If It Fits Your Macros
There’s more than a few nutritional approaches out there these days. Some are good, some are bad and yes, some have no alibi, they ugly! But that’s alright. How you choose to eat and live your life is up to you.
One of the better ones in my opinion, for people who like to live as normal a life as possible, with as few restrictions as possible, is IIFYM or Flexible Dieting.
For those that don’t know, IIFYM simply stands for If It Fits Your Macros. It is a system that gets you to track your 3 main macros Protein, Carbs and Fats, so they equal a predetermined daily calorie goal, yet doesn’t care where those macros’ come from.
Organic? Doesn’t matter
Paleo? Doesn’t matter
Sugar? Doesn’t matter
Fruit? Doesn’t matter
Little bit of chocolate? Doesn’t matter
It’s funny that it is called IIFYM as people were doing this long before it was called IIFYM or flexible dieting. But in today’s day and age, what’s old is new and what’s old with a new name is even better.
According to Alan Aragorn: “Plenty of folks don’t know that IIFYM originated as a short-handed way to tell forum members that it’s okay to have the foods they want while cutting, even if they weren’t the stereotypical contest prep foods like skinless chicken breast, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. People in general have this tendency to believe that there are “bad” foods that must be avoided completely in order to reach physique goals, which as we know is utterly false. However, a recurrent problem with the IIFYM moniker is that some people mistake it as a green light to dominate their intake with junk. This is obviously a bad idea from the standpoint of long-term health”
It’s an a excellent way to go about your nutrition if you are capable of reading labels, assessing what is in all your food, tracking grams and percentages, and playing around with numbers in order to find your sweet spot for long term physical prowess.
It’s the most sensible way to enable yourself to eat the odd “bad” food you enjoy like chocolate, pizza and hot chips whilst still achieving a lean physique. Most importantly, it’s the best feed back tool available to you to track, test and measure.
Done correctly, it shows you how you respond to different macro nutrient combinations and enables you to determine once and for all, what you respond best to.
High Protein / High Fat / Low carb
Moderate Protein / Moderate Fat / Moderate Carb
Low Protein / Low Fat / High Carb
Or just 49 bananas a day….
Lets say hypothetically these were your numbers for the day:
Protein : 165g
Carbs : 165g
Fat : 73g
Calories : 2000
All you have to do is get a calorie counter, enter all your food for the day, and make sure you hit these numbers every day. So. Simple.
What’s the key to IIFYM though? Getting your numbers right. Getting your protein, carbs fat and calories right based on your individual lifestyle, gender, age, insulin sensitivity, height and weight… Get this wrong and this wont work.
Check out Strong & Lean Semi Private Training Client Ben below as an example…
This is what he achieved in 10 weeks on IIFYM and BUSTING his ass. He wasn’t gluten free. He wasn’t eating organic. He ate added sugar. He ate food dyes. He ate artificial sweeteners. There was the odd pizza, the odd soft drink, the odd ( insert demonized food here )
Yet he still went from 24% bodyfat to 12%… *
He also made his own low carb cheesecake. Check it. The man has a future in the culinary arts based on how this tasted..
Oh yeah, did I mention he BUSTED HIS ASS!?
Interesting isn’t it? Considering what we are lead to believe on a daily basis by those that supposedly have our best interests at heart. How is such exceptional fat loss possible?
Following an IIFYM approach starts to get you to see that so many of these chefs turned health experts, journalists turned nutritionists and self appointed gurus, don’t really know what they’re talking about when it comes to weight loss and fat loss.
Has it dawned on you yet that people are just selling books and not health.
Has it dawned on you yet that companies are taking advantage of your lack of nutritional knowledge?
Are you starting to get the feeling you’re being taken for a fool, and not respected as a paying customer?
Don’t get it twisted though, IIFYM isn’t an excuse to eat unlimited amounts of shit food. We are blanketed in the stuff these days. It’s a way to show you just how much you can get away with, on a body composition level.
There are very real health implications of over consuming nutrient poor, calorie dense foods. No one is saying eat pizza for breakfast. This is just a form of portion control. It’s a way to treat yourself like a science experiment. So you need to be able to approach it with a scientific mind.
IIFYM Isn’t For Everyone
IIFYM does have its pitfalls however. In order to succeed with IIFYM you need to be a meticulous person who is meticulous with their food. This isn’t realistic for people who can’t track every meal, that don’t want to weigh portions, that don’t want to read labels, or those that eat out at every meal. There are other approaches I use for that.
That’s the key to training someone in nutrition, giving them a system they can follow. As studies time after time reveal, your ability to follow a diet, is the no.1 determinant of whether or not that diet will be successful.
Alan Aragorn once again sums this up nicely as he so often does
“The main strength of IIFYM is that it doesn’t promote a narrow set of magical foods that dodge your fat cells (which of course they incinerate) and go straight to the muscle. Of course this magic list of foods would be great – if it were true. But of course, that’s all an epic load of bullshit. With a high degree of flexibility in terms of food choices and meal setups, IIFYM can be individualized in order to maximize adherence to the plan. And ultimately, adherence is the make-or-break factor in any diet. I like how IIFYM is rooted in science rather than imagination & speculation”
Look around. There’s a lot of speculators out there..
*Disclaimer – Results may vary