I am having a hard time hitting my macros every single day +/- 5g. And find it hard to figure out how this is "flexible" if I have to hit those numbers so exactly. Also, because i'm not hitting the macros +/- 5g every single day, does that mean no progress is being made at all?
One of our favorite quotes about flexible dieting from Krissy Mae Cagney is:
“Flexible Dieting is the scientific approach to nutrition by finding a system that works for you in order to achieve your current phyusical and training goals. True flexible dieters shouldn’t live by any set of rigid rules but by a relaxed set of flexible guidelines. This is a lifestyle and it needs to be treated as such. Try not to think of flexible dieting as counting and tracking system, but as a simple and effective way to reach your goals with minimal angst and maximal potential. All the while consuming foods you love.”
There is no definition for flexible dieting that all flexible nutrition advocates can come to an agreement on, but that is the beauty of it! Flexible nutritionists agree on the general guidelines, but then apply them to suit their individual needs. You create your own rules from the guidelines. If you don’t like +/5g, then no need to feel stuck to that parameter. The reasoning for that parameter is because this whole process is meant to be an experiment of sorts. You need to treat individual journey as a research study that may last for several years! The closer you can get to your numbers, the more accurate your research will be so to speak. If you hit your numbers consistently for 3 weeks and aren’t seeing any progress, then you know that your TDEE was an overestimation, and you’re not eating in enough of a deficit to see results. But you can’t know that information if you don’t stick to your numbers.
On the flip side, if that makes your head spin, and you’re not interested in being so precise about it and instead are looking for a healthier relationship with food, and want to take it at a slow and steady pace, then aim for a goal that seems suitable to you! Maybe your goal is getting within 10% range of your macros goals. For example your protein is 130g, so you want to get within 13g under or over of your macros. OR maybe getting within 20g of your protein is a win. Macros are flexible guidelines. The key word is FLEXIBLE. Bend so you don’t break. If you find yourself on the verge of a break, it’s time to reassess and rethink your approach. What are your expectations? Are they realistic? Do your actions align with your goals or expectations? What things are going well that you could do more of?