You Need To Check Out How To Macronutrient Count
I have recently touched upon the idea of “clean eating”. This idea that we can eat “cleanly” is basically shaped around the notion of eating less processed foods which is awesome. As we all know, eating foods that primarily come from cardboard boxes is far from healthy. We deprive ourselves of necessary nutrients, and we run the risk of over-doing it and consuming a whole bag of chips or splurge on a carton of ice cream. Our food should primarily consist of one ingredient, and should shape that majority of our caloric intake for the day.
But, like many fitness and health-driven individuals know, trying to make sure that one eats “clean” all the time can be debilitating and push one over the edge. Trying to be THAT conscious and THAT strict 24/7 can make us miss out on social outings, once-in-a-lifetime treats, and can play with our levels of sanity. No one wants to deny a dinner invite to Mellow Mushroom because they’re scared of pizza grease, and no one wants to be that person that orders a salad when everyone else orders a signature burger (well, at least not ALL the time).
This is where the concept comes into play. “If It Fits Your Macros” has become one of the hottest diet trends in the fitness world, and it’s applicable to anyone. This diet strategy, which is also referred to as “flexible dieting,” is advertised to help give you more flexibility in your food choices, help you reach your goals by eating what you want, and give you the chance to “cheat” if your numbers all fit.
How It Works
Simply determine your desired caloric intake (like any other diet), and break that value up into macronutrient values. Carbs and protein supply 4 calories per gram, and fat provides 9 calories per gram. After you decide how much of each “macro” you want to take in per day, you base your food choices on those values, not calories (unless you want to).
The beauty of this strategy is that it helps you focus less on the overall caloric value of foods and helps you pay more attention to the nutrition label. It’s like putting a diet puzzle together: instead of trying to reach one whole number, you’re working towards reaching 3 smaller goals, and ultimately meeting your intended caloric intake in the process. Flexible dieting creates balance.
The only thing that may get confusing when trying to understand this dieting concept is the health-aspect of it. Maybe you’ve seen some fitness celebrities on Instagram posting pictures of doughnuts, and thought to yourself “this just doesn’t make sense. IIFYM seems like an excuse to eat junk all day as long as the macro’s matched up.” Well, that is far from the truth. Yes, you can cheat it if you really wanted to, just like with anything else. But, the premise of this strategy is to allow for peace of mind, and to show you that you can “splurge” every once and awhile if your macro levels permit. As far as social media goes, who wants to see a newsfeed filled with greens and grilled chicken?
Layne Norton (professional bodybuilder, professional powerlifter, PhD in Nutritional Sciences, and a big advocate for flexible dieting) stated in an interview on bodybuilding.com , “the point of flexible dieting is consistency.” He explained the whole concept of this beautifully, comparing it to having a “budget” and revealing that he hasn’t had a cheat meal in years. If a piece of pizza fits into your leftover macro nutrients, that’s no cheat meal, that’s allowance well spent.
Flexible dieting is meant to be user friendly, healthy, and enjoyable… but only if you’re smart about it.
*****Obviously, this strategy is not fit for everyone, and this is not intended to sway you towards a new method of diet practice, rather it is to inform you of a different method of food tracking.****