One of the most significant American industries is the dieting industry. Each year hundreds of new plans, products, and companies start up all promising to have the key to weight loss and healthy lifestyle success. If you are someone who has struggled with their weight, you have probably tried a large number of these.
You might even have numerous products lining your shelves. The reason that you have not stuck to these is likely because they were either too restrictive or you did not make a real lifestyle change. Although, both the IIFYM and Ketogenic diets are here to stay. These are excellent choices for those seeking their ultimate healthy lifestyle and weight management.
IIFYM – What is It?
IIFYM stands for if it fits your macros. This is one of the easiest diets to maintain around today. It is not restrictive, and it does not require you to eat boring foods. The best thing about the plan is that it encourages you to eat the foods that you love. This really helps you in a number of ways like being able to have a healthy relationship with your food.
Along with being able to eat everything, you can actually enjoy a weight loss program that is going to work. It typically works for everyone who is able to follow it. They guarantee that you are going to do well and meet your goals. You are never going to have to eat boring foods every two hours again. You are not going to have to feel guilty when you have a treat or enjoy something that might not be the healthiest.
Yo-yo dieting shouldn’t be something that is going to be a problem for you. You are not going to go back and forth between diets. In fact, you won’t really have to diet at all! This is a lifestyle change and one that will unlock the secret to maintaining a healthy weight for life.
If you want to stop dieting forever, adopt a lifestyle that is going to keep you from storing excess fat on your body, and have a fully healthy relationship with food, then this is the plan for you. You will have success.
Keto – What is It?
Keto is one of the newest trends in the diet and weight loss world. This diet is very confusing because it encourages you to eat all of the things that you have been told not to eat. What’s more is that you are being told to stop eating foods that you have always been told are healthy choices, like certain vegetables and fruits. This is seriously the hottest fitness and diet industry trend today and is something that is helping thousands of people lose weight and meet health goals.
You have probably been told that someone you know has lost a considerable amount of weight by eating a ketogenic diet. So, you are probably wondering if the ketogenic diet is a great choice for you. Now, it is not going to be hard to find people who will tell you about how you can lose weight with keto, how keto is able to fix a number of health problems, that it will help you think clearly, help you to build more muscle, and burn more fat.
Some people criticize the keto diet for being so restrictive. They say that it is a diet that is nearly impossible to follow for the long term. They say that it is too hard to follow in the modern world where you can not find appropriate convenience food items. That is not the truth. Anyone can find success with this diet. It is important to remember that this diet is not just a diet but should be used as a lifestyle. The US has ranked this diet as one of the lower ones because of these factors, but that does not mean that it will not work for you.
The IIFYM or it fits your macros plan is a great flexible way of eating that is going to help you to lose weight without the constraints that typical diets have. You are not going to have to track carbs or calories. Instead, you simply watch and track your macronutrients. These are things like protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You can literally eat any food that you want to as long as you account for it and fit it into your macro count for the day.
In order to have success with IIFYM, you will want to make sure that you understand the basics. This is one program that has a learning curve, but once you understand it, you are good for life. The following questions and answers will help you to understand best.
Questions and Answers
What Exactly is IIFYM?
Anthony Collova first designed the IIFYM diet. He was a fitness enthusiast who was frustrated with the diet recommendations that he was getting from his trainers and others in the fitness industry. He wanted to create a new diet that focussed on something more than calories. That is where he decided to concentrate on macronutrients instead.
There are four types of food molecules in the body that can break down energy. These are known as macronutrients or macros. Three different types of macronutrients can be tracked in IIFYM. These include:
- Protein, there are simply four calories per gram of protein.
- Carbohydrates, there are simply four calories per gram of carbohydrates.
- Fat, there are simply nine calories per gram of fat.
- Alcohol, there are simply seven calories per gram of alcohol.
Sadly the IIFYM diet does not allow for one to consume alcohol while they are on the program. It is the type of diet that is teaching you to fuel your body with healthy nutrition and alcohol is not a part of that.
How Hard is Following IIFYM?
The IIFYM diet is a popular choice among those who have studied the diet. This is because it really is very simple. You simply have to follow a few steps. Those steps are:
- Calculate Your Macros for the Day – You are required to do calculations that will determine how many grams of carbs, fats, and proteins that you are going to need to maintain your healthiest body weight.
- Meet Your Macros for the Day – You will need to stay within your macros once you know what they are. This means that you track your food and adjust accordingly.
Many people love that you can literally eat anything that you want with this program. This is a welcome change from the typical diet or eating program that makes you eliminate entire groups of food. Plus, you never have to frantically search out the calories while you try to move through a buffet line.
The most common use of the IIFYM is to be utilized for healthy weight maintenance or weight loss. However, if you need to gain weight, this is a program that you can use as well.
