Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    fitasfuk50's Operating System DocDePanda187123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    8,110
    Thanks
    1,569
    Thanked 5,649 Times in 3,264 Posts

    A Primer on DCA/IIFYM for Aspiring Dieters

    This is my attempt at an educational guide to incorporate and implement the principles of 'If It Fits Your Macros' (IIFYM) and Discretionary Calorie Allotment/Allowance (DCA) if you so choose. I hope the information presented here is practical and can aid you in your quest to achieve your dream physique.

    What is IIFYM/DCA?

    IIFYM and DCA are ways to arrange your diet so that you may achieve your physique, strength, and lifting goals in a manner that's consistent with your lifestyle and personal choices. They allow the inclusion of certain 'fun' or 'dirty' foods into the diet, which is contrary to current bodybuilding dogma. They are NOT excuses to eat Cheetos all day and guzzle down 6 liters of soda daily. Many people commonly mistake this as being accepted by DCA/IIFYM, when in reality, only some extreme followers go to such lengths and behaviors.

    The ideology behind DCA is this; energy and macronutrient intake must be specifically calibrated to the needs of the individual or user in accordance with their current state (stats) and future state (goals). Once calorie levels have been determined, macros must then be allotted to at least meet the minimum nutritional needs of the essential macronutrients; i.e. dietary fat and protein intake (that's right, carbs are NON-essential). Once you have these numbers, DCA says "the majority of your food intake should be coming from whole-and-minimally-processed-foods so as to provide sufficient micronutrients, fiber, and satiating power. Once these 'needs' have been met, the remainder of your intake can come from 'fun' foods or foods you wouldn't see in a typical bodybuilder diet".

    What's important to mention is that the foods you include, whether they're staples or fun foods, should be foods you enjoy eating. Consistency in nutrition and diet is usually where most people fail and numerous studies, anecdotal experiences, and even personal experiences have shown that when people are allowed to include foods they enjoy eating, they tend to gorge on them less or 'cheat' their diet less, rather. Those of us with no will power or who can't stop at one serving might find it easier to avoid these foods completely but that's a personal decision you must make on your own.

    What happened to clean and dirty dieting?

    An objective definition of clean and dirty is an impossible task. We each have our own definitions of clean and dirty, therefore, it's impossible to define the terms in relation to food choices. The 80's were characterized by the "Low Fat/No Fat" diets and dietary fat, regardless of the type, was deemed dirty while every other macronutrient was clean. Today, we know that dietary fats are an essential nutrient for life. After a Consumer Reports article about the evils of protein (February 1998 issue) some thought protein was dirty, which led to plummeting sales of animal proteins and powdered protein supplements in many fitness circles. Now, many studies and case studies have shown the safety of relatively high protein diets in otherwise healthy individuals and even less dangers in the athletic/lifting population.

    The 90's was where we first dichotomized saturated fats as dirty and unsaturated fats as clean. Today, we know that while saturated fats aren't the essential fats, they still play a critical role in hormonal production, satiety, increased cardiovascular fitness (by decreasing lipoprotein (a), which no current medications can bring down), lead to stronger bones, a healthier heart, increased liver repair/function and many other benefits. The concept of Glycemic Index (GI), was popularized by fitness enthusiasts during this period as well, which I'll touch on later.

    In the 2000's, we transitioned to carbs being 'dirty' and responsible for all the fat gain in the world. Sugar was dirty and eating 700g of carbs from a sweet potato wouldn't make you fat because of the low GI.

    As you can see, every decade is filled with a new food or a macronutrient group we begin to demonize. Clean vs dirty is a SUBJECTIVE view and one I'd like to personally see eliminated. Science has made the attempt and failed to define it, your definition varies from mine and varies from my neighbors, etc. Furthermore, labeling a food outside the context of the entire diet is fruitless. The common fallacy of appealing to an extreme is usually made here and the argument "Would you bulk on just pop tarts and butter?" Is often heard. How about we use the same fallacy to 'clean' eating: "Would you bulk on nothing but oatmeal and olive oil?" It just doesn't make sense. Finally, restricting your vision to individual food choices outside the context of the whole diet can be misleading: how detrimental to your goals is having a few cookies or some other dessert or treat per week when 95% of your diet is veggies, fruits, whole foods, lean cuts of meat, etc? You really think a couple of cookies is going to sabotage a diet in its entirety?

    How DCA works?

