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  1. #1
    Registered User Liftnsquat's Avatar
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    IIFYM vs Classic bb food plan

    Okay I’m curious as to who follows what type of food plan.

    Some coaches and PTs (especially people who compete) even some bodybuilders say oh you should only be eating things like chicken, rice, eggs, pasta, veg etc. Then there’s other people who say well you can do IIFYM where you do eat those things but you also include some treats and enjoy other foods in moderation.

    What does everyone think about this?
    Some people can’t stick to eating chicken rice and veg day in and day out it’s not sustainable for them to eat the same food for months and years on end. It’s like a pure restriction on foods and can lead people to just binge!
    Can’t most of people who exercise just make sure they eat plenty or of protein and yeah have enough fruit and veggies and healthy fats in their diet but still have bread and crumpets and the odd cake or so??
    I mean it’s at the point where some people say “oh don’t eat fruit too much because of the sugar in it”. In the grand scheme of things shouldn’t (especially coaches) be telling their clients yes eat fruit it’s good for you it should be included in your diet.

    It can be quite confusing for some people who are newbies as to what information to follow. Do you have rice and veg and chicken or can you actually see results and progress with doing IIFYM it even more of a flexible diet??

    I remember once in work a guy brought his breakfast and lunch in and was eating scrambled eggs and a couple of bagels , for his lunch he had a stir fry with sauce and chicken ( which looked really nice) and another guy was like you do bodybuilding and eat that? You should be eating chicken and pasta and veggies, don’t eat bagels blah blah blah. It’s just really confusing for the general public who exercise and want to just see results?
    Last edited by Liftnsquat; 11-27-2019 at 02:16 AM.
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  2. #2
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Of course you can see results with IIFYM, there is no reason to restrict yourself to such limited food options like just chicken and rice, and no one sticks to such a strict regimen for years; even pros go outside of that (off season usually).

    Those who do stick to a 'bodybuilder diet' fall into 3 categories (IMO): the gym bro who feels it helps him, the new lifter who thinks it's necessary, and actual pro bodybuilders.

    For the first two it's pretty much not needed at all, while it can be 'healthier' than their previous diet, most wont be able to stick to it and wont get much better (if better at all) results from it.

    For pros, well, it is literally their career in many cases; for them it makes more sense. They are trying everything possible to even get that extra 1% that no one else would notice. Until you are prepping to step on stage there really isn't a need to go that far.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
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  4. #4
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    I think it's a good question. I follow iifym, in my teens I did the whole chicken and brown rice thing. If I can't enjoy food now I'd sooner give up BB.

    I do find myself wondering what other people do. I mean it's all very well someone saying iifym is fine, but if they don't have a good physique why should we listen to them.

    I've made ok progress on iifym, but could my progress have been better on a bro diet? I would guess not, but it's difficult to know for sure.

    I also wonder why a lot of the pros seem to follow a bro diet. But like someone said above, they're aiming so high (not to mention it's their career) they probably don't want to take any risks with their diet. I'm sure they have various other unconventional "habits" which a regular person wouldn't follow.

    Not only that, but I still see people eating 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, doing a dedicated "arms" day at the gym, and various other things which we know aren't necessary or are possibly even counter productive. It's like once these ideas are out there, they never go away.
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  5. #5
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    I aim for a calorie goal, and that's it.

    My food choices and habits over time have conditioned me to know roughly what is in most foods, so hitting protein and fat minimums are zero issue.

    Given that, as long as my calories are where they should be, i'm golden.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Registered Lifter boo99's Avatar
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    ^^ Most of the pros I know at Golds Venice are very bioscienced as far as eating "clean" etc

    Most (but not ALL) have no clue or give two chits about science, just winning

    They eat 2g/lbs or more of protein because they take advantage of their bodies capability of much higher MPS due to being enhanced
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  7. #7
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Liftnsquat View Post
    I remember once in work a guy brought his breakfast and lunch in and was eating scrambled eggs and a couple of bagels , for his lunch he had a stir fry with sauce and chicken ( which looked really nice) and another guy was like you do bodybuilding and eat that? You should be eating chicken and pasta and veggies, don’t eat bagels blah blah blah. It’s just really confusing for the general public who exercise and want to just see results?
    Well, considering eggs, bagels, stir fry, etc, all contain macros, micros, and calories just like plain chicken breast, rice, and veggies do, what difference would it make?

