The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too! (IIFYMs explained)

IIFYM = If it fits your macros.

For the longest time body builders would shovel the same foods into their mouth everyday. Chicken breast, rice, broccoli, some fish. They celebrated in their misery, demonstrating to the world that they were better and more dedicated to "health" because they lead uninteresting food lives.

Those days are dead, y'all.

When it comes down to body composition (NOT HEALTH) a protein is a protein, a carb is a carb, and a fat is a fat. That means that your body doesn't know its getting its fat sources from hersheys milk chocolate rather than from that avacado, or that its carbs are coming from poptarts rather than sweet potatoes. It's all glucose. The issues that come with these bad foods are usually stemmed from the fact that they are just a part of the overall problem; being in a caloric surplus and being overly sedentary.

If you're regularly working out, lifting weights, and getting your vitamins via fruits and veggies, your body is going to do just as well with cookies as it does whole wheat bread and nuts.

Macros: Macronutrients - Protein, Carbs and Fats. Also see my post about "My Basic Guide to Nutrition."

If it fits your macros means finding out what your optimal macro numbers for hitting your goals are, whether it is cutting (Losing weight) or bulking (gaining size and muscle),  (Which can be found HERE at this nifty free online calculator) and then filling your Protein, carbs, and fats with whatever you feel like so long as you hit those numbers.

You're probably saying "There is no way that someone could eat pizza, ice cream or eat tasty cereal all the time and still be shredded."

You fool! I give you, ShreddedbyCereal!

Follow this bro on instagram and develop a hunger for cereal you never knew you had.
This guy ate cereal and ice cream as his primary carb sources and still got down to sub 6% body fat. No, he's not a magician. He's a bro. A bro with an iPhone. He reduced his calories slowly (Primarily in the carb department), continued training aggressively, upped his cardio, and satiated his desire to cheat on his diet by eating flexibly.

Also, Max Chewning is an internet personality who follows IIFYM religiously. He's kind of a spaz, but he's strong as hell, crazy lean and gets to eat all sorts of awesome foods. He has a bunch of IIFYM full days of eating where he shows the viewers how to hit macros with a variety of foods. Check it out Here.

Now, here is my approach.

I get crazy food cravings. Like, its insanity how I get with food at times. So, if I want something specific, I go to myfitnesspal, look it up, find out what the macros are for the specific treat and then plan the rest of my meals around hitting those numbers.

The other week I wanted pizza, but I didn't want to just share a big pizza, I wanted a personal pizza and a meal to go with it. So, Alan (My buddy) and I hit up the classiest joint in the world, the Olive Garden.

The carbs and fats of a pepperoni pizza at the olive garden.

Then I filled the rest of my calories up with the following

Now, I'm a bigger dude, and I'm currently doing a fairly lean bulk. BUT, if I wanted to have that pizza even when I was trying to lose weight, I could do it. I would just have to eat accordingly for the rest of the day. It's that simple. There are people who get down to 3-4% body fat (so lean you can see veins in their gut and striations in their glutes) and do this.

The Catch:

The pain in the ass about this is that often times you're having to weigh things out to be really specific, you have to play the guessing game if you're going out to eat, and you might have situations where you're eating just half a poptart to hit your numbers on the dot. The trade out is that you're "indulging" in the foods you love, your diet is way more flexible and you have less of a desire for binging or cheat meals.

Also, you should still try to get your two servings of vegetables and fruit into your diet. I know its tempting to have your primary carb sources be gummy worms, but that shit has no vitamins in it, and you'll be on a one way train to sick town if you're neglecting them completely. 

As a guy who used to eat cheat meals, I much prefer being anal and planning this out everyday so I can eat more of my favorite tasty foods on the daily. I've been eating Cheeseburgers, french fries, pizza, ice cream, oreos, chocolate chip cookies in different combinations everyday for the past month and haven't gained any weight. Call it fast metabolism, call it good genetics, but allow me to remind you that ol' Yeargain used to weigh 280lbs, so my genetic gifts can't be that good.

All I'm here to do is give you options and tools. If you don't feel like doing this, don't. It's a pain in the ass at times, but if you're an organized person that loves crunching's actually kind of fun. You know what? It's always fun. I love seeing what I can get away with eating. It's literally become a past time.

All I know is this: I'm having a great food life right now, feeling fairly good about my current body composition and I'm pleased with how my strength is improving. In other words, I'm having my cake and eating it too. If you're interested in something similar, I recommend you give IIFYM a try.

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