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HOW DIFFERENT DIETS STACK UP. part 3- IIFYM

I think I did these interviews a good two years ago. Life has been crazy, but not that crazy. I have been wanting to get more into blogging, but keep finding excuses.

I keep telling myself I am not a good enough author, or that I am wasting my time, no one cares about what I have to say. Well I am going to give those excuses up. I just want to start writing! I love writing, and if you don’t like what I have to say or how I write, either 1. Move on and don’t look back OR 2. Send me an email with constructive criticism so I can improve!

So here it is, two years in the making! Dieting styes part 3, If It Fits Your Macros.

There is a lot I love about flexible dieting or IIFYM, and there is a lot I don’t like. The pros? You get to eat whatever you want as long as it fits within your calories and macronutrients. If you can do that, it works really really well! The cons? It completely ignores EVERYTHING else about nutrition. So unless you have a coach who uses IIFYM as a tool, but still utilizes the other elements, you are missing out on the other pieces. Below is a little infographic you can look at to see what I mean.

Above, you see a little education tool I use for my nutrition clients. (Take it with a grain of sand, I want to change it to include food timing, and a million other factors.. I haven’t changed it yet because I am trying to make it perfect. So I am just publishing it as is so I can stick with my efforts to start rather than wait till I am perfect)

It is a hierarchy of priorities. The main thing in dieting, is that you have a calorie deficit. Without that, nothing else matters. You can eat all the healthy foods, fruits and veggies, supplements, and protein you want, but if you are in a calories surplus, you will gain weight.

IIFYM addresses that by having a build in calorie restriction. You can’t go over on your macros, so therefor you can’t go over on your calories.

Next most important is the macros themselves. If you are not getting enough of one, or too much of another, it will affect your success. You can hit all your calories eating only protein, but that puts you at risk of rabbit starvation. I won’t go into the details of each macro, but you can work with a coach to figure out how much you need of each.

After macros comes micros. Your vitamins and minerals, you can read the detailed series I did on all the vitamins if you browse through my other posts. If you are a slob and use IIFYM to eat a bunch of junk, you run the risk of vitamin deficiencies. A lot of people abuse IIFYM and use it as an excuse to eat junk food, they see fat loss results because they are in calorie deficit, but they still don’t feel great overall.

Supplementation and food quality are also factors. So is meal timing, water, and a million other nutritional factors. Even things like psychology are ignored with IIFYM. Tracking all your calories and needing to calculate each bite you take puts you at risk of decision fatigue. Ultimately, that is the reason I don’t do IIFYM myself. I can eat like a spartan, but I don’t like needing to do math every time I want to eat. Even using apps like My Fitness Pal that make it easier is not a perfect fix.

Ultimately I think IIFYM is one of the best ways to educate yourself about your portion sizes. I use a variation of this with my nutrition coaching clients, and I think it is one of the best tools for coaches to track what a client is doing. The plus side of this, is you don’t have to feel like you are dieting. You get to eat special treats if you plan in advance. I think this is a superior tool for getting people going on the right track, helping bodybuilders prep for a show, and works great for people with mental energy who desire to eat certain foods.

 

FLEXIBLE DIETING /IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS (IIFYM) Interviews

 

Dallas Rae Sainsbury: Author, coach, and WBFF Pro

Name and what do you do?

My name is Dallas Rae, I am a personal trainer and nutrition coach who follows and teaches Flexible Dieting (IIFYM)

How long have you been (doing/ following) diet?

I have been flexible dieting for about 2 years now

Why did you choose this diet style or way of eating?

I chose this diet after following strict ‘clean eating’ for so long that I was finding myself binging and hurting my relationship with food. I did a lot of research on it and it was a much better alternative for me.

How has it helped your short term and long term success?

This has allowed me to be able to ‘diet’ year round without ever feeling like I’m on a diet. I’m never deprived, I don’t need big cheat meals, I have balance. So this keeps me on track day to day and allows me to have a better understanding of food and my metabolism.

What are some common misconceptions about the way you eat?

So many people think just because I flexible diet I eat junk food all the time. The media kind of portrays this because who wants to share their chicken and rice over a doughnut?

What is your favorite meal?

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of Special K protein cereal with chocolate Muscle Egg and a little almond milk and some frozen blueberries.

Advice for anyone who wants to get into this diet or lifestyle?

This truly is one of the best diets I believe is out there. From personal and coaching experience. Make sure you hire someone to help you or do your research when getting started. Don’t just use an online calculator.

Where can you be contacted?

Website: www.thedallasraeway.com

Instagram: @dallassrae

Closing thoughts

For anyone getting into dieting just makes sure you don’t restrict your calories too much. Try to lose weight on the most food you can.  Find a dieting style that works with you and not against you.


