Myth Busting: "Clean" Eating For Weight Loss February 02, 2016 12:48

We all know that dieting can be difficult at times for everyone. There will always be those cravings for your favourite bar of chocolate or weekend takeaway that require some serious willpower to resist. Many people who are trying to lose weight share the view that in order to be successful in their weight loss journey, they must rid their diet completely of any of these so called “bad” foods. This is an incredibly out of date theory popularised by bodybuilders and “gym bro’s” in the early 2000’s. Quite simply dieting doesn’t need to be this way! You can still achieve all of your goals while enjoying great food at the same time!

Speaking from personal experience, I have lost track of the number of family dinners to restaurants and nights out with friends I have turned down because I had the mind-set that the only way to make progress would be to stick to my diet of chicken, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potato. I followed this religiously from 2011-2014 and at one point went so far as to going 18 months without consuming any chocolate/biscuits as well as turning down a cake for my birthday! Looking back on this now, I realise how ridiculous and unnecessary it was. The main problem was a lack of knowledge. Fitness magazines are partly to blame for this as they regularly promote these super restrictive diets that really do put your life on hold.  

Everything changed for me in early 2014 when I realised things were going too far and I was letting life pass me by, all in the quest to make “gains” in the gym. One of the major breakthroughs in turning my diet around was the emergence of the IIFYM phenomenon that really started gaining traction on YouTube. This is the science based flexible dieting approach whereby you can allow yourself to have chocolate, biscuits, pizza etc. provided they fit within your daily allowance of calories that have been calculated to enable you to reach your goals. IIFYM stands for “if it fits your macro’s” which essentially means you can eat whatever you desire provided you hit the correct amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats for each day. Since moving away from my old super restrictive diet I haven’t looked back once. I am able to go out and enjoy myself without carrying around Tupperware tubs of brown rice and chicken as well as enjoying all of the great tasting food that I banished from my diet for so long! Best of all, I am the biggest, leanest and strongest that I’ve ever been so it just goes to show that you really don’t need to go to extreme lengths with your diet in order to reach your goals. After all, the gym shouldn’t consume your life, it should enhance it! Enjoy your training, eat good food and most of all have fun and make the most of life while you’re still young!

I shall leave you with a quote from a good friend of mine who is an elite level strength athlete. With every day that passes I realise just how right he was and that I should have listened from the very beginning…

“Life is too short to spend every day eating chicken and broccoli”.