• BioLayne Video Log 12 – ‘Clean’ Eating vs IIFYM (If it fits your macros)

    Posted In: Nutrition  /  Posted On: 01.29.13

    In BioLayne Video Log 12 we discuss ‘clean’ eating vs. IIFYM (if it fits your macros).  What is each approach, what are the advantages and disadvantages, and which do I prefer?

    • Dan

      Hi Layne,

      I’m taking it you suggest the “IIFYM” approach to overcome these psychological hurdles associated with restrictive eating provided this IIFYM approach contains the suitable amount of fiber and macro nutrients ?

      • http://www.biolayne.com Layne Norton


    • Tim Cruse

      Have you heard of the method called Skip loading popularized by a guy name Ken Hill? Where a weekly load is used as a refeed day? Would you be wary that this is a form of binge eating? Also, what is the efficacy of this form of refeed as opposed to the one that you prescribe in your contest prep article?

      • Paul

        Skips refeed day is not a binge (though a lot that follow who it do binge), you eat till you are full of high GI carbs, that are very low in fat. No pizzas or hamburgers or donuts. (I am a client of Skips, so speaking from 18 months of experience)

        Agree with Layne, I am about 9-10% BF at present and having a few “cheats” through the week like some small serves of salty or sugary foods make little discernible difference in bodyfat levels.

        The trick is, as Layne points out, is to not let these small “cheats” escalate into wholesale binging…..

        • Tim Cruse

          I am one as well, he got me ready for my last show with great results! I just was making sure on the psychology of the whole process because of the great influx of calories as you know, feels like a binge. I am definitely not knocking the results though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532274348 Chris Goodman-Team Afc Pro

      Layne, thanks for reinforcing a common sense approach to IIFYM! I used to feel guilty about not eating “clean” during comp prep. After competition, the binge would start…and wouldn’t stop until I gained 20#’s and then I’d berate myself for losing control! I’ve learned…I’ve got a great coach that agrees with your philosophy and that’s in the past. Just came off a great reverse diet after my last comp and I am sane, healthy and putting on size. Please keep the information coming. Much appreciated!

    • Ian Matthews

      I know Layne used refeeding when he was training for his pro qualifier contests in 2006, usually putting his refeeds on leg day. I think at one point he was even refeeding every 4 days. I’m not sure if he’s as big of believer in it these days, he would have to comment. I would say structured refeeding is not binging and in fact conforms to IIFYM, just that you have specific days where carbohydrate (it is a macronutrient) intake and calories are higher. I know from my own experience I was able to maintain a consistent bodyweight and lose fat (meaning I was able to gain muslce and lose fat at the same time) by eating a very structured low carbohydrate diet of 2500 calories 6 days a week and having a massive refeed (it was literally a cheat day) once a week. The thing is I was doing a double-split of HIIT cardio and legs on that day. Interesting enough I hung out with Layne on his birthday back when I was doing that in 2004 or 2005, ended up eating ~7000 calories that day, and still lost fat that week. I do have a pretty good metabolism though, and can lose fat eating 5000+ calories one day a week if I train consistently and keep the carbs low the rest of the week.

    • Eli Dewey

      I busted out laughing when you listed ALL of the “clean” foods that I eat every single day… lol. Honestly, thank you for making me feel like less of a shit ball for eating that taco-bell last night. Haha.

    • Rocco Mitolo

      This is a topic I’ve been waiting for you to address, since a lot of the IIFYM followers out there love to brag about how ripped they are while posting pictures of them crushing cheese burgers and such. I figured there was more too it. My question is how much do you believe in or follow nutrient partitioning? The couple people I follow and get my nutritional information from have a hard guideline on the separation of carbohydrates and fats, to do the insulin response and uptake of whatever is currently in your system to avoid excess storage of fat. I hope you can answer this, it’d be greatly appreciated.

    • http://RABFitness.com Roger Baker

      I agree with everything on here but some things that are not touched on are the difference in satiety of simple sugars verses complex carbs, and the differences in the micro nutrients of a “pop tart” verses a non processed carb simple or not… would be curious on some thoughts regarding if these points have an effect on what you do with your clients… Great stuff as always Layne…

    • https://www.facebook.com/#!/FitnessMyth FitnessMyth

      You mentioned by consuming fibre you will develop malnutrition of some sort?

      Is this due to the individual being too full to consume sufficient vitamins and minerals OR the excessive fibre will prevent the absorbtion of the essential vitamins and minerals in the small intestine?

      • http://www.biolayne.com Layne Norton

        no, i said by consuming ‘excessive fiber’. Please watch

        • nix

          Does the guide to eating less than 60g apply for everyone? Or should it be less depending on your calorie intake and weight? I got told eating 45g of fibre was too much if I was consuming 1800cals

    • Daniel

      Love the video logs. Much of what you say reinforces topics I’ve researched and/or topics my coach has covered. Reminds me how fortunate I am to be with who I am and that I am headed in the right direction! I would bet that if you paid close attention to the proponents of IIFYM, you’d notice they DO NOT eat that way on a daily basis. Instead you would probably see they eat “clean” foods the vast majority of the time then post pictures and videos of what is essentially a “cheat” meal that hey factored into their macronutrients.

    • http://supplementswholefood.blogspot.co.nz/ Nick

      This is a great post. I have been trying to hit “clean foods” consistently for 2 plus years now and have been following many of the accepted protocols on dieting etc. Being sustainable long term is one of the most important factors. Hitting your macros consistently and predominantly from good quality produce has shown itself to be not only very effective but also quite easy compared to only eating Oats, sweet potato, brown rice, banana, broccoli asparagus, tuna, chicken, egg whites and green beans. I am not an industry professional or an amateur competitor. I am looking for a sustainable model of nutrition that allows maximum performance in all areas of life. This, is the best I have seen so far.

    • Chris Jones

      Once again another fantastic video log Layne! I feel like a Kid at Christmas again when these come out.

    • Chris

      this was a fantastic video, i enjoyed it and has answered many of the questions that i have had. However i still have one question particular, do you hit your exact macros everyday or do you just come within the ballpark and just make sure your calories dont go over? I find it very difficult to hit the numbers exactly without eating the same food every day.

    • Harry Cintineo

      Hey Layne,
      I met you over the weekend at the Arnold. It was great to get a chance to talk to you! Regarding this topic, I know that a lot of IIFYM Flexible Dieters, including myself, don’t limit the amount of protein, carbs, and fat in one meal compared to the next. People who do intermittent fasting also do this, not spreading out macronutrient intake throughout the day. I was wondering if spreading out macro, especially protein, intake throughout the day was beneficial in anyway. Based on your study, Equal Distributions of Dietary Protein Throughout the Day Maximizes Rat Skeletal Muscle Mass, it seems as through splitting up protein intake is optimal for body composition.

    • Sue

      What about those folks who say that they can’t eat certain foods that are not clean because they will be unable to stop themselves from binging? So they cannot stop at 1 serve and go over their calories for the day.

    • Scott

      When you discuss macros, your refer to grams. I have been using percentages using the “My Fitness Pal” app. How do the macros you discuss relate to this fashion of measurement?

    • Zach

      I agree that IIFIYM is the most ideal plan. I myself have fallen victim to” I already broke it” binge eating. I do better with occasionally eating that peice of cake and that scoop of ice cream (knowing I can eat it and its ok) and merely accounting for it in the macro’s, sometimes not, and I still make good progress. Layne, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the effort and time you have devoted to helping others(including myself) reach our own goals.

      Thank you Layne, for everything you have, and will do for others striving to achieve!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=164700353 Melissa Aguilar-Miranda

      Hi , I had a clean eating coach . Let me tell you I went a whole month binging . My god I have gain so much weight . It’s true , you feel so guilty and I still have that mentality that if I eat one scoop of ice cream I feel extremely guilty and like a failure . Now I am starting brand new , I took the IIFIYM . I eat clean but if I want chocolate I fit it into my macros . I still feel guilty but I believe it will take me some time from this brain wash my coach gave me

    • Pily Toburen

      Thank you Layne! I really needed to learn this from you! I am so excited that I found you! Your amazing knowledge is quite helpful! No more being slave of just eating certain foods to achieve my goals!

    • rob

      I track my macros with MyFitnessPal. My question is do you see a problem mixing fats, carbs and protein later in the day/dinner to hit my macros? Or does it not really matter as long as I hit them?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001038087041 Nora Allen

      Layne, I am a registered dietitian and loving this post. It is so nice to see someone with real education speak on this..way too much misinformation out there. I personally have been doing a vegan (personal reasons, but I definitely get my fiber!) macro diet and I have honestly never looked, felt or performed better. There is way too much of a disconnect when it comes to our relationship with food. Making lifestyle changes you can live with is so key. Thank you for informing the masses with good, sound nutritional information- and dispelling the crazy that comes from these coaches!!

    • Sue Margaret

      My take on ” clean eating” is just eating close to nature, nothing processed or out of a packet, and that cannot be bad….healthy, fresh food, eaten according to nature and the season, less food miles, has to have better nutrition, where as all that processed food cannot be good….have you read “Grain Brain” by Dr Perlmutter..why can’t I maintain IIFYM and eat clean food to achieve this,has to be a win win? I am a newbie to all this, but loving it! And thank you for sharing your knowledge

    • http://mark3000.com/ Mark3000

      Immediately went out and purchased the first pop-tart I’ve had in years. Thanks, Layne! But I still hit the macros. =) S’mores-flavored ftw!

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    • Alicja Laskowska

      Wonderful video! When you started off saying “Clean eating vs IIFYM?” I was ready to roll my eyes and wait for you to choose. It was refreshing to see such a nicely presented, real view on nutrition that focuses on balance. Our psyche is the largest contributor of body physique

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