IIFYM: You are doing it wrong

Stop eating food you hate.
Stop eating food you hate.

This week I have seen so many competitors posting about doing IIFYM and eating food they hate because their coach said so.

Can someone please tell me how to fix chicken so I don’t gag and have to drink water to get it down.  My coach has me on chicken 5 meals a day”  That was on an IIFYM Competitor forum.

Why are you eating food you hate?

I saw two meal plans from coaches that ‘said’ they were IIFYM but had only 3 protein sources to chose from. Guess which ones..
Turkey.. yep
Chicken…yep
Fish.. yep

I saw non competitors posting on IIFYM boards about being sick and tired of eating broccoli, or whatever.

Let’s start with the basics of IIFYM.

1.  If you are on IIFYM: Flexible Dieting, NO food is off limits.

2. You will be counting Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats and the micronutrient, Fiber in grams.

3. You must eat your macros daily and those are configured properly for health and based on body, your activity level, and goals by someone who understands how to do it properly. More on that later.

4. You must hit them daily +/- 5g  including your fiber.

Competitors: You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>gives you random numbers or cookie cutter macros /PDF that everyone gets.  Macro numbers are based on a scientific formula.
SCIENCE!
science

> gives you a list of options for your food choices.  Remember, no food is off limits.  That’s not IIFYM.
You can eat what you want as long as it’s on this list of 5 things

I saw a menu this week that had

“Post workout you can have 2 plain rice cakes and 1 table spoon of jelly.”

Macros for that are:
27 carbs
1g protein
0 fat
0 fiber

Why not have a banana?
1 med banana
27 carbs
1g protein
0 fat
3g fiber
You got some fiber! Whoo hoo.

You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>tells you things you CANNOT eat. Nothing but  Walden farms salad dressing and plain salsa  for condiments is NOT IIFYM.
No fruit allowed. No dairy (protein much?)  Basically.. you should just hit your numbers.
Caveat, I’m not going to say that there are not circumstances  in prep that call for you to make adjustments as you near your show. For the most part, you should be eating .Good coaches will help you with IIFYM . My IIFYM coach gave me suggestions for high carb day of Skinny pop or Skinny Cow.  Sometimes, in prep we will have to tighten things up a lot but   at 12 weeks out, if you limited to tilapia and asparagus, you are seriously bumming!
Which you already know!

Flexible Dieting in 1979?? WHAT?  READ THIS!

I love this. 1979 YO
I love this. 1979 YO  He used Flexible dieting and He won the Olympia!

You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>does not have a fiber number for you to hit.  Red flag.

>has your fats below 20% of your daily intake.  I said it. Health first!
Sports Nutrition tells us that you should NEVER go below  20% not even on the crash diets.  Fats are important to your hormones and brain function.  One egg yolk a day for 12 weeks  is NOT the only fat you need.  Show prep or not.  It’s not healthy!

>is flat out starving you and giving you hours of cardio . (I threw that in because WTH?  You should not be ‘starving’ on IIFYM because you can use volume foods and make them fit!

What about non competitors?

You are doing it wrong if you are freaking out over your macro tracker. If you can’t figure out what to replace one food with and it stresses you out.  If you are out of egg whites, eat greek yogurt. Make your food fit. Namaste! It takes a few weeks to get a groove. Keep trying.

You are doing it wrong if you are eating the same 5 things every day.
Sports Nutrition 101 says we need at least 35 different foods per week.   Two Quest bars and 2 salads every day  is NOT healthy.  Eat a variety of  food that makes you happy and make it fit!

You  are doing it wrong ( and this makes me so mad) if you take the numbers you are given and “cut them in half” or cut out a whole nutrient group so you will “get thin”.    This thinspo mentality is
horrific and damaging to our bodies.  Calling it IIFYM and starving is NOT ok.

You are doing it wrong if you are dragging Tupperware to restaurants still.  (Competitors in prep are excluded here).
You can make a plan using the site Fatsecret.com. They list all the macros for resturants! Or just look at the actual restaurants website for their nutritional information.  If you are going to  get Mexican food, you can probably figure out, what’s in a burrito and  get a solid count.  I take my mini scale with me, but I’m competing. Just sayin.

You are doing it wrong if you “leave out whole groups of food”.
You seriously won’t die, if you “drink” some calories.  I know, I used to feel differently.  Seriously, if you have a Flat White and make it fit.. you will be fine. Are you happy? Did you enjoy it? Good!

You are doing it wrong if you refuse to track and just “eyeball” your portions.  As a coach, I see this and it’s usually followed by  “IIFYM” doesn’t work. Well..   If you are beginning on IIFYM you need to measure everything on your scale in grams. Not half cups or tablespoons in your silverware drawer.  You will learn to do intuitive dieting later  but you must first get serious about knowing portion sizes.  Weigh your peanut butter so you really know what 2 Table spoons (32g) looks like.  Mind blown.  I lost 5 pounds when I used the scale instead of relying on that table spoon measurement!

If you have not tracked everything correctly, how will your coach/trainer know what to tweak. Everyone is different. This is data. 😉

eyes up! Weigh it properly for success!
eyes up! Weigh it properly for success!

You are doing it wrong if you have dangling macros and you don’t eat them because you think you will lose weight faster.  Remember how we talked about your body starving and holding on to fat? Eat your food. Food is good.

You are doing it wrong if you have dangling macros and you don’t eat them because you don’t know what to eat.  How do you not know what to eat? Eat what you like.

TOM

THE BIG “NO!”
You are for sure doing it wrong if you have to ask a public forum
“I have 10 carbs, 4 fat grams and 23 grams of protein, what should I eat?”
Stop doing that.   Learn about Flex bowls. (Blog post is here)
Asking other people what you should eat is ridiculous.  If you really are so unable to fathom what to eat, go to Ripped Recipes.com and
put in your dangling macros and figure it out.