Has the 'iifym' craze created a distorted relationship with food for some people?
If you're not familiar with the phrase 'iifym', it stands for 'if it fits your macros', a craze that started being used by people competing in fitness physique competitions who needed to be of a certain weight/size, but now has been adopted by a lot of gym goers.
It is a calculated daily amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats based usually on your weight, and sometimes activity level. Yes there is a lot of science behind it that it will support weight loss, however it requires daily weighing of food/packet checking and/or entering it into a tracking device to make sure the correct quantities have been met.
A lot of people will say this approach to 'dieting' allows them to have what they want to eat (e.g. a biscuit) as long as it fits into their daily allowance. Sounds great huh? Well, that means there would need to be some compromise throughout the rest of the day.
My belief is that all food is to be enjoyed in a relaxed way, with a mindfulness on eating things that have a benefit to our health. Weighing food constantly and making sure it hits a certain number has taken away any intuitive approach you once had towards food. There then becomes a control with food - it's measured and it has to look a certain way on a pie chart - has this now taken away any carefree approach to eating?
Are these people able to listen to their hunger cues and eat something they fancy, rather than eating something because they need to increase their protein intake, for example?
Eating is something we do perhaps 3-5 times a day (depending on the individual) and it shouldn't be something that is stressed over or constantly monitored. Is the iifym approach sustainable long-term? Can weighing scales be taken everywhere you go? Does every place you eat out at have their macros per dish published online?
It might be an approach that works short-term, but being really restrictive and controlled by food may lead to further problems and thoughts around food and diet.
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About Rebecca Jennings
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