As I mentioned in my last post, I am now following IIFYM (If it fits your macros). I have been on it for a few weeks and it has been amazing. I love the flexibility and I equally love that I can get much more creative in the kitchen! I can, once again, share with my Youtube, IG and blog families various recipe concoctions I have put together as well! Being the Instagram addict that I am, I have noticed MANY of my favourite Instagrammers have been posting about “Clean eating vs. IIFYM.” Personally, I feel there is a misconception on the use of IIFYM and what it really entails.
The photo above is problematic as it depicts the most common misconception. IIFYM, or flexible dieting, does not entail people eating pop tart after pop tart because it fits your macros. If that was the case, we would be starving for the rest of the day and probably would not hit our protein needs. The way I have been following IIFYM is that I am eating nutrient dense foods and if I am out with friends or if I feel the need to treat myself, I will. But that does not mean I have cookies and cakes eery single day. I am sure we have all heard about “eating things in moderation” and this is no different. The idea behind this way of eating is that your body does not entirely recognize whether your carbohydrates, proteins or fats are coming from sweet potato and tuna or a cookie of some kind. However, like I mentioned, it is better to have those nutrient dense foods mainly because it keeps you fuller longer. How? Well you can eat a bigger volume of those foods, than you can with a cookie or cupcake.
Then, when it comes to ‘clean eating’ we see a few common arguments. The main one argument being “how can there be ‘clean eating’ in a world of GMOS/frankenfoods?” Most things seems to be modified in some what or another and pesticides are used on most forms of produce. “But what about organic foods?!” my most used argument for common “Whole foodie-ans,” is …how can you call the produce in Whole foods “clean” or “organic” when it traveled over 1000 miles to be put into the store? Carbon footprint anyone? If you are an “I only eat organic” type of person, I suggest looking to being an “I only eat local and organic” type of person too. Also, how is that lettuce, spinach or kale organic when it comes nicely bagged with a big “ORGANIC” and “Prewashed” label on the front? So really, what IS clean eating? With these only being some of my arguments about organic food and eating clean, I will often use the phrase “clean eating” very loosely.
One thing I love about IIFYM is that it is allowing me to venture away from labelling foods as BAD or GOOD. When labeling a food as bad, it creates a wall that restricts. This is the reason I chose to seek the IIFYM lifestyle in the first place. I want a healthy and happy relationship with food, I don’t want it to be my enemy. So even labeling food as “clean” makes me feel slightly uneasy at times and therefore I try to lean towards calling these foods ‘nutrient dense foods.’
So what is right and wrong in this head to head battle of the eating methods? Neither. I personally believe you can combine the two methods as I have mentioned. I try and stick to 85-90% nutrient dense foods. I am a huge believe in figuring out what works best for you. If you do well with flexibility like myself, go for it. If you are an all or nothing type personality, that is cool too. Figure out how you operate best!