Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Better alternatives to Flexible Dieting


Any plan you adopt or put together for someone else, needs to be appropriate to their goals and to their circumstances. If we assume that a Flexible Dieting plan covers the following bases...
  • Appropriate total calorie targets; not too little and not too much.
  • Appropriate ratio of macronutrients.
  • Suitable intake of vitamins and minerals from more nutrient dense foods.
  • More of the foods you enjoy eating.
  • None of the foods you really dislike.
  • Ability to find a little room in the plan for some indulgence.
In my way of thinking you can also add in...
  • in the context of a long term plan, the understanding that is fine to completely disregard your targets from time to time when you need to.
You'd be surprised how many people in the business are against this concept, on the basis that "you're telling people it's ok to eat bad things". You also get the people who don't like calorie targets, for some reason.

So if what I just described is a bad strategy... logically we can only include that the opposite must be better. Let's run through our new plan.
  • Unknown / random total intake, and unknown total requirements.
  • This list of foods I've decided are good for you.
  • Whether you like them or not. Eat it, it's good for you.
  • No cheating.
  • Ever.
I left out the part about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) since the implication is usually that "eating clean" to ensure maximum micro intake is ALL that is required. Or at least, if you focus on that everything else takes care of itself, I guess? Does that mean we should be able to expect the creators of such plans to be able to tell us exactly what levels of different vitamins and minerals their diet would provide? I'd say it should. More likely though we're just assuming it is "pretty good" or "about right" due to the inclusion of plenty of nutrient dense foods. 

Our new plan doesn't sound like it would be very effective, or very enjoyable, to me.

That's all I'm saying.