IIFYM is a form of dieting that is easily misunderstood. IIFYM allows individuals to consume certain foods that ensure your daily intake of macronutrients is met. This rule, however, can lead to individuals consuming foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat to meet these daily requirements.
A very simple way to understand this is the theory of a car; you need to fuel your car in order to drive it. A car can be fuelled with petrol or with diesel, but you ensure you fuel it with the right choice so that it can run properly. This is how you should think of your diet.
Is IIFYM right for you?
If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) is very much the hot thing in fitness right now. When it comes to IIFYM, individuals assume that their diet is now fit for them as they have worked out the daily calorie requirements and even gone the extra mile to figure out the exact macronutrients are correct. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Yes you are consuming your daily required calories for your goal, yes you have your macronutrients spot on, however, are you really getting the best performance and results from doing this? Individuals are often confused between good calories and bad calories and which of these contribute to a healthy lifestyle and a good performance. Consuming the wrong calories can often lead to stress, dehydration and poor sleep patterns, which in result will affect our performance and slow down the progress in reaching our goals.
Cheat meals help people to stay on track to reaching their goals without too much set back, they sometimes enable people to reach their goals faster, by stabilizing their sanity. The leaner we are, the less effect a cheat meal will have on our bodies. If we could limit ourselves to one cheat meal per week then approximately 97% of the time we would our diet will be healthy and ‘clean’. Many people make their fat loss journey harder than it should be and ultimately, failing as a result. One vital aspect we need to look at is satiety, which is best achieved through low calorie foods which are high in nutrients.
If you keep allowing yourself ‘cheat’ foods such as ice cream, biscuits and so on, not only does this leave you less calories to hit your daily macro target, but you will also be left craving more. This is why cheat meals and known as ‘cheat meals’, they should be taken is small, sparse amounts throughout your fitness journey. Eating healthily and clean 95-97% of the week and treating yourself 1-2 times per week will taste a lot sweeter and satisfying due to your taste buds being heightened and the mental reward knowing you have pushed yourself most of the week to stay ‘clean’.
In a nutshell, you have to ask yourself if 30g of carbs from a chocolate bar is going to help you get to your fat loss or performance goals quicker than 30g of carbs from brown rice. IIFYM needs to be calculated is ways that suit your taste, lifestyle and goals and not to be replicated from different individuals as this is not sustainable. Cheat meals are also very important in the fitness and dieting process, they are there to keep you on track, not to ruin your progress and set you back.