Guest post by Sam Paparo
There are lot of people out there with different opinions about If It Fit’s Your Macros (IIFYM). It is the type of nutrition program I have been following for a quite awhile now and have truly been having a great experience with it. When you think of a typical body builder’s diet you probably think of the traditional ‘bro’ diet: chicken, broccoli, fish, rice, sweet potatoes, ground beef, eggs, etc. Although there is nothing wrong with this diet, it does get boring and it may cause you to feel trapped in eating from only a certain list of foods. People who follow diets like these for long periods of time may be more likely to binge or may become depressed from not having the freedom to veer off of this diet. There is another way to live and enjoy the ‘bodybuilders’ lifestyle and still enjoy all the foods you love. This is where macronutrients come into play.
Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins
By following a specific macronutrient count, it gives you the freedom to fit in all the foods you love. That being said, your day should not consists of processed foods that are not nutrient dense. Even though I preach this lifestyle, achieving optimal health is the most important no matter what type of nutrition program you are currently following. When your body is deprived of certain nutrients, it cannot perform at its best and you can be more prone to a lower immune system, hormone imbalance, sluggishness, headaches, and decreased alertness.
Foods that are staples in my diet that are nutrient dense:
- Bok Choy
- Romaine Lettuce
- Sweet Potatoes
- Raw Organic Almond Butter
Each one of these foods aid in keeping the body healthy and allows the body to grow, build and repair with the all the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs. The green vegetables helps to maintain balance between tolerance, immunity and inflammation in your body, they can help to maintain healthy intestinal balance by promoting growth of beneficial bacteria and healing small wounds and abrasions in the gut, and even help resolve cancerous legions. I recommend to have at least 5 serving of green vegetables a day. They are low in calories, but high in its nutritional benefit.
Flaxseed as well as Salmon contain health omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to have heart healthy effects. Research has shown that flaxseed may have a protective against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
Sweet potatoes, rice, and oatmeal are all complex healthy carbs. Sweet potatoes have been ranked as one of the number one vegetables to eat due to their high amounts of vitamin A, C, iron, and calcium. They all contain dietary fiber which supports a healthy digestive system.
I have blogged about Turmeric, cinnamon, and chlorella, and although these are not actual ‘foods’ they offer tremendous health benefits and should be consumed daily.
Raw organic almond butter because small serving of almond butter contains a generous amount of magnesium, which boosts heart health by promoting the blow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, and potassium, important for good blood pressure and heart health. It helps to keep your blood sugar stable and contains a great amount of antioxidants to protect the body.
If you decide to adopt an IIFYM lifestyle, just keep in mind to always include nutrient dense foods throughout your day. In the beginning it may feel exciting to be able to eat ‘whatever you want’ as long as fits, but your body will push back at you. It needs proper fuel so you can stay on top of your game.