Eating-plan

A Beginner’s Guide To IIFYM Diet

Ever wanted to create a stable eating plan which gives you a smoking-hot body, where you can have your cake and eat it too?

If It Fits Your Macros or (IIFYM) is simply just a diet which is altered to your body (and your body only). The entire eating plan is structured around macronutrients which are mostly proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which each play a role in a balanced, healthy diet.

RELATED: How Effective Is The Zone Diet?

What does it mean?

IIFYM is a diet which is tailored to you and your lifestyle – this is not a one size fits all approach. Rather than a strict ‘clean eating’ regime, the idea of IIFYM is fairly straightforward, and won’t have you starving between meals. You can essentially eat whatever you like, as long as it contains protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

How can I lose weight this way?

Most diets teach you that it’s all about portion control, rather than sticking to a strict eating plan in the first place. If you fulfil your daily requirements of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, your body will be able to feel nourished regardless of what you eat afterwards. It’s all about finding a happy medium, and making sure that there is a balance of good meals such as chicken and veggies, but also something else which you can indulge in every now and then during the week.

Does this mean I have to count calories?

Not exactly. Only you will be able to understand whether you body feels nourished, but this doesn’t really mean you should stick to a strict calorie intake per-day. Balance out your meals by choosing a healthier alternative which won’t make your body feel bloated and sick afterwards. If you want to indulge in a burger and fries, choose a bun-less burger, or simply one with lettuce instead of white bread.

What will an average day look like?

A classic IIFYM eating plan can vary for each individual, but it’s important to keep your body nourished by eating lots of protein for your main meals. Chicken breast, eggs, Greek yoghurt, beef, salmon, and broccoli are all examples of what you can expect in this diet.

As with any other diet or eating plan, it’s more about exploring what is beneficial for your body, rather than sticking to a strict ‘raw food’ regime. Make sure to stay fit and exercise weekly, give your body a break when it needs it, and you will watch the kilograms drop off within just a few months.

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December 15, 2014

What is The Parisian Diet?

While it’s not the most popular diet out there on the market, there is one thing you need to know about the Parisian Diet – it works. Built on the foundation of the French way of life and eating habits, the diet aims to detox the body before introducing protein and fat in the later stages.

RELATED: Dieting Myths Fact Vs Fiction

Created by Jean-Michel Cohen, the Parisian Diet was constructed mainly to cater to the eating habits and lifestyle traits of French locals – but you don’t need to be living in France for this to work!

The Parisian Diet is broken down into three main phases, which include the Café, Bistro, and finally the Gourmet.

Phase 1: Café

The first phase of the diet is based on eating mostly liquid foods to rid your body of harmful toxins. A daily meal could involve eating soups, smoothies, and shakes in place of large portions. This phase is also optional – if you don’t want to start your diet with just liquids, you don’t have to. It’s only in place to maximise your metabolism and weight loss journey.

Phase 2: Bistro

Bistro is normally a 2-3 week phase which reintroduces the body to protein and fibre.

Phase 3: Gourmet

The third and final phase is specifically designed to be enjoyed – you can eat from a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, red meat, etc. Avoid eating frozen meals which are packed with sugar and sodium, and buy fresh if you can. If you do indulge in a big meal, there is a recovery plan in place so you don’t have to compromise your entire diet.

Extra tips

  • Perspective – The Parisian Diet is all about creating wholesome food which doesn’t rely on preservatives and fast food options. Be wise about your decisions, and think of their long term consequences before you take a bite of your food.
  • It isn’t strict – No one will slap you on the wrist if you decide to eat out once in a while – it’s all about creating a healthy balance between good and bad. While your main diet may consist of wholesome food, there is room to indulge in sweets and desserts.
  • Small portions – Finally the most important part of the Parisian Diet is the portion control. If you find it difficult to avoid filling up every inch of your plate with food, then it’s a good idea to invest in smaller plates and bowls. Since the Parisian Diet is heavily based on portion control it’s sometimes expected of you to clean up your plate before you can leave the table – you don’t have to.

Would you try the Parisian Diet?

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November 7, 2014

What Is The Alkaline Diet?

A fairly new diet plan hitting the scene, the alkaline diet is designed to change the body’s pH levels in order to lose weight. The outlines of the diet program state that by consuming foods such as dairy, meat, natural sugars and vegetables, acid is created in the body which alters the state of the blood pH levels. A strict diet of most fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes are highly suggested since they balance out the bloods pH levels, while cutting out any foods which are triggers for food allergies.

The Alkaline Diet works off the notion that after certain foods and ingested, they produce acid which could not only lead to obesity, but alter the body’s pH levels. Foods which normally produce acid include processed foods, dairy and meat. On the other hand, when fruits and vegetables are ingested they turn alkaline.

Health benefits

While the diet is wildly known for it’s strict food program, there have been a number of studies conducted which highlight it’s many health benefits. While the diet maintains that users are discouraged from consuming acid producing foods such as meat and cheese, studies have shown that this could help prevent painful kidney stones, improve cardiovascular health, boost brain function and even help muscles and bone strength.

What can you eat?

Natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts are encouraged since they all produce a large amount of alkaline once consumed. Dairy, meat, grains as well as processed foods are to be kept to a minimum since they can interfere with good health because of all the acid they produce.

