IIFYM: Defined and Demystified

Brandon Hahn April 4, 2013 Nutrition Articles

There are diets being added daily to the never ending list of random diet fads.   People are talking about pop tarts, twinkies, and a lot of other “junk food” decisions.  Well, at least the typical diet would consider these foods as junk food.  There are some diets out there that allow people to eat these foods and still progress toward their goals.   IIFYM is one of those diets, let’s find out what in the world is so magical about this (potentially) twinkie filled diet.

What is IIFYM?

The acronym IIFYM standards for If It Fits Your Macros.  So, you setup your macros into a 40/40/20 split or similar depending on your goals.  Some people have their macros set differently, maybe it’s a 40/30/30 split.  Macros are set as the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats consumed on a daily basis.  As long as the foods you eat fit within this macro breakdown, you will be set.  You also need to make sure you set your total calories for the day.  This is where the diet can get tricky and things can go crazy.  If you want to gain weight simply add X calories, and if you want to lose weight you will reduce by X calories.

Example: A 180 pound male may have his caloric intake set at 1800 calories to allow himself to lose weight.  He has is macros set at 40/40/20 (Protein/Carbs/Fat).

This means he can eat whatever he chooses throughout the day as long as he stays at 1800 calories and within the macro breakdown.  So, a twinkie and a protein shake may work well within this diet.  Junk food will not get you to the high amount of protein you would need to consume in a day.  So, some form of healthier food source of protein would need to be added to ensure that number is met.

Does it work?

Short answer, yes it works.  All of the noise can come raining in on this, but it does work.  There are some asterisks to this setup (people are probably thinking some enema type product will be included here, but NO).  People should not be so shocked that this works.  The diet will require you to monitor your food choices.  You cannot just grab twinkies and snickers, then call it a day.  It doesn’t work like that.  You have to set your caloric intake to gain, lose, or maintain weight.  Beyond that, it’s the simple system of calories in versus calories out.  Now you may be thinking, “so, if I try this diet, you can guarantee it will work?”  No.  I’m not going to guarantee anything of this sort.  You can lose weight and still deteriorate in health.  The typical junk foods can wreak havoc on your lipid levels and cholesterol.  So, choose this diet at your own risk.

The goal here is to simply answer the numerous questions about IIFYM.  Diets that focus on total caloric intake will work, as long as you are not eating in extreme excess.  Find the right number of calories to consume and progress from there.   The diet may not do much for your overall health, but you can still lose weight.  Get mad all you want.  Your diet of broccoli, chicken, and brown rice may be all you feel your body can tolerate.  That is fine, your heart and other organs will thank you.   If you have any questions regarding this article, please email me ([email protected]) and/or respond in the comments section below

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About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.

  • sarah reardon

    I think its awesome and take a ton of self Control very cool and I will def try it off season!