If it fits your macros (IIFYM) is a method of flexible dieting. It is a combination of macronutrients, calories, and fiber your body needs to obtain any desired body composition. Whether you are eating to maintain your current body, gain mass, shred, or simply eat for performance, tracking your food is great way to accomplish your goals and still maintain some sanity
Macronutrients are a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These are broken down into grams per “Macro” (macronutrient). It is a way to continue to reach your fitness goals, while still enjoying some of your favorite foods. HOWEVER, it is NOT a means of eating whatever and as much of whatever as you would like. The “If It Fits Your Macros” method is enjoying what you love, but doing so in MODERATION.
You have “X” amount in grams to hit for each macronutrient. While hitting your macros, you must also be aware of their caloric value. The amazing thing about these numbers is that you can pull them from many different types of food sources. The majority of your total macronutrient intake should be healthy and nutritional. This leaves you with a SMALL allowance to enjoy some of those favorite foods you love, whether it is pizza, cookies, pop tarts, frozen yogurt, etc.
For instance someone in a caloric deficit or “cut” must find foods that are lower in calories, to ensure they hit every macro without going over on their daily caloric balance. This person will have less room for flexibility, so their macros might not allow them for a cookie or a scoop of ice cream. A person that is in a caloric surplus or “bulk” will have more room for foods that may be richer in calories. This persons caloric allowance will also be higher, so they will have more room for a slice of pizza or two, without going over their macros for the day. With this being, no one body will ever have the same amount of flexibility in their diet. A shorter person who is 4’11 weighing 90 pounds would have less room for flexibility than a taller person who is 6’3 weighing 220 pounds.
The infamous Cheat meal; your goals allow for one or more cheat meals a week. Most dieters will opt for a few burgers or a whole pizza, which will easily amount to a thousand or two thousand calories in just the one meal. A traditional dieter who is in a deficit of 500-1000 calories a day can manage a cheat meal of high value while still reaching their goal. Let's break down this one thousand calorie cheat meal into seven days. This is about 140 calories a day, allowing you for 140 calories of flexibility. In turn, you could opt for a few cookies, a slice of pizza, a pop tart, some twizzlers, a soda, etc. so long as you keep it under the 140 calories. Someone with a bigger stature will have a larger caloric number for flexibility. All in all, you will still be able to achieve the same goals whether you save calories for a cheat meal once a week, or spread those calories out daily, throughout the week.
Most people will talk about it being an unhealthy way to diet. The misconception is that the majority of people think they can eat absolutely anything as long as they are still hitting their macronutrient numbers. Wrong! In actually, this number should be around twenty percent of your total calories consumed. Someone on a 2000 calorie diet has about 400 calories of flexibility. The rest of the 1600 calories should come from healthy, nutritional foods. To maintain a healthy body, your protein, carbs, fats, and fibers need to be met as well. Body composition will happen depending on your total calorie, protein, carbs, and fat intake. Figure out your fitness goal and start tracking your food!
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