What the heck is “IIFYM”?
What are “Macros”?
> 1 gram protein = 4 calories
> 1 gram carbohydrate = 4 calories
> 1 gram fat = 9 calories
Why Should I Follow Flexible Dieting?
With this flexible dieting approach, focused on macronutrient amounts rather than specific foods and a strict plan, it gives you the freedom to choose whatever foods you like and work for you; as long as they fit within your daily macro requirements.
This means there are NO FOOD RESTRICTIONS, you can still have a beer or glass of wine and a slice of pizza or cheesecake on the weekend without it completely ruining your entire diet, as long as it is tracked and fits in your macros for the day. This way you will learn how to make your own smart food choices to suit your preference and lifestyle and be able to adhere to these changes long term.
Your body does not take in food and go “Oh, this is 15g of protein from a cheeseburger but that is 15g from chicken”. It simply intakes food, digests it and breaks it down into macronutrients and micronutrients to fuel the body (i.e. 15g of protein from a lean chicken breast = 15g of protein from a cheeseburger). Obviously the burger would have more fats and carbs, but there are no “Good” or “Bad” foods.
All you need to focus on mainly is the macronutrient amounts (grams of Protein, Carbs and Fats) and ensure you’re getting enough veggies and nutritious foods to get your micronutrients and fiber intake; (as a general guideline Males typically should consume 38g of Fiber per day and Females 25g Fiber per day according to the Institute of Medicine).
Why Do Macros Matter?
Weight gain and weight loss generally comes down to a calorie surplus (Eating more calories than you burn in a day) or calorie deficit (Eating less calories than you burn in a day) respectively. Although the ‘type’ of weight lost or gained is directly influenced by the ratio of macronutrients you consume day to day.
So to clarify, calories affect weight loss or weight gain:
Calorie Surplus – More Calories in + Less Calories Out = Weight Gain
Calorie Deficit – Less Calories in + More Calories Out = Weight Loss
Whereas, macros affect body composition (muscle mass vs. fat mass):
Proper Macronutrients = Lean Muscle Mass + Power
Improper Macronutrients = High Body Fat % + Weakness
Therefore if you would like to be say 180lbs of solid muscle rather than 180lbs of soft flab, the type of calories you eat (macronutrients) matter!
So What Does It All Mean Man?!
This means if you have a big Bacon Cheeseburger that ends up being 35g protein, 40g carbs and 30g fat on one plate, and you’ve got grilled chicken breast, steamed rice, and fresh avocado that also ends up being 35g protein, 40g carbs, and 30g fat on another plate, both will create the same results in your body composition. That’s it, simple science. Both have the same macronutrient values, both achieve the same body composition goals.
Now before you go off on a bulk barn binge or a full-out assault on me. There are some differences in food sources that can be more or less nutritious for you.
Foods also contain important micronutrients and phytonutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber (many consider fiber to be a 4th macro nutrient because it is so important for proper digestive health and regularity in the body). These micronutrients, phytonutrients and fiber are extremely important in overall health and well-being because if you are deficient in any of these vitamins or minerals, it can dramatically impact your levels of performance and energy, and can quickly put a halt to fat loss and muscle building efforts.
Due to the high impact and importance of these additional nutrients in your diet, high emphasis should be placed on ensuring you are getting quality food sources such as lean proteins and vegetables.
The 80/20 Rule
For a general rule of thumb to get exceptional results in improving your body composition and really creating that body of your dreams you can follow the 80/20 rule.
To clarify, if you make sure to get 80% of your daily foods from quality nutritious food sources including your lean proteins and lots of vegetables, the last 20% can come from foods of your choice!
So if you feel like having a brownie with some ice cream, not a problem! As long as the majority of your diet is coming from more nutrient dense foods you can still work in all of your favourite foods to your daily diet without sacrificing your results! This is the beauty of flexible dieting!
I really hope you liked this Introductory post of “IIFYM” Flexible Dieting In a Nutshell, and learned a little bit more about how you can achieve the body of your dreams eating foods you love!
If you would like to learn more, my brand new book the “IIFYM Flexbile Dieting Bodybuilding Guide” will be available on Amazon Kindle July 26, 2015! so be sure to visit the website and sign up to receive book updates, exclusive pre-release content, free bonus gifts and more!
You should also check out my series of blog posts on the (Top 7 Benefits of “IIFYM” (Flexible Dieting) vs. “Clean Eating”), you can read Part One here.
Get the “IIFYM Flexible Dieting Bodybuilding Guide” Today!
– Tyler Johnston
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