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IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros – What is it?

Posted on 14 April 2016

IFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) – What is it?

There are some things in life that just go together. Peanut butter and jelly. April showers and May flowers. Leg day and the deep feeling of bottomless dread in the pit of your stomach. You know, you can’t have one without the other. Fitness lovers and bodybuilders across the board have the newest addition to the things-that-just-go-together list. Are you ready for it? Here it is: flexible dieting.

If those are two words you thought would never be used in the same sentence, you’re not alone. Here’s the rundown on the flexible dieting philosophy so you can see whether or not it’s right for you.

What is IIFYM?

IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros” and it’s the latest craze sweeping over the nutritional stratosphere. Macros (slang for macronutrients) are the main source of fuel for your body and they are made up of proteins, carbs, and fats. IIFYM is the simplified process of eating a certain amount of calories per day and getting the most bang for your buck with those set calories.

The Formula:

 IIFYM determines how many proteins, fats, and carbs your body requires depending on whether you want to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle. The sum of those three macros equals out to your total daily calorie count. Depending on your individual needs, IIFYM sets the amount of each type of macro you’re allowed to have each day. It’s a fluid meal plan where you control what you eat so long as you stay within that macro count.

So in practice, you can eat whatever you want when you want, whether its Oreos or ice cream, as long as it is within your allotted macro count.

Pros and Cons of IIFYM

With great freedom comes great responsibility.

If you search IIFYM on Instagram, you will see scores of pictures of doughnuts, pizza, and other glorious cheat-worthy foods. All of these foods are allowed on the IIFYM meal plan, but in reality, that should be only a small portion of your diet. With a type of diet that allows for such flexibility, self-control is a necessity. It can be tempting to overindulge. You can stay within the calorie/macro count on a daily basis, but if your diet is entirely made up of junk, you’ll be left feeling sluggish and tired, looking to eat more.

Emphasizing a diet based on whole foods instead of processed, fat laden junk food, will automatically improve most people’s numbers. The primary bulk of your diet should contain whole foods. Eating whole foods will fulfill your macro count effectively and keep you feeling fuller longer. It is important to eat clean to allow for the real-life situations of going out to restaurants and parties without making you feel like you derailed your entire diet and progress. IIFYM allows for real world living.

It is also crucial on IIFYM to log everything you eat and to be able to keep track of your macros. In the beginning you’ll have to be prepared to write down everything you eat in order to calculate your macros throughout the day. IIFYM will be more difficult for those who are not careful about measuring their portion sizes.

It is a good idea to download the My Fitness Pal app ( ) in order to track your macros. This is a great app that allows you to enter every single food that you consume.  They have a huge database of foods along with the caloric/nutritionist there is not guessing!

The benefits include the range of flexibility offered in your diet and being able to make daily adjustments to your meals. Potential cons are that IIFYM requires a lot of thought and dedication into your diet, requiring its followers to log and know the macro count for everything they eat.

So if you’re feeling stuck in second gear in your diet and want to try something new, IIFYM might be for you. If you don’t like the rigidity of meal plans or roll your eyes at trendy fad diets, try out IIFYM with the free calculator online that will help chart out your recommended calories and macro count for the day. You can Google IIFYM calculator to get your numbers. You can also try this calculator:

Whether you are a seasoned IIFYM eater or new to all of this, make sure to comment below and let us know your thoughts.  We would love to hear from you!

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