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 About Eamon Eamon Lovett is the owner of Lovett Nutrition and our expert Nutrition tutor here at the Fitness Institute. He graduated with an MSc in Sports Performance from the University of Limerick, and is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Sport & Exercise Nutrition, accredited by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). Eamon has years of experience working in fitness & nutrition in a gym environment, and has since focused his expertise to work within Sport/Performance Nutrition. Eamon has a particular interest in nutritional strategies to optimise fat loss, maximise muscle gain, recovery and nutrient fuelling strategies. Healthy eating in today’s world can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. Food is a very important part of our lives, and it should never be seen as the enemy. Learn how to make your food work for you, and how to make it fit in to your lifestyle to achieve the results you want. We can show you recipes to suit your needs, what foods to avoid, and which to include. Our Nutrition course covers nutritional programming for fat loss, muscle gain, improved health, and increased performance; as well as introducing you to the scientific principles that help us guide why we choose certain methods. We hope you enjoy this guide written by our Nutrition tutor Eamon and please let us know if you have any questions or would like to sign up to our course by contacting [email protected] [email protected] 01 816 8870 Contents 1. What is flexible dieting? o Who should use it? o What are the benefits? o What’s the catch? o What foods should I eat? 2. Basics o Macros o Micros 3. How to Count Macros o Calculate Energy & Macro Requirements o Calculate current Energy & Macro intake 4. Goal Considerations o Energy Balance o Muscle Gain o Fat Loss 5. Measuring Progress o Assess o Reassess o Adjust 6. Special Considerations o People who shouldn’t use Flexible Dieting o Free Foods o Foods to Avoid 7. Frequently Asked Questions [email protected] 01 816 8870 What is Flexible Dieting? Flexible Dieting is more or less the same as the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) approach to nutrition. The definition will vary depending on who you talk to, but in a nutshell, it’s a semi-­‐structured nutrition plan that allows for the not-­‐so-­‐nutritious foods you love to eat. Who is this guide designed for? Anyone and everyone who wants a sustainable, healthy (physically & mentally), and results driven strategy to good health and looking good naked. You may not be looking to change your weight at all, but rather you’re looking for an easier way to manage your food intake. Flexible dieting is perfect for eating great food, without depriving yourself. What are the benefits of Flexible Dieting? First let me ask you this, have you ever gone on a ‘diet’ before? The kind of diet where you’re not allowed to eat any sweets, cakes, fruit, milk or even eat out? All that’s allowed is chicken, lettuce and if you’re lucky you can have a banana. I know I have, and it sucks! I craved foods I never wanted before, and worst of all, I could only focus on the foods I wasn’t allowed! It’s human nature to want the things you can’t have, you’re in good company. The end result is usually an all out binge, a cheat meal from hell, and your weeks work of restrictive dieting gone out the window. Restrictive dieting is disordered eating. It may be physically healthy, but it’s definitely not psychologically healthy. Our life shouldn’t centre solely on food, it should be something that we experience along the way. Truly good nutrition is about balance. Any one of your health, body composition, performance & personal preferences should never be completely compromised. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Flexible dieting allows for...well... flexibility! The first rule of flexible dieting is; nothing is off limits. If there’s a food you absolutely love, it has a place somewhere in your food intake! If you’re not enjoying the process, then what’s the point? It helps us cut back on relapses too. Remember the all out binge? They’re far less likely to happen when you’re not depriving yourself. Plus if a binge should happen, it’s not going to be an all out massacre. Ok, so I can eat whatever I want? What’s the catch? Here’s where the Lovett Nutrition spin comes in to Flexible Dieting. I love when I see that you can manage the food you love, without going overboard. But there are some other considerations to make too. Vitamins & Minerals are absolutely essential for living, no matter who you are or what your goal is, you need these micronutrients too! So let’s say you want to base your dieting completely on chocolate & milk. That’s fantastic to work out your macronutrient requirements based on these