In Part 1 of this article, I outlined some of the BASIC philosophies that govern the way I set up my personal diet, as well as the diets of others.
I’m going to refrain from beating around the bush this time, and simply hop into it. If you are joining us right now then you should CLICK HERE to read How I Eat: Part 1!
Now, here are a few more little philosophies, before I roll on to the good stuff in the next article.
3. “Clean Eating” is Ridiculous
I am against “Clean Eating” to the point that I refer to myself as a “Dirty Eater“, just to be a smart-ass. The entire concept of eating “Clean” makes me laugh, but the fact that this myth perpetuates really isn’t funny.
There are still an alarming number of people that think the only way to lose weight is to eat canned tuna, plain chicken breast, and broccoli. The “Clean Eating” concept creates an absurd false dichotomy. It feeds into a “good food/bad food” mentality that a lot of people have and creates confusion. My philosophy is that there are very few “good/bad” foods, just “good/bad” times to be eating them.
My philosophy is that there are very few “good/bad” foods, just “good/bad” times to be eating them.
The worst part is that no one can really quantify what “Clean” is, because it changes as science, culture, and fads change. Some examples:
- when I was a kid, Avocados were SUPER “Dirty”…they had WAAAAAY too much fat! Nowadays, they are a superfood.
- Today, carbs are the enemy, so all of the rice and pasta that was “so healthy” when I was growing up is suddenly MEGA “Dirty”.
It’s really just absurd, and makes me want to rap myself in the head with a ball-peen hammer.
One of the most hostile people, when it comes to “Clean” eating, is nutritionist Alan Aragon. If you want more detail and wish to explore this further, he explains it much more eloquently in his article: “The Dirt on Clean Eating”. I highly suggest checking this out, especially if you are locked into this paradigm and want to eat things more exciting than skinless chicken and turkey burger patties.
4. Relax, Just Make it Fit Your Macros.
Ahhh. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). I think of this as the opposite of “Clean Eating”, and I am a huge fan of IIFYM. In a nutshell, IIFYM requires you to establish your daily Macro numbers (Protein/Carbs/Fat), and then you make your food intake “Fit” into those parameters.
Basically, by counting Macros, IIFYM allows you to eat whatever you want, as long as you control the portions. Ice Cream? Yup. Candy? Yup. Cake? Yup…and the best part is, it isn’t even cheating if it “fits”!
Now, let’s not get stupid, people. There are some caveats.
Yes, technically, if a caloric deficit is maintained, you CAN lose weight, even on a diet of nothing but junk (don’t take my word for it, read about THIS guy that lost 27 pounds eating Twinkies). This doesn’t mean that it is OPTIMAL to do so. Here’s a few reasons:
- Junk (i.e. sugar) is essentially void of nutrition. If you abuse IIFYM and eat nothing but garbage for carbs, you are going to feel like complete shit. Seriously, I HAVE done dumb stuff, like using my entire daily carb allotment to eat a box of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Acutely, you can get away with it, but in the long run, the lack of micronutrients will catch up to you.
- Junk food is very, VERY calorie dense. The amount of calories in a plate full of steamed broccoli is laughable, and even adding butter to that wouldn’t add up to the caloric content of some of the trash that you can get in vending machines. This can create a serious satiety issue. If you want to eat junk, you won’t be able to eat much of it, and you could end up so hungry that you gnaw the legs off of your coffee table.
The key to using IIFYM is moderation and balance. Get some good, quality WHOLE FOOD in you, but don’t be afraid to have something sweet or tasty, just control it! You can find more info on IIFYM at their website HERE.
5. Please Stop With the Meal Frequency Shenanigans. Just. Stop.
Which bring us to Intermittent Fasting (IF). I am an avid intermittent faster. In keeping consistent with my general attitude, I DO NOT do this because I think it is a Panacea, or some sort of miracle. I do this because it works for me.
There was a time, before I started to think for myself, where I fell into the 6-8 meals a day trap. Looking back, this was like the dark ages for me. I would spend every minute thinking about when I would get to have my next bite-sized feast. I would snap at subordinates if I had gone longer than 3 hours without eating.
It was complete horseshit.
Yet I STILL see “nutrition professionals” in my Facebook feed talking about the need to eat 6 meals a day!
Look, the information is out there, so I am not going to beat the dead horse, but here is the short course (a horse is a horse of course of course).
Basically, the meal frequency fallacy comes from a false assumption about the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). You see, when you eat, you get a metabolic spike because your body needs to digest and process things. People assumed, falsely, that if you simply ate more meals, you would “stoke” your metabolism even more. Yeah…not so much. TEF is a function of caloric quantity, NOT frequency of eating.
If you eat 2,000 calories a day, if doesn’t matter if you eat TWO 1,000 calories meals or TEN 200 calorie meals…the TEF will balance out.
So, if you like eating 6 times, 7 times, 8 times, whatever…then by all means, continue to do so. However, if eating multiple small meals simply isn’t practical for you, or you don’t want to be the douche walking around everywhere with a cooler, choose a meal frequency that works FOR YOU!
Whew, okay, that went on a bit longer than excepted…
but hopefully you got something out of it. The NEXT article is going to walk you through “A Day in the Life”, so stay tuned, shoot me some comments, and don’t forget to “like” this shit on Facebook!