The IIFYM diet is one that uses a calculation to determine the number of carbs, protein, and fat that you should eat each day to meet your personal goals. You can make your own food choices, and by adjusting them as needed, you will be happy and easily living your best life free from the struggles of food.
How Do You Calculate Macros?
There are many things that you should do to help calculate your macros. You can use the IIFYM website to calculate your macros, or you can just use a formula to calculate them manually. Here are some tips for calculating them manually.
Step 1 – Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate
A standard equation is used to determine how much energy your body is using when you are resting. This is based on a number of different factors including your height, age, weight, and sex. (this rate, it is known as the BMR, which stands for a basal metabolic rate).
Step 2 – Keep Activities in Mind
The next thing that you should do is adjust the BMR based on your activity level. This is done by multiplying activity factors which increase the calories that your body burns based on your own activity level. The process is known as the TDE or total daily expenditure.
Step 3 – Keep Weight Goals in Mind
After you know the TDE, consider what your goals are for your weight. If you are attempting to lose weight, you just reduce the number of calories that you are eating by fifteen to twenty-five percent. The higher the percentage of adjustment, the quicker that you are going to lose weight.
If you are attempting to gain weight, you will want to adjust the calories by adding five to fifteen percent. This is going to help you by allowing for your body to gain weight.
Step 4 – Understand How This Fits with Your Macros
The final step is actually to figure out the macros that your body needs. You will want a protein intake that is around 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. After this, you will want to take in a fat content that is between 0.25 and 4 grams per pound of body weight. The rest of the calories can be used for carbs. This allows you to literally eat any food that you want as long as you adjust your macros accordingly.
When you are attempting to lose weight with the IIFYM plan, you will reduce calories by increasing protein. If you do not increase protein, you might find that you lose some of your lean muscle mass along with the body fat. By increasing protein, you are going to burn more fat and increase the mass of your lean muscles.
When you have figured out your macros percentages, you will have a calorie count through IIFYM. This is how you will determine how many grams of carbohydrates you can consume every day. While this might seem difficult, once you understand the process, it becomes second nature and is so easy to follow.
A Look at the Benefits
If you start following the IIFYM plan you are going to see some additional benefits, and these include feeling much healthier than you did when you were considering other diet plans and methods.
Here are just some of the benefits of this plan:
You Will Have a Healthier Relationship With Food
Deprivation and traditional dieting often result in individuals having a harder time with food. By teaching yourself to focus on the macronutrients that are within foods, you get to understand what foods are truly healthier for you and how they work to fuel your body. This is a great tool for those who are trying to understand the best way to fuel their body and feel great!
When you think of this as compared to traditional foods, a piece of salmon and most candy bars have the same number of calories. Obviously, the macronutrients that are in salmon are considerably healthier than the candy bar. The candy bar is packed full of carbohydrates while the salmon is packed full of protein.
If you have never tracked your macronutrients before, you are going to have a very eye-opening experience, and the best part is that you are going to feel amazing during the process. You will be shocked by how great you feel and how much better you understand your body and its needs after being fueled by macros.
Help With Maintaining Your Goal Weight
Let’s be honest, losing weight is not the hardest part of trying to maintain your goal weight. Losing weight can be done simply, and most people can lose weight very quickly if they want to. People who choose to wait and lose weight a little slower might find that there are some benefits to this. In fact, you will actually have more control over your body when you lose weight the right way, and you will not have trouble to keep it off.
The fact remains that science shows when you are eating higher levels of protein, you will see an increase in your metabolism. This is going to help you to maintain weight loss and keep yourself in that goal weight range. There is still research being done on exactly how the IIFYM plan works with the body to promote long-term weight management. However, we all know the simple math that fewer calories in means that we do not have to have as many calories going out to maintain our weight.
As you decrease your calories by 15-25% for weight loss, you will find that your diet is going to allow you to lose weight. Simply following the diet will result in weight loss and once you adopt this lifestyle, it is going to be second nature for you. However, if you want to gain weight, you can do that as well. You will want to add in calories by consuming additional protein.
No More Foods That Are Not Allowed
One of the best things about this lifestyle is that you are not going to have any foods that you cannot have. Instead, you will find that there are no foods that are not allowed. This means that you can eat anything that you want as long as you make it a part of your macros. This program really works to teach balance. This means that you basically just have to know where the macronutrients are coming from and what macronutrients are in your foods.
Very Flexible, Easy to Maintain for Life
IIFYM makes living a healthy lifestyle very simple. You never feel limited or deprived so you can actually live this way. You can eat out anywhere, choose any type of food, and you will always feel great after doing so. This is one of those diets that allow people to use gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, and vegan. You can eat any type of food as well which is perfect for those have more adventurous taste buds.
