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A Guide to Flexible Dieting Book Cover


A Guide to Flexible Dieting
How Being Less Strict With Your Diet Can Make it More Successful

First Edition

Softback: 8.5X11″

Number of Pages: 85
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About A Guide to Flexible Dieting

Rather than presenting a specific diet, A Guide to Flexible Dieting is a look at some of the psychological and physiological reasons why diets so often fail. Among these is the research demonstrated fact that individuals who are too rigid in their approach to dieting (e.g. expecting complete unyielding perfection at all times) are actually less successful in the long-run than individuals who are more flexible in their approach.

Building on this research, as well as looking at the physiology behind bodyweight regulation, A Guide to Flexible Dieting examines three distinct strategies that dieters can use to make their fat loss efforts more flexible. Free meals (single meals that ‘break’ the diet), refeeds (periods of deliberate high-calorie consumption) along with full diet breaks (periods of 10-14 days where active dieting is not pursued) are all discussed in detail with specific guidelines for their implementation.

Dieters who find themselves falling into the trap of “I broke my diet by eating a single cookie, I should just go ahead and eat the entire bag (and another for good measure).” should read this book to see how such rigid attitudes towards dieting are ultimately both limiting and destructive to long-term success.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: This is not your father’s diet book
Chapter 2: A brief tangent: weight vs. fat loss
Chapter 3: Why diets fail part 1: Bodyweight Regulation
Chapter 4: Why diets fail Part 2: Introduction
Chapter 5: How dieters fail diets
Chapter 6: How diets fail dieters
Chapter 7: Introduction to flexible dieting
Chapter 8: Determining your bodyfat percentage
Chapter 9: Free meals
Chapter 10: Structured refeeds: Part 1
Chapter 11: Structured refeeds: Part 2
Chapter 12: The full diet break: Introduction
Chapter 13: Eating at maintenance Non-calculating method Part 1
Chapter 14: Eating at maintenance Non-calculating method Part 2
Chapter 15: Eating at maintenance Calculation Method
Chapter 16: Moving back into dieting
Appendix 1

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The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of the book

See if this sounds familiar: you’ve just started a new diet, certain that it’s going to be different this time around and that it’s going to work. You’re cranking along, adjust to the new eating (and exercise) patterns and everything is going just fine. For a while.

Then the problem hits. Maybe it’s something small, a slight deviation or dalliance. There’s a bag of cookies and you have one or you’re at the mini mart and just can’t resist a little something that’s not on your diet. Or maybe it’s something a little bit bigger, a party or special event comes up and you know you won’t be able to stick with your diet. Or, at the very extreme, maybe a vacation comes up, a few days out of town or even something longer, a week or two. What do you do?

Now, if you’re in the majority, here’s what happens: You eat the cookie and figure that you’ve blown your diet and might as well eat the entire bag. Clearly you were weak willed and pathetic for having that cookie, the guilt sets in and you might as well just start eating and eating and eating.

Or since the special event is going to blow your diet, you might as well eat as much as you can and give up, right? The diet is obviously blown by that single event so might as well chuck it all in the garbage. Vacations can be the ultimate horror, it’s not as if you’re going to go somewhere special for 3 days (or longer) and stay on your diet, right? Might as well throw it all out now and just eat like you want, gain back all the weight and then some.’

What if I told you that none of the above had to happen? What if I told you that expecting to be perfect on your diet was absolutely setting you up for failure, that being more flexible about your eating habits would make them work better? What if I told you that studies have shown that people who are flexible dieters (as opposed to rigid dieters) tend to weigh less, show better adherence to their diet in the long run and have less binge eating episodes?

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Customer Feedback

“I’ve read a lot of diet books, and most have gotten me to lose weight, but this is the first book that helped me learn how to keep the weight off. And no other diet allowed me to eat the foods that I enjoyed and lose weight. This book helps you to figure out how to eat while losing, maintaining or gaining without getting into the minutia that other plans do. With this book I was able to go from around 20% bf to 14% without killing myself, and all the while maintaining the muscle mass I already had developed. I’m using right now to gain some more muscle mass while trying to limit body fat gained, with very good results thus far. I would highly recommend this as the first and possibly the last diet book that anyone could ever need.”

