Nutrition: Part 3 – Introduction to IIFYM / Flexible Dieting

*If you have not read parts 1 & 2 of my nutrition series, stop now and read them here and here.

No Whey Protein, Sometimes eating 2 large meals, Sometimes eating 7 smaller meals, Eating meals sometimes after 9 AND that included carbs, re-introduced white starchy carbs like white rice and white bread, consistently did not take in protein immediately after my workouts, still ate lots of veggies, went out to eat with company and enjoyed and appreciated comfort foods and desserts without feeling guilty or shameful, and best of all I ate Pan De Sal (Filipino Sweet Buttery Baked Bread) almost EVERY SINGLE DAY for a full month!


#EatPanDeSalGetShredded – Spent the last 30 days at home in Baltimore sticking to my “diet”

In my previous post I gave you the formulas to calculate your BMR calories and TDEE calories. At the end of the day, if we are at a caloric deficit we will lose weight. But, there are important things to remember:

1.)    Losing weight does not necessarily mean losing fat. If we don’t get meet our macro needs of protein carbs and fats, our body will either hold on to our body fat and store it or sometimes it will burn off our own muscle for energy.

2.)    We sometimes misinterpret caloric deficit as eating 1500 calories of food a day, and then having to do hours of cardio to burn off 1500 calories in order to lose weight. DO NOT FORGET that we have a BMR set amount of calories that our bodies’ already burn off daily just from living and breathing.

3.)    Don’t focus on counting calories, focus on understanding macro nutrient needs. Knowing our TDEE/maintenance calorie baseline is like having all the ingredients for baking a cake. However, if I don’t tell you how much of each ingredient to have, your cake won’t be perfect. Having the right value amount for each macro is essential for lean muscle production and body composition.

4.)    Basic Break downs of Macros:

  1. Protein – (Most important in my opinion) is the muscle sparing nutrient. There is a HUGE misconception that eating a lot of protein makes you bigger or bulky. No, lifting heavy heavy weights AND eating way over your TDEE makes you bulky.
  2. Fat – Helps for proper lining of your vital organs in your body. Also, fats can affect libido and mood. You can only go low to no fat for so long before your sex drive dips and your start getting annoyed with the world.
  3. Carbs – Provide energy for your daily activities.
  4. *Fiber – (This is not considered a macronutrient, but it is essential for digestive health). If you are getting the recommended daily protein intake you will need to eat enough fiber to digest all of it and pass it through your body.

5.)    A carb is a carb: Your body does not differentiate between starchy carbs, non-starchy carbs, white sugar, and brown sugar for body composition needs. The glycemic index and different type of carb just means that it will have either a lower or higher carbohydrate value per serving compared to its counterparts. Obviously veggie carbs have more nutrients than krispy kreme carbs, but as long as you are under your carb allotment for the day then you will maintain your composition.

6.)    Common sense will tell you that a serving of veggies will be healthier than a serving of cookies. However, with this flexible dieting concept, it’s about going from exclusive restrictive dieting to a more inclusive focus. Our mental health will be just as important if not MORE important than our physical health sometimes.

I’d rather eat 200-300 calories worth of pastries in moderation over the course of a day or the week, as opposed to eating “clean” 6 days a week and eating bingeing on 2,000 -3,000 calories worth of pastries in one sitting on the weekend.

7.)    Our goal is not to try and eat the least amount of food possible and starve ourselves, but to eat the most amount of food possible that meets our daily needs for energy, macro/micro nutrient needs, and mental sanity. This also makes our metabolisms as efficient as possible in burning fat and retaining lean muscle.

8.)    I still eat 2-3 servings of greens every day and 1-2 servings of fruit for micronutrient needs. Micronutrients are all the vitamins and minerals that keep the body in tip top shape.

9.)    Just because you can still enjoy and appreciate some treats, you still have to have them in moderation. Flexible dieting does not mean eat like an idiot. I still personally stay away from McDonalds and Burger King, I try to stay away from high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and if I have the opportunity to choose an organic/non-gmo option for something than I will.

Where to Start?

–          Calculate your BMR and TDEE

  • If you’re cutting take 10-20% off your TDEE calories
  • If you’re bulking add 10-20% on top of your TDEE calories
  • If you want to maintain your weight eat exactly at your TDEE calories

–          Protein should be anywhere from .8g – 1.2g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight. (Protein needs is a very intricate subject and demands differ between gender, genetics, workout intensities and type, etc.) General rule of thumb: 1g of protein per 1lb. of body weight.

–          Fats should be .45g – .5g per 1lb. of body weight

–          Carbs will fill the rest of your calories allotted for your cutting, bulking, or staying at your TDEE.

–          Fiber aim for 20-30% of your carb intake needing to be coming from fiber sources. You don’t have to eat starchy carbs or whole grains, it’s just that whole grains happen to have the highest source of fiber compared to other carbs like veggies. A general number for fiber can be 30g a day.


Lots of information, so definitely something you’ll need to review and re-read. Also, you may need to refer back to the previous posts in the nutrition series. My goal is not to brag about eating unhealthy treats, but for us to establish a nutritional basis and foundation and not have to worry about little things that aren’t getting us to our goals. Nutrient timing, frequency, supplements, post workout protein, etc. may help but a SMALL percentage compared to proper intake of macro nutrients. Also, the more restrictive we are with foods, the more we obsess over them and may result in bingeing. We need to focus less on insignificant things, so that we can all focus on truly Livin and appreciating every single second of life.

3 comments on “Nutrition: Part 3 – Introduction to IIFYM / Flexible Dieting”

  1. Pingback: I’m Baaaaaaaaaaack!!! | A Journey From 1.0 to 3.0

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