Bodybuilding as a sport requires some intense dedication to eating the right things. You hear the words “eat clean” so often when you participate in this sport. I have also heard many jokes about the phrase “eat clean” and it really got me thinking. In fact, the entire nutrition issue has been at the front of my thinking the past couple of months. You might wonder why that is.
Nutrition in Bodybuilding
I had been taught that in order to get into great shape I had to “eat clean” (definition: lean protein, vegetables and a small amount of starchy carbohydrates) the vast majority of the time. I was allowed one “cheat meal” every week. As I got closer to a show that “cheat meal” was taken away. In addition, the carbohydrates were also taken away. The amount of cardio I had to do went up and up. I became a very grouchy man after being deprived of carbohydrates and doing a couple hours a day of cardio.
As I began to plan for my next time on stage, February 8, 2014, I wondered if there was a better way. What I found amazed me.
Metabolic Damage Videos
I initially came upon IIFYM.COM via some Metabolic Damage videos put out by Dr. Layne Norton. In his series on Metabolic Damage Layne speaks about the damage bodybuilding competitors do to their metabolism. He also gives a prescription for fixing the problem (reverse dieting). Listening to all three videos really got me to thinking. What Layne was saying made sense to me and fit with what I had experienced.
IIFYM stands for “if it fits your macros” and it makes the case that hitting your macronutrient ratios is the most important factor in getting and staying lean. I began to think about this and realized that it actually makes a lot of sense. It also gives you some flexibility to eat at a party while doing contest preparation. Life itself becomes so much easier as a result. There are not so many dietary restrictions placed on you.
IIFYM is not a license to eat whatever you want whenever you want. It still tells you to eat good foods, but makes it clear that you do not need to suffer while doing it. This approach teaches you to count macros. Because you have a little more flexibility you wind up with less of an urge to cheat on your diet. Just focus on the macros and the rest will follow.
As the title of the article says, now I want to give you my thoughts on this approach. First, I believe it works and I am planning to use it during my own contest preparation. However, I do not believe it makes anything easier. You still have to keep track of what you eat and how much you eat. Thus, if you were hoping that you could stop tracking what you eat, forget that notion immediately. However, I believe the ability to pick what your carbohydrate source is as long as you hit your macros is a major boon for most people. Yes, there will be those who enjoy “suffering” and will stick to the old tried and true approach, but there are so many others who are using the IIFYM approach and getting shredded that I thought I would give it a try myself.
Keep checking with this site for more on my progress. Ask any questions you may have. I will do my best to answer them.