If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)

    If It Fits Your Macros is a fitness eating style in which it doesn’t matter what foods you eat, as long as reach your target number of calories for the day and the target number of macro-nutrients for the day.

    This approach to fitness eating provides one with lots of choice in the foods one can eat (virtually anything one wishes to have!) and still maintain a relatively healthy diet. However, with the freedom IIFYM provides in eating does require a level of nutrition knowledge and discipline to make it a healthy fitness eating style.

    Macro is short for macronutrient. There are three major macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat. So, as long as you meet and do not exceed the number of grams of carbs, proteins and fats for the day, there’s no limit to what foods you can eat to meet those daily carb, protein and fat requirements.

    For someone unfamiliar with IIFYM, at first glance it might seem like IIFYM can be an unhealthy way of eating if you can eat whatever you want. But IIFYM is quite an ingenious way of fitness eating.

    Let’s say you’re limited to 2,500 calories a day, divided between the three major macro-nutrients in the following way: carbs: 300 grams (1,200 calories), protein: 212 grams (850 calories), and fat 50 grams (450 calories).

    If you end up slipping and eating a huge high carb high fat lunch at Burger King, you might then only have a small number of calories worth of carbs and fats left for the rest of the day. So your dinner might have to be grilled chicken salad. You might also feel pretty crappy at the gym. Both of which would motivate you to plan your IIFYM meals out better.

    The total calorie limit and a calorie limit on each macronutrient helps ensures that you decide intelligently what foods you eat.

    IIFYM gives you the flexibility to create your own meal options while giving you a level of moderation in your diet to not feel restricted. It’s a good way to eat if you want to make fitness and nutrition a lifestyle and eat healthy and intelligently for the long run.

    As mentioned earlier, IIFYM does require a certain amount of nutrition knowledge and tracking of your calories and number of macronutrients eaten.

    IIFYM by its very nature creates some good habits; you pay more attention to the nutrient content of what you’re eating, you calculate your calories, you read food labels, etc.

    Sample training day IIFYM meal plan:

    Carbs 300 grams (1,200)
    Protein 212 grams (850)
    Fat 50 grams (450)
    Calories 2,500

    Sample off day IIFYM meal plan:

    Carbs 250 grams (1,000)
    Protein 212 grams (850)
    Fat 50 grams (450)
    Calories 2,300