Moderation and Flexible Dieting (IIFYM)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I am not a "strict dieter". I am a firm believer in moderation and flexible eating and I use macro counting as a guide. Notice how I don't say flexible dieting, because I don't consider myself on a so-called "diet" by what the term means in this day in age. I have a diet, yes, but I don't put restrictions on what I can or cannot eat. According to Google, the definition of diet, as a noun, is: "the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats". OK, that makes sense, right?? But as verb, to diet is to: "restrict oneself to a small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight". Now that one I can't agree with. Someone who is considered underweight can be put on a 'diet' in order to gain weight, right? Just a thought. 

Anyways, now for the reason I'm writing this post. I want to describe the current trending "diet" and hashtag: IIFYM "If It Fits Your Macros". Macros are Proteins, Carbs and Fats. These are the macronutrients that provide our body with energy (aka calories), and are needed for growth and aid in metabolism. So, people (myself included) will calculate, or have a coach calculate their macros based upon age, weight, height and activity level to help them reach their fitness and/or nutrition goals. Based on those factors, you have a number of grams of Proteins, Carbs and Fat that you should eat per day. Now, there is no magic number for everyone. It takes more that an equation to figure out what numbers work for you. It's trial and error! 

Ugh, okay, back on track now. If you click on the Instagram hashtag "IIFYM" you will find an overwhelming amount of donuts, pop tarts, froyo, sugary cereals, etc. All of the delicious foods that we are told to stay away from if we want to reach our [fitness] goals. I think this gives the wrong impression of what macro counting really is. Yes, it does give you the freedom to eat a piece of cake every now and then, but you have to make it "fit you macros". Which means, if you eat that piece of cake, you better have about 10g fat and 40g carbs to spare. "But that super ripped girl with 10% body fat ate a Pop Tart covered in ice cream and Coco Crispies for breakfast and yesterday she ate two donuts! That means I can too!", says the uneducated teenage girl who wants to lose weight and get in shape. What she doesn't see is that "super ripped girl" was probably fighting hunger the rest of the day, eating egg whites and oatmeal. Which is fine! If that's how you want to spend the rest of your day. We all want to splurge sometimes. But it's not fair to those girls/guys/whoever who are looking up to "super ripped girl". They're only seeing the highlight reel and don't understand why you can eat cinnamon rolls and bagels everyday and look the way you do, but they can't. Trust me, she doesn't just eat donuts and do deadlifts. There is a hell of a lot of fasted cardio and egg whites in between.

We only see the "highlight reels" on social media (99% of the time). This is so important to understand. We are not likely to post an unflattering picture that our sister took without us knowing, right? We want our friends and peers to see the "good stuff"! Which is totally fine, we just need to understand that "super ripped girl" is doing the same thing. 

Now, don't get me wrong! I LOVE flexible "dieting" for those who are trying to reach their fitness goals (myself included). It helps you realize what exactly you're putting into your body and holds you responsible. It takes away the intimidation of not being able to have your pasta night once a week. You still CAN! You just have to plan ahead and eat accordingly throughout the day. You still can go out to dinner with your friends! You shouldn't have to restrict yourself, just PLAN! You must EAT TO LOSE and EAT TO GAIN. Whatever your goals may be, your body needs fuel to get there. 

I encourage anyone who has ever been curious about Macro counting to do it! If you want help calculating, fill out the form in the "contact me" tab, and I will coach you through it! $25 for calculating, coaching and a "macro cheat sheet" where I break down the most common foods and their major macro content to make it easier for you. 

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat
intelligently is an art."
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld 



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