foods you, but the problem there is your vitamin & mineral requirements will suffer! Your energy levels will dip, your immune system will follow suit, and you’ll end up feeling like crap. I don’t want to see that happen, and it defeats the purpose of using flexible dieting in the first place. [email protected] 01 816 8870 So what should I be eating? Aim to centre 90% of your calorie intake around nutrient dense whole foods. Use the remaining 10% however you like. If you want to include even more nutrient dense foods, go for it! If you want the occasional slice of carrot cake, fit it in! It’s all down to what you prefer. What is a nutrient dense food? Nutrient density refers to the amount of vitamins, minerals, fibre or phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are contained in a food (e.g. Garden Salad Vs Candy Floss). They may have similar macronutrient amounts, but when it comes to micronutrients the candy floss doesn’t stand a chance. If it was grown in the ground, or in a tree, and it hasn’t had the life processed out of it; chances are it’s good! If it swims, run or flys; chances are it’s also a good choice! Include the foods that have high nutrient density, but also allow for the foods that aren’t. There is no single food that will make you lose or gain fat/muscle. The outcome we see in our bodies is a result of all the nutrients we consume as a whole. Any single food can make you gain body fat if you eat enough of it. The same way any single food can help you lose fat if you eat less of it. [email protected] 01 816 8870 The Basics Carbs Minerals Protein Vitamins Fat What is a Macronutrient? There are three macronutrients; Protein, Fat & Carbohydrates (Carbs). Macro means big, so in other words, you’re saying big nutrients. Macros are the only nutrients that provide energy in your diet; • Protein (4Kcal) • Fat (9Kcal) • Carbohydrate (4Kcal) Alcohol provides energy too (7 Kcal), but technically it isn’t a nutrient. It actually takes away from our nutrient stores, rather than adding to it. Although alcohol isn’t considered within the calculations in this guide, it should be accounted for in your calorie intake if you’re a habitual drinker. Micronutrients Micronutrients are tiny nutrients in the diet, which your body needs to function properly. Vitamins, Minerals & Phytonutrients (Plant nutrients) are all classed as micronutrients (micros). [email protected] 01 816 8870 Deficiency in any of these can lead to low energy, impaired immune function, anxiety, depression, injury; and an impaired ability to burn fat and build muscle. It’s very difficult to ‘count’ micros in your diet, and it’s almost impossible to know how much your body is absorbing and using, without a blood test. A rule of thumb to go by in making sure you’re hitting your micronutrient requirements is to base at least 90%+ of your food intake of whole foods. Minimally processed foods maintain a lot of their natural nutrient quality, eating a varied diet of whole foods is a great way to keep you covered. If you are in doubt about whether or not you’re nutrient deficient in one or more micronutrients, it may be worth getting in touch with your GP to have a blood test. [email protected] 01 816 8870 How to Count Macros How do I figure out my Macros? This part can be tricky, but I’ve made the steps as simple as possible down below. Complete each step before moving on to the next. Keep in mind at all times that these figures are purely based on estimations. They’re not an exact science, but it’s a good start. Step 1: Calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate; Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the minimal energy you require to keep your body ticking over. So even if you were to stay in bed all day, regardless if it’s from illness or laziness, you still need energy! You can calculate it yourself using the formulas below, or, if you’re number-­‐phobic, you can use an online calculator. Search ‘IIFYM macro calculator’ online. • Male BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 X Weight in Kg) + (5 X Height in Cm)-­‐(6.78 X Age) • Female BMR = 655 + (9.56 x weight in kg) + (1.85 x height in cm) – (4.68 x age in years) o 1Kg = 2.2lbs, 1 stone = 14lbs, 1 inch = 2.54cm, 1 foot = 12 inches Just as an example; if we had an 80Kg male, who is 175cm in height, and 25 years old. His BMR would equal to; = 66.5 + (13.75 X 80) + (5 X 175) – (6.78 X 25) = 66.5 + (1,100) + (875) – (169.5) = 1872 Kcal One easy trick to calculate your RMR without all of the calculations; is to figure out your weight in pounds, and add a zero. So, if you weight 200 lbs, your BMR would be 2000 kcal. This is another rough guesstimation, but it can save you time if you don’ If you weight 80Kg, your RMR would be roughly 1760 kcal (2.2 lbs in 1Kg). [email protected] 01 816 8870 Step 2: Adjust for Activity