    DCA works on the principle of energy balance; a calories in vs calories out view, if you will. Your body is a closed system, energy (fat and muscle) can neither be created nor destroyed without adding more calories or taking them away by eating in a caloric surplus or deficit. Calories are the sole determining factor of WEIGHT gain or loss. To determine where that loss or gain comes from (if you gain muscle or fat or lose muscle or fat) is where the particular macros come in. Micronutrients are important for optimal bodily function, health, and more.

    Calorie, Micro-, and Macronutrient Needs

    Micronutrients: Micronutrients are called micronutrients because of the small quantities they're needed in. This group contains compounds such as macro minerals (calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, etc), micro minerals (copper, zinc, iron, iodine, etc), organic chemical compounds or vitamins (A, B12, C, D, etc), antioxidants, and more. These compounds are essential to good bodily function and cannot be synthesized on their own in sufficient quantities; they have to be taken in through diet and/or supplementation. There are minimum micronutrient needs as set forth in RDA's (Recommended Daily/Dietary Allowance) but this does not mean more optimal levels cannot be had. Although micronutrient deficiency is more common, micronutrient toxicity can still be an issue with overdosing and absorption rates can be altered depending on co-administration of other micronutrients. This would be outside the scope of this article but should anyone wish to find more info in the topic, I suggest searching for Austinite's Supplementation Thread. His article goes into more detail on some of the more important micronutrients and he is well versed on supplementation regimens to achieve more optimal levels.

    Calories: The best way to calculate caloric needs is to get an accurate body fat measurement from a bod pod or Dexa scan. To do so google search (your city + bod pod/Dexa scan) and a list of locations near you will come up or click on this thread by Times Roman for a link to the BodPod locator:http://www.ugbodybuilding.com/thread...testing-center Once you have a good body fat estimate, you can use the Katch-McArdle formula to calculate BMR. BMR, or basal metabolic rate, is the amount of energy in calories the body requires to maintain itself in basically a catatonic state (no activity). If you can't get an accurate estimate use an online BMR calculator to calculate your metabolic needs based on age, weight, and height. The Katch-McArdle method is the most accurate formula available now but requires and accurate body fat estimate because it makes use of lean body mass not total mass. The formula is:

    BMR = 370 + [21.6 x LBM (lean body mass in kilograms)]

    To get kg from lbs simply divide by 2.2. To get lbm from body weight, simply multiply body weight by [1 - (BF% divided by 100 to get decimal)].

    So, if you're 200lbs @ 10% you would do:
    [1 - (10/100)] x 200lbs = [.90] x 200lbs = 180lbs lbm
    180lbs lbm / 2.2 = 81.81kg lbm
    BMR = 370 + [21.6 x 81.81] = 370 + [1767] => BMR = 2137 calories

    To get TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) from BMR just multiply by an activity factor:
    1.2-1.4 sedentary, little activity, desk job, not much else
    1.4-1.6 moderately active, physical job, play light sports,lift several times a week,etc
    1.6+ extremely active/athlete, training 2x/day, etc

    So assuming our example is moderately active and we pick a 1.5 activity factor we now get:

    BMR X Activity Factor = 2137 x 1.5 => TDEE = 3205 calories

    Now to bulk you'd add 10-20% calories and to cut you'd drop 10-20% calories. The smaller the surplus in a bulk means less fat gain but slower overall gains. More would yield the opposite. The smaller the deficit in a cut means less muscle loss but slower fat loss. A higher deficit means more fat and muscle loss is likely. The amount of surplus or deficit should be determined by each individual based on current stats, future goals and their limits (how fat/skinny you're willing to get while bulking/cutting).

    Now this calculation is just a guess, a good guess, but a guess nonetheless. You must try it and see if it works for you. Eat at maintenance for 2 weeks and monitor physical appearance and scale weight. If you lose weight, add 200-300 calories and check again in 1-2 weeks until weight is steady. If you gain weight, reduce calories by 200-300 and check again in 1-2 weeks until weight stays constant.

