I thought I would right this blog on a hot topic in the industry at the moment. On one side you have the Clean eating team vs The IIFYM team, each team will swear that their way is right and it gets results. But like everything in the fitness industry its not a case of just Black and White there are many shades of grey! This blog aims to explain both methods and how to apply certain aspect of them into your own daily nutrition intake.
So to keep it as basic as possible “clean eating” would be consuming high quality nutritionally dense foods, that are optimal for body composition. To list a few of these foods: sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, broccoli, spinach, chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, almonds, brazil nuts etc. Any thing that is processed like cooking sauces are off limits because they will effect training and body composition.
Of course eating these foods will have huge benefits on body composition, energy, mood, appearance and hormonal responses and everybody should be including these foods in their daily intakes. The problem I have with this method, its such a limited list of foods and can become extremely repetitive. Also many people who follows this way will find themselves under eating just because the calorific value of these foods are so low. Apart from the nuts.
Then there is all the other questions on “clean eating” if its not organic is it clean? if its not grass fed is it clean? if its not gluten dairy wheat free is it clean? There are so many grey areas and if you ask 10 different people what their definition of clean eating is your get 10 different answers. I don’t think anyone can 100% clearly define “clean eating”
IIFYM has become a buzz word in the industry, you may see a lot of fitness models tweeting pictures of them with a pack of Oreos, because they have factored them into their macros for that day. In short it can be described as eating almost any food low/high nutrient content to fit your personal calorie and macro target. The argument from the IIFYM team is if your hitting your macro intake consistently you can still achieve great results, while being extremely flexible with your food choices. Again though this way can sometimes have a negative effect as people think they can live off pizzas and pop tarts as long as IIFYM!! If you ate this way you would probably have no energy, be in an awful mood. Not to mention effecting your digestive and gut health and effecting your hormonal production.
It has its positives it allows you to include a much larger range of foods, you can really experiment in the kitchen and knock up some dream meals. Just look at our twitter account and your see how we incorporate a lot of different foods. Its also good for social occasions the last thing you want to do is go out for a family meal and your drinking water and eating out of a Tupperware! You can go out have a meal and put it in your macros for that day. You can relax a bit more with this method but it is not a free for all to binge on Ben and Jerrys!
Here at SJ Fitness we like to combine both ways and promote flexible eating to make it into a lifestyle. There is no good following a chicken and broccoli diet because you will never sustain it. We use many if not all of the foods from “clean eating” because they are crucial for health and well being. But we also include foods like peanut butter, granola, dark chocolate, steak burgers and bread foods that you would not consider clean.
The point of food is to enjoy it and embrace it! I say to people don’t cut out any food group because they are all crucial. The fact of the matter is aswell if we are all training and exercising then we need food for fuel and recovery!
I would recommend downloading my fitness pal because this give you a real idea of what you are actually eating in the day. Also check out IIFYM.COM and have a play around because it will give you your breakdown of calories and what specific macros you need depending on your goals. You can then put these into my fitness pal.