I’m a huge proponent of IIFYM (if it fits your macros), with the main reason being that most diets fail from a combination of the physical – occasional hunger, etc – and the mental. Anything that we can do to minimize the perceived difficulties will go a long way towards success in the long run, and this approach does just that (for both me and my clients).
There are no off limit foods. If you want it, you can have it, as long as you hold yourself accountable to the decision and fit it into your calorie budget for the day. This kind of freedom drop kicks the mental side of dieting in face and can change the way you think about dieting (and your relationship with food) forever – triple win.
Here’s a sample of my usual meal schedule.
Pre-Workout: Usually a scoop of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). Sometimes it will be a glass of milk or half of a protein bar. All depends on how I feel.
Post-Workout: 1lb of meat with 2 cups of oats, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar & 1 tablespoon of honey.
Meal #2: 2 cups of milk with 100g worth of protein powder and 2 cups of frozen berries.
Meal #3: 6 eggs, 2 oz of cheese, 4 pieces of beef bacon & 1lb of broccoli
Meal #1: 2 cups of milk with 100g worth of protein powder and an apple (or no fruit, depends on my mood).
Meal #2: 8oz of meat.
Meal #3: 1lb of meat with a separate plate of veggies.
Burgers (85/10 – 96/4% lean depending on the day)
Steak (sirloin tip usually, but ribeye if I’m feeling particularly manly)
Eggs (6 is the minimum – anything less would be uncivilized and a waste of my skillet)
Fish (tilapia, salmon)
Chicken (breasts and thighs)
Protein Powder (CINNAMON ROLL FLAVORED!)
Quest Protein Bars
Notice a trend here?
Most of my foods are minimally processed, but I also make room for treats if I want them. I also make sure that I’m only eating foods that I enjoy the taste of. I’ve learned the hard way that food that “sounds good” for me to eat will just end up going bad in the fridge, making both my wallet and soul depressed. I’ve had a carton of egg whites sit in the back of the fridge for more than a year once – true story.
Also I pretty much eat whenever I want, subscribing to no pre-determined number of meals I need to get in for the day. Some days I eat 3 meals and on days I’m feeling more glutenous I’ll eat just once during the day. Hitting your calories and macros by the end of the day is what matters the most from a physique standpoint.