    Macronutrients

    Protein: Meeting minimum protein needs will help ensure that muscle is either not lost on a cut or built on a bulk. Protein sources should be varied to get a wide range of amino acids and micronutrients. Whey has its own set of advantages and disadvantages over whole foods but make no mistake, it is an extremely useful way of increasing protein intake if needed. Also, protein will never realistically be stored as fat. You can over-consume protein and the protein will not be stored as fat, HOWEVER, doing so ensures all dietary fat is stored and net fat balance goes up, even though the protein is not directly responsible for the fat gain, it certainly is -- indirectly (don't believe anyone who tells you to eat lots of protein because you won't get any fatter, that's a myopic view). Protein needs as set and defined by the RDA and CDC for men aged 19-70+ is 56g/day. That's right, 56 grams! While that may be enough for survival and daily activities, it's certainly not enough for us as bodybuilders, strength athletes and generally active individuals. On the opposite end of the spectrum, excessive protein provides little return over more moderate levels and can in fact, be detrimental to kidney function as can be evidenced by BUN, creatinine and BUN/creatinine ratio via blood test results. Now, slightly elevated health markers aren't necessarily indicative of severe damage, but protein consumption of approximately 2g/lb of body weight has been shown to be tolerated well in athletes and strength competitors. Is it necessary for protein to be so high? Not really, because protein synthesis can only be stimulated so much and eating excess protein invariably leads to less carbs and dietary fat in eucaloric and isocaloric diets. (An eucaloric diet is one that maintains a certain amount of mass regardless of what it may be and an isocaloric diet is one that contains similar calories relative to another).

    How We Get Fat | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

    Protein Recommendations: Aim for no lower than around .8g/lb of body weight and preferably around 1g/lb body weight. It's fine to go higher but this amount should meet minimal needs and more.

    Dietary Fats: Meeting minimum fat needs will help with endogenous-hormonal-production (choelsterol/fat are steroidogenesis precursors), helps with brain, lung, heart, and liver function, increases satiety, tastes great, and is essential towards survival (99% of bodily function can be ran off ketones instead of carbs/glucose and protein can be converted to glucose for the 1% by gluconeogenesis). Now, it's important to get a wide variety of fats which include your omegas, saturated fats and poly/mono unsaturated fats. The only fats to avoid are artificial trans-fats as these serve no biological purpose. Natural trans-fats can be found in steaks and/or beef products and should not to be confused with their artificial brethren, which are made via hydrogenation processes. Fat's primary role is storage as fat, but the net effect on fat loss or gain is determined by your caloric intake levels in relation to your requirements. So just because the fat you eat gets stored in fatty tissue and cells, it does not mean you're actually getting fatter; since if you're in a calorie deficit the rest of your energy needs comes from fatty acid oxidation and thus, net fat levels drop.

    A Primer on Dietary Fats - Part 2 | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

    Dietary Fat Recommendations: Aim for around .3-.4g/lb of body weight as a minimum. Going much less than this can be detrimental while being at this amount or greater isn't. Gluconeogenesis (conversion of protein to glucose) can occur when fat intake drops too low, which is less than ~10% of total calories. The .3-.4g/lb body weight recommendation is enough to avoid gluconeogenesis while not being excessive.

    Carbs: Carbs can help stop the breakdown of muscle, catabolism, post exercise and are the primary fuel source for intense exercise. Protein has no effect on catabolism, it simply increases protein synthesis. Carbs on the other hand cannot increase protein synthesis but they can stop catabolism which is a normal response to training (don't be freaked out by this and/or cortisol response to training). To get the best of both worlds, it's advised to get some form of protein and carbs in AROUND your workout whether that's before, during, after, or all 3. Do what's convenient and works for your schedule. Carbs are the body's primary source of fuel and especially so for intense anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting. Having carbs in your diet will allow you to keep intensity high. When you eat carbs they will be used for energy. Carbs do NOT get stored as fat directly though. Carbs do NOT get stored as fat. De novo lipogenesis or the conversion of acetyl coenzyme-A to fatty acid to form new fat tissue is an extremely rare process in humans. It requires extreme situations such as eating 700-900g of carbs a day for several days straight. How We Get Fat | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

    Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Jan;45(1):78-85.
    Carbohydrate metabolism and de novo lipogenesis in human obesity.

    Acheson KJ, Schutz Y, Bessard T, Flatt JP, Jéquier E.
    Respiratory exchange was measured during 14 consecutive hours in six lean and six obese individuals after ingestion of 500 g of dextrin maltose to investigate and compare their capacity for net de novo lipogenesis. After ingestion of the carbohydrate load, metabolic rates rose similarly in both groups but fell earlier and more rapidly in the obese. RQs also rose rapidly and remained in the range of 0.95 to 1.00 for approximately 8 h in both groups. During this time, RQ exceeded 1.00 for only short periods of time with the result that 4 +/- 1 g and 5 +/- 3 g (NS) of fat were synthesized via de novo lipogenesis in excess of concomitant fat oxidation in the lean and obese subjects, respectively. Results demonstrate that net de novo lipid synthesis from an unusually large carbohydrate load is not greater in obese than in lean individuals.
    Carbohydrate metabolism and de novo lipogenesis in human obesity.

    ^^^500g carbs in the form of dextrin maltose was ingested by patients. The only fat synthesized with 500g carbs was 5-7g of fat....yes that's GRAMS!

    Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;65(4):908-15.
    Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss.
    Surwit RS, Feinglos MN, McCaskill CC, Clay SL, Babyak MA, Brownlow BS, Plaisted CS, Lin PH.
    Source
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. surwi001@mc.duke.edu
    Abstract
    In response to evidence linking obesity and high amounts of dietary fat, the food industry has developed numerous reduced-fat and nonfat food items. These items frequently derive a relatively large percentage of their energy from sugars and the effect of these sugars on weight regulation is not well known. We studied the comparative effects of high- and low-sucrose, low-fat, hypoenergetic diets on a variety of metabolic and behavioral indexes in a 6-wk weight-loss program. Both diets contained approximately 4606 kJ energy/d with 11% of energy as fat, 19% as protein, and 71% as carbohydrate. The high-sucrose diet contained 43% of the total daily energy intake as sucrose; the low-sucrose diet contained 4% of the total daily energy intake as sucrose. Twenty women aged 40.6 +/- 8.2 y (mean +/- SD) with a body mass index (in kg/m2) of 35.93 +/- 4.8 consumed the high-sucrose diet; 22 women aged 40.3 +/- 7.3 y with a body mass index of 34.93 +/- 4.4 consumed the low-sucrose diet. Mixed-design analysis of variance showed a main effect of time (P < 0.01), with both diet groups showing decreases in weight, blood pressure, resting energy expenditure, percentage body fat, free triiodothyronine (FT3), urinary norepinephrine, and plasma lipids. Small but significant interactions were found between group and time in total cholesterol (P = 0.009) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (P = 0.01). Both groups showed decreases in depression, hunger, and negative mood, and increases in vigilance and positive mood with time (P < 0.01). Results showed that a high sucrose content in a hypoenergetic, low-fat diet did not adversely affect weight loss, metabolism, plasma lipids, or emotional affect.
    Sucrose in weight-loss regimens. [Am J Clin Nutr. 1998]
    PMID: 9094871 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    ^^^Surwit et. al. performed a study on two groups of hypocaloric dieters (those eating in a calorie deficit). One group, low-Sucrose group, got 4% of total calories from sucrose while another group, high-Sucrose group, got 43% of total calories from sucrose. The results were NO SIGNIFICANT impact on weight or fat loss between high-Sucrose and low-Sucrose groups. So eating 43% of your DAY'S TOTAL CALORIES from TABLE SUGAR is not enough to stop the fat loss in a hypocaloric diet. Both groups felt less hunger, depression, and mood swings. Does any more need to be said?

    The Effect of Two Energy-Restricted Diets, a Low-Fructose Diet vs. a Moderate Natural Fructose Diet ***8211; Research Review

    Madero M et. al. The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: a randomized controlled trial. Metabolism. 2011 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]

    One of the proposed causes of obesity and metabolic syndrome is the excessive intake of products containing added sugars, in particular, fructose. Although the ability of excessive intake of fructose to induce metabolic syndrome is mounting, to date, no study has addressed whether a diet specifically lowering fructose but not total carbohydrates can reduce features of metabolic syndrome. A total of 131 patients were randomized to compare the short-term effects of 2 energy-restricted diets-a low-fructose diet vs a moderate natural fructose diet-on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters. Patients were randomized to receive 1500, 1800, or 2000 cal diets according to sex, age, and height. Because natural fructose might be differently absorbed compared with fructose from added sugars, we randomized obese subjects to either a low-fructose diet (<20 g/d) or a moderate-fructose diet with natural fruit supplements (50-70 g/d) and compared the effects of both diets on the primary outcome of weight loss in a 6-week follow-up period. Blood pressure, lipid profile, serum glucose, insulin resistance, uric acid, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and quality of life scores were included as secondary outcomes. One hundred two (78%) of the 131 participants were women, mean age was 38.8 ± 8.8 years, and the mean body mass index was 32.4 ± 4.5 kg/m(2). Each intervention diet was associated with significant weight loss compared with baseline. Weight loss was higher in the moderate natural fructose group (4.19 ± 0.30 kg) than the low-fructose group (2.83 ± 0.29 kg) (P = .0016). Compared with baseline, each intervention diet was associated with significant improvement in secondary outcomes. Reduction of energy and added fructose intake may represent an important therapeutic target to reduce the frequency of obesity and diabetes. For weight loss achievement, an energy-restricted moderate natural fructose diet was superior to a low-fructose diet.
    ^^^Madero and colleagues broke down participants in a low-Fructose group (<20g/day) and high-Fructose group (50-70g/day). Patients were randomized to either 1500, 1800, or 2000 calorie diets based on age, sex, weight, etc. This means the high-fructose group had ~12-16% of total calories come from fructose alone, not including other forms of carbs. Results? Weight loss was higher in moderate-Fructose group than low-Fructose group.

    Take home point: Don't be scared of carbs. Low carbs does not mean you won't get fat just like high carbs doesn't mean you will get fat. It's about energy balance first and foremost.

    Carb Recommendations: Unless you plan on doing a ketogenic diet or prefer low carbs/carb cycling diets, you should try and include at least 100-150g/day of carbs as a bare minimum. It will help keep your intensity up in the gym among other benefits.



    So for our guy above 200lbs @ 10%BF who wants to bulk on a 15% surplus we have:
    3200calories x 1.15 = ~3700calories

    Minimum macros are:
    Protein- ~200g of protein
    Dietary Fat- ~70g of fat
    Carbs- ~150g carbs

    This comes out to around 2030 calories just to meet minimum needs/requirements. DCA tells you to fill these needs with whole and minimally processed foods, so items such as chicken, steak, burgers, fish, whey protein, oats, veggies and fruits, potatoes, rice, avocado, olive oil, etc. That means there still about 1700 calories left unaccounted for, which can come from any single or combination of macros and the sources here are not as important meaning they can be your fun foods or dirty foods. Veggies and fruits should not be skimped out on here as they are amazing sources for micronutrients and fiber. Get a wide variety of sources while meeting needs and you're all set to go.


    Common Myths

    1) You cannot eat pop tarts and candy all day and chug back a protein shake. This is not DCA/IIFYM and is a deficient diet.

    2) You do NOT have to eat 'dirty or fun' foods. The food choices are entirely up to you. Personally I love chicken, oats, eggs, whey protein, ribeyes, veggies/salads, etc so most of my food choices are whole/'clean' foods but I do love brownies and ice cream lol so I fit those in whenever possible. If you only want to eat common bodybuilder foods that's quite alright but don't develop an inferiority complex and think your diet is better than someone else's who incorporates other types of foods.

    3) You will not get any fatter or leaner, any more muscular or less muscular doing DCA than any other type of dieting when comparing eucaloric diets with similar macronutrient composition.

    4) Dirty foods make you fat due to insulin spikes. FALSE!!! High GI foods can be slowly released in the presence of protein and/or fat. Protein and fat slow the digestion of carbs, making the glycemic load of the meal low. You can avoid spiking blood sugar while eating a candy cane just by eating a bit of protein with it or some fats. Also, what's assumed here is that an insulin spike will cause fat gain. First off, insulin cannot defeat a calorie deficit in healthy individuals and secondly, insulin still remains in physiological range no matter what you eat and how high the GI of any food is and physiological ranges of insulin do not have the anabolic/catabolic effects that bodybuilders obsess over. The only time to consider GI or fast/slow carbs is if you're diabetic or using insulin exogenously. If not one of those two groups STOP OBSESSING OVER INSULIN FOR NO REASON!


    Bottom Line

    The successful bodybuilder, power lifter, physique athlete, etc... will use a diet that he/she can be consistent with and is consistent with his/her goals. There are many tricks at your disposal: carb cycling, low carbs, low fat, ketogenic, IF, etc. What tricks you use is up to you. DCA/IIFYM simply allows you to not hate your daily diet and include foods which you personally want to eat. If you dread your diet and plan cheat meals religiously, you can still get results but who wants to be miserable when it comes to food/nutrition?

    When bulking, DCA allows for more freedom in food selection but when cutting extremely lean and doing contest prep, the freedom is reduced because overall needs are reduced. If your needs are 2000 calories while taking in 2200 calories and doing cardio to make the difference, you really have little room to play with, forcing you to choose more whole foods and less fun foods.

    Contest prep is a completely different set of circumstances as fat loss or muscle gain aren't the sole requirements. A contest prep diet will take fat loss, muscle mass preservation, water weight, deadlines, etc into account and use those factors to manipulate things like sodium/electrolyte intake, water intake, carb intake, use of diuretics, and more. The DCA/IIFYM approach could still be used for contest prep but since calorie intake will drop to extreme levels, the amounts of fun foods one can have are very very few. Getting bloated a few days out from a show or holding too much water can be detrimental. For expert contest prep advice, an experienced nutritionist such as Spongy/Helios Nutrition may be needed.

