In a time where ‘if it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) dieting is rife and many people are tracking macronutrient intake, it becomes a real concern that we’re moving towards normalising a dieting strategy that puts micronutrient intake on the back burner or in some cases, totally neglects their worth.
This is because the premise of IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and other such diets simply factors in the impact of carbohydrate, fats and protein intake (the macronutrients) – often in a bid to maintain or reduce body fat, which is incredibly effective and provides real targets to aim for. However is achieving optimal health simply just a reflection of you body composition and should the pursuit of a healthy body factor in more than just this solitary goal?
I, like most, have previously just focused on this goal often obsessing over the constant development of the physique, however this tunnel visioned approached neglected the broader benefits of a well-rounded diet, namely vitamins and minerals (micronutrients).
From experience meal-after-meal of chicken and rice will get you into great shape, however my energy levels and vitality were both massively compromised, as well as my recovery. Change was necessary!
Instead of this ‘opaque food diet’ I drastically switched, almost overnight. I introduced a minimum of 10 portions of veg each day, along with making a conscious effort to include high amounts of omega 3 fish oil, zinc, 3 litres of mineral water (each day), vitamin E and vitamin C. These are some perfect examples of what the ITFYM diet fails to consider and the results were evident from the start, with both energy levels and recovery rate both improving considerably.
Before you create a nutrition programme you must first truly reflect upon what your goal is. Are you a bodybuilder or an athlete who is trying to make weight? If you’re not then you should look to adopting a holistic approach that will both lead you to your cosmetics goals, but also provide you with the vitality you need to feel optimal in your day-to-day life, the combination of both I believe to the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle. If your diet doesn’t make you feel good, are you really going to stick with it long term? From experience, the chance are you won’t, which will lead to a rebound effect and yoyo’ing results.