Today I have a guest post for you guys all about IIFYM. I get a lot of questions about the benefits of IIFYM and Joshua writes to discuss the pros and cons of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).
The simple world of IIFYM dieting
As a teenager, I looked for diets that allowed me to lower my intake but also still feel satisfied after every meal. This proved to be hard as losing weight often means that you don’t get to enjoy the foods you love and know but instead are stuck with replacements that can often feel… empty. This was the case until I came across IIFYM (If it fits your macros). IIFYM allowed me to count calories through macros while making it simple to eat the levels of food I needed to lose weight.
For those that aren’t familiar with the diet, IIFYM is all about creating percentages of your Macros (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) into consumable grams. Throughout the day you would then eat no more than the allowed amount of macros in order to meet you caloric needs.
I will take myself for an example:
Height: 171cm (5’6 ft)
Weight: 85kg (187)
Activity Level : Three times a week
By using a simple online macro calculator I was able to see that my daily caloric need was 2487. To lose weight however we need to lower this and on a suggested 15% reduction in calories I was allowed to eat 1990 calories per day. Now the recommended amount of macros changes per your goal. If you are weight lifting every single day you may need higher levels of protein and if you are doing long distance work daily you may need higher carbs to maintain energy levels. The basic accepted ratios of macros however are as follows:
– 1.15 gram of protein per pound of body weight
– .4 grams of fat per pound of body weight
– Carbs calculated based off of your remaining calories
|Grams per day||145.1||215.1||74.8||37-47||2114|
So what are the downsides to living on an IIFYM diet?
1. The diet focuses on your macros, but not where you get these macros from.
We all know that not all carbs are created equal and the same goes for proteins and fats. Allowing your body to intake any form of macro can have a negative effect on your weight loss with some foods being easier to process than others. Bread is an example of this, while we have high grain, low GI, brown, organic, gluten free bread, it doesn’t mean it will be better for us than cooking up a sweet potato.
If we followed the IIFYM diet in regards to fats, we can come across the same issue. A single Cheese Kransky can have 15 grams of protein and 17.9 grams of fat per 100g. 7.8 grams of that fat however comes from saturated fats which we all know is one of the least beneficial fats we can add to our diets.
2. Having a high level of carbs every single day is not the answer
Different days, different activity levels require different levels of macros. If you go two or three days without working out, then you may not benefit from having high levels of carbohydrates. Your caloric needs will decrease for the day and your body will then store the carbs as fat. Having a blanket diet that is not tailored specifically to your needs is not the answer.
3. Counting Macros all day every day is unhealthy
It takes a lot to put down that donut, even when you know what’s in it, but counting your calories for the rest of your life is difficult and often arduous. Learning what goes into food and which foods are good for you will allow you to portion the sizes out correctly without the need to input everything into a calorie counter.
The benefits of IIFYM
1. It teaches you how many calories and macros are in food
Before I started this diet I had no idea what was in food. IIFYM taught me a lot to do with understanding my food, its calories and its macros. It was invaluable for this, but the counting wasn’t achievable long term for me.
2. It works well when you go on a low carb diet
Low carb diets are another game altogether, however understanding that you need less than 30grams of carbohydrates a day is easier when you represent it in diet percentages and break down your calories into grams.
3. It goes hand in hand with clean eating
One of the negatives I had about IIFYM is that people tend to eat foods which are harder to process. If we apply the idea of eating whole healthy foods to IIFYM then the diet really comes into a new light. Providing your body with the necessary macros while eating healthy foods? Sounds simple right? Bbut this is often overlooked.
4. It works
Like any diet, people can have success on it. I found short term success on low carb and also on IIFYM. So that is proof that being consistent with a lower calorie diet will still lead you to a smaller you.
While I say that IIFYM works and it can have some great results, I think the bigger issue with dieting comes with the lifestyle change you need to perform in order to keep up such a specific program. While I was on IIFYM I was motivated and dedicated but my whole heart wasn’t in it and this is why I did not get long term results from it.
Now however, I focus on eating healthy foods (which are often lower in calories) and eating the right portion sizes. This works well for me with my Ironman training and I have been eating the volumes of food I love while losing weight and increasing my strength. So for me it was all about finding a diet that fit in with my lifestyle and making it consistent.
About the Author: Joshua Mackow from www.muuve.com, has always been passionate and dedicated to fitness and well-being.
What do you think of IIFYM? Do you think IIFYM is the best way to diet? Leave a comment below!