What is IIFYM?

by Brooke Goldstein February 17, 2016

Fitting ice cream, cookies, donuts and treats into your diet while still being able to lose weight is possible by following If It Fits Your Macros.

While other diets give you a meal plan or restrict the foods you can eat, IIFYM allows you to eat what you want throughout the day as long as it fits from your goals for the day. The diet is structured based on what your body needs to either lose fat or gain muscle, which is why many trainers and bodybuilders turn to this approach.

You might be wondering - what are macros? Macros are a slang term for macronutrients, what your body needs to function. They are then broken down into carbs, protein, or fat molecules. By calculating how many macros you can eat for the day you will be able to eat what you want in moderation and still reach your fitness goals.


IIFYM - Explained!

1. The first step in order to start this flexible diet is to calculate your macros that you want to hit each day. We can figure out our macros by using a simple online calculator that calculates your calories and amount of protein, carbs and fat you need for the day.

  • The calculator is based off of how active you are, weight, height and what the goals you are aiming for. Calculators can be found on websites such as iifym.com. Figuring out your macros can help you see how much flexibility throughout your day you can have.

iifym explained

2. Once you figure your numbers out, you should log everything you consume to keep track of the amount you are eating and make sure you aren’t over eating. Tracking will help show what foods you can fit in your day and can be done with food scales or online mobile apps.

  • My Fitness Pal is an app where you can search in their database for food items and even meals from restaurants. There is also a food scanning option to log items.
  • Studies done by doctors at the National Center for Biotechnology show that people who track their food subconsciously decrease their calorie intake. (Levine, JA, and NL Eberhardt. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.)

iifym explained

3. Instead of worrying about only eating greens and chicken IIFYM will allow you to “moderate” your foods, making sure you aren’t going over your calories, while still being able to fit in treats. IIFYM isn’t all about the treats which some people can take it as. It is about finding balance making “dieting” more sustainable.

  • Some people take the diet as eating junk all day to reach their macronutrient goals. IIFYM is about eating foods you enjoy for some part but not all of it.
  • IIFYM allows you to expand your food choices and help reach your goals by following the 80/20 rule. Get 80% of your calories from whole, unprocessed foods and the other 20% can come from foods you enjoy.


Take-Home Message

There is no need to restrict the foods you enjoy out of your life when it comes to IIFYM - the diet is about finding a balance between nutrition and enjoying your life. IIFYM approach to eating can help reach your dream body goals while still being able to enjoy what you are doing. When you enjoy what you are doing it no longer becomes a diet but a lifestyle.





Brooke Goldstein
Brooke Goldstein

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