Losing weight, building muscle, improving energy levels, and enhancing your productivity and focus - all is highly dependent on your food intake patterns.
You are what you eat, so it is essential to be mindful of your eating habits.
Many health-conscious people who have been following an active lifestyle for years know how many diets there are that you can follow. Some restrict you from eating your favorite foods, whereas others force you to starve throughout the day. More importantly, these diets do not work because they are not sustainable and hard to follow.
You need time and patience to see changes in your body and achieve your fitness goals. And when you follow a diet plan that restricts you from eating and includes breaks for long hours, you cannot simply keep up with that. Apart from that, research tells us these diets also promote and induce binge eating which results in a complete failure of the weightloss journey.
Nothing should stop you from achieving your goals. Only a diet and healthy physical activity will take you closer to your goals. And if you are now tired of these fad diets, it is time to try something new.
A diet that does not compromise your health, keeps you motivated towards your goals, improves your health, and allows you to lose weight is what we all need. With some healthy approaches, you can stay consistent and determined to achieve all your goals.
If you have been an avid follower of all the diets, you must be familiar with IIFYM, but if you don't know a thing about it, worry not, as here you are going to get all the details about IIFYM. All this information will signal you to get started with this diet.
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Understanding IIFYM Diet
The IIFYM, or "If It Fits Your Macros" diet, is a nutrition plan that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The diet is based on the premise that you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your daily macros (or macronutrients).
Many celebrities and fitness experts have been following this diet actively for years.
Unlike other diets, IIFYM does not restrict you from eating anything. If your goal is to stay fit while you want to enjoy delicious food, then you can follow IIFYM. All you have to do is to be mindful of your eating habits and watch your food intake pattern, and you will be good to go.
You can combine this diet with any physical activity. For example, if you are into resistance training or follow long hours of workouts with extensive training, you can follow if it fits your macros diet. According to research, a flexible diet plan such as IIFYM is equally effective in resistance training compared to a strict diet plan.
The study results indicate that you can be a workout enthusiast and eat anything you want. The primary principle of IIFYM is to monitor your macronutrients and include food from all the food groups to meet your nutritional requirements.
There are three main macronutrients:
Each macro has a specific calorie value. For example, one gram of protein and carbohydrate contains four calories and one gram of fat contains nine calories. To follow the IIFYM diet, you need to track each macro's daily intake and ensure that it falls within your recommended range.
You need all of these macronutrients in your diet, but the IIFYM approach is to eat them in the right proportions based on your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, you would eat fewer carbohydrates and more protein and fat. If you want to gain muscle, you will eat more carbohydrates and protein and less fat.
IIFYM gives you the liberty to design your meal plans that direct you toward your goals. It does not give you any window to eat or to include a specific food group in more proportion. You have to achieve your macronutrient target, and you can do that as per your choice.
The IIFYM diet is a very flexible approach to nutrition, and it can be customized to fit your specific goals and preferences. If you're looking for a diet that will allow you to eat the foods you love while still achieving your fitness goals, IIFYM may be the proper diet for you.
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How to Make the Switch to IIFYM
IIFYM works on focusing your macronutrient intake. Many people confuse it with different food groups and restrict one or two. Before starting this diet, you should understand that all food groups have a relevant proportion of all three macronutrients. Therefore, limiting one or two will bring no benefit to you.
If you stop eating from a particular food group, you will be deprived of all the possible benefits that your body will need. IIFYM gives you the freedom to eat everything and still lose weight. The first thing that you need to figure out is the daily calorie needs.
With the help of a calorie calculator, you can identify your total caloric requirements. Once you get a number from this calculator, you can start planning your diet flexibly. A noteworthy thing here is to be mindful while eating your daily meals. You will have problems achieving your goals if you exceed the fixed amount. The total number of calories and your macronutrient count will tell you how much food you can have daily.
The total number of calories that you will get will promote weight loss and muscle gain if you follow the plan consistently. The IIFYM calculator will then give you a direction to plan your meals.
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In a healthy diet, carbohydrates should make up about 50-60% of total calorie intake, proteins should make up 20-30%, and fats should make up 20-30%. However, these percentages can vary depending on a person's individual needs.
With the help of a macro calculator, you can get an estimated number to start IIFYM. Each person's requirement varies and depends on various factors like age, activity status, and goals.
