IIFYM has become a popular diet choice in bodybuilding and fitness circles. If it fits your macros may be the most popular method of eating to emerge in the past several years because it allows for flexibility in the types of food consumed, while still producing real results. Is IIFYM just another fad, or a scientifically supported strategy that’s here to stay? Let’s find out!
A macronutrient is a nutritional component of the diet that is required in relatively large amounts: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.
The concept of if it fits your macros is very simple. The idea is to set macronutrient goals for daily food consumption and to track the nutritional value of each item eaten throughout the day. The beauty of it is that there are no restrictions on types of food; everything is allowed, as long as your daily macronutrient goals are met.
The first step is to figure out your caloric baseline, which is the number of calories consumed by the body as fuel each day to maintain its lean mass and keep body fat percentage the exact same.
Accomplishing this task takes some guesswork and requires tracking calorie intake ,as well as frequently monitoring body weight to establish your caloric baseline. For example, a 200-pound male who is working out four to five times per week can expect a baseline similar to this:
A few points to keep in mind when establishing macronutrient goals:
Having trouble figuring out your macronutrient totals for an IIFYM diet? Here’s a pretty reliable guide to estimate what you should be consuming. Keep in mind that this will fluctuate slightly for each person depending on body fat percentage, body type, and lean muscle mass.
You’ve figured out your caloric baseline and macronutrient ratios. Now, you’ll need to track the nutritional value for food consumed throughout the day. Download a calorie counter and diet tracker app for your smartphone, create an account, enter your macro goals, and begin tracking.
The nutritional profiles of thousands of different types of food (especially fast food items) are usually already saved within these apps. Simply enter an item in “Food Search” and add it to your daily log. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can manually add the item and its profile to your daily count.
Now that you’ve established your macro totals, the main question is how to follow IIFYM. The idea is that you can eat whichever foods you like, as long as your total daily consumption of the three macronutrients meets your target goals.
Essentially, the type of food is irrelevant, and only the nutrients contained within the food matter.
A major protein and fat source could be McDonald’s hamburgers or fried chicken, and carbohydrates could come from gummy bears, cheesecake, ice cream, candy, and donuts! Once again, you just need to be conscious of the macronutrient totals consumed for the entire day.
Keep in mind that when consuming sugary treats like ice cream and donuts, fat and total carbohydrate totals will increase much more quickly than when consuming veggies, rice, fruit, and sweet potatoes.
The IIFYM strategy works for someone who wants results in the gym without sacrificing the foods they enjoy eating for boring bodybuilding diet staples like chicken and broccoli.
Let’s take a quick look at the positive aspects associated with IIFYM:
Now, what are the drawbacks to the IIFYM diet?
A diet that allows you to eat whatever the hell you want and still see results, so what’s the catch? Well, IIFYM can be a great strategy for most people, but remember to take a few things into consideration:
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