What is "If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)"
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Zainab Cutlerywala, INFS Faculty
Author: Zainab Cutlerywala
If It Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM, is a sort of flexible dieting that allows people to lose weight without feeling deprived. Instead of counting calories, IIFYM keeps track of macronutrients including protein, fat, and carbs.
This gives you a lot more freedom because you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits into your daily macros.
The essential concepts of IIFYM, as well as instructions on how to follow it and the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy, are outlined below.
What is IIFYM?
The principle of "Counting Macros" is used in "If It Fits Your Macros." This diet method combines the concepts of "in vs. out," "counting what you eat," and, most importantly, "know what you consume."
Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) are the body's principal source of energy and are responsible for continuously feeding the body with energy to complete daily activities and keep it working even while it is sleeping or resting.
A gramme of carbohydrate and protein has 4 calories, whereas one gramme of fat contains 9 calories. Alcohol is a unique example in which one gramme equals seven calories.
How does it work?
The first step is to decide the macros distribution. Always begin with considering the body's protein requirements; after this is established, the remainder can be adjusted. The carbohydrate and fat proportions can be more goal-oriented and personal and can be varied as per lifestyles of individuals.
However, a general approach advises that someone looking to lose weight should stick to a high carb/low fat or high fat/low carb diet while keeping total calories constant, whereas someone looking to gain lean mass should stick to a high carb diet while keeping the total calories in check.
While on IIFYM there is flexibility while choosing food, it is always wiser to go for the correct food sources, for example, complex carbs over simple foods, complete protein profiles over others, fibres as fillers, and so on.
Keeping a tab on your macros and calories is pretty easy, with a number of applications like Fittr or Myfitnesspal, as well as online calculators and other fitness apps. This can help people figure out what they need, how to break down their macros according to their eating approach, and how to track their success.
These apps also assist with macro accounting and meal planning in advance by logging in food for prospective dates, resulting in short-term weekly objectives that look to be much more feasible. It also prevents last-minute planning blunders and aids in food preparation.
Pros of IIFYM
Weight loss/Weight gain:
This diet helps to achieve weight goals as you are tracking your macros and eating in a deficit or surplus as per your goals.
No off limits food item:
IIFYM allows you to eat whatever you want as long as it fits into your macros.This is an excellent approach to make people aware about balance and what are the major sources of their macros.
Allowing all meals can also alleviate some of the stress and guilt associated with other, more restrictive dieting techniques, resulting in a more pleasurable experience.
It's simple to organise your meals around your lifestyle with IIFYM, and you won't feel restricted.
If you know you'll be eating out, for example, you can look up nutrition information ahead of time and adapt the remainder of your meals accordingly.
Because you're less likely to feel confined, anyone can follow it, whether they follow diets like veganism, paleo, gluten-free etc. This flexibility can make IIFYM simpler to keep to.
Cons of IIFYM
A diet is a diet:
At the end of the day IIFYM is also a diet even though it may be more accommodating than others in the long run people do tend to give up and gain back some of the lost weight at least.
Having a certified coach may help with the motivation and adherence part, thus increasing the chances of success in reaching the goal.
Micronutrients not considered:
IIFYM talks only about Macros, thus taking away all attention from the important micronutrients that are needed by the body for proper functioning.
Some may fall prey to disordered eating habits:
While macronutrient tracking might assist people in achieving their health objectives, it has the potential to cause disordered eating in some people.
Food and fitness tracking have been linked to the development of eating disorders, particularly in young women, according to research.
According to one study, 73 percent of college students with eating disorders feel that utilising tracking apps contributed to their condition's development.
IIFYM is a flexible eating solution for those looking to reduce weight and gain muscle mass without feeling deprived. It entails calculating how many grammes of protein, fat, and carbohydrates you need to consume each day and then keeping track of your food intake to ensure you fulfil these macros.
IIFYM, on the other hand, does not track micronutrients and may not be appropriate for persons who have certain medical conditions or are at risk of developing an eating disorder. ****
Levinson, C. A., Fewell, L., & Brosof, L. C. (2017). My Fitness Pal calorie tracker usage in the eating disorders. Eating Behaviors, 27 , 14–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.EATBEH.2017.08.003
Simpson, C. C., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2017). Calorie counting and fitness tracking technology: Associations with eating disorder symptomatology. Eating Behaviors, 26 , 89–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.EATBEH.2017.02.002
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