We all know that the key to healthy living is a combination of exercise and proper nutrition. However, there is more to that especially on the latter.
Nutrition is a generally broad term. What we eat, whether these are fruits, vegetables, or chocolates, these food items all contain nutrients. But the question is this: which of these foods are considered “healthy” and which ones are not?
The dilemma of being healthy
Take an apple pie for example. Between potato chips and an apple pie, the latter is a healthier snack choice. And we all know apples are healthy, right?
However, an apple pie may not be as healthy as you think. Well, as far as the ingredients use is concerned. For one thing, it contains sugar and butter which can be unhealthy if eaten in large amounts.
Fruit juice is also considered a healthier choice, unlike soda. It’s how companies advertise their juices, after all. However, these fruit juices aren’t always necessarily healthy. Most of these contain sugar, food coloring, and preservatives as well.
It’s too easy to put “healthy”, “organic”, “fat-free”, and other so-called labels in product packaging. It’s a good thing that more and more people are becoming more aware of their overall health. But the truth is that “healthy” can be not the exact level of health for other people.
Some people are considered healthy, thanks to their toned muscles and abs. However, there are also people who have average-looking bodies but are still considered healthy. Then again, it depends on what kinds of foods or supplements you take.
For example, some athletes achieve their peak performance through proper training and diet. However, there are also those who use short-cuts: performance-enhancing drugs. Unfortunately, some of these athletes choose to look better by taking illegal substances than doing it the natural way.
And then there are so-called “extreme diets”. Sure, they do work. However, most of these diets can be too extreme it can do more harm to the person than good. A water diet may be a quick way to lose weight. However, it may not be a good idea in the long run, either.
Introduction to IIFYM
This diet concept is actually popular in the bodybuilding world. Basically, it is all about tracking their food intake without any restrictions. This means you can still eat donuts and cakes and still be healthy in general.
However, this diet plan may tick of so-called “clean” eaters. For them, the concept of IIFYM is an insensible way of dieting. On the contrary, there should be no reason to fear the IIFYM diet plan.
You don’t have to suck up and eat bland chicken breast and steamed vegetables for the rest of your life. Also, not all so-called “healthy” foods are really healthy. It still depends on the ingredients and processes used to produce food.
Among examples of ingredients that should not be consumed on a daily basis include:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Partially hydrogenated oils
Consuming foods containing these ingredients isn’t really that bad as long as in small quantities. Otherwise, it can lead to adverse health consequences. That is why you should check the ingredients and how much you eat that contains those ingredients.
What IIFYM is really all about
To clarify, eating donuts and sweets are unhealthy. But the IIFYM diet plan does not restrict those food items, either. Also, there is still an ongoing debate whether there is such a thing as “clean” and “dirty” foods. Perhaps the proper term to use is “nutrient-dense” and “nutrient-devoid” foods.
The good thing about the IIFYM diet method is that it promotes balance to every diet. You can eat all the healthy foods out there and indulge in some sinful goodies from time to time. However, the main goal here is to reach your target macros for the day.
There are a lot of people who try “clean” eating. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of them who are not able to keep up with their clean eating lifestyle. This ends up in binge-eatings in the guise of “cheat days”. If you are not careful enough, all of your efforts in tracking your food intake will all be in vain.
“Clean” diet vs. IIFYM diet
Here is a comparative sample of a “clean” diet vs. an IIFYM diet. It’s up to you whether you want a bland diet or enjoys your food as long as you meet your needed nutrients.
- Egg whites, dry oats, almonds
- Whey protein with dry oats and flaxseed oil
- Grilled chicken breast, cooked brown rice, steamed broccoli
- Casein protein, mixed nuts, steamed vegetable
- Non-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries, veggie omelet, and potato chips
- A Big Mac, chicken nuggets, and orange juice
- Low-fat cottage cheese with whey protein and mixed nuts, vanilla ice cream
- Spaghetti with meatballs
Dieting should not be something to dread at. For one thing, it is our responsibility to keep our health in check at all times. However, dieting is not only about losing weight. Rather, it should also be motivated by being healthy in the long run.
More so, you can diet without depriving yourself. You can eat a Big Mac or spaghetti anytime. But make sure to eat everything in moderation.