What Is The IIFYM Diet – If It Fits Your Macros
You’ve probably heard this weird word IIFYM thrown around in social media such as facebook and fitness circles in general. Well it’s just a shortened version of If It Fits Your Macros, which is a common diet practice used by many fitness enthusiasts. So what is the IIFYM diet in practical terms? That is what I’m going to tackle in this article.
What Is If It Fits Your Macros Diet & What Is It Used For?
If it fits your macros diet is basically a system that can be used for cutting down or bulking up. You determine your calorie intake for the day and fill it up with foods that fits to your chosen macronutrient ratios. So this diet is quite flexible in terms that you can eat any food that you like as long as it fits to your macros (hence the name).
- For bulking up it’s a good rough rule of thumb that you should be in a 10-20% calorie surplus. So if your maintenance calories are 3000 you’ll top them up by 10-20% totaling 3300-3600 per day.
- For cutting it is the same idea but instead of 10-20% calorie surplus you’ll be eating in a calorie deficit of 10-20% from your maintenance calories.
To determine your daily calorie maintenance level use harris-benedict formula to have a rough estimate on your personal basal metabolic rate HERE!
Check out my comprehensive article on how to structure you diet when bulking up HERE!
How To Determine Your Macronutrient Ratios For IIFYM Diet
This is my suggestion for efficient ratio and it should works the best for most people in most of the cases. There is a little bit of math involved but it’s quite an easy equation. So let’s look a bit at the ratios:
- Fat = 15-25% of total daily calorie intake
- Protein = 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight
- Carbohydrates = The rest
So I used the Harris-Benedict equation to figure out my daily calorie maintenance level and ended up with 2726 Calories per day.
And let’s assume that my goal is to build muscle, so we’ll duplicate the 2726 with 1.15 to get 15% calorie surplus. That will give my bulking calories for day which are 3135.
Now with the guidelines above for fats, protein and carbs let’s do the equation.
- Fat = 3135 x 0.25 = 783 Calories
- Protein = 0.8 x 189.5 (my bodyweight) = 151.6 (grams of protein) x 4 (1 gram of protein equals 4 calories) = 606.4
- Carbohydrates = 783 cal (fats) + 606 (proteins) = 1389 fats & proteins and to determine carbs 3135 (total calories intake) – 1389 = 1746 Calories from carbohydrates
So then we round up with percentages as:
- Fat = 25%
- Protein = 19%
- Carbohydrates = 56%
And with IIFYM diet you play by the rules of these macros to hit your daily goal. Be it from unhealthy fats or healthy fats, slow digested carbs or fast digested carbs, and so on and so forth. This leads to my next point…
Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Dieting – Good And Bad Sides Of IIFYM Diet!
Needless to say you got three roads you can take here which are: unhealthy, healthy and a mixture of both. This is what makes IIFYM diet quite pleasant to follow. When you figure out your macros with the equation above it’s up to you how you will hit the numbers.
I’d suggest for people to make a basic outline for the day of the foods you have to be eating to hit the macros and once you’re familiar with them you can easily switch up the meals if you crave for burger example.
But for your health sake it would be a wise decision to structure your diet upon healthy fats such as olive oil, grass fed cows butter, coconut oil, etc. along with good proteins such as poultry, beef, pork and fish and carbs with rice, pasta and potatoes. Once you start to get the hang of your daily eating habits it will become easy to manipulate if you crave for some junk food, you simply eat the “junk food” and adjust the rest of the days macros accordingly.
And as your core diet is build upon healthy foods it really doesn’t hurt to slip in some treats couple of times a week as long as IFYM!
Is IIFYM Better Compared To Other Diets?
Infact the same system as IIFYM is used atleast by weight watchers but they’ve converted the calories to points and try to push all kinds of their side products to you.
But to cut to the case IIFYM is just another diet along with the pre-existing ones such as atkins or any other diet variation out there. The thing with IIFYM is that it’s totally up to you how good you make it to be. As stated before you can do the diet with high quality nutrients which are really good for your health or with fast food if you really want to.
Most of the diets out there are legit and they do work but what it really comes down to is your personal preference. A diet that you can stick with is the best, be it Atkins, Paleo or IIFYM.
Personally I’ve dieted with IIFYM and I like how I can have a lot of freedom with it. At first it takes a bit of getting used to tracking your calories but once you get the hang of it it becomes really easy. On top of that nowadays there is great apps such as Myfitnesspal which are easy and powerful to use to track your daily intake.
Conclusion On What Is The IIFYM Diet
When it all comes down to it if it fits your macros is a great diet if your goal is to build muscle or lose fat. It works great on both ways. It’s a great way to build up muscle while avoiding excess fat and cut excess fat while preserving your hard earned muscle, if you follow the macronutrient ratios I’ve listed in this article.
To recap all the important points here is a bullet point list for you:
- IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros
- It’s a diet that gives you an outline of your daily calorie needs and you meet the numbers how you seem fit
- With IIFYM you have room for occasional treats, as long as it fits your macros
- The success of a diet is mostly based on your personal preference
- While done with the ratios of 20-25% fat, 0.8g protein per pound of bodyweight and the rest carbs, IIFYM will be very optimal in bulking up without excess fat or burning fat without losing muscle
That is it my friends. Did you find this article helpful? Drop me comment down below if you have some questions in mind and I’ll get back to you!
Remember to train hard and train SMART!