Listen to the Episode
Macronutrients, get your macronutrients here! This episode was all about dieting (mostly for fat loss) and macros, and If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). The guys are mostly against IIFYM, for various reasons that maybe aren’t obvious at first. Also, Scott gets messages from people doing insane things based on their understanding of the rules of IIFYM.
The guys talked about the differences between doing a diet (such as vegetarianism) for ethical or personal reasons, versus doing it because it’s “a diet.” Scott calls this the difference between a diet strategy (good) and doing “a diet” (bad), or the differences doing it from the top down (following this or that name) versus doing it from the ground up (doing it based on personal strategic or ethical reasons).
Macros and IIFYM Notes:
- Which macros should you focus on? Scott and Kevin actually do things backwards a bit, insofar as they emphasize the protein SPARING nutrients (carbs and fats). Their recommendations for protein are still in the ballpark of what 99% of the fitness industry recommend.
- The Twinkie Diet by Dr. Mark Haub came up. Scott clarified that Dr. Haub didn’t eat just Twinkies, but foods you could get in a gas station (and he had a protein shake and multivitamin).
- Scott mentioned “honeymooning,” and that more often than not, diet trends gain legs because of people “honeymooning” at something making the most supportive comments.
- There was talk about when and how the metabolic compensation would come into effect. I.e. most people aren’t doing the insane things that Biggest Loser contestants are, and honestly, they just won’t experience the same kinds of metabolic compensation.
- Scott is against IIFYM because it can breed obsession, and it also (counter-intuitively) can emphasize what you “can” or “can’t” have.
- Although Mike is “less” against counting calories or macros than Kevin or Scott, he mentioned 3 key reasons why he personally doesn’t *really* like it, nor does he prefer an IIFYM diet.
- Ego Depletion: Having to make decisions all day saps willpower. this is true whether it’s deciding what to wear or… what to eat.
- Bright Lines: Having a meal plan makes it easy to say what is or is not on the meal plan. Either it is or it isn’t. Having macros to “fill in” is more blurry. Sure, substituting one potato for a sugary snack? No problem. But what about another… and another… and another… At some point your brain things, Hmm, this isn’t absolutely, positively 100% “optimal,” which could have you second-guessing yourself, and that’s when you are susceptible to…
- The “What-the-Hell” Effect: After you have one cookie, “what-the-hell,” just have the whole box. Our brains are bad at this. If we’re not doing things absolutely, 100% perfectly, its instinct is to say, “Oh what the hell.” (This one’s in McGonigal’s book.)
- All of these stack up. Maybe you don’t give in and have the whole box, but nonetheless, just experiencing all three of these effects will drain your willpower. If this happening constantly, that makes dieting harder.
Links / Resources mentioned
The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal
Willpower: The Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney