You’ve probably heard these pesky little hashtags “IIFYM” that’s been popping around in social networks like instagram, pinterest and even in some fitness & health magazines. In this article I’m gonna try my very best to try and describe this term in the most simplest way possible.
What is IIFYM?
IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros.
Basically, There is zero food elimination in IIFYM which means you can eat whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t exceeds your macro proportions. For this, the first thing you have to do is figure out what your macro proportions are, depending on your height, weight, activity level, exercise intensity and goals.
Now you might ask “how is this diet going to help me make progress towards my weight loss goals as I can eat whatever I want?”
Yes, you can eat whatever you want in IIFYM, but the focus is primarily set on macro portions. And since you have limits on the amount of fat, carbohydrates, and protein you can consume, you’re generally bound to stay inside your deficit(If you count the calories accurately).
In theory, IIFYM sounds extraordinary and almost too good to be true, eating whatever you want, without gaining weight. But there is a catch, though. The type of food you eat will still affect how you will feel. Are you going to feel great after getting your macros from a diet entirely consisting of french fries and coke? Probably not. The idea isn’t enabling you to constantly stuff fast-foods in, but rather to give you the freedom to create your own(sensible) diet including the foods you absolutely love, all the while making progress towards your weight loss goals.
For example, lets consider a typical so called “weight-loss meal” with “clean foods”
Early Morning: Hot water with lemon mixed
Meal 1: 6 egg whites, fruit salad.
Meal 2: 100 gm boiled chicken breast with spinach.
Meal 3: 1 cup brown rice with veggies,
Meal 4: 1 Apple, Green tea
Meal 5: 1 small cup green beans and some nuts.
Meal 6: Broccoli, 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Meal 7: 150 gm boiled chicken.
Looks delicious? Nope. No where near delicious, infact this bland diet will make you hate dieting.
Now this is how an “IIFYM meal” looks like,
Meal 1: Chicken Omelette with Sauteed Mushrooms.
Meal 2: Lunch at Subway – Chicken Teriyaki sub on oat bread, with Lite Mayonnaise and unlimited salad, plus a diet coke.
Meal 3: Chicken Shawarma with vegetable salad.
Now both of the meal plans come out to almost same calories/macro portions, both will yield the same results but which is tastier? You be the judge of that.
What are the benefits of IIFYM?
- Flexibility – Eat what you like, when you like. IIFYM lets you try a variety of foods all the while losing weight.
- Convenience – IIFYM doesn’t interfere with social life. Now you can go on a date and still have fun.
- Sustainability – IIFYM makes dieting more enjoyable, as a result it is sustainable in the long term.
- No Cheat Meals – Since IIFYM allows you to eat your favorite foods, you are less likely to cheat on your diet.
If you are still not convinced, please read this article Clean Eating vs IIFYM for more valid reasons to fall in love with this dieting approach.