Balanced and Healthy Eating: Why All Calories Are Not Equal.
Featuring The IIFYM Diet
Over the past decade, people have become more aware of the importance of adopting a health and wellness lifestyle. Similarly, the practice of consuming wholesome and natural foods has increased. People are paying more attention to their health and the populus has become more conscious about things like prevention, well-being, becoming more physically fit and consuming nutritious food. Alongside of this, there’s been an explosion in the emergence of new “fad diets” that make all kinds of ludicrous claims on things like: how to lose weight, remove skin cellulites, gaining muscle mass, and much more.
The emergence of a credible nutrition program, “If It Fits Your Macros”(IIFYM), has started to gain some notoriety. It’s shown to yield promising results for a lot of individuals. The IIFYM diet is all about counting calories based on the macronutrients ingested.
The benefits of IIFYM are its simple approach to calorie counting and overall caloric intake. The convenience and integration of this simple calorie counting system allows individuals to enjoy the same foods that they are accustomed to and maintain/lose weight in the process. “Macro” is another way of saying, macronutrient, which we know as protein, fats and carbohydrates. The caloric composition per macronutrient will be discussed further in Part 2.
Simple Math: Calories “In + Out”
The principle behind this type of nutrition program is very simple calorie counting. In other words, “calories in vs calories out” with respect to one’s overall energy expenditure per day. To lose weight an individual must take in less calories than they expend. Conversely, to gain weight, you would have a net effect of taking more calories than you expend. Individuals can calculate their basic caloric intake and energy output to determine their daily caloric allowance. Depending on their goals, they can eat accordingly to gain or lose weight.
This type of approach has become even more convenient (with apps like MyFitnessPal and other calorie counting apps being introduced into the market) making it easy and accessible. They assist in calculating energy expenditure based on height, weight, sex, activity level, etc. and in turn calculate your base calories of intake required.
Although the principles behind the IIFYM diet are effective and practical, there’s a potential issue with health sustainability that may arise. Because IIFYM focuses on purely caloric content, one can get away with eating denatured, processed foods that are full of sugar and fat, but as long as they fit within their macronutrient allowance they will maintain their weight (Nikolaou, Hankey, Lean, 2016). In this circumstance it’s possible that someone could possibly even experience weight loss. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy or eating optimally to support a healthy lifestyle especially given a focus on minimal nutrition in the form of boxed, processed foods loaded with junk.
When individuals only pay attention to caloric intake they ignore the importance of micronutrient intake, as well as healthy eating strategies to think and perform more optimally and maintain a healthy body. Stay tuned for Part Two IIFYM diet, implications of overall caloric intake vs performance based eating.
For additional information contact InsideOut regarding calculating caloric intake, macronutrient breakdown, individualized nutrition for performance + well being, Or, you may have questions about your own nutrition? Contact us for a free consultation!