Which diet is best for you? – Flexible Dieting and If it fits your macros (IIFYM)
Less is More
Originally this information on the basics of all the various diet schemes and meal plans currently available, lived in my DIET HARD series but on review, the post was too long and you would have gotten lost in it.
So I’ve broken them up into their own bite size sections, hopefully giving you the ability to focus on the specific ones you need.
Remember, this section is to give you a brief understanding of how these plans work and see whether they fit in with your current values, lifestyle and structure.
The goal is ultimately to pick a structure (or structures) that you are most likely to stick to, otherwise there is no point, so be honest with yourselves to see whether you can juggle with the pros and cons of each before making your decision.
The If it fits your Macros (IIFYMs) new world era
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. This is the absolute truth when it comes to this method, which was born under the rebellious flag of an individual having suffered under the strict regime of a bro diet for far too long.
This method goes right back to the basics of what we are trying to achieve, which is hit a daily requirement of macros and calories. Now in the grand scheme of things, as long as you hit those numbers, your diet specifics do not matter enough for the majority of us to try and actively control. Science has actually proven this
So things like
- Meal size (to your macro limits)
- meal frequency
- food make up
- clean, dirty
- macronutrient distribution
none of these specifics really matter, not a drop
So, the premise is, you can eat whatever you want, as long as it FITS INTO YOUR MACROS. Therefore you have the non-diet diet. Or the Flexible Diet
If you are happy to take a full responsibility for your daily nutrition and be trusted to bring home the bacon when it’s time to go to bed that’s all that matters. There are no foods that are off limits
If being forced to go to school is like the Bro diet, then If it Fits your macro movement is like leaving home for the first time and going off to university/colleague. We all know how that turns out…
You are given the freedom as an adult to make your own choices. Good or bad, as long as you understand the repercussions of them.
A flexible dieter wakes up in the morning and has a look at their daily calorific needs including a breakdown of their macronutrient requirements. They will then have whatever they want to eat and then simply strike those numbers off the total.
They will go about their day doing the same and making sure by the time they go to bed, they have hit the numbers they need and haven’t over or under reached.
These types of people may have never had any sort of eating disorder and are highly organised and driven, will. They will take the bull by the horns and become pioneers of their own nutrition.
To keep themselves on track, they will build and set up spreadsheets and line graphs, monitor their weight daily, weigh their food, take all the nutritional information from food packaging, restaurant websites and etc and monitor and not only know their calorific daily requirements but also the nutritional breakdown and ratios of them required in order to lose weight while still maintaining a certain physique.
For all of their sins and hard work and with information on their side, they are no longer bound by the need to be rigid in what they eat because they have become rigid in their day to day management of their nutrition instead.
They will generally eat what they want, mcdonalds, pizza, you name it but they understand the consequences of those decisions may mean that something down the line may have to suffer.They understand
With great Flexible Dieting power, Comes great Flexible Dieting responsibility.
Because of this, they are less a slave to routine and tend to have more variety in their foods.
Be careful though because some meals and takeaways may have 2 out of 3 available macro figures but one will put you out, so you can’t have it, try eating at places where you can pick and choose your meal options to cater to your own wishes without putting your macros later in the day in jeopardy
It’s a very youthful movement and it’s very much in fashion at the moment. I could see it being the future generations version of the bro diet, we’ll see. To some extent, these guys can be quite annoying (even more so than the bro dieters), just like the freshmen at university or colleague who think they know it all. They speak to you as if they have broken out of the matrix and now see the light. They will also kinda look down at anyone who is shackled by any sort of regimented plan. But it’s like everything, if you are singing something’s praises from the rooftops, there is normally some issue with it. With this, it’s finding the balance.
One thing they don’t tell you is that while you may start the day all cool happy and eating what you want, you could find that you run out of decent calories if you’re hungry later or get a shitty macronutrient distribution left to consume by the end of the day.
I’m sure you’ve had that situation where you’ve had a big weekly shop and for the first few days, there is food a plenty to eat in the house.
Then it starts looking like left overs, by the time you get to about Saturday night, you open up the fridge and there’s just sadness staring back at you.
Well imagine the same with your macros
Because your large burger king meal fit your macros 12 hours ago when you had plenty to spare (lol), you could be absolutely starving at 11.30 at night, left with only 30 grams of fat, 2 protein and 15 carbs to consume. What the hell are you going to eat that contains that? There’s not a cookbook in the world that could make that shit sound good.
You know what happens with your fridge when it’s looking pretty grim, you go
Fuck it, I’m ordering pizza.
Guess what, same happens with your macro allowance.
This is what happens with the dichotomic appearance of being free during the day in public but really suffering /binging with food at night on your lonesome. On paper it sounds like the behaviour associated with some eating disorders so just be careful peeps it doesn’t lead to anything down the line.
Regardless of the sales pitch, flexible dieting still requires some inbuilt structure and balance and that is up to you to structure out but it does allow some leeway. Just think of it like a wobbly bridge.
Another thing I’ve noticed, alot of these IIFYM peeps can end up having some pretty weird looking meals. A banana with a steak, greek yoghurt and ice cream, waffles and pasta., shots of fucking olive oil!!! All in the name of catching up with other choices made throughout the day. Be wary that if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime….
Everyone also goes on about how diet and anything health-wise is about consistency, well it’s impossible to be consistent in this regards because everyday you could be eating
- Different types of clean and or dirty foods combinations
- At different times of the day,
- That digest differently (faster or slower),
- Cause you to bloat or lose water
- Keep you energetic it or drain you.
You really have no idea what anything is doing to your body. Then again, if you need to diet you are probably in the same position 😮.
All in all, it’s very powerful method that has a very steep learning curve because you need to know how certain foods affect you and what you can get away having. You also need to learn how best to manage your resources but after a couple of colossal fuck ups, you’ll learn pretty fast not to go gambling away all your numbers on certain meals. Once you have mastered it and come up with your own norms and funny meal set ups, it will easily take you to where you need to go.
This does give you the ability to at least have some sense of normality in your life and I guess in a world where people are forever telling you what to do, it’s refreshing that it all really comes down to how you want manage it.
Being completely in control of the outcome is great, because deep down, when you get that amazing shape, it won’t be because of a shake, or a fitness guru, or because you can never have carbs again, or because you exercised like a maniac or because of eating cold boring food or because you starved yourself twice a week, it will be all down to you.
What could be more gratifying to tell someone when you look great and are still stuffing yourself with the favourite foods you were having when you were 3o lbs heavier, never having gone one day without it?
It’s another great method for those who have the self discipline but a question is,
If we had that inherent discipline, would we need to lose weight in the first place?
Perhaps this is a more advanced technique (like the portion measurement by eye) adopted by people who obtained the discipline required by some of the more regimented methods and now require some leeway since they’ve paid their dues.
Whatever the case, the method shows fundamentally you don’t have to restrict what you eat to be on a diet, just your calories. All of world’s finest are still available in moderation and how you choose to moderate it (whether taking a hit and suffering for it later, or balancing it out more evenly) is up to you and no one else.
Oh I would suggest using myfitnesspal.com to help you track stuff, great website, it’ll keep you right. It’ll keep you tight.