    The primary differences in food choice assuming calories and protein are matched is just satiety and enjoyment... the more you include higher-calorie processed food, the less satisfied/full you'll likely be for the same calorie amount.

    Frankly, if you're a bodybuilder with a big caloric intake, i'd actually prefer adding in more processed or at least calorie-dense things just so I'm not bloated all the time.

    Plus, who wants to go through life with all the amazing options we have only eating boring nonsense when it won't make a lick of difference?

    Lastly, 'bro-diets' are - technically - IIFYM... they still hit calorie and macro goals... so... there's that.

    People love making these polarized statements like "IIFYM" is how I roll, or "I Only Eat CLEAN"..

    I prefer eating like an adult.... I make sure I don't eat like a moron, I get in my veggies, fruits, fiber, protein, healthy fats, and then I let the chips fall where they may. Pretty simple.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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  8. #8
    GeNeTiX fOr TeRrOr Paulie1986's Avatar
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    ^^I never let the chips fall lol. If so they're usually smothered in a dip.

    OP. I've done a bit of bro dieting and IIFYM, and I prefer the latter easiest as when you're bulking or cutting or at maintenance, you don't have to shy away from certain foods which in turn makes things easier to reach your goals.

    If 2 typical people took up weight loss as a New Year resolution and one of them did IIFYM and the other only ate healthy foods that they didn't usually eat throughout the year then the IIFYM person will have more success as it's an eating plan that you kind of forget at times, whereas when restricting too much it will pretty much always result in failure and then eventually having to start all over again. Both eating approaches will 100% work if followed correctly..but why torture yourself during weight loss? Go with a balanced approach.

    I like to get in some protein with pizza and then some time later in the day I'll have tuna on seeded wholemeal bread with lettuce and sliced tomatoes, topped with low fat mayo and cracked black pepper. Just about balance really. That's just an example.
    I have a good joke about water retention. But I'm going to hold onto it for now.

    I'm not an elevator, but I certainly do lift.

    Going to the gym? Ha, it's just a weights of time.

    Steroids and ass. They certainly go well together.

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  9. #9
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boo99 View Post
    ^^ Most of the pros I know at Golds Venice are very bioscienced as far as eating "clean" etc
    That's the impression I got of pro and serious bodybuilders. But why is this? I put it down to one of:

    1) Eating "clean" is actually a thing, and all of us IIFYM or flexible dieters are actually wrong.

    2) They think IIFYM and such like might be ok, but don't want to take the risk.

    3) They're just not that bright or clued up, and succeed based on genetics and drugs, rather then intelligence.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Liftnsquat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paulie1986 View Post
    ^^I never let the chips fall lol. If so they're usually smothered in a dip.

    OP. I've done a bit of bro dieting and IIFYM, and I prefer the latter easiest as when you're bulking or cutting or at maintenance, you don't have to shy away from certain foods which in turn makes things easier to reach your goals.

    If 2 typical people took up weight loss as a New Year resolution and one of them did IIFYM and the other only ate healthy foods that they didn't usually eat throughout the year then the IIFYM person will have more success as it's an eating plan that you kind of forget at times, whereas when restricting too much it will pretty much always result in failure and then eventually having to start all over again. Both eating approaches will 100% work if followed correctly..but why torture yourself during weight loss? Go with a balanced approach.

    I like to get in some protein with pizza and then some time later in the day I'll have tuna on seeded wholemeal bread with lettuce and sliced tomatoes, topped with low fat mayo and cracked black pepper. Just about balance really. That's just an example.

    For months I ate what my PT told me ( he’s won quite a few bb competitions and just received his IFBB pro card) and had me eating a “bro diet” food plan and it honestly killed me .

    After I left my PT I’ve decided to go on my own and see what I can achieve myself ( granted it may never be as good as what my old PT would have me looking like). I was just curious if there was a way I could actually enjoy my foods that I like for example I changed having “chicken and rice” after training in the morning to having eggs, chicken sausages, mushrooms spinach and a bagel. The difference in how happy I am and how much I actually look forward to my breakfast now after training is great.

    My PT barely had me eat any fruit. I had raspberries that was it. I love fruit and not having a lot of it in my diet was rubbish and salad too. Now I can enjoy having a salad and plenty of fruit. It’s just frustrating that some PTs have their clients eat that way and they all eat the same way. It can’t be a very nice journey in training and eating if that’s how they expect you to eat for the rest of your life.


