Hames, Carolyn

Advisor Department

Nursing, College of


Melanson, Kathleen

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Sciences




Flexible dieting; metabolic adaptation; weight loss; diet; nutrition


Flexible dieting is a ubiquitous method of eating among the fitness population. It is not a diet, but rather a nutritional concept that refutes any diet that promotes cutting out entire foods or food groups as a method to lose weight. It is a structured and science-based method of eating that involves tracking calories through monitoring the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These macronutrients are individualized and adjusted for muscle growth, fat loss, or weight maintenance in order to optimize intake to facilitate the manipulation of body composition. Flexible dieting is a disciplined method of eating that teaches individuals how to modify macronutrient intake in order to reach personalized physique, fitness, and health goals. The goal of incorporating flexible dieting is to empower individuals in their fitness journey to gain control over their goals through utilizing a knowledge base of nutrients and how the body responds to them. The purpose of this research is to create a comprehensive resource that targets a beginning, intermediate, or advanced fitness population who aim to learn about an evidence-based and sustainable method for achieving a healthier physique.

A secondary purpose of this research project is to acquire knowledge on the metabolic adaptation that occurs during weight loss. Metabolic adaptation is a phrase often used among the fitness community as a way to describe the fluctuations in metabolism that occur during a caloric deficit. Metabolic changes that take place during weight loss favor decreased energy expenditure resulting in the down-regulation of metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is summarized by total daily energy expenditure, which has several components that collectively influence the amount of calories that an individual burns in a day. During a caloric deficit that is required for weight loss, a number of mechanisms are manipulated that function to reduce the effects of weight loss by promoting metabolic adaptation. The research included in this project is designed to learn about the mechanisms that characterize metabolic adaptation.

LaHaie, Bryce.pdf (6688 kB)