IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros.” Macro is shorthand for Macro Nutrient. There are four primary macronutrients that people keep track of:
Many people track Fiber as well – In many circles, Fiber is a micronutrient because it makes up many carbohydrates. However, we’re going to keep track of Fiber and include it with our other macros.
IIFYM is an excellent way to cause fat loss through tracking and limiting your macronutrient intake. Ultimately, we’ll be limiting calories in an effort to improve your body’s composition. IIFYM is not recommended for tracking or improving health concerns of the heart, brain, or any other organ. There is no emphasis on “healthy eating” with IIFYM. Whether you want to boil chicken breasts for the week or eat pizza every day, IIFYM will teach you how many calories to put inside of your body while maintaining an adequate level of macronutrients. With IIFYM, you can lose weight steadily and predictably. As long as you stay within your daily macros, you can expect to lose fat quickly.
Origins of IIFYM
IIFYM comes directly from the bodybuilding community. Not long ago, a handful of professional bodybuilders grew tired of eating the same things over and over while on a cut before a show. Rather than eat the same thing every day, they decided it was more beneficial to simply track macronutrients. Thus, IIFYM was born.
Traditionally, bodybuilders eat “clean” foods. While there are many foods that are considered to be clean, there are a few you likely recognize:
• Chicken or turkey breast
• Steamed veggies
• Brown rice
• Protein powder or shakes
• Egg whites
If the list seems boring, that’s because it is. It isn’t hard to see how having to eat these foods every day could drive someone absolutely mad with boredom. Thankfully, we have IIFYM to save us!
With IIFYM, you can continue to enjoy foods such as:
• Fried chicken
• Ice cream
• Buffalo wings
The beautiful thing about IIFYM is that if it fits inside of your macronutrient intake, you can eat it. Foods like what is listed above are normally left for “cheat” days or are considered absolutely taboo when it comes to dieting. Not with IIFYM.
Judging IIFYM Properly
One of the primary reasons the average individual begins a diet is that they want to clean up what they’ve been eating. It’s not uncommon to find that someone believes they need to eat boring foods if they want to lose weight or be healthy. Thankfully, this is not so!
While eating clean foods can certainly aid with weight loss or overall health, fat loss itself is in the details of the calories. If you’re shirking away from that work, don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Many people do not even want to think about the word “calorie.” But with IIFYM, this word is your friend. You can eat whatever you want and still lose weight as long as you’re tracking your calories. Most people who decide to eat only clean foods lose weight completely by accident.
When you start to eat only clean foods, you reduce your caloric intake sometimes by more than half. By removing things like sauces, sweets, or fried foods, you end up with whole foods that are much less calorically dense. It may seem at first like simply eating clean is the answer. Unfortunately, many people struggle with maintaining a purely clean diet primarily due to something known as metabolism suppression. Metabolism suppression makes long-term fat loss much more difficult. Furthermore, when you simply eat clean and do not track your calories, you run the risk of going too far into a deficit. This can feel like starvation and will only set you up to quickly bounce back from any fat loss you achieve. If you decide you’re sick of clean foods and go back to eating your normal diet, you may lose all of your progress before you know it.
One of the biggest scams sold to the public is that any specific plan or program is going to be what helps you to lose weight. You don’t need to cut out carbs completely or start eating some fruit you can’t pronounce the name of. You just need to track your macros and calories. At the end of the day, you probably already knew that the more food you eat, the bigger you become.
So What Should I Eat?
The first thing tracking your macros should teach you is that any foods are alright as long as they fit and you stay within your caloric goal for the day. Everyone is different, and it’s in this difference that IIFYM truly shines. IIFYM is based on science. What should you eat? Whatever you want.
Keep yourself at a 15 percent reduction in calories if you want to lose weight and burn fat. Most people can turn that up to 20 percent and be just fine. Once you’ve started eating at a deficit, you can eat whatever you like as long as you don’t go over.
Wrap It Up!
This is the quick and dirty on IIFYM. Just like our bodies, this topic can become much more complex the further into it you dig. Just keep the following in mind:
• Figure out your TDEE to see how many calories your body needs per day to maintain your weight
• Eat between 15 and 20 percent LESS than that number each day
• Split those calories up between fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
If you’d rather skip out on the number crunching, reach out to our team of experts at PTs Live Online. Our coaches can calculate your macros and put you on a place for rapid weight and fat loss. Register for free to contact the coach of your choice.