After you are done with your calorie requirements, the next step would be to decide what food you will eat. Many often mistake not including enough nutrient-dense foods in their diet and go for processed options. If you want to make IIFYM a success, you have to balance out your food intake.
For example, you can eat a burger, sandwich, and pasta in a single day as it will still fit your macro needs, but adding healthier foods will bring more benefits. One or two servings of such foods won't harm you but make sure you don't base your meals on all processed foods.
In IIFYM, you have to be extremely mindful of your meals. It is recommended to track your meals regularly on a tracker or to have a food diary to log all your meals. Doing this will help you in monitoring your food intake. For example, if you had maximum calories before your dinner and haven't logged them, you might eat more than you are allowed to.
Having a food tracker or diary will also give you an insight into your eating patterns. For instance, tracking processed foods will make you accountable if you unknowingly rely on them. Moreover, you will feel more satisfied and happy to achieve your goals.
Including All Food Groups
IIFYM is flexible dieting and demands food from all the food groups. The main food groups, such as grains, protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and dairy, are responsible for providing energy. All these food groups have the right proportion of three macronutrients.
Eating from all food groups will enrich your lifestyle, provide a range of other nutrients, and lower the risk of diseases.
Get Healthy and Stay Fit With These Perfect Foods for IIFYM
The basic principle of IIFYM is to include all three macronutrients in your diet as long as they stay within your caloric requirements. But here we have a list of macronutrients and the foods you can eat within these three groups that you should ideally be eating in the IIFYM diet:
Carbohydrates work as fuel to your body. They provide energy to your brain, kidneys, heart, and all muscles. They also provide energy to the cells and help regulate blood sugar levels. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used for energy or stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Glycogen is a storage form of glucose used when blood sugar levels drop during exercise.
Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient that you should never miss out on. Though the benefits of carbohydrates are great, you still have to be mindful while having them. Again, your food choices here play a significant role. There are three main types of carbs: starches, fiber, and sugars.
Starches are complex carbs in grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. Sugars are simple carbs found in milk, honey, fruits, and processed foods as added sugars. Fiber keeps your gut healthy and lowers the risk of heart disease by managing cholesterol levels.
To reap maximum benefits from carbohydrates, your diet should have at least half of the carbs from grains. These have fiber which keeps you full for a longer time and promotes health. Some of the healthy choices for carbs are:
-fruits like bananas, oranges, apples, grapefruit, grapes, and cherries
-vegetables like corn, potatoes, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and squash
-grains like rice, oats, barley, quinoa, and wheat
-legumes like beans, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts
-dairy products like milk and yogurt
-sugars like honey and maple syrup
Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They play a significant role in almost all of the body's processes, including cell growth and repair, metabolism, and the production of hormones and enzymes. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Twenty different amino acids make up to form a protein. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the protein's function.
Proteins are found in all body cells and are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs. Proteins are essential for growth and development, as well as for the repair of damaged tissue. Many proteins also play a role in the immune system, helping to protect the body from infection and disease.
Proteins can be found in various foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Eating various protein-rich foods is important to get all the essential amino acids the body needs. The body can also make some amino acids, but there are nine that it cannot make on its own, and these are known as essential amino acids. These must be obtained through diet.
Protein deficiencies occur in people who have difficulty absorbing nutrients from food (such as those with certain digestive disorders) or who do not consume enough protein-rich foods. Protein deficiency can lead to muscle wasting, weakness, and a general feeling of fatigue. It can also cause edema (fluid retention), heart failure, and death in severe cases.
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Fats play many vital roles in the body. They constitute a significant energy source, help absorb specific vitamins and minerals, and provide insulation and padding for organs and tissues. There are four types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are found in animal products such as meat and butter. Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are found in olive oil and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature and are found in nuts, seeds, and fish. Trans fats are artificially created during food manufacturing and are found in processed foods such as cookies and crackers.
Not all fats are created equal and will benefit your body. You should limit saturated and trans fats in the diet as they can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered "healthy" fats as they can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
The body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. The best way to get the necessary fats is to eat various healthy foods that contain unsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil. It's important to limit saturated and trans fats by avoiding processed foods and choosing leaner cuts of meat. These simple changes can help improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Limiting the Foods in IIFYM
As said earlier, IIFYM is a flexible diet in which you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macro goals. However, just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should. There are certain foods that you should limit or avoid altogether when following this type of diet.