    Hence why I made this post because it’s making me question wether the way I am eating is correct or should I be eating the way he told me to with a “cookie cutting food plan”
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    GeNeTiX fOr TeRrOr Paulie1986's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    That's the impression I got of pro and serious bodybuilders. But why is this? I put it down to one of:

    1) Eating "clean" is actually a thing, and all of us IIFYM or flexible dieters are actually wrong.

    2) They think IIFYM and such like might be ok, but don't want to take the risk.

    3) They're just not that bright or clued up, and succeed based on genetics and drugs, rather then intelligence.
    I think it's a mixture between 2 and 3. Maybe more heavily on 2.

    If you're winning at something you don't really want to change the formula. Also most bodybuilders we see right now have grown up thinking eating ''clean'' is the absolute only way so it's a part of their mindset. We may see most pro's in 10 years time with more flexible approaches. Plus, right now most of their coaches are old school. Flexible dieting is not really that well known.
    I have a good joke about water retention. But I'm going to hold onto it for now.

    I'm not an elevator, but I certainly do lift.

    Going to the gym? Ha, it's just a weights of time.

    Steroids and ass. They certainly go well together.

    I'm the BB king..of puns. I train my back using only fish. I love my macker-rows.
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  12. #12
    Registered Lifter boo99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    That's the impression I got of pro and serious bodybuilders. But why is this? I put it down to one of:

    1) Eating "clean" is actually a thing, and all of us IIFYM or flexible dieters are actually wrong.

    2) They think IIFYM and such like might be ok, but don't want to take the risk.

    3) They're just not that bright or clued up, and succeed based on genetics and drugs, rather then intelligence.

    I'd be guessing but I'd say it's a holdout of practices from the early days of Bodybuilding; eating clean etc.

    Most of the "clean" food they eat is packed with some good micronutrients though

    And the cottage cheese before bed that they are/were doing back then is now supported by science to help MPS while asleep
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  13. #13
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paulie1986 View Post
    ^^I never let the chips fall lol. If so they're usually smothered in a dip.
    Well that ignores the calorie goal aspect then... so...
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Registered User rtpmarine's Avatar
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    IIFYM is predicated on the idea that all carbohydrates are equal, all proteins are equal, and all fats are equal. This is obviously not the case.

    Originally Posted by Paulie1986 View Post
    If 2 typical people took up weight loss as a New Year resolution and one of them did IIFYM and the other only ate healthy foods that they didn't usually eat throughout the year then the IIFYM person will have more success as it's an eating plan that you kind of forget at times, whereas when restricting too much it will pretty much always result in failure and then eventually having to start all over again. Both eating approaches will 100% work if followed correctly..but why torture yourself during weight loss? Go with a balanced approach.
    I like this thought experiment. IIFYM is a good first-step for people who don't pay any attention to what they eat. It's an adaptive improvement upon their current diet and it is sustainable. However, there is certainly room to grow beyond IIFYM as you learn which specific foods work for your body and which don't.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rtpmarine View Post
    IIFYM is predicated on the idea that all carbohydrates are equal, all proteins are equal, and all fats are equal. This is obviously not the case.
    While I agree with this, in most cases I have seen (at least with reasonably-minded athletes) people don't tend to consume 80% of their macros/calories from heavily processed foods when they identify with 'IIFYM' as their diet.

    Most of them tend to 'fit in' small amounts of less-nutritious foods to fill gaps in total energy needs, ie: if you need 3000 calories, you might 'fall short' by the end of the day by say 200 calories, and choose to have a bowl of kids cereal with milk instead of consuming the equal amount of calories in, say, extra lean ground turkey and spinach.

    However, like you said, calling something 'IIFYM' does foster among the uninformed this impression of 'yolo' eating and some can tend to dive in face-first asking questions like "OH, so I can get all my protein from TVP and all my carbs from gummy bears and I'm good then?". So in that regard, yeah, the acronym is flawed. Now, how many people would ever in practice actually adhere to such a stupid dietary program long-term is another question. I am of the opinion that most people would end up very unsatisfied trying to hit their goal numbers consuming nothing but processed, non-satiating things.

    That's why I tend to err on the side of saying, yeah, I do 'IIFYM', but that doesn't mean I don't also 'eat clean foods' and also 'eat like an adult'. In reality, like I mentioned with my personal approach, I'm actually aiming to satisfy total energy intake, fat and protein macros, micros, fiber, and as long as all those pillars are met, I simply don't have room in my stomach for enough "junk" to cause any problems... it's tough hitting all my goal numbers from the aforementioned categories and still feel like consuming tons of donuts and cookies. A mean maybe some, but not much.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Registered User rtpmarine's Avatar
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    Yeah, I guess IIFYM is like a gateway drug to better food choices. When first diving into macro skews, people should just focus on hitting the right numbers, and then over time they will tend to make better and better choices as the lightbulb moments happen.

