IIFYM (If it fits your macro) diet and how to utilise this for your busy life

Introduction

Have you ever imagined eating what you want while losing weight at the same time?

Are you sick of restricting your diet? Is your diet too complicated?

I think I have got you at eating what you want. YES, it is possible! But how?

If you are one of those that I mentioned above, please keep reading as this will be beneficial for you!

However, let’s get to know this term so-called “Macro-nutrient”

Macro-nutrients or Macros are four calorie-dense nutrients that we get from most food:

  • Carbohydrates (Carbs) – contain 4 calories/gram
  • Proteins – 4 calories/gram
  • Fats – 9 calories/gram
  • Alcohols – 7 calories/gram (yes, alcohol contains calories but empty calories)

From knowing how much calories in each gram, people usually count in each meal how much calories in total in that one meal and then control their daily total calories intake from there. It works for some people, doesn’t work for some. It doesn’t work for me but if it works for you, keep doing it! But what I’m really here for is to share with you what eating methodology I have been using to keep myself relatively lean while eating what I want. Do you want to know? Here we go!

What is IIFYM?

IIFYM is an acronym for “If It Fits Your Macro”

It means you can eat what you want as long as you are keeping it within a certain level of calories you need to hit on that day.

Just imagine you have a budget with different currencies – carbohydrates, protein and fat and you manage your budget like how you would do with money. If you want to spend your carbs on a big pancake in the morning, you can. But remember, you only have that much carbs to spend while you still have protein and fat to spend throughout the rest of the day. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised that you have spent all your carbs in the morning and are now lacking the energy to push through the rest of the day.

It is a flexible diet but that doesn’t mean you should shove a pizza or tons of crispy fried chicken down your stomach and call it a day. A vegetable, full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, will always a better option than your cheese-flavoured Doritos.

 “The quality of your diet is still one of the most important factors, but our diets don’t have to be so rigid to be healthy”

 

Why is IIFYM beneficial for everyone?

  • Lifestyle

Let’s be honest, most of us can’t stand certain healthy options though we all know they are good for us. But if you are, please consume them to your heart content because you are lucky enough to enjoy it on a daily basis. I’m here to speak for those that cannot, including myself. I love my food and I do not want to give up on anything.

If you are a bodybuilder, you will know the struggle of eating chicken breast, sweet potato and vegetable every single meal, 3-4 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you are having a dreadful day, can you eat what you don’t even enjoy eating although we all know that healthy option is for a worthy cause.

If you are a foodie, are you willing to give up on those delicious dishes?

If you just start your training journey, what do you always start with as recommended? Chicken breast, plain vegetable and potato or brown rice. Fair enough. But… how long will you be keeping up with this diet?

“If your diet is too complicated, you’ll never start.
If your diet is too restrictive, you’ll never finish.”

  • Taste

Let’s not get me wrong here, you can make your food taste great regardless of what food option you choose. This is subjective as you are entitled to your own taste and opinion. But certain foods just don’t taste great. Trust me!

This is when flexible diet may be the solution for you. Find an alternative with the same macros to the food that you don’t like with better taste but remember the quality of the food is a crucial factor in this diet.

  • Goal

What is your goal? Losing weight? Gaining muscle?

It was mentioned earlier that this diet allows you to eat whatever you want while losing wait at the same time. Just like any diet, there are always calories in (anything that you consume for energy storage) and calories out (Energy that you burn during exercises or daily life activities).

Here are the formulas:

 

How does IIFYM work?

A normal typical adult will consume around 2000 calories every day to maintain their weight.

Now using the calories associated with each macro, you can break down to how many grams each macro you can have within a day.

A male who weights 70kg or 154 lbs will consume roughly of the following (this is not a guideline. Only using this as an example)

It is recommended to consume 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Therefore, this person should consume 154g of protein which is 616 calories.

Now he has 1,384 calories left to spend on carbs and fat. You got the idea?

It is all about breaking down how many grams of each macro so it can fit into the total daily macro.

 

Take home message

  • Quality of the food is essential regardless of any diet.
  • Please don’t consume empty calorie food.
  • Start simple, don’t over complicate things. It is an easy diet, but you need to be persistent with it.
  • Don’t overeat or under-eat drastically. This will affect your mood and energy level.

Reference

  1. The Official Site of IIFYM & Flexible Dieting. (2018).
  2. Your Complete Guide To IIFYM. (2018).
  3. What are Empty Calories? | Natural Balance Foods. (2018).
  4. Everything You Need to Know About the IIFYM Eating Plan. (2018).

 

Wait! Before you go. Let us help you get in shape using IIFYM with our free online program below. 

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