Thursday, January 29, 2015

IIFYM: Food is My Fuel

Remember that post I did called "Eat More to Weigh Less", well you can read it HERE if you would like too catch up.

In that post I stepped onto my soap box and told the world that it was wrong. That food was not the enemy but a friend, that should be enjoyed more often.

I truly believe that. We talk about the negative images out there for woman but we need to also address the negative images of food and dieting in general that are the kick start to those negative images for woman. Start at the root of the problem, as they say.

What we eat makes who we are. That saying: "you are what you eat", it's true!
We could not survive without it.

So, before I get up on my second soap box, I just want to make note that I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or trainer of any sort. I am a woman on a mission to change her life in a healthy way and I want to share what I've discovered along my journey, with others, in a positive way.  What I express here are my thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Please speak to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet and or exercise routine--these people are here to help, use them!

Okay here goes:

Have you  heard of If It Fits Your Macros or Reverse Dieting or Flexible Dieting?
They really  are all the same thing.
It's a new 'trend' out there but one I hope stays and becomes a norm.
This is more than just a 'diet" but a way to change your eating habits forever. It has mine!

The idea behind IIFYM is to eat anything and everything that you want that fits within your nutrient needs. That's all.

Now, there are people out there who say eating anything you want is 'dangerous eating', but think about it. If you eat what you would like to fulfill your needed nutrient values you are less likely to do what they call 'binge' eating, slope dieting, "cheat" meals, or anything else you want to call it.
You're just eating. Normal. 

Honestly, your body doesn't know a donut from a piece steak, it just knows the nutrients that comes from it and what it needs to do to break it down and use it. So once you know your needed macros if you want a doughnut you eat it and adjust the rest of your macros that day to fulfill what's left. The key is, and we've all heard it, moderation.

So, how do you know what your nutrient values or macros are?
Every body is different so the nutrient count changes per person.
That is what IIFYM focuses on: YOU. You are not going to be just one of the millions trying out the latest fab diet, and you are not going to have the same macros as the next person.
It's for you and your body alone.

Now, I've been talking about nutrients and macros but what are they?
Essentially they your body specific counts for protein, carbs, and fat.
These are the major components to how your body creates and stores energy, so we focus on them; we learn the formula that works best for our bodies.

How to determine your Macros:
There are several calculators out on the web. I favor calculator and I like these because they ask for your age, gender, daily activity level, body fat %, etc. These help personalize your macros to be just right, so be honest and answer as thoroughly as you can.

These websites also provide a lot of helpful information about how to  get started on the IIFYM way of life. So check them out :)

My experience:
I love food. Obviously, I  have a food blog and you're reading it, but really. I think about it all the time. Sounds weird but that's a food addict for you. I had to learn to control the addiction while maintaining my sanity. Going from 200lbs to 135lbs was one of the hardest most rewarding things I've ever done but I had yet to find something I could maintain for the rest of my life.
Sure, cutting my calories to 1200 daily got me somewhere ,but I was always hungry,
Sure, adding bountiful amounts of protein to my diet got me closer to my goals, but my pocket book was stretched thin.
Thankfully, I discovered LIVEFIT by Jamie Eason (you can read about that HERE) which lead me to  IIFYM.
And let me tell you, after sticking to it for 4 weeks, you just know what to do and you don't need to count those calories, or weigh that chicken because you learn and your life changes.
Now, a lot of people on IIFYM compete and need to calculate all of their nutrient levels to a "T" but if you are the average person, like myself, you can learn then relax, and eat!

Why I like it: 
It's super flexible! If you want to lose fat you can adjust your nutrients levels, if you want to lose weight you can adjust your nutrient levels, if you want to bulk, or lean, or maintain you can, you guessed it, adjust your nutrient levels. 
Remember the body uses what you give it to generate energy, make protein, and store fat. Knowing how those macros will effect your body is key, and help you reach your goals, in a way the fits you!

All of this is paired with exercise. Yes, you should exercise but it doesn't have to be crazy, just get up and move.

Why give it try? 
Well, that's up to you really. I cant make you. It's your choice.

But  let me leave you with this: I am food addict who loves to eat and found a way to do just that and stay a healthy 140lbs, 18% body fat (25.5lbs of Fat mass, 114.5lbs of lean mass).
I feel powerful, confident, and full.

*Stepping off my soap box*

Fun things to learn more: 
Search #IIFYM on instragram to see all the crazy things people eat and still look amazing.
Be inspired by Corina Nielson: she's a reverse diet queen:
Pinterest exercises and food ideas under the search IIFYM.

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