Guest Post: IIFYM Diet: History and Effects of “If It Fits Your Macros”

FoodUnless you’re a seasoned bodybuilder, you’re probably not very familiar with the IIFYM diet. This diet was born out of necessity and a desire to eat tasty food that also fits your lifestyle and your fitness goals. If you want to know more about this movement and diet, here’s a brief history and effects of “If it fits your macros” diet.

History of IIFYM

Back in the day, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts used to rely solely on a few types of food. Their diet mostly consisted of rice, canned tuna, egg whites, grilled chicken and broccoli—that’s about it when it comes to food diversity. This type of clean eating often left people feeling starved for flavor and diversity, because they were too focused on calories and nutrients to pay attention to taste.

With time, personal trainers and bodybuilding experts started moving their focus from foods to food categories, mainly macros like protein, fat and carbs, and their daily amounts. So whenever someone would ask “Can I eat this?” the trainer would say “Yes, if it fits your macros”. This is how “if it fits your macros” movement was born.

Why is IIFYM so attractive to people?

With this diet, you can practically eat whatever you want, but in certain amounts. This fact is very attractive to all people who want to lose weight and gain muscle because they don’t have to focus on just “healthy” food. IIFYM allows all sorts of food, even tacos, pizza and pasta, while still losing weight. The truth is that there are no specific foods that make you overweight—it’s the surplus of calories. The same happens when losing weight when you’re eating too few calories. It’s all in the numbers and numbers can’t be cheated.  As long as you stay within your macro amounts for the day, you can manage your weight however you see fit.

How to eat on IIFYM?

In general, calories come from four places—fat, carbs, protein and alcohol (this last one is mostly just calories and very little nutrition). Fiber is a component of carbohydrates, but it’s crucial for weight loss and management, so it deserves a spot on this list as well. This diet doesn’t require any special cookbook or hours out of your day to prepare food. You can even rely on restaurant food and regularly reheat your favorite frozen meal as long as you follow your macros. Frozen meals are a great solution when you need to follow your diet because you always know you have tasty and nutritious meals in your freezer ready to be consumed whenever you want.

As long as you follow your macros recommendation prescribed to you by an IIFMY expert or any other dietitian or personal trainer, you can basically eat whatever you want.

Why is it better than restrictive eating?

When relying on eating cleanly, you have no idea how many calories you’re taking in and how many of them your body needs. In many cases, people end up eating a lot less than recommended, putting their bodies in the starvation mode that’s perfect for a yo-yo effect. As soon as you start eating normally again, it’s more than likely that you’ll put on all the weight back. By focusing on macros, you’ll already be eating normally, so there’s nothing to go back to. There’s no starvation and no staying away from tasty foods.

As long as you know how many calories you burn throughout the day, stay in the caloric deficit and split the calorie intake into a healthy number of macros, you will get to lose weight, preserve muscle and optimize your daily performance. No more focusing only on bland rice and chicken! You can reap all the benefits listed above while also eating pizza and ice cream, in moderation of course!

About the Author:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.

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