The ONLY diet you should even think about trying!
IIFYM – or flexible dieting – hasn’t exactly been in the limelight of the diet and weightloss world, but it should be! Maybe it’s just because I hang around my sister and her boyfriend – they’re both power-lifters and give a whole new meaning to the term “power couple” – too much, or I’ve just completely lost all hope with any kind of “diet” or “lifestyle change,” but recently the idea of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) has become increasingly attractive to me. I was skeptical at first (wait, I have to track EVERYTHING I put in my mouth?!), but I’ve been slowly integrating this plan into my schedule. And let me tell you, it’s honestly not that hard.
So what exactly is the IIFYM lifestyle? What does it mean? It means that you can eat whatever you want – yes, you read that correctly. You can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macros. Macros is short for macronutrients, which are fat, carbs, and protein. Those are the only numbers you need pay attention to when tracking your macros. Not calories, not sugar, nothing else. Just those three. Are you still interested?
IIFYM.com, the official website for macro dieting, offers all of the equations you’ll need to calculate the macros you need to stay on track, to lose or maintain weight. Simply plug in your measurements and IIFYM.com does the work for you. It really is that easy.
But how do I keep track of everything I eat? There are several smart phone apps and websites that help you track your macros. I personally like MyFitnessPal (or as my sister likes to call it MyFitnessBully). It’s the easiest to use and tells you exactly what the macros are for the foods you eat and adds you daily totals. My favorite feature of MyFitnessPal is the recipe creator. I like to cook my own meals and often make up my own recipes. All I do is plug in the ingredients and how many servings the recipe makes. MFP figures out the rest. It’s truly awesome.
Eventually, you adjust your macros to high-carb and low-carb days (I’m still learning this). Also known as carb cycling, this helps to keep your metabolism from getting stagnant. When your metabolism is always surprised, it doesn’t always know what to do and eventually starts to work with you. Carb cycling is also used on the hit TV Show Extreme Weight Loss, so clearly that works.
I’ve done macro counting in the past, but I was working out a lot more and more frequently then than I am now. I’ve had to adjust my macros because I’m not burning nearly as many calories as I used to (which sadly means less carbs for me). But that’s the beauty of IIFYM – you can use it no matter what your lifestyle is. It sort of resembles Weight Watchers, but WW only focuses on calories and lets you eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want. I’ve done this, too, but only lost weight in the beginning. I’m still working on getting used to IIFYM and adjusting my macros, but it’s a controlled way to eat whatever I want and I love that!