In today's fit savvy world, you may hear a lot about #flexibledieting or #iifym. To some, this means eating whatever you want within your assigned macros; protein, carbs and fats. You have probably seen post after post of some instafit model chewing down a cheeseburger and fries, pizza or some mountain of dessert with the #iifym slapped on there. But to me, that's not health.
Don't get me wrong, I personally follow flexible dieting and do choose fit my macros with the occasional treat, but by following the above example, you can run into some issues.
#1: Fueling your body with processed junk and sugars can have crippling health affects later on down the road. Too much refined sugars caused elevated insulin levels which halts the fat burning process during that time. Too much saturated fat raises cholesterol in the blood which can lead to heart disease. But hey, it fits your macros, right?
#2: Quality over Quantity. You may not be paying attention to your micronutrients. Fiber plays a huge role in digestion and satiation. One of the most common complaints I get from clients and friends is that they are always hungry which makes it hard to stay compliant. My response is always, check the quality of your foods. Quick absorbing carbs like white breads, cereals, pastas, etc will enter the blood stream quickly, causing a surge of insulin and a corresponding crash soon after. Leaving for hungrier sooner. Instead, switch to whole grains, oats and load up on green leafy veggies to increase your fiber intake as well as other vitamins and minerals.
#3: A calorie is a calorie. While I do agree with this statement, I think there is something to be said for how your choose to fuel your body. If your goal is strictly to lose weight, then yes, you simply need to maintain a caloric deficit. But when it comes to transforming your body composition, focusing on total health, and maintaining and sustaining for years to come, I do not believe this can be done with the stereotypical IIFYM diet.
My suggestion and where I have found the most success with clients and myself is an 80/20 rule. Fit your macros with 80% clean and Whole Foods and allow yourself 20% of those macros for treats⬇