WTH is IIFYM?

By September 30, 2015 Health No Comments

Have you ever had so many options and paths to choose from that you are paralyzed to make a decision because you don’t know which one to pick? I think we all have. This is especially prevalent with nutrition. Everybody has their own opinion of what is healthy and what is most effective for weight loss and we are always left wondering which way to go. IFFYM is no different, so let’s break this down before we have a breakdown.

What is IIFYM?
IFFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros and is becoming a popular guideline for many dieters. In a nutshell, a macro is a macronutrient, which is considered to make up any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required such as protein, fat, carbohydrates and minerals. It is simply a form of calorie counting which enables you to plan your meals around your goals.

Although it has recently been recognized for its title IIFYM, this dietary method has been around for quite some time and is also known as flexible dieting. The name itself has a desired ring to it as it implies we can be more liberal with our food choices. IIFYM or flexible dieting is “method of dieting that revolves around meeting macro nutritional intake targets, and not what you eat to get there.” This isn’t to say you can pig out and eat all the food in the world, but you can eat any type of food so long as it fits within your acceptable macro intake.

Calculating macros – yes, this is a thing.
The most important and essential part of maintaining this diet is to know exactly what macros you are aiming for every day. This can be tricky at first, so we encourage you to use an online calorie counter which you can find at this link. http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ IIFYM shares similarities with clean eating, but clean eating is more focused on eating pure and organic foods where IIFYM emphasizes reaching macro targets and consuming a variety of different foods and nutrients.
IFFYM

Balance is key
Many people are excited when they first hear about IIFYM because it gives them the autonomy to choose what type of food they want to eat (to an extent of course) and they don’t have to feel as if they are being deprived of some of their favourite foods. The idea that we can drink a beer instead of bitterly nibble on a carrot stick while we’re out with friends on the weekend is definitely appealing to a lot of people. Research has found that some flexibility in our diet is key to long-term success as it decreases the frequency of binge eating. Allowing ourselves a bit of leniency when we choose our food will minimize our cravings and ultimately help us maintain a balanced diet.

The bigger picture
However, we have to also consider some of the shortcomings of this diet if we want the full picture. Just because we have the power to eat a box of doughnuts every day and still lose weight doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Food gives us energy and micronutrients that are essential for us to function. It is important to note that IIFYM requires a great deal of preparation and calculations, which can quickly become frustrating and nearly unmanageable at times.

Taking all of this into consideration, IIFYM is a liberating approach to dieting and will be of value to those who want to be healthy, but not to the point where they are limited to only eating a small sample of certain foods. Anything is okay in moderation and we encourage you to try out flexible eating if you are tired of following a rigid diet plan and don’t have a problem counting calories. Once you figure out what you want to accomplish, the rest will fall into place.

Sources:
http://www.muscleforlife.com/what-is-if-it-fits-your-macros-and-does-it-work/ http://www.elitefts.com/education/nutrition/getting-dirty-if-it-fits-your-macros-needs-formatted/ http://bodytransformationfitness.com/clean-eating-vs-iifym-pros-and-cons-debate/