I started following an “if it fits your macros” (IIFYM) approach in June 2014 with a clean eating focus when I started prepping for my first competition.
After competition, I went to a more flexible dieting approach that doesn’t have an emphasis on clean foods rather than balance of what I need to nourish me and what I like. Food is both fun and fuel.
Tracking macronutrients isn’t a diet although many think of it as that- it’s an approach to create balance in your eating regardless of your health goals. It can help you understand how your body responds to certain nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. It also forces you to look at how diverse your overall diet is regardless if you’re losing fat, gaining muscle or maintaining your size. Tracking macros doesn’t require an elimination of any nutrient. However, you can follow a paleo, keto, whole foods, etc. approach and track your macros. I utilized macro counting for fat loss and maintenance.
I feel this approach allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in a more balanced way. It’s not a perfect approach, but it does help show you how you can create balance between foods that give your body what it needs as well as feeding your soul.
Since shifting from weight loss and competing, I stepped back from tracking. I didn’t go cold turkey, but over a few months I weened off because it wasn’t an approach I felt I needed anymore. I do still believe it’s a helpful approach and it’s how I got to the point where I felt I could trust my food choices.
This section is for those interested in learning about macronutrients, flexible dieting and the approach that I take towards creating a healthy -lifestyle in general.
If you want to learn how to guestimate your macro nutrients when eating out check out my post here from a few years ago.
To learn more about macronutrients, you can learn about them below:
- Fat and the Ketogenic Diet
- What are carbohydrates part 1
- What are carbohydrates part 2
- Protein and Amino Acids
To learn more about how I approach creating a healthy lifestyle for myself, check out these posts:
- Grocery shopping, foods staples and meal planning hacks
- 7 meal ideas for breakfast and cooking hacks
To see how I start off many clients before we change or adjust their nutritional approach, download this quick Initial Meal Tracking form. This isn’t meant to diagnose, but it can help provide you with a visual of what kinds of foods you’re eating often, which may help you think of why you are and how you can make changes.
Nutritional Guides for a few places that we go far too often
Don’t forget, many chain restaurants do have nutritional information on their web sites for you to check out if you feel you want or need to.
If you do have an eating disorder, working with a specialist with specific training may be a helpful option. There are six specific diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and two “umbrella” diagnoses categorized as Other Specified Feeding Eating Disorder and Unspecified Feeding Eating Disorder. Many ED and FED co-occur with other mental health disorder-s, please seek appropriate help if you feel that you need to. NEDA Helpline 1-800-931-2237.