I get asked a lot about counting calories. Some people swear by the method, and to be honest just a year ago I was one of those people. I’ve tried everything from low carb diets, cleanses, skinny teas, to counting calories, and a thousand things in between. I’ve never really been over weight, but was “skinny fat” (look thin but have a high body fat percentage). I stopped counting calories around a year ago when I was introduced to “flexible dieting” or “iifym” also known as “if it fits your macros”. With this method you still have a calorie goal that you stay within for that day, but it’s much more than that. You also have macronutrient goals; protein, carbohydrates, and fat. This is where there the big difference is.
Looking at the 2 pictures below, do you think they affect your body composition in the same way? No?? Why not, they both have right around 300 calories…
- 4 oz chicken, 1 cup broccoli, 4 oz sweet potato, and 1 oz avocado weighs in at:
Calories- 293, P-30g, C- 29g, F-5g
- 1 McDonald’s Cheeseburger:
Calories-300, P- 15g, C- 33g, F- 12g
The picture on the left is going to keep you satisfied longer because you’re getting a well balanced meal that’s high in protein. This is why I like to tell people I don’t count calories. 300 calories of healthy fats, protein and carbs are going to do much different things to your body than 300 calories of McDonalds, or some other restaurant advertising a lower calorie menu option. Do your research, sometimes those lower calories are packed with fat and carbs.
I always like to show this comparison picture. I weigh the exact same in both (117#) yet the picture on the left I look “skinny” not fit. The difference? My diet. Pic on the left was extremely low calorie, and next to no carbs other than in veggies. Pic on the right, IIFYM. Eating 1500 calories a day with 180 grams of carbs…