    He can be reached through this site via PM:
    http://www.ugbodybuilding.com/members/479-Spongy
    or by email:
    HeliosNutrition@gmail.com

    DCA/IIFYM does not prescribe to nothing but 'junk' food and protein shakes nor does it say that you must incorporate any single food item, but by allowing you certain individual 'luxuries' while still staying within sane and scientifically backed nutritional guidelines it is a very easy way to stick to your diet and succeed at attaining your goals. I hope the information provided here will allow some to better achieve their goals.

    Good luck!

  2. The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to DocDePanda187123 For This Useful Post:

    AlphaD (03-02-2014),automatondan (02-11-2015),Capt'n Ron (03-02-2014),carebear81 (05-01-2015),Chef_JD (03-21-2015),don draco (03-02-2014),GenetixSupreme (02-14-2015),Jayjay82 (05-13-2015),Mythos (01-29-2018),NbleSavage (12-23-2013),SHAKEDOWN88 (02-27-2014),trodizzle (03-13-2015)

  3. #2
    Senior Moderator NbleSavage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    11,074
    Thanks
    19,555
    Thanked 9,988 Times in 4,975 Posts
    Epic post is Epic. Huge thanks, Doc.

    Mods - sticky please?

  4. #3
    Veteran DieYoungStrong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    6,171
    Thanks
    5,415
    Thanked 8,017 Times in 3,460 Posts
    Great Read!!!

  5. #4
    Elite don draco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    915
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 294 Times in 157 Posts
    Bumping this. Deserves much more attention than it has received.

    Excellent writeup, Doc. I'm glad that you started by addressing some of the common misconceptions surrounding IIFYM/DCA. The idea that IIFYM/DCA is an excuse to eat junk all day is the reason why many in the bodybuilding community have looked down upon it.. but, ironically, ALL bodybuilders use the IIFYM/DCA approach to some degree. I believe the problem is that usually, the people who make a conscious decision to follow IIFYM/DCA misunderstand its most basic principles. Instead of constructing a diet with a foundation consisting of nutrient-dense, whole foods, they adopt a dietary approach where 'junk' food serves as the foundation. This leaves them deficient in a myriad of micronutrients, which, as we know, are essential for driving several bodily functions -- including those associated with muscular development. Whether the impact be major or minor ( depending on the extremity and duration of these deficiencies ), the fact that it negatively effects the individual's progress is undeniable. They're essentially turning the entire structure of IIFYM/DCA on its head. Disregarding micronutrients and focusing solely on macronutrients is what I call the 'extremes' of IIFYM/DCA. And the 'extremes,' I believe, is the exact reason that this dietary approach has developed such a bad reputation in the bodybuilding/fitness community.

    I believe that the issue stems from the acronym itself -- 'If It Fits Your Macros.' This can easily be misinterpreted as : ' Eat anything as long as your macronutrient requirements are fulfilled. ' However, although extreme, I could fulfill my daily macronutrient requirements eating a diet consisting solely of protein shakes, skittles, and chocolate -- could I not? Not only would I be extremely unhealthy, I would not be moving toward my bodybuilding goals at an optimal rate.

    Here is where the problem lies. People determine the basic rules/structure of the diet solely from the name; they do no research beyond the name itself. To most people, it's an excuse to continue making poor dietary choices because it allows them to remain comfortable.


    I enjoyed reading through this, Doc. Made me realize that we actually agreed on many of the things that you, Seeker & I we were debating about in the shoutbox a little while ago

    Edit: Just realized that it's a sticky already. But bumping nonetheless!
    Last edited by don draco; 03-02-2014 at 04:18 AM.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to don draco For This Useful Post:

    automatondan (02-11-2015)

  7. #5
    Elite
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    killadelphia
    Posts
    1,973
    Thanks
    249
    Thanked 464 Times in 291 Posts
    Eating dirty foods all day is unhealthy and counting macros are for sissys I rather eat healthy and feel good.. No thanks iifym bs bodybuilding.com shit.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to losieloos For This Useful Post:

    #TheMatrix (03-02-2014)

  9. #6
    Elite don draco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    915
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 294 Times in 157 Posts
    Originally Posted by losieloos View Post
    Eating dirty foods all day is unhealthy and counting macros are for sissys I rather eat healthy and feel good.. No thanks iifym bs bodybuilding.com shit.
    To each his own, but in the end, if you're focused on making as much progress as possible, counting macros will be your best bet. Eating healthy and feeling good is great, but if your main goal is making progress (whether that be building muscle mass, losing bf %, etc.), monitoring caloric and macronutrient intake is key. Personally, I made the most progress when I started counting. I didn't count for the first year that I was lifting.. and while I got big ( took the eat big, get big approach.. put on 80 lbs ), I got fat as **** lol. For all I know, I may have been in a caloric surplus of 1000+ calories daily, which, inevitably, led to a LOT of fat gain over that time period. I wasted almost 7 months cutting in order to drop down to 8% bf. If I had been smart about my approach, that time could have been spent making more progress.

