Let Them Eat Cake
Disclaimer: this is a topic that is very hard to explain in one post. This blog should help build your understanding of this way of dieting, and start a foundation for you to find your own knowledge. I will link some of my favorite tools below, so you can continue to learn about IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) or as some call it, flexible dieting.
“Let them eat cake” Is a simple quote from Marie Antoinette that I feel needs to be some people’s mantra for life. What if you could fit a donut, cupcake, chocolate bar or a piece of pizza into you diet, and you could still lose weight? What if you didn’t have to eat broccoli and tilapia for every meal to see results? There are no magic foods, and no magic combinations.
Most people go from a highly restrictive diet to quick fix miracle pills to 24-day challenges to binging to clean eating to binging to an all-liquid diet and then back to binging again (what a cycle, right?). This cycle of dieting is not healthy, and it is no way to live your life. I can guarantee that if you saw your BFF going through a cycle like this with a guy, you would sit her down and speak kindly to her about it. Well, a lot of people have that kind of relationship with food. If you notice the trend, most people go from a highly restrictive diet that they can in no way maintain, to binging and gaining all of their weight back, and usually a few extra pounds.
I want to let you in on a super top secret…you can have freedom from food and still have a body that you love. You want to know the big secret? It’s science people. Nutrition is science. SCIENCE! One more time: SCIENCE. I’m not telling you that it is easy, and that you won't have to put some effort into this lifestyle, I am just telling you that you wont feel the need to binge on the weekends, or starve yourself, or be anti-social on your “diet”. I hate that word. You will know how to fuel your body the way God intended us to. Having a healthy mindset, and not acting like a wild animal when you smell a donut because you haven’t had one in six months. I know this all seems really crazy, but I promise you there is no magic, just healthy mindsets and the occasional piece of fun-fetti.
The science-based approach to nutrition is “IIFYM” or If It Fits Your Macros. Macros being Macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In this diet/LIFESTYLE it is also important to be aware of your fiber intake. Keeping track of your fiber guarantees that you don’t fill your day with nutrient-less food, and that you hit your daily Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) goals. When you fulfill your fiber goals, you then have no guilt about eating those not so “healthy” foods. Just to be clear, before I go any further with this blog, I am a major advocate for filling your body with healthy food that make you as superwoman-esque as possible. I am also acutely aware of the fact that *most people I know have a terrible relationship with food, and let it control their life in one-way or another. I have found that eating this way makes life much easier and you feel much more free. This was of eating takes away the guilt trip after a night out, and some ice-cream with your girlfriends. So with that being said. Here is what you need to get started.
MyFitnessPal (or any other app that allows you to count your macros): This is how you will keep track of your macronutrients, and how you will be able to adjust them according to your goals. You have to know what you are putting into your body, if you really want to see results.
Food Scale: I know that you all don’t think you have time to measure your food, but I am here to tell you that it takes about 5 seconds to measure out your protein, carbs and fats. I honestly don’t waste my time measuring most of my vegetables (broccoli, spinach, eggplant, zucchini). If you are trying to calculate your macros, and you aren’t measuring your food, how will you know how much to put in your app? Once you weight your food for a while, you get very good at ballparking the numbers. You need to be aware of your goals. If you aren’t really trying to lose weight, you don’t have to be as strict with your measurements. Just eyeball it sometimes, especially after you have been weighing for a while. If you are trying to lose those last few stubborn pounds, you should probably be weighing all of your food.
Go to Google and type in "IIFYM Calculator", and click on the link that pops up. It will calculate a plan for you. It is a good way to start your building block of knowledge. Know that it probably won't be perfect, but it is a good way to learn and get started!
The best part about eating according to your macros is that your plan is completely individualized. You will quickly realize that everyone is different, and your body responds differently to different kinds of foods. So, it is important not to try to emulate other people's plans. Your body is different than theres.
So with all of this in mind, I know you are tired of restricting yourself. Of having foods that are off limits, or not being able to go out and enjoy your life because you are on a diet. Don’t listen to stupid, uneducated fads about dieting. When you look in the mirror, you should see a strong and capable body, not a weak-minded person controlled by food. Food is meant to fuel our bodies so we can live full and happy lives!
I am going to go more into detail about IIFYM in the coming blogs; I hope this peaked your interest! Here are some great resources to use when trying to find out more information!
Google the name Dr. Layne Norton
He also has YouTube videos about IIFYM (search Biolayne)
Physique Science Radio podcasts has a great episode about IIFYM
themacroexperiment.com is a great website for beginners, and gives a great perspective from a girl who has been through the process.
Just start searching! If you want change in your life, you have to be willing to find good information and solid sources.