I’m going to start off by saying I am a big fan of flexible dieting, just not the way it’s often portrayed online, specifically on instagram.
Whether you call it flexible dieting, IIFYM or macro counting, the principles are very similar, hit an allotted amount of macronutrients/calories in line with your goals, whilst having control over what foods you’re consuming. That is an oversimplification. The ins and outs of flexible dieting can be a lot more intricate, but it’s this oversimplification that lends to the misconceptions floating around the Internet.
Essentially flexible dieting allows you to reach your goals, whilst eating whatever you like, no food is off limits, you can eat ‘junk’ food and still get in the shape of your life…. Sounds amazing right? It is, when it’s done correctly.
Correctly in my eyes is not eating poor quality food as the bulk of your meals, correctly is not ignoring micronutrient density of foods, correctly is not ignoring fibre intake and it is not about getting the majority of your protein intake in liquid form.
I’m not saying for a second that it isn’t possible, or even potentially beneficial to add some ‘junk’ food or less ‘nutrient dense’ choices to your diet now and again, especially when it’s accounted for. I also strongly believe it’s a great tool that can be used to counteract the negative effects on your progress that a cheat day, cheat meal or binge can have (I’d advise none of those), I just urge you all to be careful with what you see online, as we know it’s not always truthful.
Just because your favourite insta-famous personality posts a picture of pizza with #IIFYM or #FlexibleDieting don’t believe this is the majority of food types they consume, because it isn’t, it’s just more interesting to post than a tupperware box full of brown rice, dry chicken and overcooked broccoli.
As I’ve said before, flexible dieting is an invaluable tool when utilised with health, progress and common sense in mind.