    Also, you need to keep in mind that the bigger you get, the more calories your body will need to maintain its size. If you're not monitoring your caloric intake, eventually you'll hit a wall in terms of growth. Let's say your caloric maintenance eventually hits 5,000 calories / day -- how do you expect to consume this amount of calories (or exceed it) on a daily basis if you're not conscious of what you're eating? You could take the 'eat everything in sight' approach, but, again, this is not optimal. It is still very possible to undershoot, resulting in weight & strength stagnation or loss. Or (although highly unlikely) you could overshoot, resulting in unnecessary fat gain.

    But of course, everybody's goals are different. So the approach you take is entirely up to you. But if counting macros is for sissys, that's okay with me. I'll still do it. Because I'll take being a 'sissy' while making good, consistent progress over being a 'man' & making less progress ( or perhaps none ) any day

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to don draco For This Useful Post:

    automatondan (02-11-2015)

  11. #7
    Member pilgrim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    90
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    This is all news to me. I think this is we're I should start and see how far it gets me
    Using Tapatalk

  12. #8
    fitasfuk50's Operating System DocDePanda187123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    8,110
    Thanks
    1,569
    Thanked 5,649 Times in 3,264 Posts
    Originally Posted by pilgrim View Post
    This is all news to me. I think this is we're I should start and see how far it gets me
    It will get you everywhere you want to go provided you follow the basic guidelines. Whether ppl realize it or not, almost every successful physique, strength, or other type of athlete utilizes these principles. If you need help there are plenty of ppl here willing to help you. Good luck.
    II==[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\]--------
    #Strength First Boston

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to DocDePanda187123 For This Useful Post:

    automatondan (02-11-2015)

  14. #9
    fitasfuk50's Operating System DocDePanda187123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    8,110
    Thanks
    1,569
    Thanked 5,649 Times in 3,264 Posts
    Originally Posted by don draco View Post
    Bumping this. Deserves much more attention than it has received.

    Excellent writeup, Doc. I'm glad that you started by addressing some of the common misconceptions surrounding IIFYM/DCA. The idea that IIFYM/DCA is an excuse to eat junk all day is the reason why many in the bodybuilding community have looked down upon it.. but, ironically, ALL bodybuilders use the IIFYM/DCA approach to some degree. I believe the problem is that usually, the people who make a conscious decision to follow IIFYM/DCA misunderstand its most basic principles. Instead of constructing a diet with a foundation consisting of nutrient-dense, whole foods, they adopt a dietary approach where 'junk' food serves as the foundation. This leaves them deficient in a myriad of micronutrients, which, as we know, are essential for driving several bodily functions -- including those associated with muscular development. Whether the impact be major or minor ( depending on the extremity and duration of these deficiencies ), the fact that it negatively effects the individual's progress is undeniable. They're essentially turning the entire structure of IIFYM/DCA on its head. Disregarding micronutrients and focusing solely on macronutrients is what I call the 'extremes' of IIFYM/DCA. And the 'extremes,' I believe, is the exact reason that this dietary approach has developed such a bad reputation in the bodybuilding/fitness community.

    I believe that the issue stems from the acronym itself -- 'If It Fits Your Macros.' This can easily be misinterpreted as : ' Eat anything as long as your macronutrient requirements are fulfilled. ' However, although extreme, I could fulfill my daily macronutrient requirements eating a diet consisting solely of protein shakes, skittles, and chocolate -- could I not? Not only would I be extremely unhealthy, I would not be moving toward my bodybuilding goals at an optimal rate.

    Here is where the problem lies. People determine the basic rules/structure of the diet solely from the name; they do no research beyond the name itself. To most people, it's an excuse to continue making poor dietary choices because it allows them to remain comfortable.


