So how do you live life without those foods you just “can’t live without” but know that they’re so “bad”? Well when following the principals of “If-it-fits-your-macros” or “iifym” it becomes possible to still work those foods in and thus the main reason I like iifym – sustainability! The knowledge that you can still eat foods that people who are used to going on diet after diet are used to hearing of as “bad” or “binge” foods.
Best Advice: You can plan around them. If you have a little advance notice you can fit anything in and counter it with other foods to make your macros work later. Whey protein is a quick way to balance your macros to have more protein which is usually the issue with foods that we crave. Finding low fat carb/protein combinations can also work. I think that Shakeology fits this bill incredibly well. Combine the whey with Shakeology and you have an instant macro “adjuster” that can be brought on the go. Here are some pointers:
- Enter the food first thing in the morning to ensure that you will still stay on track
- Make the rest of your diet a good dose of whole foods so the occasional departure isn’t a problem
- Find a way to modify the foods that you crave – maybe a smaller portion or a part of it subbed out for something with better macros to make it work overall.
Find snacks that are good substitutes to help you not always need the foods that you find yourself working around at first. Mixing the two strategies works very well:
- Protein bars – find ones that are low in fat, and have at least a 1:1 ratio of protein to carbs or more protein. If you can find all whey protein in the ingredients, that would be preferable!
- Protein pancakes – I posted this recipe here and they are perfect for breakfast or even a cold snack on the go
- Greek Yogurt – add fruit, stevia, whey, or cinnamon for an almost ice cream-like snack.
- Fig bars – these are specifically made by Nature’s Bakery but are an awesome non-GMO snack. Mostly carbs but an alternative to other types of cookies.
- Chocolate-covered fruit – there are different brands of dark chocolate covered fruit (blueberries, pomegranate etc.) that are small and can be eaten in moderation to make up for an entire dessert.
- Fruit – I have gotten to the point where fruit is sweet enough to calm most sugar cravings
- Water – drink water when you’re hungry, it helps! Some people like flavored water (natural fruit, crystal light, etc.)
Regardless of how you do it, the important concept to keep in mind is that in the end there aren’t “bad foods”. You can eat too much of a “healthy” food and have it cause problems for your macros. Instead, think of food in terms of how it fits your macros and you will discover you have more options than you might have thought!