If you are a regular gym goer and you are serious about your bodybuilding goals, you must have noticed that most people tend to prefer the “bro food” diet. However, there is also the emerging trend of the IIFYM – If It fits Your Macros, which allows for more flexibility and freedom in choosing your meals. Automatically, we’ll have to compare the two to see which one is better suited to muscle building.
IIFYM is no new concept. In fact, it has existed since the old days, but that was different. It was because there were a lot less processed foods and bodybuilders could easily stick to this permissive diet without all the risks faced today. Given the food in our supermarkets, this no longer seems such a perfect approach. Still, when it comes to energy (which is what you need), it manages to give you plenty of that.
The bro diet is also controversial. It is adopted by former “clean eating” fans and is therefore a continuation to that concept. To follow this strictly means avoiding all processed foods and pretty much any treat that would make your day nicer. It is centered on foods which are very dense in terms of micronutrients.
IIFYM or Bro-food – which one is healthier?
The bro diet means wholesome foods which are highly nutritious and healthy. You will have to replace candy and chocolate bars with fruits, to give one example. It’s not hard to see that this is actually the healthier version of dieting, even when getting calories and loads of energy is your main concern. After all, why would you be loading your body with junk food? Just to get enough energy to train? Weight lifters and athletes need high-quality macros to properly nourish the hard train tissue – joints, ligaments and muscles especially.
Processed foods do provide nutrients, but anyone can notice the difference in quality. They come with loads of additional, often dangerous preservatives, taste enhancers etc. Some of these are reinforced with minerals, let’s say, which is a good aspect, but in the end there may be more of a loss than a gain. This isn’t a diet that promotes health, no matter who’s adopting it. This is the reason why the IIFYM can no longer be valid today. The criticism it gets is legitimate.
Bodybuilders and nutrition experts have found that the best version would be a combination between the two, with the ideal balance set at 20% vs. 80% in favor of the bro diet. Eating junk food isn’t so evil if you keep this habit under control. You can have an ice cream and get your macros from it, for example. This doesn’t mean you should have a whole bucket of ice cream to get all your nutrition for the day from it.
In conclusion, do not stress yourself – you can still enjoy your favorite foods, be they unhealthy ones. Just remember to consume these in moderation. Eating only bro foods is definitely good for you, but is not mandatory.
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