Experts say that success is 80% diet and that is so true. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Does that necessarily mean your diet has to be clean & organic? No. It just means that (on average) you need to be burning more calories than you’re consuming.
I personally don’t like feeling like I can’t eat something which is why I’ve always hated dieting. BUT what I’ve found is that it’s really not at all about what you eat, but rather how much of which types of foods. That’s where macros come into play.
What is IIFYM?
If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) is basically just a detailed way of counting calories. You keep track of all the foods you eat in a day and pay particular attention to the amount of protein, fat, & carbs.
The reason you do this is to ensure your body is getting enough of the right kinds of calories each day. This is essential to targeting fat loss over just weight loss. It’s also essential if your goal is to build muscle.
Is it better than just counting calories?
Yes. When you count calories instead of macros you can still achieve weight loss, but you may lose muscle along with fat. This means you’ll basically just end up a smaller version of your current shape. This is fine, but you will probably never get that sculpted & toned look most people are going for.
Why do I love counting macros?
Because it works and it allows me the flexibility to continue eating all my favorite foods.
Even if you’re not into this lifestyle, it is a good idea to track for a week just to open your eyes to what types of food you’re eating.
Just learning to understand the nutrition labels in terms of proteins, fats, & carbs will help you make better decisions.
I remember when I first started tracking, how shocked I was to see how many carbs were in my favorite mango juice. I also remember realizing I ate hardly any protein.
Do you eat a lot of junk food?
No. Contrary to what most people believe, most IIFYMers do not eat a lot of junk. It just isn’t sustainable. If you think about it, junk is typically carb & fat heavy. Most people’s macros are set to need a lot of protein a moderate amount of carbs & a lower amount of fat. There just isn’t enough wiggle room to eat only junk. But you can make it work on occasion or as a small snack.
How do I know how many macros to have each day?
It all depends on your goals and whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight. I go into detail on this in my post on counting macros for beginners.
Is there a learning curve?
Definitely. It takes about 2 weeks to really start getting the hang of it, but then it gets very easy.
Do I need to exercise?
I wouldn’t say it’s a necessity.
I personally work out 5 times a week. I weight lift 4 of those days with 1 steady state cardio day added in. But my goal is to build muscle, so weightlifting is pretty much a necessity.
Plus, I’m only 5’3″ so if I didn’t workout, I would not be able to eat as much without gaining weight.
We’ve done a lot of posts on IIFYM, check out some of our favorites:
How to Calculate your Macros
25 Things I wish I knew before Counting Macros
Tips for weighing your food
Tips for Counting Macros during the Holidays
Tips for Counting Macros with a Family
Meal Prep Tips from 10 Experts
How to Eat Out while Counting Macros
Macro Friendly Costco Buys
Weightlifting for Beginners
20 Macro Friendly Recipes