The IIFYM Diet Explained
If you’re on Facebook or go to the gym chances are you’ve overhead people talking about the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ diet.
The methodology behind the IIFYM diet is that you can eat pop tarts, ice cream and every other junk food under the sun and still achieve your fitness goals… regardless s of whether that’s weight loss or muscle gain.
So does this ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ thing really work?
First of all, let’s define what a ‘Macro’ actually is.
A macro, short for macronutrient is any nutritional component of a diet that is required in relatively large portions. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium.
The ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ approach to dieting isn’t particularly new, it was previously known as Flexible Dieting which has been around in the bodybuilding community for many years now.
‘If It Fits Your Macros’ works on the principle that a calorie is a calorie and a macronutrient is simply that, a macronutrient… regardless of its source.
Therefore 50 grams of carbohydrates derived from steel cut oats is the same as 50 grams of carbohydrates derived from pancakes.
If It Fits Your Macros claims that as long as I hit my daily calorie intake and macronutrient breakdown my body composition will not care what sources these calories came from (and you will therefore continue to progress).
This whole ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ thing sounds too good to be true… does it work?
Believe it or not yes, the flexible dieting principle does work – which is why I recommend this method of dieting in my latest book, BEASTMODE.
Body composition all comes down to calories in vs. calories out.
But hold on a minute!
I Do Not Advocate Eating Candy & Junk Food to get Ripped
Yes, it’s true a calorie is a calorie… and a gram of protein from one source is the same as one gram of protein from another source which is all well and good for body composition, but from a health perspective eating junk food to get shredded is a stupid idea and you WILL run into a plethora of health problems further down the line if you join the IIFYM cult.
Micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) play a major role in your health – supporting many of our bodies physiological functions.
Please make sure you take the following into account:
- Eating endless amounts of high GI carbohydrates leads to an increased risk in chronic disease
- Consuming too much processed meat may increase your risk of cancer
- Getting your protein from McDonalds patties and KFC chicken wings will increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, infertility and more due to the large quantity of trans fats.
- Your health matters more than your looks, believe it or not.
Ensure your body is getting the correct amount of nutrients, your hormone profile is healthy and that your immune system is working efficiently.
My Method of the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ Diet
Like I said, I personally recommend flexible dieting… however cringe at those that go all out with pop tarts and candy thinking it’s all smooth sailing as their body continues to improve (in terms of outer appearance anyway).
So, here’s my take on it:
- Consume 80% of your daily calories and macronutrients from foods high in micronutrients (unprocessed, low to medium GI carbohydrates)
- Eat foods that you enjoy
- Don’t get caught up on meal timing – you cannot speed up your metabolism or lose muscle regardless of if you eat every 2 hours or every 8 hours… as long as at the end of each 24 hour period you’ve hit your calorie and macronutrient goal for the day.
- If you get sick of eating chicken & rice or steak and sweet potatoes don’t fret to make up some of those calories with treats you desire. You could easily make up the protein from the steak with whey protein powder, leaving you free to get the carbohydrates found in the sweet potatoes from candy, cereal or whatever your favourite food is! So long as it fits your macros
What are your thoughts on the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ craze?
Do you follow an IIFYM diet? Anything else you’d like to add?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this article you’ll be sure to love my book BEASTMODE.
Click on the image below to check it out!