Michele: Did you lose weight?
Romy: Actually, I have been trying this new fat free diet I invented. All I've had to eat for the past six days are gummybears, jelly beans, and candy corns.
Michele: God, I wish I had your discipline.
Above is a quote from the 1997 movie “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”. It sounds like Romy is on a higher carbohydrate, low fat, and low protein IIFYM plan. If she were posting to Facebook she would likely call her plan “Flexible Dieting”.
A friend recently asked if she should try IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) solely because there is so much “buzz about it”.
The fact is that the weight loss and fitness industries give titles,buzz words and acronyms to many of the same plans or, to behonest, eating disorders that have been around for many years.
Why not consider something different? Why not choose the foods in your diet based on their health enhancement values instead of trying to build a plan around foods that don’t belong in your healthy eating plan?
The problem with the currently popular IIFYM and Flexible Eating programs is that many people use them as an excuse to include nutritionally void processed foods into their daily diets. Pop tarts are a great example. How many posts have you seen of “fitness professionals” or competitors that eschew pop tarts as a necessary part of their nutrition plan? There is no positive nutritional value to a pop tart that a whole, nutritious food like quinoa, oats or a sweet potato couldn’t meet much better. Other than calling themselves a carbohydrate, pop tarts lose the positive nutrition battle all day long. Don’t even get me started on rice cakes…The negative effects of processed foods far outweigh the fact that they have the same grams of carbohydrates as healthy, whole foods.
Should your diet be completely dependent on how many grams of each macronutrient (Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein) you are getting daily or should the effect the food has on your body, biochemically also be given some thought? Consider the fact that highly processed carbohydrate foods like Romy’s gummy bears and today’s Facebook guru’s pop tarts are high on the glycemic index. That means that, in short, eating those foods quickly increase your blood sugar levels, elevating insulin. This hormone plays a key role in fat loss. Not keeping blood sugar stable can lead to much slower weight loss. “…When you eat foods that cause a large and rapid glycemic response, you may feel an initial elevation in energy and mood as your blood sugar rises, but this is followed by a cycle of increased fat storage, lethargy, and more hunger!”
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/glycemic-index#ixzz2x8CdnkCA
Have you ever felt so hungry that you are shaky, nauseated, and light-headed? These are the effects of unsteady blood sugar levels. How about a whole food choice instead?
I’m not saying that you can never have a pop tart, rice cake or gummy bears ever again. What I am saying is that if you do, just own up to it and move on. Don’t try to give your nutrition plan a buzz worthy new name so that you can include nutritional garbage in your daily diet.
When you hear of a new diet plan or hear buzz about the latest, greatest way to get a fit healthy body, read it over and as you do, ask yourself this question, “how are these foods benefitting my health?” You may find that the result of eating nutritionally beneficial foods have the happy side effect of giving you a leaner more fit body. No acronyms needed.
Eating the right mix of whole foods and macronutrients can be confusing if you’re used to doing fad diets. Let’s talk about how to get you on the right plan for a healthy and fit body, one you can keep for the rest of your life.
Teri Crenshaw CSCS
Nutritionist, Health Educator