Levels Your RMR is the bare minimum amount of calories you need, your daily activity levels add an increased demand for daily energy too. Use the table below to find the activity level value that suits you. Chair-­‐bound or bed-­‐bound (Little to no exercise) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.2 Seated work with no option of moving (Light Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x exercise (1–3 days per week)) 1.375 Moderate physical activity at work (Moderate Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x exercise (3–5 days per week)) 1.55 Moderate physical activity at work (Heavy exercise Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x (3–5 days per week)) 1.725 Considerable physical activity at work (Very heavy exercise (twice per day; 7+ training sessions per week)) Daily kilocalories needed = BMR x 1.9 If you’re moderately active, and exercise 4 times a week you would use a value of 1.5. Take your RMR (1760kcal) and multiply it by your activity level (1.5); which would give us 2640kcal. This is your average daily energy requirement. One word of caution moving forward, this is a very rough guesstimate of your body energy needs. All of the figures calculated are based on average numbers from an average population, and you are far from average. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Your metabolism could be completely different from the people studied to create these formulas, so the estimates need to be taken with a pinch of salt. If you find your body is not responding to your ‘recommended’ intake, we need to make a change. There’s a list of frequently asked questions at the end of this guide, if you can’t find the answer, don’t be afraid to ask! Email [email protected] Step 3: Calculating your Macro Requirements This is the part most people have trouble with. If you find the numbers aren’t adding up, take it back a step. (i)
Calculate your Protein needs. Your protein needs are based on your body weight. Protein needs in the body are huge (you need it for pretty much every vital process), so it’s very important not to skip out on your daily intake. It’s important to gradually increase your intake over time. So for example, if you’re only eating a course of protein once a day (chicken with dinner), jumping to 5 breasts a day is far too much too soon. Take it slow and steady, increase to a suitable intake progressively. Aim for 2.0 grams of protein for every Kilo body weight. This amount will ensure you’re eating enough to repair, recover & regenerate your body. Let’s say you weight 80Kg, and you want to take in 2 grams per Kilo. 80 x 2.0 = 160 grams of protein per day. If you go over 160 grams of protein, it’s not a problem. One concern I would have is that protein is very satiating (it makes you less hungry), and if you eat far too much of it, you may end up not eating the other nutrients you need in your diet. But in most cases, eating too much protein is not a problem (it may actually help you lose weight). (ii)
Calculate your dietary Fat needs Fat is essential in the diet, and unfortunately most people make an effort to avoid it. 80%+ of your dietary fat should come from quality sources (Fish, Meat, Eggs, Nuts, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil). [email protected] 01 816 8870 The one source of fat that you should eat as little as possible of is Trans Fats. These kind of fats are chemical mutants, and they do a lot of damage in your body. Trans Fats are a form of saturated fat, and unfortunately Food Labelling in a lot of countries doesn’t distinguish between natural Saturated Fats, and the Trans ones. Trans Fats give food a longer shelf life, they’re usually found in cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars, pastries, breads and cereals too. Aim for 1g per Kg of bodyweight; e.g. 80Kg x 1g = 80g of Fat. This will ensure you’re eating enough dietary fat to maintain hormonal function, provide essential fatty acids & help maintain energy levels. (iii)
Calculate your Carbohydrate requirements Ok, this part is actually a 2 step process. Before we can calculate our carb requirements, we need to figure out how much of our daily energy intake we have remaining, to allocate to carbohydrate intake. First we calculate how much energy the dietary protein, and dietary fat are giving us (4Kcal per gram of protein, 9kcal per gram of Fat). So we’ll take our 80Kg guy again. He’s eating; • 160g of Protein x 4Kcal = 640Kcal • 80g of Fat x 9Kcal = 720kcal • Providing a total of 1360kcal. Remember the average daily energy requirements of our 80Kg guy? It was 2640kcal 2640kcal (the energy required) – 1360kcal (the energy provided) = 1280kcal (the energy remaining) So leaves us 1280kcal left to be made up by Carbohydrates. One last bit of maths. Divide the number of calories remaining, by the number of calories in a gram of Carbohydrate (4Kcal) • 1280kcal ÷ 4 (4kcal per gram of Carbohydrate) = 320g of Carbs Just to sum everything up, this is the Macro requirements of our 80Kg guy; •
Average Daily Energy Requirement – 2640kcal Protein Intake – 160g Fat Intake – 80g Carbohydrate Intake – 320g [email protected] 01 816 8870 So what’s next? Usually, the next step is to adjust your macro breakdown according to your goal. But the Lovett Nutrition method adds in another (crucial) step first. Calculate your current Macro intake Let’s take our 80Kg guy, and assume that he has been trying to drop some weight for a while. He has gradually decreased his calorie intake until it was practically non-­‐
existent. He’s always hungry and never seeing any progress, so what’s happening? Your body can adapt very well to whatever you throw at it. Training, stress, starvation; it will find a way to adapt + cope. Unfortunately, when we drop our calorie intake too low too fast, we don’t lose more fat. Fat loss can actually slow down (and stall out completely) is we drop calories too quick. Your metabolism will adapt, to become far more efficient at using energy. This means that you won’t need as much energy, to meet your body’s daily requirements. Worse still, if our 80Kg returns to his original calorie intake, it’s very likely the extra calories will be added on as fat (this is why dieting sucks for weight loss!!). If you’re someone in this situation, there is a way to help! But first we need to figure out how much you’re eating. There are plenty of free (MyFitnessPal) and paid (Nutritics, FitDay) apps that can calculate your Macronutrient intake. Some of the paid apps offer a free trial, which is perfect for what we’re about to do. Keep a food diary for two standard days of the week. Record the food you ate, portion sizes, additions (sauces, spreads), preparation methods, drinks, and supplements. Check out the example of a Food Diary entry. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Date Food Quantity Additions Preparation 07-­‐12 Orange Juice (Breakfast) Toast (White) Small Glass -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ None 2 slices Butter spread Toaster Eggs 4 none Fried (teaspoon Coconut Oil) Record everything you eat! Throw your daily food intake in to the food analysis app, and it will give you an estimate of the macronutrients you’re currently eating. • If you’re eating +25% less that your recommended energy intake, slowly increase your calorie intake. The slower, the better. Start by adjusting your protein intake, followed by your fat intake, and then finally your carbohydrate intake. • If you're eating within 25-­‐15% of your recommended energy, you may be ready to get started. You’ll need to check you’re hitting your Protein + Fat intake first, these are absolutely essential in your diet. If your intake of these macronutrients is hitting your target intake, proceed to the next step; if not, gradually increase them until you’ve met your recommended intake. • If you’re eating within 15% of your recommended energy intake, you’re ready to move on to the next step! Remember, the slower the changes in your diet the better. Allow your body to adapt and respond to the changes, before moving on! I know adding an extra step in to the process in a P in the A. But you won’t find this step of the process in any free guides online, and it’s crucial. You want to act like a tortoise when it comes to changing your body, the hare will only burn himself out. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Goal Considerations Energy Balance Weight loss, and weight gain, is based on the idea of energy balance. The energy you put in to your body through food and drink, is balanced against the energy you’re using through your BMR, general activity (washing, cooking, walking), Exercise & the Thermic Effect of Food (the energy you use during digestion). Food Supplements Drinks BMR Exercise Non-­‐Exercise Acrvity Thermic Effect of Food When you’re in a negative energy balance (energy in is less than energy out), you’re in a position to lose weight. When you’re in positive energy balance (energy in is greater than energy out), you are very likely to gain weight. The only thing energy balance can’t determine, is what you will lose or gain that weight as (Body Fat/Muscle/Water). If you’re in a massive energy deficit, you may lose fat, but you’re also very likely to lose muscle mass too. This is the last thing we want. [email protected] 01 816 8870 It works the same way if you’re in a positive energy balance, we want to see that extra weight added on as muscle, but an increase too large can lead to extra fat mass added on. Posirve Energy Negarve Energy Depending on whatever your goal is, gradually make changes in the direction you want. Large jumps will not get you to your goal faster, they may even slow you down in the long term. How do I adjust my intake to change my weight? Let’s assume our 80Kg is now eating his recommended Macronutrient intake, after making some gradual progressive changes. The slower the changes you can make, the better. Make roughly a 5% adjustment to your energy intake at any time (200Kcal max). I’d recommend you maintain your protein intake, it’s absolutely crucial for pretty muscle every process in the body (including repairing your muscle after exercise). That leaves us fat + carb to adjust. There is no exact science to how much fat or carbohydrate we should remove. But it’s important to consider both when reducing calorie intake. There’s pros & cons to adjusting either Remember, there’s more than twice as many calories in a gram of fat as there is in carbohydrate, so we won’t need to decrease a huge amount of dietary fat intake. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Losing Fat Let’s assume we’re looking for Fat Loss. For breakfast, our 80Kg guy is Eating 4 Eggs, drinking juice and eating butter on toast in the morning, he’s choosing to take out the carb based foods to reduce his 200kcal. -­‐
Orange Juice (1 glass; 250ml); 25g of Carb (100Kcal) Toast (1 slice); 11g of Carb (44kcal) + 1g of Fat (9kcal) Butter (Generous spread, 5g); 5g of Fat (45kcal) 198kcal total. These calories can be removed from anywhere else during the day, and they don’t necessarily have to be from the same meal either. You may be able to adjust calories without changing the quantity of food you eat at all, you could change the type of food instead (e.g. quinoa instead of pasta; greek yogurt instead of ice cream; turkey instead of pork). Gaining Muscle Equally, if you’re looking to gain weight (ideally as muscle mass), you should gradually increase your calorie intake in the same way. Start by double checking your protein intake is hitting it’s target! If you’re undereating Protein, and overeating Carbohydrate/Fat; make the appropriate changes to hit the correct targets. This can result in huge results, without even changing your calorie intake at all. I’ll say it again and again, slow consistent changes are the way to go!! Training Good nutrition can keep you lean & healthy. But if you’re not creating a demand for your muscle to adapt, they won’t grow. If you want to gain weight as muscle, overall your body needs to become stronger. You can’t out train a bad diet; but equally you can’t out diet bad training. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Measuring Progress Assess Know exactly where you’re starting from, if you can’t track the changes that are happening to your body, how will you know if it’s working? Use tape measurements, body weight, photos, Skinfold measurement to gauge progress. Body weight may not necessarily change massively, but that does not mean you’re not losing body fat. If you gain 1Kg of muscle and lose 2Kg of Fat, that would result in a 1Kg change on the scale. But in reality you’ve a +3Kg positive change in your body composition. Photos are a very powerful tool to track progress, they can be harsh, but they tell the truth. If you have access to someone who can take Skinfold measurements for you with Skinfold callipers, get in touch! If you don’t have access to this don’t worry, tape measurements can provide a lot of information too. If your tape measurements stay the same, and you look leaner, you can be pretty much guaranteed you’ve gained some muscle mass! Or, if your weight stays the same, and your tape measurements go down; there’s a very good chance you’ve lost fat and gained some muscle mass. Congrats! The scales are far from the number 1 measure of a successful nutrition plan, don’t get too caught up on that single number. Reassess Take measurements monthly (or fortnightly), and assess how your body is progressing. If you’re making progress, good work! Keep going with the same macronutrient breakdown; if it’s not broken don’t fix it. If you notice you’re not seeing the results you were seeing previously (or you’re not seeing results at all), you’re ready for another decrease/increase. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Adjust After your reassess your progress, adjustments may need to be made. If you’re making a change in the right direction (less fat, more muscle), keep going, don’t change a thing. Remember taking too big of a jump in calories too soon is not a good thing! If your progress has stopped, or you’re not seeing any difference, you’re ready for another drop/increase in calories. Make another small change in calories, train well, and resassess 2 weeks later. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Special Considerations Will Flexible Dieting work for me? This isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s something you need to hear. Flexible dieting is not for everyone. Before your body can lose weight, trim fat, or build muscle; we need a solid base to work from. Depending on your health status, how well your body can manage blood sugar, the health of your digestive system and your current body weight; you may need to take a different approach to weight loss. Flexible dieting is definitely an option down the line, but for now, you may need to give it a miss. Generally, someone who is classed as ‘obese’ (I really hate that word) according to their BMI, and with a waist measurement exceeding their hip measurement, is not suited to flexible dieting. If you’re unsure whether this kind of nutritional approach is for you, get in touch ([email protected]) Worst case, we can figure out a different way to help you. There’s plenty of different routes to the same destination. Free Foods I use a traffic light system with a lot of foods when it comes to flexible dieting. Certain foods are ‘free’, meaning you can eat as much of them as you like. The macronutrient content in them is usually so low that it will have very little effect on result, but the foods are loaded with micronutrients, which will help with results. Take measurements fortnightly (or monthly), and assess how your body is progressing. If you’re making progress, good work! Keep going with the same macronutrient breakdown, it’s not broken so don’t fix it. If you notice you’re not seeing the results you were seeing previously (or you’re not seeing results at all), you’re ready for another decrease/increase. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Broccoli Mint Celery Spinach Cucumber Oregano Parsley Lettuce (Leafy Watercress Green) These are just an idea of some ‘free’ foods to ass variety, and some flavour. Starchy vegetables (Potato, Butternut Squash, Turnip, Carrots) have a higher carbohydrate content, so they would need to be counted as part of your macronutrients. Having said that, they are still a far better option that most other carbohydrate foods (starchy veg still have plenty of micronutrients too!). Foods to Avoid Along with ‘free’ foods, there’s also certain foods that I like to see clients eat absolutely as little as possible. Foods which contain Trans Fats should be avoided as much as possible. Trans Fats are chemical mutants, they’re a form of saturated fat that have been chemically altered to help prolong the shelf life of foods. Ever notice that chocolate bars and biscuits take a long time to go bad? Unfortunately, Trans Fats aren’t specifically named on food labelling. They are counted as saturated fats instead, which can cause a lot of confusion when it comes to telling the difference between trans fats and natural saturated fats. Foods like cakes, pastries, milk chocolate, biscuits, crisps and some cereals all tend to have higher Trans Fat content. Preservatives are added to food to....well..preserve it (shocker). They can also be grouped with food colourings (E numbers), and other additives. These substances have a feminising effect on a hormone in the body responsible for building muscle mass, improving bone density & increasing sex drive, this hormone is called Testosterone. Unfortunately preservatives can convert Testosterone to another hormone called Estrogen. Estrogen is manageable (and needed) in small doses, but the increases in this hormone that come with higher food additive intake is not healthy. It leads to increased fat storage (especially around the waist), impaired ability to build muscle (less testosterone available), and man-­‐boobs (breast tissue formation). [email protected] 01 816 8870 What’s the best way to keep these additives to a minimum? Eat natural, organic whole foods as much as possible. High-­‐Fructose Corn Syrup is a chemically altered sugar, it’s a lot cheaper to manufacture than regular table sugar, so it’s often added to processed foods to add sweetness. Any single food, or nutrient, is manageable in small doses, but HFCS is found in very high doses in soft drinks. The body can’t digest the super doses of unnatural sugar the same way as natural foods. Long term intake can lead to poor blood sugar management, damage to the lining of your intestine and impaired digestion. These side-­‐effects will lead to your body being more prone to store fat! So when you consider eliminating all of these foods completely, there’s not much left! If you do choose to eat any of these types of foods, remember moderation is key. Small amounts are very manageable, but all out binges need to be avoided. Flexible dieting allows the small doses, to help prevent the backlash of a binge. If uncontrollable binges/cravings are an issue for you, it could be worth including some of the ‘unhealthy’ foods in your macros. [email protected] 01 816 8870 Frequently Asked Questions • How do I know if I’ve picked the right foods? The 90/10 approach is a great way to know if you’re getting enough of the right foods in to your diet. Although technically you could meet your macros from junk food, I do not recommend it. Junk foods tend to be very calorie dense, so you wouldn’t actually get a lot of food to eat. You also need to consider your micronutrients, which are absolutely essential for your health, and for actual weight loss/gain too. • If a Food Label tells me it contains ‘Zero Calories’, does that mean I can eat as much as I like? If you were following the standard Flexible Dieting/If It Fits Your Macros Method, yes. You would be able to consume as much as you like. If it doesn’t have any calorie content, it shouldn’t have any macro content either! The Lovett Nutrition Flexible Dieting Method works a little differently. Even though a food mightn’t have any calorie content, that’s not to say it can’t have an effect on your health or how your body looks. In most cases, zero sugar, or zero fat foods have had a lot of preservatives added in, and a lot of nutrient quality taken out. These foods are taking away from your nutrient stores during digestion, but they’re not actually adding anything back! Moderation is crucial with any food, but I don’t think a zero calorie label is a free pass to consume as much as you like. • Help! I’m not seeing results!! It’s all too common for flexible dieting to be advocated by lean, skinny, pin-­‐up models. These people have an increased ability to switch easily between using [email protected] 01 816 8870 carbohydrate and fat as a fuel source. After eating a junk food (usually containing a lot of sugar), they can easily metabolise (or store) the carbs, and return to burning off fat. Unfortunately, for most of the population, this isn’t possible. In general, the bigger your waistline, and the higher your level of body fat, the harder it is for you to switch back and forth between metabolising carb + fat. If you’re having trouble seeing results following this approach, and provided everything is calculated correctly, there’s a chance we may need to work out a different strategy. There may be underlying issues that need to be addressed first. • That all seems very complicated, is there anything I can do instead? Absolutely. Flexible dieting is just one strategy in a nutritionist’s tool box. You can even see massive improvements in weight (less fat, more muscle), without changing your macronutrient intake at all. Improving the quality of your food intake can do wonders (it’s much better for your health too). There’s always an option, but you may need to work with a professional to help set you on the right track. • I want to lose weight; can I carry on dropping calories forever? Absolutely not. There are very few times when I can say never when it comes to nutrition, but dropping your calories below your BMR, and keeping them there is definitely one of them. Your body is very smart, it will adapt to whatever you throw at it. If we try to maintain a calorie intake that’s too low for our body to function, you can get some very negative adaptations. -­‐
Your metabolism drops (you burn less calories) Your body wastes less energy during digestion (More calories to burn/store) You become more prone to Fat storage [email protected] 01 816 8870 -­‐
Disordered Eating behaviour can follow (starvation/binge cycle of eating) These are just a small bunch of bad things that can happen to your body when you eat too few calories, but most importantly, it’s not sustainable. You’ll end up putting your long term health in danger, for the sake of a smaller number on a little metal platform. Work with The Fitness Institute We want to help you make your food work for you! • We want you to enjoy nights out with friends (without the guilt). • We want you to enjoy a meal with your family (without them judging your healthy food). • We want you to achieve everything you want without restricting the foods you love! Here’s the catch, the Fitness Institute are only looking for action takers, the people who take advice and use it. Spending your cash is not going to help you get results, there needs to be follow through too! If you’re fed up with bad information, misleading products, and inconsistent results, our nutrition course is for you. If you want to learn how to make your nutrition work around your lifestyle (and show your friends too), then you’re suited to the Fitness Institute Nutrition method. Email [email protected] to get started. Make sure to like the Fitness Institute Facebook page too ( We will be sending out more free guides during the year and it’s a great way to keep in touch. We hope you enjoyed the Lovett Nutrition Guide to Flexible Dieting :) As always, if you ever have any questions, feel free to get in touch either through Facebook, or by email (links at the bottom of the page). [email protected] 01 816 8870