IIFYM stands for ‘If It Fits Your Macros.’ Can you get shredded with this diet? Is it healthy? Read on to find out.
The IIFYM diet is actually one of my favorite diets out there. It means you can enjoy any type of foods you want as long as you hit your daily macros/calorie requirements.
But, the general complaint you’ll hear about the IIFYM diet is if it’s actually healthy.
The answer to that question is that it simply depends! If you refuse to eat any greens and foods high in fiber, you’ll most definitely feel the effects of this unhealthy eating.
Therefore, my advice when it comes to the IIFYM diet is that you learn to eat a well-balanced diet — while still being able to enjoy the foods that you want, like pizza and ice cream.
I’m a big foodie so I like to be able to eat foods that might be somewhat high in sugar. I bought this S’mores cereal the other day that is amazing! It’s a lot of carbs, but I make sure they fit into my daily macros.
Will I get absolutely shredded eating this way. Probably not. But, I’m currently working on improving my strength levels so I’m not concerned about having a flat stomach. I’m eating a very relaxed diet.
Either way, you can definitely lose weight with the IIFYM diet. It’s all about calories at the end of the day. If your body is in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight!
What About Clean Eating?
How do you even define clean eating? I think it really depends on the person you ask. Everyone will have their own opinions on the matter because what’s “healthy” seems to change yearly.
There’s always a new fad.
Anyway, I think we can all generally agree that eating foods high in white sugars, like candy and such, is probably not that great for you. Some people will argue that sugar causes cancer.
Is this true? Who knows.
What I will define as clean eating is simply a diet that is low in processed foods and sugars, and high in fiber.
This means upping your green vegetable intake. Most people don’t eat enough vegetables these days. Diets higher in fiber help you feel better throughout the day.
The micronutrients might fight against cancers as well. I can’t prove that, but I don’t think it hurts to assume that green vegetables are healthier than cereals and candy high in sugar.
The vegan freaks out there will give you a completely different opinion. Anything that’s not vegan will be considered unhealthy. The same can be said for the Keto diet people.
So, clean eating is really subjective. I like to keep things simple so if you want to eat “healthy,” then I suggest that you simply cut out the sugar and eat more vegetables. Easy, right?
Calculating Macros For Your IIFYM Diet
Are you trying to build a lean, athletic physique? If so, then you’ll need to be really accurate with your macros and caloric intake.
I recommend you download the MyFitnessPal app and learn how it works. If you’re new to tracking macros, it will take some time to get used to it.
You’ll also need to pick up a food scale so you can weigh your food to the gram. Developing this habit is required if you want that six pack shredded look.
For starters, one gram of protein is equal to four calories. One gram of carbohydrate is also equal to four calories. However, one gram of fat is equal to nine calories.
Most people overeat their carbs and fats — and undereat their protein. As a result, burning body fat quickly becomes a constant uphill battle. Eating enough protein per day is extremely difficult without adding protein shakes and bars to your diet. It’s possible, but difficult.
Therefore, I highly recommend you add shakes and bars to your diet. Be sure you’re reading nutrition labels and adding the amount of protein, carbs and fats into the app. This is how you track.
How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day?
The argument for the IIFYM diet is all about this: that a calorie is a calorie. That all calories are equal.
It’s all about calories in vs calories out. If your body is burning more calories than it’s consuming, you’re going to lose weight.
I struggled with the skinny fat thing for years. The way I “fixed” it was by increasing my protein intake while lowering my overall calories consumed per day.
You have to get your body into a fat burning state. The only way to do that is by eating a lot of protein and healthier carbs and fats that don’t cause inflammation.
Inflammation is a huge topic that I could write about all day. To keep this article on topic, I would recommend that you avoid breads and donuts for the most part.
However, each body varies. Some people struggled with certain foods while others aren’t affected. Generally speaking, cutting out breads while dieting will most likely increase your metabolism and help burn fat.
So how many calories per day do you need? Enough that makes you feel comfortable but also allows you to lose weight.
A great number to start with is your current body weight multiplied by 11 or 12. Go with 12 if you’re hitting the gym 3-4 times per week and generally active. If you’re stationary, go with the 11.
If your body fat percentage is above 20% as a man or 25% as a woman, then go with your body weight x 10.
This still might seem rather high if you’re not used to tracking your food. However, just make sure you’re getting at least enough protein in per day. If you weigh 170 pounds, then I would recommend at least 130 grams of protein PER DAY.
Some people would say to eat 170 grams of protein. But, I don’t believe that’s necessary. However, more protein doesn’t hurt. The more protein you’re eating, the less carbs and fats.
This is what IIFYM is all about: you can eat a lot of protein, punch it into the app, and then fill in the rest of your calories with carbs and fats.
If you’re losing weight, it’s working. Keep going. Don’t change anything until you haven’t lost any weight for 2 weeks.