One food group that you should be especially careful with is processed foods. This includes packaged snacks, pre-made meals, and anything else that contains a lot of additives and preservatives. Processed foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients, so they can easily throw off your macro balance for the day. Plus, they're not exactly good for your health in general.
Another food group that you should limit is sugar. This includes things like candy, baked goods, and sweetened beverages. Sugar is high in calories and can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, which can be detrimental to your health.
You should also limit your intake of alcohol when following the IIFYM diet. Alcohol is empty calories and can quickly throw off your macro balance for the day. Plus, it can inhibit your body's ability to burn fat.
So, while you can eat whatever you want on the IIFYM, there are certain foods that you should limit or avoid altogether. By doing this, you'll be able to reach your macro goals better and improve your overall health. But if you crave such foods, be careful to balance them with the rest of your meals.
The Ultimate Benefits of the IIFYM
Instead of counting calories, IIFYM focuses on macronutrients. Following an IIFYM diet will track the grams of protein, fat, and carbs you're eating each day. But instead of restrictive rules about which foods you can eat, IIFYM asks that you meet your nutrient goals for the day.
This means you can still enjoy your favorite foods as long as they fit into your macronutrient goals. For example, if you're trying to lose weight, you might set a goal of eating 120 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, and 160 grams of carbohydrates per day. This would allow you to enjoy a burger and fries for lunch as long as you don't exceed your daily carb or fat limit.
Some of the benefits of the IIFYM diet are:
Creates a Feeling Of Mindfulness
When tracking your macros, you become more mindful of the foods you are eating and how they make you feel. This can help to create a more positive relationship with food.
Helps With Weight Loss
One of the main reasons people try IIFYM is for weight loss. And it can be effective! When you track your macros, you are more likely to make healthier choices and hit your calorie goals.
Related Article: The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss
If you are trying to build muscle, IIFYM can be a helpful tool. Ensuring you get enough protein and calories can give your body the fuel it needs to build muscle.
Improves Athletic Performance
Another benefit of IIFYM is that it can help improve your athletic performance. When you get the proper nutrients, your body can function at its best.
IIFYM can also help to boost your metabolism. When you are eating the right foods and getting enough calories, your body will be able to process food better and use it for energy.
A Sustainable Approach
One of the great things about IIFYM is that it is a sustainable approach to eating. You can still enjoy your favorite foods while tracking your macros. This makes it more likely that you will stick with the diet in the long term.
Having balance in a diet can be helpful when trying to eat healthy for people who cannot eat enough meals throughout the day. IIFYM can provide that structure by telling you what foods to eat and how much of each macronutrient you should have.
Boosts Your Health
Not only can IIFYM help you lose weight and build muscle, but it can also boost your overall health. Your overall health will improve by eating all essential nutrients, you will feel more energized and have a minimized risk of interacting with diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some tips for following IIFYM?
Here are a few tips for following IIFYM:
- Figure out your macro goals.
- Use a food tracking app or calculate your macros yourself.
- Make sure you're getting enough protein, as it's essential for muscle growth.
- Don't go overboard on carbs and fats, as they can lead to weight gain.
- Drink plenty of water and eat lots of vegetables to stay hydrated and healthy.
2. Do I have to plan out my meals myself in IIFYM?
Yes, you'll need to plan out your meals in IIFYM. This diet requires more meal planning and preparation than some other diets. However, there are plenty of resources available to help you with this. Food-tracking apps, macro calculators, and many recipes that fit your macros and will help you to get started.
3. What happens if I go over my macros?
If you go over your macros, you may gain weight. If you overeat on carbs and fats, you're likely to consume more calories than you need. This can lead to weight gain.
4. Do I need to work out while following IIFYM?
No, you don't need to work out while following IIFYM. However, exercise can help you lose weight and get in better shape. If you're looking to build muscle, then you should consider adding a strength-training program to your routine.
IIFYM is a flexible dieting approach that has shown proven weight loss and muscle-building results. The most highlighting feature of this diet is the flexibility and commitment to your goals. Apart from taking you closer to your goals, the diet has also improved your overall health and well-being.
Irrespective of what your goals are, you should give a try to IIFYM diet and see what it unfolds for you.
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