You Can Lose Weight AND Be Happy!

charissa lose weight and be happy

Losing weight doesn't have to involve suffering, restriction and misery! Losing weight doesn't even have to seem like dieting when you can have food that you enjoy, in balance with food that is healthy and nutrient dense.

That is where flexible dieting comes in, also known as "If It Fits Your Macros (iifym)" or just "MACROS". With flexible dieting you can enjoy nutrient dense food and treats in moderation. 

This nutrition approach doesn't even have to be called dieting, for example someone who is in a phase to gain muscle, wouldn't consider this a "diet" but simply a nutrition approach, or a precise approach to tracking their food intake for a specific purpose.

For losing weight, this would be considered a nutrition approach that involves tracking food in specific amount for a specific goal. 

Someone could also track their food this way to stay in a maintenance phase, meaning they are maintaining their current weight, not losing or gaining. 

This is really a nutrition approach or a nutrition lifestyle, not just dieting. Those who track macros aren't always dieting; they just want to know the amounts of food and nutrients they are ingesting. Someone could still count macros or practice flexible dieting while they are on vacation... they would likely just be guesstimating what their food intake is and accounting for it during the day. Although, you don't have to count macros on your vacation, you could opt to just balance nutrient dense meals with less nutrient dense meals. This is a way of eating that you could adopt for the rest of your life, because it doesn't have a be a diet, it is just a way of tracking your food for awareness and specific goals (losing, maintaining, or gaining weight). 

Someone can still eat all whole one ingredient food and count macros, they are just making sure they are staying within a specific caloric range and macro range for their goals. Someone can eat paleo and count macros, they are just making sure they are staying within a specific caloric range and macro range for their goals. Someone can eat vegan and count macros, they are just making sure they are staying within a specific caloric range and macro range for their goals. Someone can eat vegetarian and count macros, they are just making sure they are staying within a specific caloric range and macro range for their goals. Someone can eat low carb, or low fat, or keto, and still track macros! 

Personally I have found that counting macros allows me flexibility and enjoyment in a nutrition approach that allows me to eat foods I love and want. i.e. I can have 99% fat free ground turkey with a sweet potato and broccoli, but finish my night with some low fat ice cream and even have a bagel or waffles for breakfast with my egg whites! Just as long as I remain within a specific caloric and macro range! I even contest prep on macros, and eat waffles and other foods I enjoy. There is no right or wrong foods with macros, there is just eating in a way that works for you, that you enjoy, that you can stick with long term, and that fits within your macro numbers i.e. a specific amount of carbs, proteins and fats. 


Various Mindsets with Flexible Dieting 

Strict - you can be strict with your flexible dieting approach, what this means would be to adhere to your specific macros 100% with precision. I.e. in contest prep you have a very specific goal in mind of a very lean physique so adhering to macros with precision is key! For me, that means weighing everything, even my ketchup and mustard. However, you can still be flexible within the foods you are eating, i.e. turkey, chicken, sweet potato, broccoli, in addition to waffles, popcorn, reduced sugar ketchup, fat free cheese, yogurt, fruit just to name some. Also, if you have a weight loss goal in mind and that weight loss is incredibly important to you, you may also adhere to specific macros with precision

Flexible - this involves tracking some of your food, hitting some of you macros with a degree of precision, and also guesstimating some meals and macros. i.e. this could be someone who has a small weight loss goal but they also want to be able to enjoy going out to eat with their family so they would track their food for breakfast, am snack, lunch, and then guestimate and account for where and what for dinner, or they would just do whatever they wanted for dinner because they are flexible and maybe ate less carbs and fats during the day. 

All about context and what is worth it to you, if you are mentally okay with not measuring your ketchup and banana and guessing but accounting for your dinner out, and possibly not losing weight as fast as you could, then that’s great! If you feel that sticking to the macros 100% with precision is worth it because losing the weight is important to you, that’s great too!

In the end, here are my tips for the best way to lose fat 

  • Eat a nutrition approach that works for YOU!

    • If you like eating whole foods, nothing processed, awesome! Do that! If you like eating some whole foods balanced with food you like i.e. sweet potatoes, veggies, lean meats and also fitting in oreos, fruit and cheese, do it!)

    • Eat the foods you want within the macros that work for you

      • I don’t restrict carbs because contrary to popular belief carbs are not bad for you, they are not fattening, they are not the result of your weight gain, so my body responds well to carbs and in the off season, I can eat 300g a day or more

      • However, some people prefer the way they feel on less carbs and more fat/protein, it’s all up to what you like and what YOU feel BEST on

  • Eat a caloric deficit for a consistent amount of time!

    • Track your food and hit your macros for a month and if after that you don't see any results, then change your macros

  • Weigh your food! Use a food scale! Don't use measuring cups and spoons, they aren’t accurate

  • Track your food. Use an app like my fitness pal, you can easily scan and enter food. Or have a food journal and write down your every bite of food that enters your body and add up the daily totals of protein, carbs and fats, fiber and calories!

  • Trust the process! Don’t get lost in the details! i.e. start where you are and just start to track your food, eat what you want to eat, don’t restrict yourself but try to make nutrient dense and fun choices, stay within your macros. That is it! It doesn’t matter when you eat, what foods are “good or bad”, “right or wrong”! 

If you are interested in eating what you LOVE, and want to start your macro journey, I have open coaching spots available! I help you calculate YOUR individual macros, and then educate and coach you through the macro process. You will learn the skills you need to enjoy your eating, that fits into your life and enhances it, while reaching your goals for the rest of your life! Email me to schedule a free consultation today! charissasutliff@gmail.com

- Charissa


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