IIFYM, Flexible Dieting, Pop Tart Diet…There are several names for my choice of “diet” (I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a pop tart…I am sure I was a child…and it was probably the generic brand).
I have always been very active, therefore not 'having' to pay super close attention to detail regarding nutrition. Then I started seeing women with abs (Gwen Stefani), my trainer and his wife competing in Body Building Shows, a Fitness instructor at the gym was doing 35lb shoulder presses…and I decided I wanted to actually CHANGE my body. So; I decided to compete. Originally a short term goal, now a huge part of my life- and man have I learned so much along the way.
I have trained for shows in several ways.
Where I legit ate McDonalds Chicken Nuggets often - 4g Carbs in a 4 pack, FYI. Cuz who cares if I was eating nutritiously as long as my carbs were low, right?
I have done flank steak for breakfast, chicken breast, asparagus at all 6 meals, counted out 6 blueberries... (I STILL can’t cook my own asparagus without gagging) Regardless, all the years of competing I unintentionally yo-yo’d. I would eat “clean” for 16 weeks, (NO Peanut butter for 16 weeks…what???) Then go back to whatever I was eating before. It can really become an unhealthy cycle. Soon after hiring a coach; that had me eating asparagus 6x a day; as I was choking down flank steak at 7am-I heard about IIFYM (IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS) and became very intrigued. I started reading & listening to videos. I paid an online service for my macros and have never looked back.
What are MACROS anyway?
Short for macronutrients- The building blocks of nutrition. Carbs. Fats. Protein. Understanding macros can honestly lay solid groundwork for a balanced, user friendly, nutrition plan.
CARBS: Provides fuel! Energy for your brain and body. Veggies, Fruit, Grains, Legumes, Milk, Yogurt
PROTEIN: Build and repair your muscles, organs, skin, blood, and hormones! Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, Tofu, Dairy
FATS: Insulates and Protects bones and organs, acts as back up fuel for energy and helps brain development. Avocados, Nuts, Seeds, Fish, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil.
Can we agree that all 3 of these are important to survive?
How we do
I give you specific macro “goals”. These goals vary per person as there are many factors I take into consideration. Things like your age, your goals, how many workouts you do a week; etc.
I tell my clients to look at these goals as a puzzle. You control the foods that “fit” the puzzle. This means, technically, NO FOODS are “off limits” as long as they “fit” in your daily allowance. Food is no longer labeled as “good” or “bad” (Obviously some foods contain vitamins and minerals so YES some foods are potentially a better choice-but * INSERT FOOD FREEDOM* here).
You are IN CONTROL.
I am not gonna lie, it takes some practice to become an expert as all foods have different macros, you might accidently go over on carbs today, be short on protein tomorrow; etc. But you soon figure out which foods you eat the most of, which ones you could “fit in” when you’re only left with Carbs and Protein at the end of the day. It’s a learning process, but 100% worth the time invested. Most “diets” tell you what you CAN or CAN’T have. That is why we can’t stick to it. We feel deprived or get sick of certain foods.
Piece of CAKE
If you want to stop dieting, if you want a lifestyle, I strongly suggest trying IIFYM. Have your cake; sometimes; and eat it to! When I compete I still follow IIFYM. My goals get tighter but the way I eat does not change and hasn’t for years.
There is a reason we are still trying to lose the same 10lbs. We have to get off the diet cycle. Use food to our benefit. We need to have a healthy relationship with food.
We need to learn how to live with food, not live without it.