What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about dieting? Small chunks of dull, drab food including a lot of salad. And then sticking onto this plain monotonous diet even if it means you will have to starve for more than half of the day. The common trend in most of the famous diets is cutting out o food. You are not supposed to eat most of the food items, especially the ones you like the most. Now you want your diet results and you are also craving for your favorite food, so you decide to include a ‘cheat day’ in your diet plan where you can eat anything you want on that one day of the week. You tend to eat every junk food you possibly can, and the whole idea of the cheat day becomes a disaster.
It is difficult to stick to a single diet. Every new diet promises easier, better, and faster results. After you pick up a diet which is least complicated, you now have to mess up your normal routine, plan and incorporate numerous changes, avoid any kind of forbidden indulgences, and wait for a long time to see results. But usually all diets have restrictions which aren’t comfortable enough to be stuck around with, making our results unnoticeable. Not fun? Ofcourse.
You need to eat right but it doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of your favorite foods. You just have to learn how your body responds to different foods and how you can fit your favorite foods into your lifestyle. This is where we introduce to you the 80/20 diet rule. In simple words, 80% of the time you eat healthy food, and 20% of the time you eat what your favorites. This approach is more flexible and promotes ease. The best part is it does not require you to cut down your cravings or calories. Enjoy your food and get healthy.
The main goal of this rule is to have balanced diet. In order to lose weight, it is important for you to include a few calories in your diet, which the body will use for energy on the daily basis. Flexible dieters don’t just eat a bunch of crap the whole day just because they have their 20% excuse. You need to plan out your 20% carefully, whether you choose to indulge on the weekends only or enjoy a small treat every day is up to you and your lifestyle, but what is more important is the healthy 80%.
In terms of bodybuilding, flexible dieting is also called IIFYL- If It Fits Your Lifestyle. You focus on healthier choices that fit your lifestyle, instead of focusing on what isn’t allowed in your diet. Don’t limit your options. Don’t obsess over you can eat and hat you can’t eat, instead concentrate on improving your food habits over the longer term. There is no concept as ‘clean eating’. Everyone has set their respective standards, everyone has their own definitions.
No matter how strict you are with your dietary plans, it is necessary for you consume some of the foods you love, on a regular basis. It is important for you to eat a diet which comprises of the essential micronutrients to maintain health and to prevent diseases. When you restrict yourself with certain food items entirely, for the first few days or weeks you will eat less, then there would be this point when you would not be able to resist anymore, and you will stuff yourself with a small piece of cake. And obviously you don’t stop there, and you end up having the entire cake. So the whole is effectively ruined, and after some days you pledge for another new diet.
How do you design a perfect flexible diet?
(1) For this you first calculate the calories you should consume on a daily basis required for you to lose weight. You can do that by multiplying 12 by your body weight.
(2) The next thing you do is calculate you micronutrient intake. Keep in mind that a gram of protein has 4 calories, a gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories, and a gram of fat has 9 calories. You need to keep a check on your protein intake, since it is an important ingredient for you muscle building diet. So you can eat 1 gram of protein, 0.4 grams of fat and 1.1 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.
(3) Start keeping a check on your calorie intake. You need to have an rough idea about your calories and there are a variety of smart apps which will help you achieve your calorie and micronutrient goals.
(4) Weigh yourself on the same day every week. If after a week or two, you aren’t losing any weight, you need to lower your calorie intake by few pounds.
Dieting doesn’t mean denial. Eat what you like, in controlled quantities. Have freedom over your food choices and make sure you include exercises and sports in your health plans.