Wrap up warm folks.
Last week was all about setting goals and keeping track of your progress in the gym, but leading a healthy lifestyle is as much about what happens outside of the gym as it is about what happens in it.
To make sure your actions outside of the gym aren’t jeopardising your fitness goals, Sophie is back exploring her favourite health and fitness topic: Nutrition.
After doing some research about nutrition, you’ll quickly notice that there are a lot of different diets or eating patterns out there: If It Fits Your Macros, Intermittent Fasting, plant-based diet, keto diet and the vertical diet are just a few examples.
But what actually are they and how do you know which one is right for you?
If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)
If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) is a flexible way of dieting that allows you to consume whatever you fancy, as long as it fits into your macros.
With IIFYM, you need to make sure that you track your food intake and adjust your portion sizes so that you will hit your protein, fat and carbohydrate targets on a daily basis.
These targets are set up in such a way that they will guide you towards your fitness goals. IIFYM can be combined with (most) other diets or eating patterns, as it doesn’t change what you eat, only how much you should consume in terms of macronutrients.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF) isn’t a diet as such, but rather it is a pattern of eating.
It does not change what you eat, only when you should eat it. Therefore, just like IIFYM, IF can be combined with (most) other diets. With IF, you implement an eating and a fasting window.
There are different variations of IF; a common structure is the 16/8 method. With this method, you’ll fast for 16 hours per day (your fasting window) and consume all your calories within an eight-hour eating window.
Eating plant-based means that you focus your diet around whole, plant foods and eliminate all animal products.
A plant-based meal is vegan, but the person following the plant-based diet is not necessarily considered vegan. Vegans exclude not just animal products from their diet, but from all other aspects of their lives as well.
There are different variations of the plant-based diets; one example is the raw-food vegan diet, this is a diet based on mostly raw and unprocessed foods.
Keto diet is where you minimise your carbohydrate intake and increase your fat intake so that your body will start to use fat as a form of energy.
When you are eating a higher carb diet, your body uses glucose as its main form of energy. If you lower your carbohydrate intake, your body will enter a state that is called ketosis.
This usually happens after two to seven days. Your body doesn’t have enough carbs to use for energy anymore, your body’s storage is used up, and it starts to produce ketones from the breakdown of fat in the liver to use as energy (instead of using carbs).
To understand the vertical diet, imagine an upside-down T.
The long bottom part represents vitamins, minerals & antioxidants that are easy to digest, and they make up smaller portions of the total diet.
The majority of your food intake (the horizontal part of the upside-down T) is supposed to be predominantly red meats and white rice. Going vertical means that you increase your caloric intake by increasing your consumption of predominantly red meats and rice.
So, what should you do? What is the perfect diet? Since everyone is different, not everyone will respond to the same diets in the same way. What works for you, might not work for me!