Technically, if you stay within the exact same numbers - it doesn't matter what you eat.
What matters is your personal preference.
I, personally, eat as clean as I can - it's just my preference on how I want to fuel my body, and from where I want to derive my nutrients from.
I'm not gonna lecture you on how gross processed lucky charms are (I love lucky charms, btw.). It's your preference. If you wanna eat lucky charms (or whatever), and it fits into your daily numbers...have a great time!!!
If you ate during the day 1000 calories, and your range is say 1200-1500 calories, and after dinner you wanted a bowl of ice cream (Breyers and Aldens are all natural) for 400 calories, have at it!
The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
if you're already at a healthy weight then you may need to pick what you want more: a certain shape or a number on the scale. for me, at maintenance, i need to gain ten pounds to drop an inch around my waist. because if you're already at a healthy and balanced place, replacing some fat with muscle is what's going to make a difference to your shape. and though you become physically smaller, the number on the scale can go up when you do that. and that's more of an exercise thing than a diet thing. the other nice thing about having more muscle and working out more is that you do get to eat more, so having ice cream sometimes is entirely doable. in a sense, clean eating has nothing to do with weightloss. it's kind of the same effect that wearing a blue shirt has on your loss. now, all of your workout shirts could be blue shirts or blue could be your best color and you happen to have a lot of blue shirts so that you are losing weight and wearing blue a lot, but it's not quite directly connected. it's great that it has worked for you up to this point, but you need to decide what's best from here on out. i am someone who craves something, even something that i don't really like, the minute i put it off limits. so for me anything that prohibits ice cream is out. i eat less ice cream when i am allowed to have it rather than when i am not allowed to have it. i'll want it more and go out of my way to get it because i am not supposed to have it. other people find that the longer they cut something out and resist the better off they are. it's all about which camp you think you fall into. if not having ice cream ever again doesn't sound ideal or sustainable to you, then finding a way to work it in should be step one. and if you think that iifym is a way that you can eat mostly clean like you have been enjoying but with the added bonus of letting you work in things like ice cream, then try it. the nice thing about diet is that committing to one day/week/month of something doesn't obligate you to continue [kind of like if you choose to go to law school, complete law school, you probably want to be a lawyer. going to law school isn't necessarily the best route to become a concert cellist and is likely an expensive detour to that path]. if your iifym doesn't work any better than clean eating, go back to the clean. if it works better because you can incorporate a lot of clean eating but with the not clean things that you missed, do that. the thing is that you won't know what works for you until you try it because your body and tastes and preferences are a little different from everyone else's. and the best plan for you is the one that you find the easiest and most satisfying. so if you're not totally satisfied with clean, try the iifym and see what results.
I've seen the 80/20 thing suggested a lot-- you eat clean 80% of the time, and the other 20% would be where you fit in the ice cream or the Lucky Charms or whatever. If 20% seems like a lot, you could try 90/10.
I try to keep my eating at 80% of the calories in good solid healthy choices, and then IF I want it, I've got 20% of my calories to use on a not-so-healthy choice (still keeping an eye on the nutrients). I wouldn't eat something high fat if I've already used up just about all my fat range for the day, or choose something high in sodium if I'm already close to the upper limit.
All that said-- I also plan to hit the bottom of my calorie range in good choices. If my range was 1200 - 1500 for example, I'd make the first 1200 calories all good, solid, healthy choices. And the cake or cheetos would be on top of that.
Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh
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1/26/14 8:16 A
Since I started moving to a healthier lifestyle back in January 2012 my main focus as far as diet is concerned has just been eating clean. I am not perfect, but I have been doing really well on this. I lost 18 lbs.
I learned that a lot of the fitness Youtubers that I have been watching do Flexible Dieting or "If It Fits Your Macros". Basically if it fits your calories, macro, and micro nutrients then it is fine to eat. In some ways it's more strict because you have to weigh and monitor everything, but in some ways it's more relaxed cause you could technically eat a big bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast IIFYM.
What are your thoughts on a clean diet (not counting anything) vs something like IIFYM (done reasonably, not just sitting around eating complete garbage all day)?
I am wondering if I should change it up because for about six months now I have been plateaued in the low 130's (which is admittedly a healthy weight for me). However, I am really wanting to get a little more lean and actually hit my 128 goal. Plus, I'll admit, the thought of having ice cream sometimes without the guilt would be fantastic. Ha.
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