Lynndsey Eldridge: Powerlifter, bikini competitor, owner of Big Mountain Barbell and Fitbliss Fitness

Name and what do you do?

I am Lynndsey Eldridge and I own a gym in Sandy, Utah named Big Mountain Barbell and I own an Online Coaching business named Fitbliss Fitness which is a coaching service by women, for women.  We utilize Flexible Dieting and Functional Strength for a wide range of clientele and also specialize in Female Powerlifting Coaching and NPC Bikini and Figure Coaching.

So, uh, basically I get to hang out with and support women all day in the weight room and virtually via our advanced online coaching systems and between that I do all the fitness things myself. It’s pretty awesome. I am so grateful!

How long have you been (doing/ following) diet?

I have personally been utilizing Flexible Dieting since 2012.

Why did you choose this diet style or way of eating?

In 2012 I did my first contest prep. During this time I was limited to a small number of foods (egg whites, spinach, chicken, sweet potatoes, protein powder, tilapia plain yogurt and broccoli).

During that contest prep I was required to “Eat Clean” and once per week I would have a “Cheat Meal.” During the week I was often choking down my tilapia and plan greek yogurt “dessert” fantasizing and planning my next Cheat Meal.

During that Cheat Meal I would always over eat, often to the point that I felt sick to my stomach.   This created both a binge cycle, guilt, self-loathing and an unbalanced style of eating.

Once the contest was over I found that I was always on one end of the spectrum or the other, never in the middle. I was either choking down chicken and broccoli trying to “be on track” or I was demolishing large white chocolate mochas, burgers and fries, candy and more all in one sitting. I found I had a lot of anxiety surrounding food and didn’t feel like I was “good” at eating healthy because I was tired of eating that short list of food, but whenever I left that short list I also seemed to binge.

What I have learned since then is that the magic is always somewhere in the middle.

Switching to Flexible Dieting taught me to eat flexibly to reach my goals and instead of having weekend binges or weeks “off track.”

I now eat foods I love everyday with balance and moderation. Of course I monitor vitamin and fiber intake too to ensure I am eating enough whole foods, but I can eat vanilla yogurt instead of plain, lean beef instead of tilapia, a slice of fresh baked bread instead of sweet potatoes and I can even have tacos for dinner, a white chocolate mocha or burger if I plan ahead!

How has it helped your short term and long term success?

Consistency. The best diet is one that you truly can make a lifestyle long term without isolating yourself or gagging down your food. Anyone can do that for a couple months, but unless you can follow your plan for a lifetime you will be constantly starting over instead of always progressing!

What are some common misconceptions about the way you eat?

I find most people are misinformed about how proper Flexible Dieting is carried out. To put it simply you use a Calorie budget and at the very least a minimum protein amount and aim for the appropriate amount of fiber and 100% of your micronutrients (vitamins). You use a tracking app like My Ftiness Pal and food scale to track your intake.

You can also hit specific carb and fat goals, but as long as you are within calories and getting all your protein that is an awesome place to start.

You can use this tracking method to eat clean, eat vegan, eat gluten-free. You can choose any foods you want. You don’t have to eat donuts or pop tarts or white potatoes. You are free to use that flexibility however you wish!

In order to hit these calorie, protein, fiber and vitamin goals a person has to eat plenty of fruits, veggies and lean meats. In fact, 80-90% of food intake is “Clean” “Whole Foods” but flexible dieting can allow for tastier, richer meals once a day or a treat here or there.

One big difference is there are NO cheat meals with IIFYM. We fit food we love into our macros each day instead of having huge blow out Cheat Days that slow progress and cause disordered eating in the long run.

What is your favorite meal?

If I am tracking my macros I love tacos made with 96/4 lean beef, corn taco shells, greek yogurt for sour cream, low fat refried black beans, low fat cheese, olives, tomatoes, lettuce and avocado. (hashtag macro hacks, lol) If I am just having any meal I want without regard to macros definitely Nachos and a Maragrita. J

Advice for anyone who wants to get into this diet or lifestyle?

With any health and fitness goal, it takes time. I always joke that in 6 years I still haven’t achieved the body I thought I would in 12 weeks. Because it takes some long this is why it’s essential to find a process you can stick to long term and enjoy instead of some quick fix diet.

Where can you be contacted?

Lynndsey@fitblissfitness.com

Closing thoughts

n/a

 

All in all. I want to say ONCE AGAIN, that my coaching philosophy is that I don’t have a coaching philosophy. There are so many ways to eat and diet. I can see pros and cons in all of them. Ultimately it is going to be up to you to figure out what works for you. Find a coach who can help guild you and works with you instead of against you. Like Lynndsey said, the plain broccoli and tilapia thing didn’t work for her, but other people really like that. At the end of the day you need to be honest with yourself and truly seek out a method you can do long term.

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