What is IIFYM ?
IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros OR Flexible dieting technique: IIFYM which basically means that you can eat without meticulously counting calories provided you know your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) and your daily macros (Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates).
So is IIFYM good or bad?
Does IIFYM mean eat whatever fits in your macros?
Let’s find out.
A glass of orange juice may not be equal to a raw orange or for that matter, a pack of chips may not be the same as a sweet potato. IIFYM never meant to place a slice of pizza over a cup of brown rice. These discussions can go on endlessly. What I’m trying to do here, is to make you understand that any calories to fix your macros won’t work with IIFYM.
Let’s break the ice about fad diets.
IIFYM never meant eating fewer calories, or eating boiled and bland food. You cannot just rely on lesser calories and fill the gap with dense sugar or hydrogenated fats. I am sure a burger can beat your system up real hard. You have to hit your macros with a little, or maybe no deficit in micronutrients with all healthy and whole food options if you don’t want to fall off the wagon.
Most of us believe that the more you eat the more you tend to pound up. When you go really low with calories, you will actually loose a couple of pounds as your body needs certain calories per day for survival, but you are also degrading this calorie burning furnace (BMR) to drop negatively. You end up gaining the weight even on very low calories. This results in plateau, weakness, and failure to continue with the diet.
Slow and Steady wins the race:
Science explains that when you stay approximately close to 15 to 20 percent deficit to your total daily energy expenditure, your body will tend to lose. Now don’t get excited if you lose a little or nothing during your initial weeks, you have done a lot of damage to your metabolism, give yourself some time to catch up with the healthy changes.
Few simple steps to flexible diet:
- Know how many calories your body burns in a day (your TDEE). TDEE = BMR x Activity Factor.
- Eat 15-20% fewer calories every day than your TDEE.
- Split those calories up between fat, protein, and carbohydrates (with adequate fiber intake) in a specific way that preserves muscle, encourages fat loss, and optimizes hormone production without a drop in daily energy or exercise performance.
Flexible dieting is a complicated subject. Your body is a unique machine. The purpose of this machine is to make you grow, provide energy for cells to survive, enzymes and hormonal balance, detoxify or maintain energy balance within. When you cannot rely on kerosene to run a gas car, why do you want to insult your body by throwing in empty calories from sugar and alcohol and random junk?
Be sensible if you want to make your diet flexible. Knowledge is power.
The point is, your macronutrients do matter, and so do your micronutients.
Considering micronutrient supplementation isn’t a bad idea.
Learn more about micronutrient supplementation on this article.
If it fits your routine and macros, and if you are smart enough to judge your macros it is worth giving a try. Else stay strictly calculative.
All the Best.
Article Credits: Navdeep Chawla