IIFYM- If it fits your macros. So what is a macro?
A macronutrient is an energy providing substance required in relatively large amounts.
Macros include Carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
IIFYM or “Flexible Dieting” can easily be described as a lifestyle which allows you to hit your macronutrients and caloric needs while eating foods you enjoy. The purpose behind IIFYM is to prevent individuals from following such a strict diet plan that they feel the desire to binge eat or “cheat” every week.
IIFYM Tips & Reminders:
- Everyone will NOT have the same macronutrient breakdown. Even if you both weigh the same amount, each of you may process food differently.
- There is NO WAY you can fill your daily macronutrients by eating ice cream and bacon. Although that sounds lovely, it’s also pretty close to impossible with the proper macro breakdown.
- Making “healthy” eating choices is still important however; not depriving yourself of the “bad foods” is equally as important.
- Balanced meals are KEY. Don’t start your day by consuming ¾ of your calories & get to dinner with little macros to use. On the other side of that, don’t “save” all your macros and save them for a big dinner, dessert, second dessert etc. If you are comfortable eating five times a day, divide your cals and macros into five even meals.
- Just because “it fits”, don’t fill up on “junk”. Make sure you are filling up on complex carbs so you have sustained energy and stay full longer.
- Experimenting with foods, baking and cooking is fun however a ½ cup of oats and 1 tbsp of peanut butter will keep you more full than a candy bar and have relatively similar macros.
- IIFYM creations on instagram look delightful, however if you are new to IIFYM try to stick to the “basics”. Making something that looks pretty may cost you a lot of macros and sacrifice your energy levels and hunger.
- Don’t “make things fit”. Be honest with yourself while you are tracking. If something doesn’t fit, try looking for a more macro friendly option, or saving that treat for a different day.
- Be Prepared. Just because you discovered IIFYM does not mean you can forget about planning and preparing meals. Planning ahead is always important but so is flexibility. Try putting foods into your phone the night before or first thing in the morning so you can see where your macros are at throughout the day.
- Adjusting or changing foods throughout the day to fit your lifestyle or certain situations is OKAY. If your friends want to go out to eat, instead of saying no and sitting home so you can stick to you “plan”, find something on the menu that will fit your macro nutrient goals.
- If you go over your macronutrients one day, it is NOT the end of the world. However, just because you may have gone over, don’t stop tracking or leave foods out. Also, don’t go “crazy” after being off on your numbers. Do the best you can and remember tomorrow is another day.
- If you are unsure on how to find your caloric maintenance level and a proper macro nutrient breakdown contact someone who will be able to assist you.
- Be prepared to fall in love with IIFYM, tracking your food and constantly being on MyFitnessPal.
- Sweet potato
- Ezekiel bread
- Whole grain bread, wraps, English muffins
- Bagel thins (Not as fun as regular bagels but much more macro friendly)
- Vegetables (YES they have carbs & YES they count): broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, spinach etc.
- Fruit (Most fruits are high in carbohydrates and sugar- just be aware of the macronutrients)
- Rice Cakes
- Cereals (Kashi Go Lean is a good option)
- Eggs & egg whites
- Lean beef
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein shakes
- Low fat cheese
- Protein bars
- Peanut butter & other spreads
- Olive oil
Macro friendly condiments, sides & snacks
- Low fat dressings
- Natural sweeteners
- Soy sauce
- Banana peppers
- Turkey pepperoni
- Low fat string cheese
- Popcorn (no butter versions)
- Fat free puddings
- Sugar free jello
When grocery shopping, don’t hesitate to pick up treats or things you typically “like” to eat. If the Oreo box is calling your name, pick it up! Just be prepared to take 1 or 2 (depending on your numbers) and set the others aside for another day.
Be aware that there are several foods on the grocery list & in the store that may contain carbohydrates and proteins or proteins and fats etc.
Last minute reminders:
- Your macronutrients will not always be the same. Your macronutrient breakdown will depend on your goals and what your caloric maintenance level is.
- Anyone can do IIFYM, whether you are looking to lose weight, add muscle, compete in a fitness competition, power lifting, cross fit etc. If you are willing to spend some time learning, tracking and being flexible, IIFYM could be for you.
- Be aware that as your body starts to adapt to a certain calories and macronutrients they may need to be adjusted to assist you in reaching your goals (decrease in cals, reverse dieting etc.).
- Food does not control you! Finding balance and moderation may be difficult however with IIFYM it can be easier to gain control over your eating behaviors and help you build a healthy relationship with food!
Thanks for reading about IIFYM & I hope you learned something from it! Please feel free to email us with any questions you have regarding macros, tracking, foods etc.Build a healthy body & mind!
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