Remember when I raved about the dietary approach called If It Fits Your Macros, or flexible dieting? I experienced some significant personal growth with respect to the way I approached and related to food. I still believe that others can experience these breakthroughs via IIFYM as well. Not to mention, I and countless others have achieved significant changes in our physiques. But, at what cost? And were those changes sustainable? As I alluded in my How-To: Take a Break post, following IIFYM for a long-term, continuous basis is not feasible or sustainable. Like all diet plans and program, “flexible dieting” or If It Fits Your Macros has both benefits and pitfalls for its followers. I’ll be exploring the less desirable aspects of this program (and other “restriction diets”) in this post.
You might think from my previous How-To posts on How-To: Track Your Macros and How-To: Track Your Progress that I’m an advocate for relentless, unyielding pursuits of fitness goals, striving to be ever leaner/fitter/faster/stronger. I’M NOT. You simply CANNOT continue to push the body without expecting it to push back. Your body is smarter than your brain, and it is HIGHLY efficient. Ever wonder about weight loss and/or strength gain plateaus? You reduce your intake/increase your workouts and yet that one last pound gets harder and harder to lose or lift? Your body, marvelous machine, has reduced its metabolism and has gotten smarter and more efficient about fueling its required processes with LESS fuel, because you are supplying it with LESS fuel. Very smart (if only our cars operated on the same principle!). Similarly, your body has adapted to the stress of the workouts and doesn’t experience the same muscular hypertrophy and strength gains as it previously did under the same or lesser loads. VERY, very smart!
So, what do we do about this? Well, in a word – nothing! That’s right, there’s virtue in kicking back and relaxing! It’s time to talk about the value of knowing when to strive and knowing when to stop.