A Look at the Downside
Every program is going to have some downsides. IIFYM is no different and understanding the downside is going to make this a unique and fun experience. It will be a diet that you are completely prepared for knowing the things that could potentially detour you!
It’s Still a Change
While this plan is still a lifestyle change, it is very flexible. This helps it to be easier, but you still have to do the work. Most research shows that nearly all diets are not successful if only used to lose weight. If you want actually to keep the weight off, you have to make the changes for life. You have to consider the things that make you fail like whether you lose motivation, emotionally eat, stress eat, don’t get enough sleep, or just hate following a plan. To be able to keep the weight off, you have to address these common issues as well.
You can get access to IIFYM coaches online. That being said, these are not people who have been trained in all areas, and most are not dieticians and have no real nutrition-based education. Choosing your dietician can be safer and a better choice for some people.
There is No Emphasis on Micronutrients
This program focuses on macronutrients. If you are not working to get your micronutrients, those vitamins and minerals that are found in fruits and vegetables, you are not going to feel healthy. This is actually why so many people who adopt the IIFYM lifestyle end up reporting that they feel sluggish or almost as though they have the flu.
The program does express that you should be getting these vitamins and minerals through whole food sources, but they do not have specific goals, so people often end up missing out on these micronutrients that they need. One of the ways that you can be sure that you are getting enough micronutrients is to take the time to analyze your IIFYM diet. Some people even choose to take a multivitamin to be sure that all of their nutritional needs are met.
No Specifics for Health Conditions or Concerns
Everyone might not be able to do the IIFYM plan. This is because there are no special conditions or special versions of the diet for those who are suffering from health-related concerns or conditions. If someone is diabetic, they cannot eat the carbs that the IIFYM suggests. Additionally, someone with kidney disease would likely be consuming too much protein, sodium, and phosphorus. Some find success with modifications, but most do not.
Has Been Linked to Disordered Eating
Counting macros has been linked to people who have disordered eating. This plan has been credited with making these individuals have more problems and become more obsessed with the way that they are eating. Young women are most at risk. This is especially true when they are tracking their food and fitness. A recent study actually found that of young women who suffered from eating disorders about seventy-three percent of them said that tracking apps helped them with developing their condition.
Final Thoughts and Opinions
The IIFYM is a solid choice for anyone who is hoping to lose weight, gain weight, or simply maintain a healthy weight. This process simply requires you to count your macros by calculating the grams of protein, carbs, and fats within them. The main problems with this lifestyle choice are that some people are at a greater risk of having an eating disorder, some struggle because the program is not good for all medical conditions, and still it does not track micronutrients, and many people miss out on some of the vitamins and minerals that they need.
This program should be an entire lifestyle change. If you are not changing your life then you are going to be likely to gain back weight that you have lost or lose weight that you have gained. If you continue to struggle, it might be best to consult with a healthcare professional. Since all foods can be eaten, this program is way more comfortable than most diets and allows you to enjoy foods no matter where you are as long as you are planning and using your macros accordingly.
The chances are that if you run into an old friend that you have not seen in a few months and she has dropped a drastic amount of weight, that she has probably been eating and following the ketogenic lifestyle. This diet is a food strategy that requires you to reduce your intake of carbohydrates and to replace these with fats in order to push the body into ketosis where it burns fat for energy.
There are many things that the keto diet is going to give you. You will be burning fat for fuel which means that you get to improve your health, lose weight, and feel confident when you are naked. These are all huge wins for anyone who has struggled with extra weight or problems.
In order for ketosis to occur, you simply remove the glucose/sugar/carbohydrates from the body so that it is forced to burn the stored fat for energy.
There are two simple ways in which you can move your body into ketosis quickly. They are:
Fasting – If you do not eat at all, your body moved through the glucose that is stored and starts converting fat to ketones for fuel. You achieve the ketosis state quickly, and your body literally becomes a fat burning machine.
Ketogenic Diet – A second way in which you can get your body into ketosis and keep it there is through the ketogenic diet. This is where you get to fuel your body with fat and avoid consuming any foods that include sugar or can be converted into sugar. This means that you do not consume carbs.
Most people do not realize that the typical American diet is made up of more than fifty percent carbs. Americans really love their carbohydrates. This is a fine way to live if you are active enough to burn off those carbs.
The hard part about this plan is that the body begins to burn fat for fuel when you quit eating carbs. If you start eating carbs again, you are going to throw your body out of ketosis which could mean quickly packing on the pounds. It is not recommended to use ketogenic eating for dieting. You should only follow this plan if you are going to change and eat a ketogenic diet for life.