– Mike, Washington

“I would like to commend this easy to read book which describes in adequate detail the logic and science behind a flexible approach to dieting. This is the one for people who want to customize their own eating plans going from basic principles that work and are backed with research. This is not a cookie cutter or paint by numbers approach for dummies, but a method of thinking flexibly about the whole business of adjusting diet to suit one’s needs, whether for weight loss or maintenance.”

– Dr V Lewis. Queensland Australia

“For many people, dieting is synonymous with eating dry chicken and broccoli six times a day, starving themselves and generally feeling miserable. If more people would learn the basics of how the body mobilizes and burns fat, more people would be able to achieve their goals, lose weight and keep it off. As Lyle himself would say: The best diet is the one you can actually stick to over time, and in The Guide to Flexible Dieting book he teaches you just how to do so.

I find this book to be the best starting point for people on how to learn more about the physiology of dieting, how to implement dieting principles based on science which works time and time again, avoiding the most common errors, implementing free meals and refeeds to make the diet even more effective (nothing is called “cheating” or “breaking the diet” here), and how to move back to maintaining your weight in a simple and easy way – even without counting calories. This is the best book for everyone who is tired of failing on their diets, or their diets failing them – and I highly recommend it for those who want to learn the mindset of successful dieters instead of strict meal plans which never work anyway.”

Borge (aka Blade) – Norway

Purchase Options

A Guide to Flexible Dieting can be purchased in a variety of formats and bundled packages.

Digital Only Options
 A Guide to Flexible Dieting can be ordered in either a PDF or Kindle format.  Both are $27.00 and you will be sent links for immediate download.

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Hardcopy Book Options
For those who want a physical copy of   A Guide to Flexible Dieting, the book can be ordered in hardcopy format.  The book will be shipped from Vervante and the cost is $37.00 plus shipping and handling.

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Hardcopy + Digital Options
This package contains both the physical book and an immediate digital download of  A Guide to Flexible Dieting.  The physical book will be shipped from Vervante and you will receive a link for immediate download of the digital product.  The hardcopy book can be ordered with either the PDF or Kindle digital versions and both cost $47.00 plus shipping and handling.

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You can also purchase the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook and A Guide to Flexible Dieting as a bundle along with online videos demonstrating the Home Exercise Programs (with fitness professional Sumi Singh) here (link will open in a new window in case you decide that bundle is not for you).  Since this will be purchased from another website, it cannot be combined with any other books on this site.




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I always love to hear back from my readers; if you'd like to provide some feedback about the book or how well the information in it worked for you, please feel free to use the comments section below.

11 Responses to “A Guide to Flexible Dieting”

  1. Printable Healthy Food Diary Channel and Network to Make You Happy Eating - Tips to Lower Cholesterol on November 24th, 2008 3:15 pm

    […] One solution to the problem of low serotonin levels is to include some kind of high-carbohydrate cheat meal (as opposed to an entire cheat day) in your diet once or twice a week. Complete instructions on how to do this are available in Lyle McDonald’s A Guide to Flexible Dieting: How Being Less Strict With Your Diet Can Make it Work Better. […]

  2. Andrea on June 8th, 2009 12:25 am

    Do you have advice or feedback/testimonials regarding this book as applied to females? I know that fat loss is a whole different “animal” in the other gender…. Thank you!

  3. admin on June 9th, 2009 11:29 am


    It’s really important to realize that the Guide to Flexible Dieting is less an actual diet book and more a behavioral manual to help diets work better. That said, females in general respond as well as men to the ideas in my experience. You can check out the support forum (link can be found in the support tab above) for folks who have used all of my books.


  4. Dave on July 19th, 2009 4:28 pm

    I’m 6’1, 200 and about 15% bf. Wondering which book I should read to begin with? I’ve been through Berardi’s Lean Eating program and am looking for a specific diet with specific recommendations for workouts and fat loss. Thanks.