Exercise

Unlike most other diets or long-term eating plans, exercise isn’t a contributing factor won’t make you lose weight any faster. Generally many foods are already off limits which makes it easier to lose the weight without a large amount of physical exercise. Of course light exercise is encouraged even if you aren’t a part of the eating plan, but it seems as though the plan does not rely solely on it.

Sample Alkaline Diet Plan

If you do make the switch or want to try out an acid-alkaline diet for a few days, here is what you could expect to be eating.

Breakfast: Veggie scramble (1-2 eggs, green onions, tomatoes, chopped book choy or other leafy green), cup of ginger tea.

Snack: 1 pear, handful of roasted pumpskin seeds.

Lunch: Lentil soup served with 2 cups of steamed vegetables (includes broccoli, kale, carrots, or onions).

Dinner: Fish, chicken, turkey or other meat served with sweet potato or salad.

The Alkaline Diet is known to give fantastic results if users stick to the strict eating plan. It caters for vegetarians, vegans and coeliac’s since dairy, meat and wheat products are off limits. However, it is an eating plan which is quite strict and would prove to be a problem if you choose to follow this for the longterm. But as with any diet or eating plan, if you don’t adhere to the rules, you don’t see the results. 

Image via Alkaline Diet Recipes

July 12, 2014

How Effective Is ‘The Zone’ Diet?

You’ve most likely heard about ‘The Zone’ diet since it’s used by celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Madonna to achieve a toned and slender physique. Some main guidelines from this diet show that users follow strict portions of 40 per cent carbohydrates, 30 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat, otherwise known as the 40-30-30 diet. Although how does this diet differ from other popular eating plans out there on the market, and how does it take into account your hormones for increased weight loss.

How does it work?

The Zone Diet was created by biochemist Barry Sears by eating food portions which control proper hormone balance. He suggests that inflammatory chemicals, also known as eicosanoids, are released when the insulin levels inside the body are not in the correct proportion. This leads to diabetes, gaining weight over a short period of time and even gastric bleeding. The Zone Diet was then created to even out hormones within the body by eating carbohydrates, protein and fat in controlled moderation.

How does it differ to other diets?

Rather than putting The Zone into the same category as the Atkins Diet (limiting the consumption of carbohydrates altogether), The Zone diet simply states that all foods should be eaten in moderation. This is necessary since whatever food we put into the body could ultimately shift our hormone balance and lead to weight gain, poor skin and many other health problems later in life. The diet was also moderated for vegetarians with soy-based substitutes who also wanted to follow the diet but remain faithful to their eating habits.

No strict guidelines

Everything is eaten in moderation, but states that foods high in fat such as grains, starches and pasta should be kept to a minimum. The best way to visualise a meal using this eating plan would allow users to eat mostly low-fat protein with the rest of the meal consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. As always, light exercise is encouraged for overall good health.

Time consuming

The diet can get quite complicated since most portions are controlled to achieve a healthy hormone balance and weight loss. Investing in a guide book is a good idea if you’re serious about making the change. It will make it easier to create meal plans and will advise how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you will need for every single meal.

The Zone Diet seems like a good way to maintain your weight by directly accessing your hormone balance. Although, it does make mealtimes less enjoyable since everything is so calculated and leads to less variety. The best way to maintain your weight is by eating foods in moderation, exercising and treating yourself every now and again.

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By Felicia Sapountzis

July 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Diet


Did you ever think you could lose weight while eating peanut butter? You have to admit it? Australians are crazy about the stuff. But until now, eating peanut butter has been a pleasure that you try not to indulge in too often. Strangely enough if you are trying to lose weight you will not touch the stuff. You hide that smooth or crunchy behind the low-fat milk and yoghurt because you are scared of the 16g of fat in every 2 tablespoons. However there is great news as recent research now proves that peanut butter is actually very, very good for you. Its healthy monounsaturated fat (eaten as the main fat in a sensible diet) can actually lower your risks of heart disease and diabetes and sit down for this one help you lose weight. Of course this doesn’t mean you start going overboard with the amount of peanut butter you start consuming.

In the US the new thing is The Peanut Butter Diet which is a 5-day eating plan that lets you indulge in 4 to 6 tablespoons of peanut butter every day. Nutritionists do say that you have to remember any food over-eaten is bad for you and that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is better for you than a strict eating plan that will only make you eat more when you finish the diet.

The key to The Peanut Butter Diet is that women get two peanut butter servings everyday while men are able to enjoy three. The plan is very simple. You work peanut butter into your meals and snacks. You may be wondering how on earth two tablespoons of this stuff is good for you everyday? Well in a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, researcher Kathy McManus, RD, divided 101 overweight people into two groups. One group limited fat to a very low 20 percent of calories. While the other group ate monounsaturated fat foods such as peanut butter, nuts, olive oil and avocados which in turn boosted their fat total to 30 percent of calories. Both groups got the same calories: 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. The results? Surprisingly both groups lost 5 kilos in the first six weeks. And while you can imagine if peanut butter is your craving you will stick to this diet more so the peanut butter dieters actually maintained their weight for 18 months after the trial the other dieters didn’t. They had double the drop-outs and the ones who stayed on the diet actually regained about 2 kilos of weight. Why do you ask? Well McManus confirms, “People want taste first. They have to enjoy what they eat to stick to a diet”.

December 1, 2002