There are actually three different types of ketogenic diets out there. These are the three ways in which you will choose how many carbs you want to eat. The three choices you have are:
- Consume less than 50 grams of carbs each day
- Consume less than 20 grams of net carbs each day
- Consume less than 5% of your caloric intake from sources of carbs
So, now you just need to determine which of these three is the right choice for you. Everyone is going to be able to find a ketogenic lifestyle that works for them. However, each person might have to tweak the plan until they find a way to get their body into ketosis.
The best way to figure out which keto diet is going to be best for you is to jump in and adjust your needs to keep your body in ketosis. This is going to take a little experimentation and work on your part. You will have to track your foods and results, pay close attention to your body, and use science in a way that you might not have since high school.
Once your body is in ketosis, your weight loss results will become more dramatic. This not only will lead to weight loss but can help you to increase your overall health with lower insulin levels and increased brain function.
What are Ketones?
Since the ketogenic diet is so popular, many people are embarrassed to admit that they do not know what ketones are. The human body is programmed to run on carbohydrates. This requires the body to work really hard. It has to convert all of those carbohydrates to glucose and then uses that glucose to fuel itself. If you remove carbohydrates, the body will burn through all of the stored sugars and then will switch to where it is using fat for energy.
So, you might not realize it, but your liver is the reason for the body functioning in this way. Your liver is actually going to break down that stored fat in your body. It then will break done the fat into ketone bodies, which are referred to as ketones. These ketones are the fuel that comes from fat, and when your body is in ketosis, it will continue taking the fat in your body and breaking it down in this way. Both your brain and body can function with the use of ketones.
In addition, when you have increased ketone levels in your body, you are going to notice some additional changes. One of these is that your body is going to work to suppress your appetite naturally.
There are actually three different types of ketones. These are acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. Additionally, there are two ways for your body to use ketones as fuel. One of these is that it makes the ketones while you are fasting. The other is that it uses exogenous ketones.
What are the Benefits of Keto?
There are a lot of benefits to living a ketogenic lifestyle. One of these is that for those who really want to maintain a healthy figure and a healthy weight, it is important to note that ninety percent of the work is in the diet that you are eating.
As your body stays in ketosis or the process of breaking down fat to be used as fuel, you will find that you have a whole list of benefits to how you feel and what is going on within your body. On top of ketosis, thermodynamics happen within the body and help you to lose weight. By eliminating the macronutrient carbohydrates, you are removing caloric dense foods that lack in nutritional value.
As you eliminate these foods, you will be consuming fewer calories naturally. You also start to burn more calories than you are consuming and this is what is going to help you to drop the excess pounds.
The ketogenic lifestyle has been linked to a number of health benefits, including:
- Treatment of epilepsy
- Help with Type II diabetes
- Reduction of the symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Less acne
- Neurological diseases improve
- Some cancers show improvement
- Reduces the risk factors for both cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases
- Possible help for Alzheimer’s patients
How Do I Get Started with Keto?
Many people think that there is value in this lifestyle from seeing others’ results or even just by reading about the overall health benefits. They decide that they want to try the ketogenic lifestyle, but feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start.
There are two main types of people who want to get started with their new ketogenic lifestyle. These include:
- Those who are trying to lose weight.
- Those who are hoping to understand ketosis and what it can do for the body.
Depending on which of these you are, you will find the plan and the perfect combination that works for you.
Before you can move forward with a ketogenic lifestyle, you have to first determine what type of keto you are going to do. There are three different types. You can simply track your regular carbs, keeping yourself to fifty carbs or less each day. You can track net carbs and keep yourself at twenty net carbs or less each day.
Finally, you can track your carbs as a percentage of daily calories and choose five percent of your daily calories or less that come from carbs. You can have some flexibility with the amount of fat and protein that you consume, but you have to maintain a very restrictive consumption of carbohydrates.
Final Thoughts and Opinions
The ketogenic lifestyle is one to be taken seriously. If you are going to start eating keto, you want to make sure that you plan on following these lifestyle changes for a good bit of time. The ketogenic diet has some of the same downsides as the IIFYM plan.
You are not really focussing on consuming fruits and vegetables. In fact, with the ketogenic lifestyle, some of the most detrimental things about the diet are a lack of focus on all of the food groups. The program is not something to use as a simple diet, but rather a tool to use to maintain a great healthy lifestyle. The diet will teach you about the importance of healthy fats and how to access ketosis, where you will burn ketones, a great source of energy.
Let us know if you have tried either of these diets and if so, what do you think about them? Thanks for reading!
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Alt Protein Team is a team of professionals and enthusiasts committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information on alternative protein, health and wellness, workouts, and all things health-related. We’ve reviewed a lot of products and services so you don’t have to guess when you spend your hard-earned money on them. Whether you want to shed some pounds, build lean muscle or bulk, we can help you figure out what you need to do and what you need to have to achieve your goals.
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