IIFYM is a term that you may have heard bodybuilders and fitness models refer to when talking about their diets. IIFYM is an acronym for “If It Fits Your Macros,” “macros” meaning macronutrients which are your proteins, fats, and carbs. IIFYM is also known as “flexible dieting.”
So now you know what IIFYM means, but what is it about? Well basically, you can eat anything as long as it fits into your calculated macros. This doesn’t mean you should go and fill up on fast food because you can make it fit into your numbers, although you will see some people do that, I don’t recommend it.
How do you calculate your macros? Calculating your macros involves an equation which takes into account your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level (how hard you exercise and how often). I used IIFYM.com to get my numbers, and they have tons of great information. You will have to give your e-mail to receive your calculated macros, but it’s totally free.
What do you do once you have your macros? This part takes a little trial and error. I use MyFitnessPal to track my foods, which allows me to see how closely I’m hitting my numbers. Every one’s body reacts differently, so give your body some time to adjust to your new eating habits and adjust accordingly.
What should you eat? Again, this will vary depending on your specific numbers, but a good rule of thumb is to combine IIFYM with clean eating. As I mentioned above, just because you can fit fast food into your diet doesn’t mean you should. I recommend eating whole foods to get the majority of your nutrition, and allow for certain indulgences if you must. It’s all about moderation.
Can you drink alcohol following IIFYM? You can, just remember you’re going to need to adjust your carbs and/or fats for the day.
Why is it called “flexible dieting? It’s called flexible dieting because you can be flexible with what you’re eating. As long as you’re keeping track and it fits your numbers, you will still see results.
If you decide to follow the IIFYM style of eating, try not to get too wrapped up in hitting your number EXACTLY. Try to keep it in the ball park, but don’t stress about not hitting them perfectly. Being really strict with these numbers is more for people who participate in fitness competitions, bodybuilding, fitness modeling etc. I personally decided to try this method because I wanted to see how my body responded to it. I have noticed a difference, but it wasn’t an over-night result so be patient and stay dedicated. Also, don’t forget that as your body changes and you’re seeing results your needs are going to change so you’re going to want to re-evaluate those calculations throughout your progress.
Do you follow flexible dieting?