I had a wake up call. The call informed me of something that, on an intuitive level, I already knew. The problem was that I couldn’t articulate what it is that I knew.

What was this breakthrough? It so happens that Layne was doing a live Q&A and someone mentioned the “IIFYM diet.” Layne politely, but firmly, corrected this by saying that IIFYM isn’t a diet, but a method of tracking. And that was the light bulb for me. So let’s look at diets and tracking methods. And let’s find the similarities and the differences between some various systems.



What do you think of when you think of the word “diet?” If you’re like most people, you probably think of the following:

  • misery
  • starting point
  • end point
  • restricting foods
  • “bad” foods
  • “good” foods

Not all diets have all of these facets, but almost all of them do share the last three facets. Depending on the author you read, you’ll get different versions of the Paleo Diet. But no matter the author, they all agree that humans should not eat bread and legumes. If you are familiar with the Atkins diet, or the ketogenic diet, they both rely heavily on the exclusion of carbohydrates.

If you happen to be familiar with the Whole 30, they rely on restricting alcohol, dairy, grains, added sugar, and legumes among other things. In addition to that, there is a starting and end point for most people who opt for Whole 30.

But there is a more reasonable way to look at your diet. And it can include all or none of the above. A diet is simply the totality of what you ingest. Every day. Every year. That 12 pack of beer you and your friend crushed last weekend is part of it. That cheese covered fried chicken you got at the buffet seven months ago is also part of it. Not to mention the chicken breast, sweet potato, and broccoli you had four times during last week. It’s all there. It all affects you and it encompasses your diet.

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