Flexible dieting has been a booming trend recently. Things like IIFYM (If it fits your macros), intermittent fasting and other methods of losing weight. I agree with specific aspects of each philosophy, there is one point that sometimes can get lost in these methods. The fact that the type calories that you are consuming differ between foods. Let’s dive deeper into this.
Each day, your body consumes a certain number of calories. If you consume above your maintenance calories, you gain weight. If you eat below your maintenance calories, you will lose weight. IIFYM is great because it helps people learn about tracking their food. But the part that can get tricky is where people will store their calories for bad foods. Meaning they will eat 3 donuts if they have money left in the calorie “bank”. The issue that I see with this is that yes you may be under the number of calories you have for the day, but these calories are not providing the micronutrients and vitamins that your body needs to have improved performance. So if you are filling yourself with junk and losing weight, it may work for weight loss but your workouts will eventually suffer. Your body wants good food to fuel it through whatever activities you have.
There are similiar problems with intermittent fasting. Some people will fast extensively so that they can save their calories for one meal where they go nuts. Not only does this have the same effect as above, but this is cauasing bad eating habits that can have long lasting effects.
What I like to do is eat for performance. If I feel my body needs more food to fuel me, then I will give it that food. If I feel like my workouts are getting slow and sluggish, I will try to cut down things like processed sugars. Treat yourself when you need it, but don’t only rely on bad food to fill up your calorie intake.