    I enjoyed reading through this, Doc. Made me realize that we actually agreed on many of the things that you, Seeker & I we were debating about in the shoutbox a little while ago

    Edit: Just realized that it's a sticky already. But bumping nonetheless!
    I agree with pretty much everything you said Don and am glad you had the chance to read it. Your thoughts mirror mine to the T. We can make a case for extremism in every diet but IIFYM/DCA isn't a diet per se. There are no recommended foods or foods to avoid except in the case of allergies/intolerances, foods you don't like, and artificial transfats. You, Seeker, and I probably agree more than we all realize which is comforting bc I respect all your opinions and recommendations. Once again, thank you for coming through and reading this and thanks for adding in your thoughts to it!
    II==[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\]--------
    #Strength First Boston

  15. #10
    Member explosivemuscle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Originally Posted by losieloos View Post
    Eating dirty foods all day is unhealthy and counting macros are for sissys I rather eat healthy and feel good.. No thanks iifym bs bodybuilding.com shit.
    I certainly agree with the part about not counting every macro. I eat very healthy and try to make sure I eat as many meals as I can per day. Lots of protein and good calories with some fats. I also hit the gym like a monster and go HARD so its a combo. Make sure your diet is up to par and drink mostly water (with the exception of protein shakes) and the water will lower your body fat nicely.
    Suffer the pain of Discipline OR suffer the pain of Regret



    Hit that Iron !

  16. #11
    fitasfuk50's Operating System DocDePanda187123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    8,110
    Thanks
    1,569
    Thanked 5,649 Times in 3,264 Posts
    Originally Posted by explosivemuscle View Post
    I certainly agree with the part about not counting every macro. I eat very healthy and try to make sure I eat as many meals as I can per day. Lots of protein and good calories with some fats. I also hit the gym like a monster and go HARD so its a combo. Make sure your diet is up to par and drink mostly water (with the exception of protein shakes) and the water will lower your body fat nicely.
    You are not allowed to put links in your sig and water doesn't burn body fat.
    II==[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\]--------
    #Strength First Boston

  17. #12
    Elite SuperBane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Red Light District
    Posts
    1,529
    Thanks
    632
    Thanked 550 Times in 358 Posts
    Lol the water will lower your bodyfat. lololol So if i drink enough water I can eat as many PB cups as I please? AWESOME!
    Bunch of slack-jawed fagg0ts around here. This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me.

  18. #13
    Elite automatondan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    The Cold North
    Posts
    3,002
    Thanks
    7,785
    Thanked 2,492 Times in 1,457 Posts
    Wow, this is great doc, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I thought I knew my "clean" and "dirty" but the more I read, the more I realize I don't know.....

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to automatondan For This Useful Post:

    DocDePanda187123 (02-11-2015)

  20. #14
    Elite curtisvill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,012
    Thanks
    351
    Thanked 357 Times in 262 Posts
    Great read, thank you. I am about to start working with Spongy on a recoup so this was timely.

  21. #15
    Elite Fsuphisig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    639
    Thanks
    93
    Thanked 98 Times in 84 Posts
    So easy with something like my fitness pal, all about consistency.

  22. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Really informative article. Much thanks. The main point that I got from it is that a diet of pop tarts and butter will make you bulk.

  23. #17
    fitasfuk50's Operating System DocDePanda187123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    8,110
    Thanks
    1,569
    Thanked 5,649 Times in 3,264 Posts
    Originally Posted by Beef410DC View Post
    Really informative article. Much thanks. The main point that I got from it is that a diet of pop tarts and butter will make you bulk.
    Ask PillarOfBalance about his views on poptarts lol. And I can personally attest that DYS doesn't just carry one poptart in his gym bag. The fukker has an entire costco sized box of them
    II==[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\]--------
    #Strength First Boston

  24. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Originally Posted by DocDePanda187123 View Post
    Ask PillarOfBalance about his views on poptarts lol. And I can personally attest that DYS doesn't just carry one poptart in his gym bag. The fukker has an entire costco sized box of them
    Sounds like a story I'd want to hear

  25. #19
    Member Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    England west midlands
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Great Read

  26. #20
    Elite saltylifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    1,344
    Thanks
    270
    Thanked 586 Times in 375 Posts
    something I never dug into much. I eat simple and it would benefit me allot to look into this more. I eat only to grow so if I can find a better way to do that then im all over it.
    thanks for the post

Similar Threads

  1. A Primer for those considering HRT
    By Cashout in forum Testosterone and Hormone Replacement Therapy
    Replies: 68
    Last Post: 04-26-2020, 03:33 PM
  2. 15 Pound Snickers Bar (IIFYM)
    By trodizzle in forum General Chat & Conversation
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-25-2015, 09:47 AM
  3. Monster's Insulin Primer!
    By Goldy in forum Insulin and Bodybuilding Discussion
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 01-11-2014, 12:17 AM
  4. A Primer on Nutrition Part 2
    By MR. BMJ in forum LYLE MCDONALD ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-04-2012, 11:02 PM
  5. A primer on Nutrition Part 1
    By MR. BMJ in forum LYLE MCDONALD ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-04-2012, 10:54 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •