Do you have to eat “clean” on a flexible diet or when you track macros? What about gluten-avoid? What other foods are not permitted.
Flexible dieting or working with #meetyour3macros is NOT ABOUT having only the cleanest foods (whatever that means) or or specialty foods or avoiding foods.
Tracking Macros (also known as IIFYM-if it fits your macros) is about eating to hit your daily macronutrient goals in grams. Macros is a friendly little nick name used to describe CARBS (yes carbs), Protein and Fat you consume daily. These numbers will be different for every single individual based on your goals.
If you are drawn to the ‘clean eating’ movement which promotes healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, you still track macros to make sure you are getting in the nutrients you need to hit your goals.
Instead of following a meal plan, just fill your macros with the whole and unprocessed foods that you like. Theoretically, you could also eat frozen meals and protein shakes and still track your macros. You can be glute free and practice flexible dieting. You can be a vegan, pesco, ovo, WHATEVER and still follow the principles of tracking macros.
Tracking Macros is about eating foods that help you meat your target goals in grams NOT following a pre-written meal plan. It encourages you to follow your palate, and not feel like a cheat when you stray from your “individualized” meal plan because for some strange reason you just don’t want chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli again. There’s nothing wrong with that meal-absolutely nothing. But what if you want salmon, grilled trout, a hamburger-would you know how to fit it in and still be on track with your goals when you’ve just been told to stick to the meal plan?
And what if you wanted some ice cream with your kids? Does that mean you have completely gone off the rails and should call the whole day a write off? The beauty of tracking macros is that it gives people a way to shed fat, gain muscle, maintain WITHOUT turning your life and lifestyle upside down. It removes the PAIN and negativity associated with dieting. It also removes the words ALLOWED AND NOT PERMITTED from the table.
So, you do what fits YOUR macros and do it however you like. I’ll do the same. As a registered dietitian whom also knows the other benefits of “healthy” whole foods, I encourage you to think about what you put in your body not just for fat loss but for quality of health while you are living! I’m an 80/20 gal and love that I can hit my goals while including some chocolate or a burger into my life while choosing grilled meats, salads and vegetables the majority of the time by CHOICE.
However, start where YOU are and eat to your macros how you see fit. Just stick to them. CONSISTENCY matters for results. Trust the process. Be realistic about it! Celebrate that you’ve discovered how to get off the diet industry’s hamster wheel and toss that sucker into the garbage heap!