    My dietary approach is pretty similar to how you describe yours. I’d say I’m halfway between IIFYM and “clean” eating. In all honesty, 95% of it is just getting calories and protein right, because I find it hard to be low on fat when eating somewhat clean.
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    That's why I tend to err on the side of saying, yeah, I do 'IIFYM', but that doesn't mean I don't also 'eat clean foods' and also 'eat like an adult'. In reality, like I mentioned with my personal approach, I'm actually aiming to satisfy total energy intake, fat and protein macros, micros, fiber, and as long as all those pillars are met, I simply don't have room in my stomach for enough "junk" to cause any problems... it's tough hitting all my goal numbers from the aforementioned categories and still feel like consuming tons of donuts and cookies. A mean maybe some, but not much.
    Same approach here. I think some people confuse IIFYM with "If It Fits Your Calories"

    I couldn't hit my protein and fat minimums by only eating "junk". Likewise, once I've hit my protein and fat minimum there is some room left for junk but not lots. Common sense also tells me that I'll most likely perform better in the gym after eating a banana and bowl of oats compared with gummy bears.

    About 10% of my daily intake is made up of what I consider to be "low quality" foods - things like taco shells, chocolate, sausage and protein bars. Even those have some nutritional value, but strictly speaking there are "healthier" alternatives. However if I ate 3,000 calories a day all made up of nothing but oats, chicken and rice I'd go insane.

    The other thing I notice which is interesting, is many of the big "bodybuilder" types at my gym always seem to be talking about dieting rather than bulking. It could just be coincidence, but it leads me to believe that a lot of them are naturally big, probably gain weight easily, and would probably be fat if they didn't work out and watch what they eat.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rtpmarine View Post
    Yeah, I guess IIFYM is like a gateway drug to better food choices. When first diving into macro skews, people should just focus on hitting the right numbers, and then over time they will tend to make better and better choices as the lightbulb moments happen.

    My dietary approach is pretty similar to how you describe yours. I’d say I’m halfway between IIFYM and “clean” eating. In all honesty, 95% of it is just getting calories and protein right, because I find it hard to be low on fat when eating somewhat clean.
    Same here, and i have also come to realize that if I have too much processed stuff - particularly oils and syrups - my stomach simply cannot handled them anymore. Perhaps that's also why the younger crowd tend to err on the side of having more processed stuff whereas people with more experience/age tend to err on the wholesome side.

    If I were to replace 500-1000 of my daily calories with McNuggets, Candy Bars, and non-diet Soda on a regular basis, My stomach would not feel very good. Here and there, sure, I have days where I just eat more processed things (I love nights out getting tons of crazy sushi rolls followed by self-serve froyo with friends, topped with like 500+ calories of candy), but it's not a daily thing.

    On a daily basis, the little things I fill in are things like topping my yogurt or oats with some cereal, having the higher-sugar dipping sauce cuz I simply enjoy it much more, having some ice cream before bed, etc, but that's only after consuming tons of produce, lean protein, and whole grains on top of that.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Registered User Gringer's Avatar
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    For me. I eat healthy whole foods. Just for health sake.

    Meat. LOTS of it. That includes red meat.
    Nuts.
    Dairy
    Fruits
    Vegetables
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gringer View Post
    For me. I eat healthy whole foods. Just for health sake.

    Meat. LOTS of it. That includes red meat.
    Nuts.
    Dairy
    Fruits
    Vegetables
    Can you show me evidence of ‘LOTS’ of meat being ‘good’ for you?
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    GeNeTiX fOr TeRrOr Paulie1986's Avatar
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    Oh for goodness sake, just eat your bodyweight grams in protein and eat good amounts of fat and then just not worry.

    So what if you put on some fat? Just deal with it.

    If you end up with a physique you care about, you'll make the right decisions in the end. Bodybuilding is not done in 24hours.
    I have a good joke about water retention. But I'm going to hold onto it for now.

    I'm not an elevator, but I certainly do lift.

    Going to the gym? Ha, it's just a weights of time.

    Steroids and ass. They certainly go well together.

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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Can you show me evidence of ‘LOTS’ of meat being ‘good’ for you?
    I've seen some videos on adult enertainment sites but I'll not link them here lol.
    I have a good joke about water retention. But I'm going to hold onto it for now.

    I'm not an elevator, but I certainly do lift.

    Going to the gym? Ha, it's just a weights of time.

    Steroids and ass. They certainly go well together.

    I'm the BB king..of puns. I train my back using only fish. I love my macker-rows.
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  23. #23
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Can you show me evidence of ‘LOTS’ of meat being ‘good’ for you?
    Dunno, Jenna Jamesone is still looking alright and she had plenty of 'meat' in her diet.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
    1/13/16: Massive hernia.
    5/10/16: Finally back to lifting, light but improving.

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    Registered User Gringer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Can you show me evidence of ‘LOTS’ of meat being ‘good’ for you?
    Here's a better idea. Show me a list of people who have actually harmed themselves from eating meat.
    Last edited by Gringer; 11-29-2019 at 07:43 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Gringer View Post
    Here's a better idea. Show me a list of people who have actually harmed themselves from eating meat.
    https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog...at-and-health/
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    Originally Posted by Gringer View Post
    Here's a better idea. Show me a list of people who have actually harmed themselves from eating meat.
    So you get to make a claim with zero support to it, then ask ME to disprove it?

    Cool. Science... not even once.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    So you get to make a claim with zero support to it, then ask ME to disprove it?

    Cool. Science... not even once.
    The neg was a bit extreme but ok.

    Not linking the studies since you negged. Go google the recent meta analysis from the end of September this year on red meat and you will find that red meat consumption doesn't have to be limited.

    Red meat isnt the cause of cancer and heart disease. People who have red meat daily AND put refined fats into there diets such as butter and vegetable oils and are SEDENTARY are the only one's who have all the health issues every single time. Not the people who base there entire diet on full fat dairy, meat, nuts and veggies and are active all day long even outside of the gym. It's the healthiest diet known to man. Lipid profiles improve on a diet based on those foods with a active lifestyle. Prove me wrong please.
    Last edited by Gringer; 11-29-2019 at 08:02 PM.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gringer View Post
    The neg was a bit extreme but ok.

    Not linking the studies since you negged. Go google the recent meta analysis from the end of September this year on red meat and you will find that red meat consumption doesn't have to be limited.

    Red meat isnt the cause of cancer and heart disease. People who have red meat daily AND put refined fats into there diets such as butter and vegetable oils and are SEDENTARY are the only one's who have all the health issues every single time and the only reason I said red meat was because of how calorie dense it is. Not the people who base there entire diet on full fat dairy, meat, nuts and veggies and are active all day long even outside of the gym. It's the healthiest diet known to man. Lipid profiles improve on a diet based on those foods with a active lifestyle. Prove me wrong please.
    Bro, the ‘study’ you’re talking about has been proven wrong many times already... might wanna look into that.

    I’ve read it, it’s horribly flawed. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutriti...essed-meat/#qa

    And again, the burden of proof for your claims is on you, not me.

    Nice try tho.
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    From the Harvard response...

    "The publication of these studies and the meat guidelines in a major medical journal is unfortunate because following the new guidelines may potentially harm individuals’ health, public health, and planetary health."
    "To improve both human health and environmental sustainability, it is important to adopt dietary patterns that are high in healthy plant-based foods and relatively low in red and processed meats."
    "The panel declared “considerations of environmental impact” out of the scope of their recommendations. This is a missed opportunity because climate change and environmental degradation have serious effects on human health, and thus is important to consider when making recommendations on diet, even if this is addressed separately from direct effects on individual health."
    Is this what Harvard has turned into? This line of thought is just going to turn away moderate people. They make other points that are compelling, but this crap makes it hard to take them seriously.

    Most analyses of Framingham show that red meat barely affects CVD but processed red meat affects it a lot. Given today's politically-charged climate (heh), I doubt we'll get anything more objective than that any time soon.
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    Originally Posted by rtpmarine View Post
    From the Harvard response...







    Is this what Harvard has turned into? This line of thought is just going to turn away moderate people. They make other points that are compelling, but this crap makes it hard to take them seriously.

    Most analyses of Framingham show that red meat barely affects CVD but processed red meat affects it a lot. Given today's politically-charged climate (heh), I doubt we'll get anything more objective than that any time soon.
    why would the line of thought turn away moderate people?
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