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How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Sanity And Social Life

Wouldn't it be great to lose weight without feeling frustrated that you were stuck with a rigid eating plan? A meal plan that doesn't allow you to eat certain foods or go out to eat with friends and family? A meal plan that will make your co-workers enjoy pizza on a Friday! There are really ways to lose weight while eating everything you love and it's called a flexible diet or IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).

Weight Loss Science

You will have people who argue that calories are not important but in fact they do it for weight loss. When it comes to lower calorie weight loss than calories out - that's science. For example: let's say you are a little woman who wants to lose weight and you count your calories to lose weight to 1500. Now you can eat 1500 calories per day or you can eat 1500 calories of chicken, rice and broccoli daily or you can Eat 1500 calories of beans and tofu daily, the end result is the same, you will lose weight. Now this example doesn't talk about health and energy overall so when it comes to being healthy, too, where the type of food you choose to eat plays a role. But in terms of losing weight, your food choices aren't really important.

Flexible approach

This flexible approach lets you eat exactly what you want as long as you're on your daily macronutrient budget. Your macronutrients are your protein, carbohydrates and fats - this will increase your daily calories. One gram of protein = 4 calories, one gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories and 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Flexible nutrition will use apps like MyFitnessPal or MyMacros + to track their intake, along with using measuring cups and kitchen scales for the best accuracy. Using this flexible approach, you can now eat cookies or chips, have donuts in the office, or go to restaurants or eat with your family and still lose weight! Although strict diet plans work for some people, they cannot be maintained for long periods of time, they do not teach people how to eat on their own and they have been known to cause eating disorders. Those who "fall out" of this strict diet plan because they have a little treat usually feel guilty and throw in their towels - they just go out and eat everything they can or give up completely until maybe next Monday. So why not put in some chocolate or some cookies that day and make the whole process easier and more enjoyable? It's accountability with flexibility. Think of the 80/20 rule for your diet. Whole foods should make up 80% of your diet and treat you can make up to 20% of your diet. This will make you sane and you will be more likely to maintain your weight loss plan without losing your sanity and social life.

One Quick Note: Fat vs Weight Loss

Now, I don't want to lose weight by losing fat because these are two different things. Adhering to a calorie target will ensure weight loss (muscle, water and fat), but if we want to make sure we lose most of the fat then we need to have a balance of our daily macronutrients. Protein intake of about 0.8-1.1 grams of protein per pound of weight per day is a good starting point. Eating adequate amounts of protein will cause muscle loss during the diet and the body will use more fat as fuel instead of breaking down muscle tissue. Some examples of great sources of protein are your meat, eggs, fish, protein powder, soy and lentils. There are a few more but I'll save them for another article.

What to do at the restaurant

With a flexible approach there are a few things you can do:

* Plan ahead by looking at restaurant and dining information according to your goals

* If no nutritional information is available you can still be flexible using your best estimates or looking for something similar in your app

* Sometimes you can change carbohydrates and fats (total calories) while keeping the same protein. For example: if you do not have a lot of fat allowed throughout the day but decide to eat higher fat then continue to lower carbs as long as you are below your total calorie target

* Structure your day to include more protein and vegetables because your "meal" will likely be higher in carbohydrates and fats.

* consider fast fasting (a more advanced approach) to allow more calories to be consumed during the day

* Enjoy simple meals and return to your plans the next day

There you have it, it's possible to lose weight (we really need to focus on fat loss though) and maintain your sanity and social life. Stay accountable for your nutrition but have fun, live, be happy and stay flexible in your approach.



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