There are an awful lot of buzzwords around fitness related “diets” or ways of eating. There are also some very passionate people who seem to believe that their way is the only way. I’ve been guided on my nutrition over the last year or so as I am trying to drop body fat whilst maintaining (well, increasing!) strength which requires a bit of a balancing act. Basically I follow IIFYM. Which is not as scary as it sounds 😉 IIFYM is “If It Fits Your Macros”. And is a way of eating pretty much normally, though optimising nutrition to match goals. It will be something I do even when I’ve stopped loosing body fat. Mostly because it is a sensible way of eating nutrient dense foods most of the time with some scope for treats. Which lets face it, keeps everyone sane!
Unfortunately it seems that IIFYM has been given a bad name by those who choose to eat lots of processed foods whilst claiming to follow the principles. The same concept (lots of “junk” food) is also jumped on and publicised by those against the ideas. I however would claim it would be impossible to hit all macronutrient goals doing that. I track protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels, which combined give me a calorie goal. I also keep an eye on fibre and sugar as I like to ensure they are within certain ranges too. Some people think this sort of thing is hard work but it’s a habit now. And it’s not hard to add things into a tracking website/app such as MyFitnessPal. I mean people are happy enough to calculate and count points or eat red/green meals etc. which all sounds far more complicated to me!
Essentially I would say I try to eat “clean” (by most definitions of that term) most of the time, and enjoy a varied diet. It does include carbs, legumes, dark chocolate, and sometimes treats such as pizza. But also plenty of meat and salad and vegetables. A lot of what we eat is home cooked, and therefore minimally processed (ignoring the actual cooking – obviously!) so I know what I’m eating. And I couldn’t do all the training I do without carbs. However that is usually from oats, basmati, and various root vegetables. Skittles are a random treat 😉
If you want to read some sane advice and guidance on this subject then check out Scott Baptie (and his company Food for Fitness) and Mike Samuels. They have both written some excellent articles about IIFYM ideas though they may not refer to it as such.
Oh, and the Zinger Burger in the photo was mine – a treat last week when I knew I’d have to eat at a service station. I planned it into my macros 🙂 Yay to KFC for putting nutritional information online.