  5. admin on July 21st, 2009 2:25 pm

    Please check out the store FAQ, it discusses briefly which book may apply to which situation. From what you posted, I can’t be any more detailed than that

  6. Bonnie on April 17th, 2011 11:07 am

    I am 48 years old. I wear size 8 to 10 and have probably 28% body fat. I was keeping my weight down (size 4) y performing 1 to 1.5 hours of cardio 5 days per week.
    The weight just keeps creeping on up and my ability to run is decreasing due to hip problems.
    Which of your diet and excercise program would you suggest.
    Thank you

  7. Sarah on May 12th, 2011 2:41 pm

    Just curious, diets have failed me in the past…not because of cheating either. I’m the most focused and determined person I know. I’m 5,7 and 150lbs about 22% body fat and would ultimately want to be closer to 16%. I hired a personal trainer and for 3 months I was spot on with training and diet. I did gain strength but my body didnt respond visualy. I was very disappointed! At the time I was 40lbs heavier than I am now. Fed up, I went on a diet called Ideal Protein. I lost 40+ lbs and now want desperately to hey back into the gym and finish what I started. The question is… I have seen fantastic reviews from UD2 as well as flexible diet books you’ve published. I’m wondering which one would suit my needs better?

    Hope to hear from you soon,

  8. Jason Douglas on January 1st, 2012 2:53 am

    Hey lyle are any of your books geared so that I could write my own diet based on your protocols for a bodybuilding comp?

  9. Sally on January 17th, 2012 1:16 pm

    It’s great to find something focussing on the pit-falls of having an “all or nothing” mentality. I wonder how many dieting attempts have been foiled simply by being so brittle that one small deviation leads to jacking it in altogether.

    In the world of self help or psychotherapy, “perfectionism” is seen as a condition that requires some type of treatment.

    This reminds me about something I once read about Arnold. [Either I read this, or it was some type of weird dream] He was doing national service in the Austrian army. Him and his friend had to find time to train, so they strapped barbells on the side of a tank, and made sure they did a workout before everyone else woke up. I guess he had to be flexible, and find a way to train in not so ideal conditions. I guess a lot of other folks would have just thought “arrrrghhhh, no gym = no training”.

  10. Scottyw on April 16th, 2012 10:09 am

    I have been around the website, taking in as much of the great information that you provide here Lyle. I really respect and admire the hard work you have voluntarily given to all of us. The wife and I started doing cardio and streamlining our calories, via myfitnesspal in January did 5 days moderate to high, and ate 1200 cals, never eating back exercise and not worrying about macros.. To date we have lost a ton of weight, fat muscle and all. From reading all of this good stuff, we have started to adopt many of your philosophy’s to some degree. I am no pro by any means jus tryn to do my best for us. We now do mod cardio, weight train 3 times per week, have a cheat meal on Friday night. Thankfully I found your site.

    My stats: january 248lbs, bf% unknown —– 193lbs today, 27%bf. Cals 2200 perday. 40/30/30 macro. GOAL wt 175-180, bf unsure…umm 15% resonable?

    I had lost over 90lbs from nov. 2006 – nov 2007. then just got lax… and got myself back up to 248 december of 2011, when I decided it was time to get rid of it once and for all.

    Wife stats: january 165lbs, bf% unknown —— 134 today, 26%bf. Cals 1600 perday. 40/30/30 macro. GOAL wt125-130 20-22%bf… is that reasonable?

    Seems to have slowed some.

    Based on our BF%, and goal weights, is the Rapid Fat Loss book, our best option going forward in your opinion? I would think yes, but wanted to ask you before I order. All of your books look great btw. I love reading about the science behind it all, it really motivates me.

    Again, thank you for everything… You are a great help to all. Sorry about the novel, n i prolly left some stuff out….lol


  11. Dima on November 25th, 2014 3:10 pm

    Another good website about flexible dieting :

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘1762401312 which is not a hashcash value.

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