In today’s bodybuilding community, there seems to be this new slogan on a form of dieting labeled “IIFYM.” This simply stands for “if it fits your macros.” Now, even with this known, it still may not make the most sense. After all, what could “if it fits your macros” possibly mean? Simply put, if a food sources macro-nutrients fits into what your goals for the day, then you are allowed to consume it!
First off, I will go into a quick explanation of what macro-nutrients mean. Macro-nutrients are the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that make up your food sources. Every gram of protein is 4 calories; every gram of carbohydrate is also only 4 calories. Contrary to proteins and carbohydrates, each gram of fat equals 9 calories. For each diet that you have whether you are trying to gain weight or lose fat, you should have a total macro-nutrients goal for the day. For example, a 200 lb male that is trying to lose fat may have his macro goals for the day be 220 grams of protein (880 calories), 70 grams of fat (630 calories), and 250 grams of carbohydrates (1,000 calories). This would add up to being 2,510 calories, and it would end up being around a 500 caloric deficit each day, resulting in a one pound loss of fat each week.
It would depend on what that particular individuals total energy exertion for the day was though.
All carbohydrates are the same contrary to the theory that you should only stick to “low GI foods.” The glycemic index is complete bull and should be disregarded! An example of this is that if you consumed 40 g. of carbohydrates from ice cream, then your body would use it the same as it would from 40 g. of carbohydrates from a “clean” food such as brown rice. There are a lot of skeptics to this, but it’s really basic human physiology at the end of the day. Your body sees numbers; it doesn’t see the source of food that it is receiving. Your body doesn’t recognize that you are eating a pop tart and decide that it will store it as fat. It’s all about keeping these foods in moderation.
To wrap this up, I must mention that you should keep your micro-nutrient goals in mind as well. Some people take the idea of “IIFYM” and end up abusing it by consuming all of their macros from “dirty” foods.
Even though you can’t consume all of your calories for the day from pop tarts and ice cream, IIFYM is still a great, flexible way of dieting by allowing yourself to eat these fun foods while still reaching your goals.