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INSHAPE NEWS OPINION – Flexible Dieting Vs No Dieting


Nick Jack – CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer

‘Flexible dieting’ and ‘no dieting’ have their pros and cons when it comes to health and fitness goals, the question is which one is better?

Flexible dieting refers to counting macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats & proteins), otherwise known as  “counting calories”.

Calorie Counting Benefits

There are a number of reasons why calorie counting is beneficial. These are as follows:

  1. It keeps you accountable.
  2. It controls your portion sizes.
  3. It evens out your nutrients.

Therefore, if you’re someone that eats too much food, for your body type, calorie counting can help you regulate this. Plus, calorie counting helps you find the right macronutrients for healthy living.

Calorie Counting Disadvantages

As with anything in life, there are also negatives to counting calories. These are:

  1. Lifestyle factors that influence how many calories your body needs on certain days – stress, sleep, exact calories in workouts and other physical daily activities.
  2. It also can block your sensation of fullness. So, it is difficult to listen to your body when it comes to filling up with certain nutrients. When this happens it then causes your fat cells to store any excess as fat, rather than burn it and use it as energy, therefore, you gain body fat easier. This happens because restricting macronutrients causes your body to have to store more macronutrients that it isn’t getting.

Should I Calorie Count?

Not worrying about calorie restrictions will help your body increase its metabolism. Therefore, focus on other methods to control your weight such as regular eating, exercise and eating what is right for your body type.

In my 13-years as a trainer, I have rarely seen anyone stick to counting calories for long, it is just not sustainable. Typically calorie counting only leads to “yo-yo” dieting. Plus, often strict diets with controlled calories are not usually healthy anyways as they are typically nutrient deficient.

The ‘no dieting’ rule means not counting calories. It saves you a lot of time calculating numbers and will help you achieve your health goal. The focus of this is all about quality of food. Aiming to eat healthier choices is a much easier way to do to control your calorie intake with less of a headache. This form of eating allows you to eat healthy according to your lifestyle habits; listen to your body and let it guide you. If you feel full, then don’t eat more. Also, consider eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

There are some great sources to show how much macronutrient portions you need, using these tools are a great way to know what is best for your body type.  Two sources are listed below that you can try.

Nick Jack is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, Level II Holistic Lifestyle Coach and personal trainer. He runs a personal training business called NO Regrets Personal Training.

Nick likes to lift weights, cycle, run and triathlon. He has played almost every sport at one time in his life. Now, he enjoys spending time walking his dog and relaxing with his wife and friends.

We are pleased to announce the release of our KNEE PAIN TOOLKIT!

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion don’t substitute professional medical advice or treatment. Therefore, always seek the advice of a doctor or health provider with any medical questions. Also, visit a doctor before beginning any nutritional or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


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