In todays day and age, information is readily available at any time of day. A problem with this is that there is large quantity of misinformation out there, making it critical to do your own research as well. The arguments around the best way to get “healthy” or “in shape” are rampant and can be seen on all platforms of social media. From juice cleanses to donuts and everything in between, it is difficult to get a sense of what is what from browsing social media pages.
So – here is my attempt at a short and sweet break down of these different approaches and why I personally, after many (mostly failed) years of clean eating, I have transitioned into the IIFYM lifestyle and couldn’t be happier. I still use many of the principals of “clean eating” (or what us TIU babes love to call the lean, clean and green) guideline for my food choices simply because I rather eat MORE nutrient dense foods than a bunch of junk. The stigma that IIFYM gets for being all junk food is not a reality, though it is important to remember, everything in moderation my friends.
Clean eating does not refer to washing your fruits and veggies before you eat them, which is a bummer because it would make it a lot easier to explain. Clean eating is a generic term that has no set definition attached to it. To some, it means eating minimally processed foods the majority of the time and enjoying other goodies every now and then. To others, it means eating nothing but tilapia, broccoli or asparagus and sweet potatoes. Of course, like all things in life, there is a spectrum of those who follow clean eating.
From my own observations and experience, it is very much an “all or nothing” trend. When I was following clean eating, I took it as I could not ever without any guilt consider consuming something that was from a box, that wasn’t a lean protein, fruit or veggie. This came from reading a lot of bro science (information that is not confirmed by science, but spread by bros that claim to be experts) and following way too much fitspiration on instagram.
If It Fits Your Macros is a flexible diet that allows you to incorporate a variety of foods as long as they meet your macronutrient needs (protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber). The majority of IIFYM’ers eat “clean” 80& of the time. Not every meal is donuts, pizza or giant burgers. But in moderation, treats can be enjoyed and you will still achieve results, guilt free. For me, what I immediately found out about my eating habits with IIFYM is that I was not eating enough. With my “clean eating” although I was eating 6x a day, I was way under proteins and carbohydrates. I thought carbs were the devil. I failed to realize that I was not fueling my body enough for the type of training I was doing. No wonder why I was so sluggish and tired all the time, my body was hungry and I was failing to meet its needs.
At the end of the day, it is important that you choose to do what makes you happiest, as long as you are sure you’re fueling correctly for your goals. As someone who for years thought 1,200 calories was the “magic” number to see results, I urge you to strongly look into your nutrition and ensure that you are fueling your body right. I feel like a new person now. I have endless energy. I am stronger than ever. I have gained weight yet look “smaller” than before.
I thought beyond clean eating 1,200 calories per day, I had to perform endless cardio to get those abs that I endlessly dreamt of. Dependent on your goals, cardio might not even be necessary. What is necessary is that you learn what you love, especially when you’re just starting out. It is difficult to be motivated in the early stages when you strive for instant results. Real results aren’t quick fixes. Real results take time, which is why it’s important that you try new things and see what you enjoy as you’re more likely to stick with it.
For many, doing it for yourself often isn’t enough. You need something more. Maybe it’s a gym buddy, a personal trainer, an online coach, a friend. Maybe it’s taking group classes or being part of a team. For me personally, although I wanted to see results, I needed that additional support. Having an online coach and team has given me the support and inspiration I need on days when I simply just don’t feel like doing it (yes this happens to everyone!). It is something I firmly believe is a game changer.
Whether you’re new to this journey or well on your way, it’s never a wrong time to ask questions. Knowledge is power. Learning more about yourself, your nutrition and your strength will only propel you in your journey to being your best self. Not sure where to begin? Looking for someone to chat with? Answer questions? Don’t be shy, I’m always here to help and love hearing from you!
What if you just START? What if you push all those excuses to the curb & commit to YOURSELF?
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