Most of my nutrition programming is done with a goal, not just calories in calories out. I like to maximize my calories. What I mean by this, is getting the most out of the allotted daily calorie intake. So i’m sure you’ve heard the “IIFYM if it fits your macros” people talk a lot. It seems as though it’s a battle like that of the traditional lifters VS CrossFit, who’s smarter than who, and if you don’t eat the way they eat, you’re obviously stupid. Well, let’s see who’s stupid.
So let’s start with traditional clean eating. What is a clean food source? Well that’s a conversation in and of itself, but our personal definition would be a nutrient dense food source, and simply that. You might eat like a bodybuilder, you might eat a ketogenic diet, you might eat gluten free, you might even be a vegetarian or vegan. And any of these diets can be done with clean choices, or not. So to define a “clean” food to us, would just be that you’re getting good quality vitamins and minerals from whole food sources.
If It Fits Your Macro-Nutrients, IIFYM
IIFYM which stands for “if it fits your macros”, basically states that any food source, as long as it fits your macro-nutrient needs for the day, is acceptable. A calorie is a calorie, a carb is a carb, fat is fat.
Now i’m not a scientist, but we have quite a few here at builtmag, and I can drop some science on you. Any professional google-er can tell you that this is just stupid. To say 35 g of carbs from a banana is the same as 35 carbs from a fast food burger, or even the same as 35 g of carbs from raw honey are all the same, is just bad science. It’s bad period. That fats from fried chicken are the same as fast from coconut oil, is again just wrong. If I need to explain why that’s wrong, you need this membership more than you knew. But, i’ll explain anyway.
The personal side to this is what really matters, your preference. What is your lifestyle? Do you have time or money to prepare the foods you should have? Do you care about your blood work? Do you care about how long you may or may not live? All legitimate questions when choosing a diet lifestyle. Following IIFYM might work for some, for a short period of time. Physically your body might not change for the worse, because the macro-nutrients are staying the same. Now admittedly, some days I leave the gym and all I can think about is something sweet and quick, I’d be lying if I said I don’t grab 2 donuts and a plain protein shake probably a few times a month. Is that going to kill me? No, not at all. In my opinion, THAT is flexible dieting. Not a free ticket to eat whatever crappy food choices I want all day every day. I’d be interested to see what the blood work digestive systems on these IIFYM-ers looks like after a few years. As you know, you can look great on the outside and have a dumpster on the inside, and vice versa.
Now the “clean-eaters”: Thinking back to the first time I attempted leaning down, I had the help of some very smart people. One was the strength and conditioning coach for the University, the other a long time bodybuilding coach who was helping a close friend at the gym. I started out my traditional bodybuilding diet of extremely boring foods like plain oats, plain sweet potatoes, boat loads of white fish and ground turkey, with some protein shakes mixed in. Does it work? Yes, 100%, you cannot argue with it working. Is it fun? No, not at all. Does it suck eating tilapia and asparagus out of a baggie sometimes? Yeah, it’s awful and you need some sort of flavored drink just to get cold fish down. Have you ever eaten cold tilapia? Don’t. Don’t do it. I had an ex-girlfriend who would hoard packs of cold tilapia in her purse. I remember her pulling it out of the purse pre-competition and eating it as we walked through NYC. I thought to myself, if she tries kissing me again before she has a coffee or a tooth brush, i’m out.
But that is the boring side to clean-eating. You don’t have to be on a constant sodium cut, avoiding all foods that make your taste buds happy, you hardcore martyr-for-fitness YOU, you are more hard core than them all! At least that’s what you tell us all over your Facebook. But learn a balance, clean foods can taste great! We have hundreds of recipes that will help you eat “clean” and not hate your life. You don’t have to be that martyr, so hard core that you said good bye to your family, friends and job to get some abs! No, not necessary. As these seem like the black and white, most of us live in the grey area, while achieving our goals. And if you need some help, check out the recipes section, we’ll even put them together for you.