A ‘Balanced lifestyle’, ‘IIFYM’ and ‘The usual tangent’


With the overhaul of information in the modern day we live in, it’s extremely difficult to sieve through the useful and practical from the BS. Let’s face it, we’d all take the shortcut to our destination, despite the risk of getting lost in the process. With every cover model that you’re not ever going to look like, comes the expanse of advertising opportunities by magazines and supplement companies. Even though ‘ABS IN 28 DAYS’ or ‘DROP 10% BODY FAT’ might sound promising, these are just marketing ploys to optimise potential sales regardless of how effective the information is.

You won’t have to look very hard to find some sort of interpretation to the ‘balanced diet’ from TV ads and social media to that tatty ‘Now’ magazine stuffed down the chair at your local dentist. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by such a somewhat flexible approach to nutrition? It may not be physically possible to adhere to rigorous meal prep due to your job or maybe you don’t find yourself partial to piri piri cardboard, rice and broccoli . Maybe you’d like to incorporate clean, whole foods into your diet but find it EXPENSIVE and INCONVENIENT compared to fast food? I myself am also guilty of succumbing to such stodgy means whilst on the go, although I’d much rather resist this temptation of convenience in order to stay on track metabolically and actually see a ‘cheat meal’ for what it should be, a TREAT.

Macro counting is essentially adhering to a daily calorie target generated by personal numerical values such as age, height, current weight and goal weight. The extent of this system will depend on how much information you input, but most people tend to work out the calorific value of fats, carbs and protein. When you’re new to macro counting it definitely does seem trivial, along with the fact that MyFitnessPal won’t reflect your potential weight just by logging your calories, as there’s no such parameter that can account for metabolic rate or training intensity- accurately.  It will however, make you more conscious of your eating habits, flagging up a surplus or deficit of maintenance calories- the basepoint inbetween weight loss or gain. If you’re like me and eat pretty much the same week in week out, you’ll quickly pick up the values or ‘macros’ in foods that you regularly eat, so if reading the nutritional values on the back of your rice is like understanding The Matrix, youl only have to endure this once or twice.

Now with every health/fitness trend comes criticism in the light of those abusing such information, especially when a concept based on flexibility is taken to the extreme-  the ‘M’ in IIFYM being ‘MOUTH’ much like the eating habits of people that see the word ‘DIET’ as ‘DO.I.EAT.TODAY?’ to then justify an evening meal rammed with the worst kind of calories imaginable, as a reward for not eating. Some girls like to call the first part of this process ‘BEING GOOD’ and will probably stunt potential weightloss even more so by the extreme of 0 carbs to plenty.

I don’t understand how some people won’t even take the time to educate themselves on the basic fundamentals of what is considered- not by myself, ‘a balanced lifestyle’ ultimately we are all aware of the importance of presenting ourselves to capacity, much like the judgement our personal qualities receive, our bodies reflect just as much about who we are, whether that be extreme to some or otherwise.

I by no means follow what is considered to be an ‘extreme’ regime, but to someone unaware of the process acquiring a well-rounded physique is, understandably whatever you say is going to seem barbaric to them. Eating seven of the same meal throughout the day may be just as extreme to someone that eats heroin rather than steamed tilapia, but each to their own I suppose.

I do think though this may be one of the reasons why the men’s-physique-category-look has grown to be just as popular as that of a classic bodybuilder. Simply because it seems to be more attainable than the somewhat extreme attitudes toward training and nutrition prevalent in professional bodybuilding. Hence why there is definitely some snobbery between the physique-bodybuilding community, of course guys that have trained for decades on every last inch of their body are gonna be pissed off when someone that’s barely scratching the surface in terms of the technicalities that deem ones stature a ‘physique’ rather than just a marketable body.

Going back to a previous point made about the modern information overhaul we live in, I’ve came to recognise how one can effectively utilise such an abundance of knowledge, everything from fitness related YouTube channels or physiological explanations to nutrition and exercise at the click of a button. I believe such access in recent years has catapulted the standard of amateur guys to that of professionals, those once a small minority of applying aspects of bodybuilding to a more attainable look. Yet now, you wouldn’t find any successful physique/fitness figure that hasn’t stepped up at least 15lbs into the next category, so that they aren’t lost in the current of upcoming guys with even MORE POTENTIAL and even MORE KNOWLEDGE.

If you feel the ‘IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS’ approach to weight loss or even weight gain- depending on your goal-  may be beneficial to you, be sure to input all of the relevant information into either the IIFYM calculator or download the latest version of MyFitnessPal on the App Store.

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