what flexible dieting is and some of the pros and cons to consider.

Flexible diet is a popular method used to assist with weight loss. It focuses on no “bad foods” and ensuring that your meals fit a certain macronutrient need. This ultimately means it offers calorie management as well.

Flexible dieting is often sold more as a lifestyle rather than a diet. There are not set meal plans or food restrictions. Your calories and macros are set, and your focus is meeting those goals, simple as that.

So, what are some of the pros and cons of flexible dieting?

The advantages of a flexible dieting approach


May be healthier for mindset than just calorie counting:


Since you are focusing on a range of macronutrients rather than solely on calories, it may be more of a healthy emphasis than calories.


May promote consuming balanced meals:


If you know that you have to hit a certain protein goal, then you can evenly distribute that throughout your daily meals and this is subsequently likely to aid fullness levels.


May be helpful for promoting fat loss:


Since having adequate protein intake is a component of promoting fat loss versus lean muscle mass when on a weight loss journey, monitoring protein intake carefully may be helpful.


May be helpful for nutrition education:


Understanding which foods are predominantly protein, carbs, fat may be helpful for making informed decisions on a weight loss journey.

The negatives of a flexible dieting approach


It can lead to nutrient poor food choices:


If you prioritise choosing foods based on their macronutrient values only, then you may exclude the importance of nutrient density.


The way that food affects you is more than macronutrients:


For example, you could have two meals of the same macronutrient ratios, one could be a chicken breast and Brussel sprouts and sweet potato and the other one could a protein shake with spinach and maple syrup. As well as having different nutrients, the different meals would affect your gut and hormones differently as well as levels of fullness. This may impact subsequent energy intake.


It may feel restricted and not that flexible:


Having to tally up numbers may still feel restricted. It is sold as being flexible, however, you have to be pretty on the ball to continually track macronutrients accurately continuously.

The concept of flexible diet is a good one and could help to support the notion that there are no bad foods, particularly when it comes to weight loss, it is just about how you manage all foods. Those that enjoy tracking, may get along well with this methodology to support fat loss and retain flexible food choices.

That said, there are many people that this method just doesn’t work for. Finding the approach that suits you can sometimes take a bit of time and effort, getting some professional support with this may be something you want to consider.

Work with a weight loss specialist

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