If you didn’t know already, I am a Registered Dietitian who encourages flexible dieting and macro tracking as a part of my nutrition approach in my practice. After you adopt an eating pattern that’s chocked full of whole, real foods that make you feel great, and master blood sugar stability with PFC balanced meals and snacks – you’re often ready for more. I think it’s a natural and appropriate progression to start looking at macronutrient amounts and eating in a balance that’s right for you and your goals.
I get a lot of questions about my approach. I thought I’d share some of the most common ones below. If you’re on the fence about working with a professional who does promote flexible dieting and macro tracking, I know you’ll find some golden nuggets of truth in this Q/A. If they speak to you, like really speak to you, I would love to work with you. The time is now before we get deep into fall and the holiday season! Click the button below to schedule a free 20 minute consult with me.
Why do you use flexible dieting or macro tracking with your clients? After all, it isn’t exactly “mainstream” among Registered Dietitians right now.
I’ve found that offering flexible dieting in conjunction with behavior change coaching to be the perfect recipe for my clients to achieve their goals. Most people seek nutrition professionals after they’ve made all the changes they know to make but are still not seeing the results they want: maybe they’re not be able to lose that 10-15 pounds sitting around their midsection, or they constantly struggle with digestive issues or highs and lows in their mood and energy.
We all need a certain amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to feel vibrant, energized, and to support a healthy metabolism. Your body is counting macronutrients whether or not you are. In my experience, my clients are typically struggling to meet their protein and fat needs, which means they’re proportionately eating too many carbohydrates – though they don’t realize it. It’s also very common to see people eating far too few calories, and again, they don’t really know it. These typical eating patterns lead to the common complaints (like I mentioned before) we see as nutrition professionals. I’ve found that tracking macros offers a way to help clients see how much protein, fat and carbohydrates they need. When they’re able to start eating enough of the right macros in the right balance for them, they see almost immediate positive results.
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Do you have concerns that, in a flexible dieting approach, your client might meet their carbohydrate goals through simple sugars and not focus on complex carbohydrates?
Nope, no concerns at all. Simply put, it’s very hard to hit your protein, fat and carbohydrate prescription with junk food. My clients have health, body composition and athletic performance goals that are clearly established so while I encourage them to work simple sugars, junk foods, “bad foods” (however they want to label it) into their macro prescription without guilt, they find out very quickly how hard or uncomfortable it is to “eat around” those types of foods with plain chicken and broccoli, for example, because they decided to chow down Krispy Kreme donuts.
In order to get to the place they want to be, they’ll need to prioritize meal planning, food prepping as well as restructure their environment in order to be conducive to the lifestyle changes they’re making. What kind of RD wouldn’t want their clients to struggle through the muck with the right tools and come out the other side having decided on their own to eat whole, real foods over processed, packaged or refined ones?
What type of results have you seen using this kind of method?
I typically work with my clients for 3 months, but sometimes up to 6 and 9 months. In that amount of time we are able to see drastic improvements in body composition; primarily dropping body fat while maintaining or gaining lean muscle. However, I am always most excited to see my clients make peace with food for good.
Flexible dieting is the only method I have found which offers the structure that people need, while also promoting choice and autonomy. I think it’s incredibly powerful to help someone achieve the “look” or aesthetic they want while living the life they enjoy at the same time. When clients “graduate” my services, they’re armed with the sustainable tools and approaches to make them feel empowered to take things into their own hands long into the future.
These and more answers to common questions can be found as a part of an interview by Regan Jones RD on her blog linked here.