I’m not a ‘real’ IIFYM-er (though I wish I could be). I’ll hold my hands up and say that…
For those not yet in the know, IIFYM stands for ‘If It Fits Your Macros’
What Are Macro’s…?
Macro is short for macro nutrient, of which there are three:
Some people in the fitness industry count fibre as a fourth macro-nutrient, and so if you read into IIFYM further, you may also find this…I just don’t count it as one myself.
What is IIFYM…?
IIFYM teaches us that if you consume less calories than your body requires (whilst ensuring that you are getting an adequate split of macro nutrients based on your specific goals) you will lose weight steadily. With the right training alongside, the fat loss could be substantial!
The Basic Principles:
1. Know how many calories your body burns in an average day (your TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
2. Eat 10-20% less calories ever day than that number
3. Split those calories up between Protein, Carbohydrates & Fat (with adequate fibre and water intake) in a specific way that preserves muscle and promotes fat loss.
How I Follow IIFYM…
I use the ‘clean macro counting’ approach. 90% of my daily intake is from clean, unprocessed foods…then I allow myself a bit of something that I like to curb the cravings and keep me on track. I have to make sure that this ‘treat’ fits into my macros, so sometimes I add that into My Fitness Pal first and work backwards.
If I want a pizza, I’ll eat a pizza. Yes, it might mean that my meals for the rest of the day are particularly boring, but it also means that I don’t feel the need for a ‘cheat’ meal.
Why I Follow IIFYM…
I used to be an all-or-nothing kind of person. I’d starve myself one day, eating less than 1000 calories, and the next day I’d buy and consume the whole confectionery aisle of the supermarket. I quite quickly figured out that that kind of logic wasn’t really working for me or my fat loss goals (go figure!).
We all know through reading and general basic knowledge that clean foods are the best for us, and that we should stay away from anything that has been processed, but I’m sure you agree when I say that we can only live for a certain length of time on chicken breast, fish & eggs (a slight over-reaction maybe, but you get my drift).
IIFYM doesn’t care how many times a day you eat (five) or whether you have chicken or pizza (chicken, with extra chicken), as long as everything that you do consume stays within your calorific and nutrient goals. Simples.
Note: This doesn’t mean starve yourself all day and then eat a jumbo Galaxy bar in one fell swoop. It means ensuring that everything is perfectly balanced, therefore allowing fat loss to happen.
What IIFYM Has Taught Me…
IIFYM has taught me that if I eat mainly good, unprocessed ‘clean’ foods, then I end up being fuller for longer, with plenty of energy to hit the gym hard 4 or 5 times a week and still enjoy the odd bit of something I like.
Obviously sometimes the occasion calls for something a bit off-balance, but I’d say that 85-90% of the time, my food consumption is clean and my macros are on point.
IIFYM has also taught me that every one is different, and it’s impossible to throw my macro-split over to someone else and have the confidence that it will 100% work for them. You can use the TDEE Calculator from IIFYM.com, and then you can use the IIFYM Calculator to work out your calorie and macro nutrient goals. Personally, a lot of these different websites gave me different numbers – so I went to fellow blogger and certified nutritionist Simone McKenna for my figures.
Give it a go – see if IIFYM works for you! If it doesn’t, then make the necessary adjustments and find a programme where you feel happy!