The Diet You Can Actually Follow: IIFYM

At first flexible dieting can seem like a full time job, but I assure you this diet (or lifestyle) is, in my opinion, the most effective way to enjoy the foods you love while staying on track with your fitness goals. What exactly is flexible dieting? Flexible Dieting (Also known as IIFYM, if it fits your macros) is merely tracking the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) of the foods you eat to achieve a certain body composition goal. Another note of importance is while flexible dieting not one food is off limits. In general IIFYM followers do not deem foods dirty or clean. I however, try to get the majority of my foods from whole or natural sources but I do not fret if I have a donut every now and then especially if it fits my macros. I am going to arm you with the first steps you should take to start the diet that bodybuilders everywhere follow to achieve the physique of their dreams.

just started

Step 1: Understanding the Math

Macros or Macronutrients are the key components of a food Calorie. Calories are made up of 3 macros: Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. One gram of each macro has a calorie value.

  • 1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories

Rather than tracking just calories Flexible Dieters would track their macros, setting a daily caloric intake but also setting where those calories are coming from by assigning rigid amounts fats, carbs and proteins they can consume each day. Tracking macronutrients, more effectively influences body composition than just calorie counting and it can even help you stay fuller longer.

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Step 2: Understanding Why You Should Get Started

In the world of today we are constantly being pressured in every direction to take on a fad diet, some of which include, juicing, eating clean, Atkins and paleo diets. Flexible dieting is one thing above all else, flexible. You can eat the foods you love guilt-free as long as you reserve some macros for it. You don’t even have to call that slice of a cake a cheat on your diet, if you were still on track with your macros at the end of the day. That is the reason why flexible dieting breaks the diet binge cycle. There isn’t a need to stuff your face at the end of the week when you can enjoy little treats daily and still be on track to your goals. This diet is extremely effective and satisfying. While on IIFYM I never feel hungry and I have been seeing amazing results. If you want to see results just google IIFYM results (These are REAL people who are eating REAL food and getting REAL results).

wonkabinge

Step 3: Committing to the Fit Life

At first it isn’t going to be easy but eventually you will be a seasoned macro professional. You need to commit yourself and hold yourself accountable for everything you eat. Prepare to have an eye-opening learning experience particularly with portion sizes. I never realized how much more you eat when you put snacks into a large bowl or eat them out of a bag. It really makes all the difference portioning out snacks ahead of time and making sure you always have, fruits, veggies and cooked grilled chicken on hand.

mealprep

Step 4: Buy Yourself a Good Food Scale

Make sure you get a reliable food scale that is large so you can read the weights when a plate is on top of the scale. I currently have this scale and I love it

ine

Step 5: Find out your Body Fat Percentage

  • I highly recommend you get a Caliper to measure your body fat percentage. This is particularly useful to gage your progress as you continue to track your macros. Many times you will not be losing weight but you will be replacing fat with muscle, the Caliper helps you track changes to your body that a standard scale cannot see. You can buy a 6 dollar Caliper here

Once you find out your number see where you fall on the chart below:

fat

Step 6: Figure Out Your Macro Targets

  • Once you have your body fat percentage down head on over to this macro calculator: http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/
  • Once at the calculator page type in the required fields and make sure you are seeing your daily macros and calories and not divided up into meals. Once you have them those are your recommended macronutrient gram amounts for you and your goals. If you are not seeing the results you want after following those macro allowances they can be adjusted at any time by using this calculator.

bible

Step 7: Download Your App Arsenal:

App  #1: Fat Secret:

  • This app provides accurate and reliable macro amounts for common household food items and even menu items at popular restaurants. You could compare this app to Myfitnesspal but unlike that app this one always has accurate nutritional information available to you. You can even use this to quickly add up the macros in a homemade lunch as it allows you to input foods by the exact gram amount you ate. (ex. Say I ate 78g of grilled chicken FatSecret can tell you the macros on this in seconds)

Get the App here.

fatse

App #2: Macros:

  • I use this app every day to quickly input my macros, it doesn’t do much but it helps me visually see in a basic format how many macros I have left. It does come with its own macro calculator but I’d recommend setting your own macro targets on the App and using the results you got from the IIFYM calculator. It also has an option to have different macros on a rest day but I recommend eating the same amounts of macros and calories regardless if it’s a training day or a rest day.

Get the App here.

app

Step 8: Stay on Track with your Diet and Workouts with Social Media

The number one way I stay motived to work out and follow my diet is through the wonderful support network I have joined online. The amount of inspirational and supportive friends I’ve made from Instagram’s #fitfam, Pumpitup App and Burn this App are invaluable. I highly recommend getting involved in these FREE online communities they are better than any paid support you could ever receive.

fitfam

If you have any comments please leave them below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Best,

Lauren of Eatingbrofood

7 thoughts on “The Diet You Can Actually Follow: IIFYM

  1. How sensible! I’ve tried what turned out to be very restrictive diets in the past, and they didn’t work. Then I focused on healthy eating, and what a change. I still eat sweets now and then, because to restrict them completely would just backfire. Why not embrace a few treats and enjoy them?

    Like

    • Hi Deanne,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I have been following this IIFYM diet since November and it is a wonderful way to enjoy food while still reaching your goals. I too have tried restrictive diets but they just make me feel guilty for having a treat now and then which is perfectly human! I highly suggest trying the macro diet.

      Best,

      Lauren

      Like

  2. Lauren, I’ve never heard of this but I’m going to try it. I’ve done a modified Paleo successfully and as a result I eat more whole clean foods. I was thinking of doing the Whole30 but the restrictions scared me to death. The reason for all of this is that my body is changing as I age. My fitness routine is not maintaining the way it used to so I’ve added running to the mix and ran my first 5K in the spring. I want to feel good so I’m looking to make some changes in my diet. I have teenage daughters so I don’t use the word “diet” and I don’t own a scale. I want them to have a healthy body image and take care of their bodies. This may be a healthy but FUN alternative to the other more restrictive fads out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marie,

      I agree the Whole30 is not a realistic diet at all and would be such a headache with a limited rather than a long term sustainable gain. Not to mention it would be hard to make meals for your diet that your family would also enjoy. Awesome job on your 5K! Stay turned I am working on posting my weight training/ cardio workouts on my blog soon which may include guided videos as well. I am 21 and I do this diet, I still enjoy time with my friends and family. Ironically I only own a food scale not a real scale. Doing IIFYM will make you feel strong, full and fully satisfied. Please keep me posted on your journey. Good luck and I am so excited for you! Also all of my recipes have a full macro, nutritional report at the end of them!

      Best,

      Lauren 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey there,

    You have a nicely balanced approach that I like! I am writing because I see that you have followed my blog, MollieSong, through WordPress. I no longer publish through that platform, because I am posting through my own website, LifeSongNutrition.com. The blog is still called MollieSong, and it still follows the same format. I just wanted to let you know that you will not be receiving notifications of new posts unless you actually sign up on the new site, which is here: http://lifesongnutrition.com/ (the blog is the “free newsletter.”)

    Glad to connect with another health-lovin’ girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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