The culture of diets is as hostile as the cult of fitness. There is a mentality that says
“My way or the highway” .
“Keto is the only way to go. Low carb means you lose weight.”
“Eat clean to lose weight.”
“I only eat Paleo.”
“I don’t eat any sugar, ever. It will kill you.”
So may people go from one style to another style in search of the holy grail eating but they foil themselves because.. these things are NOT sustainable.
If you have fat to lose you will do so by being in a calorie deficit. That could be by
burning calories, or in taking less calories.
The style of eating you do over all is not what makes you lose weight.
So listen, I can understand wanting to jump on a band wagon for lightning fast results.
I understand the desire to grasp at magic bullets, or extremes but let’s start here.
If these things (diets) were fool proof, we would not have an alarming obesity rate world wide.
But let’s get back to you.. I want to help you feel better about your food choices so let’s give up the labels.
By nature, the restriction of food groups could trigger binges.
Have you ever told yourself, “No more sugar.”
What is it you crave the most while on your new plan? Sugar.
When we restrict ourselves from certain food groups, we are essentially, white knuckling our eating. There’s no peace, there is militant, discipline and on the other side, failure if things don’t go as planned.
Keto: restricts carbs.
Paleo restricts Grains
Clean restricts “processed” food.
Competition Bro diet: No fruit, dairy, processed food.. good grief.
By nature, restrictive diets limit food groups and therefore micro nutrition suffers.
When you are restricting veggies and fiber your body notices. When you are restricting fruit, you miss out on the glorious nutrition of vibrant colors and sources of vitamins!
When you restrict all sugar, you have to remove pretty much everything fun because even frozen yogurt has lactose which is technically sugar. Bummer.
Dairy can be a great source of protein!
Are you willing to let your overall nutrition suffer so you can sit at the back of the bus with all the ‘bros?’
By nature, labeling our eating style sets us up for failure and it’s not necessary.
This is the big one: The eating disorder, Orthorexia comes to mind here. The clean eater, is terrified of eating anything ‘not clean’ or things that are processed. What we typically see with the clean eater is frequent binges of ‘non clean things’ . So basically, it’s not sustainable.
“I only eat clean, until I’m face down in a bucket of icing or doing late night at Denny’s after the bar.”
“I eat clean, gluten free.. but I love this craft beer and I drink Whey protein”
Both are clearly processed. So it’s only clean because you made up that it is.
There is NO such thing as clean. Even blueberries are processed.
We often see the ‘clean eater’ purchasing large amounts of “clean” food for binges.
“I can’t help it. At night I ate 5 RX bars. I feel so bad about myself”
“I can’t stop eating almonds from Trader Joes, they are clean but I can’t lose my belly fat”
IIFYM/FLEXIBLE DIETING/MACRO COUNTING
The problem with labels is.. what difference does it make? You could stop labeling your eating style and follow IIFYM which could be done any way you like.
With IIFYM we are simply counting
and the micro nutrient Fiber.
All food has macros. All food. You can find that information on the label or look up nutrition on sites like FatSecret.com
We set your macros for physique goals .. whatever that is. Then we eat them and stop when we are done. We are not locked into to one style of food and each day we could enjoy variety as long as we are hitting our macros. That mean..
The style of food that we like.. is how we should eat.
Your macros are not dependent on clean food, paleo or zero sugar, but you could eat them any way YOU like.
If you find Dairy upsets your stomach but egg whites are ok.. that’s good! You can choose your own adventure!
If you like a snack treat now and again and it keeps you from feeling deprived, you can certainly work that into your plan without it being detrimental to your physique goals.
If your doctor has asked you to limit gluten or keep your fats at a certain level.. that’s ok too. You can eat for your body, your health and your own likes! You never have to eat food you don’t like.
IIFYM doesnt’ mean you can’t eat toward your style. Use your carbs for fueling your workouts and to get your fiber and veggie/fruit requirements. You are not required to eat poptarts or high carb snacks. But you could.. if they fit your macros.
If you feel better on no grains, you can certainly make that work too.
If you don’t want sugar foods, or snack treats in your life because they trigger you. Maybe you feel better when you don’t eat food like that.. Maybe you just enjoy whole fresh fruits and veggies.. totally fine too. It’s all about YOU.
When you let go of labels, you have no fear of mistakes. You simply figure out how YOU enjoy eating and tweak to hit your macro/micro nutrient goals!!
There is much freedom in the ability to be consistent and live without the restrictions that diet labels give. Being consistent is how you reach your physique goals.
Do you need help with macros or workouts?? Head over to my site LEARNIIFYM.COM
Roo Ferrigno eats her macros every day.