If you’re already seriously into lifting you’ll know that tracking your macros is key to success when reaching your goals.
If you are new to the game and you’re tracking your macros, are you using the IIFYM? IIFYM basically means eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros. I once had a lady tell me that my diet makes me a sad and miserable person and I should eat a chocolate bar and maybe I would lighten up, bearing in mind I had never met this woman, or even spoken to her, and to be honest she was nothing but a keyboard warrior in my eyes, at the time I was on a 12 week programme which meant I had a rather strict diet for those 12 weeks, during this short bit of communication with this woman I was simply pointing out the importance of sticking to my diet to get the most out of my programme. Instead she decided to call me several names use fairly viscous text. So IIFYM… eat whatever you want? OK, fair enough, and if your macros are correct and you’re eating to the amounts set then sure, you’ll lose weight or increase your muscle mass. BUT… here’s the biggest downfall people make when usung the IIFYM.
If you google IIFYM you will see a lot of before and after pictures of ‘clean diet, 1200 calories a day’ and ‘IIFYM 1900 calories a day’ claiming that IIFYM has gotten better progress with more calories, one thing they fail to remind you all, is yes of course you’ll get better results with a higher calorie intake because you’re not starving your body and you’re able to maintain muscle mass. On too little calories you’re going to lose a serious amount of muscle.
While your diet may well be hitting your macros, what is the food doing to you when you eat it? You can make chocolate fit your macros, and bread, and donuts right? Are they giving you any nutrition? Do they supply your body with anything in order to help improve the quality of your cells? Anything to help repair damage done by oxidation? Nope.
You can get your carbs from rice and pasta, great. But your carbs should also be coming from leafy greens and other vegetables. Vegetables are what will provide you with the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) your body needs in order to work efficiently.
A majority of people actually have a deficeincy somewhere in their diet, this means that so many other things in your body may be affected by that.
Let’s look at the mineral iron for instance. Iron is a prime mineral for energy. It is what your body uses to carry oxygen from your lungs into the blood stream and around the body. This isn’t for when you exercise, this is needed all day everyday. You’ve proabably heard of anemia, if you’ve had it you will know that you suffer from extreme fatigue and tiredness.
Now let’s look at other vitamins and minerals that work alongside iron.
Iron is best absorbed in the body when you have a good amount of viatmin C, or if you are taking iron supplements then take it with orange juice or choose an iron supplement that also has vitamn C in it. You’ll notice that there are a lot of supplements that contain 2 or more vitamins and/or minerals in, there’s a reason for that, it’s because quite simply they work in sweet harmony together.
Let’s look at Vitamin B and iron as well, if you have an iron deficiency, you’re more than likey to have a vitamin B deficiency too, this is because vitamin B is actually needed to help unlock the iron in food and to help the body absorb it and utilise it, if you are vitamin B deficient, you’re likey to be iron deficient… you can see where this is going huh!?
So that is just 2 vitamins that are needed in order for your body to utilise just one mineral.
This is why IIFYM is not always the best way for people eat. Yes it might be getting you to your goal weight etc, but there’s nothing that says you’re healthy getting there. Before weight loss and muscle gaining you MUST first think about your health. When calculating your macros and planning your meals make sure it’s nutritious food, eat plenty of vegetables and make sure you include leafy greens. If you don’t nourish your body then your immune system won’t be working efficiently, your cells won’t be repairing, and you’re body will be continuoulsy fighting against the foods you are consuming.
So yes use the IIFYM but choose your macros wisely, there’s no point having an awesome amount of muscle or being the weight you want if you’re not looking after what you’ve created.