Through all the research, hearing everyone’s opinion, and seeing how much time I really have to do stuff, I’ve decided to follow the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet. I’m not using this as a diet in the sense that I want to lose weight, I am using it as a “food plan” or “meal guide.” The main belief of IIFYM is that a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from a brownie or brown rice, it’s a calorie of carbohydrates.
There are many different macros calculators out there that you can use for free. Some are based off of traditional diets (40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein), some are more for athletes who require more protein. Some are for weight loss, you get the idea. The best site I found is http://iifym.com/
They have the most information, and many different calculators that you can use. It’s simple, enter your height, weight, and age. Then you can decide if you want weight loss, maintain, bulk, anything like that. And then pick the “diet” you prefer, IIFYM, textbook, 40-30-30, etc.
Here’s what mine look like:
Notice I picked 7 meals a day. I did this because I typically eat 3 meals, and at least 1 snack. The website only lets you pick 7 meals maximum, so you can do a little math if you want more (ie what I’ll do is double the grams per meal for each meal, (39.6 carbs, 36.6 protein, 14.6 fat). Then my snack (or snacks plural) need to add up to the 19.8 carbs, 18.3 protein, and 7.3 fat. I have a huge issue with getting enough fiber, so I like this program because it makes me aware of fiber, and makes me consciously make sure I get enough in my diet.
Now, this may seem like a LOT of work. Calculating the macros of everything you eat. And it can be. But, once you’ve calculated the macros for, say, 4 oz chicken breast, you’ll remember it. Or the macros of 1 cup of oatmeal. There’s a statistic that says people stick to eating the same # of foods. I can’t think of the exact number, but it’s a small number. Also, there is now google. Most people have a smartphone. Google “nutrition strawberry poptart” and all your macros are there. Same for “1 oz baby carrots”. Also, most restaurant chains post the macros of their foods online. Do a little research first and you’ll have your information.
Also, the awesome part of IIFYM is, you can eat whatever you want. As long as you keep track of the macros. So, go ahead and eat poptarts for breakfast, but if you eat them again at lunch you might be eating a salad for dinner. This means protein pancakes with whipped cream are okay. No more just eating oatmeal and protein shakes. Just check out Brittany Dawn Fitness on instagram for some food porn.
Just google IIFYM images, and laugh at the memes. People bash IIFYM sometimes, but they support the paleo diet, or clean eating with a “cheat meal”… Think about it, everything in moderation.