There is a buzz phrase going around the industry at the moment called IIFYM or IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS, diet or nutritional plan.
Now the original idea behind this was to allow people to eat some of the stuff they like, within reason, as long as it fits in with their overall calorie and nutritional requirements.
A good idea, no? eat well 80% of the time, and if you want a treat…as long as it doesn’t push you over your calorie amount then its fine.
However, as always this has been hijacked by people looking for an easy route. So we now have fitness professional, models or body builders living on pop tarts and donuts as long as it doesn’t mean they are consuming too much.
Anyone that knows me will know the first principal i push in nutrition is to eat as cleanly as possible. As little processed foods as possible, food from natural, organic sources as close to their original state as possible. So this idea of eating crap is stupid, even if it works for them.
The HEALTH benefits of this are not good, even if they look good they wont be healthy and long term they wont be able to continue to look good on it.
Plus junk food has higher calorific content so isn’t as filling, you can eat MORE whole foods!
However it started to get me thinking…..
Strict diets are not easy or fun
Often you are so restricted you fall of the wagon and binge…often for more than one day
Which has a knock on effect of making you feel like crap…and eating for comfort…and then being super strict and the cycle begins again
(Great article here written by a friend on this very subject)
So recently i decided i would give it a go
Work out my calorie requirements, for training and non training days
And eat healthily 80-90% of the time
BUUUUT if i wanted to eat a little treat, maybe some chocolate, then i would plan it in, work it out with my daily requirements and allow myself it occasionally.
AND GUESS WHAT…. IT WORKS!
You know what part of the problem was, before I didn’t really account for EVERYTHING I ate, not that i needed to…but when you note down EVERYTHING you eat you realise its probably a fair bit more than what you thought.
That quick couple of crisps you grab out of the cupboard whilst making a tea…… do that a few times, check again and by the end of the day the family bag has a big dent in it!
Now im sure you’ve heard me preach its more than just eat less and move more….and i stick by it…its about eating less crap and moving more smartly
But there are a load of other inputs.
So if you can get your nutritional plan to good whole foods most of the time, thats a start.
Reducing processed carbs means you can eat more as they are less energy dense
Then by looking at HOW much you’re consuming you can begin to make adjustments, monitor and reduce the calories you consume
But mentally it helps if occasionally you get to eat the stuff you like…WITHOUT the fear of it screwing up your diet!
As worry and stress (often bought on by dieting) are also the worst things for weight loss.
So losing weight IS a science revolving around calories, but the quality of those calories will affect weight loss and health.
Enjoying what you eat also helps with your wellbeing, your happiness and ultimately your fat loss.
This is the approach I use at myfitnesspro
A multi stage approach starting with general improvements in what you eat, drilling down to what you are eating and how much. Also when you are eating and reasons why…..ultimately into monitoring and controlling those nutrient and calories but still with scope to have an occasional treat and STILL get results
If this sounds like an approach you would like to use, better than anything you have used before then im starting an online nutritional programme soon, with nutritional reviews, monitoring and advice, constant contact, and weekly skype sessions to keep on top of the plan. Meal planning advice and supplement suggestions to take you further than you have gotten with those generic plans so far and without that yo yo effect.
Just get in touch with me either through the website www.myfitnesspro.co.uk or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then start to record what you eat…all of it…YES ALL OF IT. Even this small step will make a difference and will start to make a difference!
Enjoy the weekend!