2016 NPAA Magazine 2016 - Volume 1 - Page 42

Flexible dieting by Mark Crawford & Lou Noel Essentially what we have now are two schools of thought in our industry: the meal plan group and the flexible dieters. Some would say that it’s about the “clean eaters” vs the IIFYM crowd. Unfortunately this statement is flawed (in more than one way) as one could follow a prescribed set of macros and still “eat clean”. At the end of the day defining “clean eating” is virtually impossible as you will get different definitions from different groups of people. In essence, measuring your macros is a very simple concept. Day in and day out one would measure their total intake of protein, carbohydrates and fat, ideally while keeping a certain amount of fiber in consideration. That’s it, nothing fancy, no magic foods or meal timing mysticism. As a matter of fact, many proponents of the macro measuring school of thought do not advocate eating 6 or more meals a day. There is no evidence that this “stokes” your metabolism or anything along those lines, therefore why do it? With this approach every day, your contest diet can be very productive. Guess work or having to fit in certain foods is unnecessary. You can eat a variety of foods as long as you hit your numbers for the day. If you hit your target every day, it is easy to see if what you are doing is working when you match things up with your measuring tools. In the world of physique 38. sports this would be your scale, measuring tape, mirror and progress photos. If you are not seeing what you like, then you just adjust your macro nutrient intake. Naturally this is a very reductionist explanation, but having the proper coach to guide you makes this approach much easier. Of course learning to measure your food every day can be a challenge, but with the advent of apps like My Fitness Pal, My macros+ and Calorie King it has never been easier to track your food intake. We have found the majority of our clients use various apps to keep track of their daily intake. Many still resort to tracking via pen and paper (including one of the Ripped Geek Fitness coaches) but being able to look up any food you want on your food tracker app makes the process quite painless. There are a multitude of advantages when you commit to measuring your grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats during prep. Not only are your results easier to attain, but being able to eat a variety of foods and not being stuck to a strict meal plan can help the process be much more enjoyable. This also prevents falling off and having destructive “cheat meals” and “cheat days” which are hallmarks of 80’s prep style approaches. In addition, with regards to the infamous “cheat meal” or “cheat day”, anyone who measures their food can tell you