I wrote a while ago about finding my food religion. If you’ve forgotten you can see the rambling thought-process here.
About the time of writing that post I started looking into IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). For a really quick run-down of what that means, see below:
What Is It?
IIFYM simply means eating a diet that meets your macronutrient needs.
To break it down and start from the beginning, macronutrients are the three main food groups – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Each macronutrient has its own role to play, and is needed in different quantities depending on your goals, metabolism, training history, and many other factors.
IIFYM eating flies in the face of conventional dieting, and the notion that anyone who wants to get in shape has to eat a stringent diet, composed of a limited number of so-called “clean foods,” needs to eat at precise times throughout the day, must have certain types of food pre and post workout, and that any deviation from this strict structure is breaking the rules of dieting.
The idea of IIFYM is simple – you eat whatever foods you like the fill your allotment of proteins, carbs and fats.
That is the basic idea behind IIFYM.
There is more to it but it really is quite simple.
1. Know how many calories your body burns throughout an average day (your TDEE)
2. Eat 15-20% less calories every day than that number
3. Split those calories up between fat, protein and carbs in an ratio that is most beneficial for muscle preservation, fat loss, without a drop in daily energy.
So, the good news is that my life would be less regimented. So less broccoli and chicken six times a day. The bad news is that as soon as you mention IIFYM to anyone who has prepped the ‘old-school’ way, they immediately think of this:
Okay, I’ll be honest. You can do IIFYM and eat crap foods. It’s the truth. And people do.
It’s not what I’m about. I’ve worked my ass off the hard way to lose 50kg and be the healthiest I’ve ever been. While a big part of my new-found health is just through being lighter, I believe a large part is also just that I don’t eat and drink rubbish foods anymore. I don’t enjoy them, most of them don’t agree with my tummy and up until now they haven’t worked with the diet plans that I have been following. So why change now?
For me, IIFYM is about flexibility and diversity in the way that I eat. It’s my goal for 2014 and beyond that I learn to ‘live lean’. For me that means not having such a huge difference between my ‘on-season’ or show body and my ‘off-season’ body. To achieve that either meant following a comp diet year-round which is restrictive and well, boring. OR follow the rabbit hole to the promised land where I can eat a varied diet comprising of all food groups, cheat/treats when I want them and still maintain a lean body and muscle mass. And that is where I found IIFYM.
I got some initial advice, stalked a lot of interwebz and made myself a plan. I’m pretty sure it’s wrong, but I’ve been following it and my weight has been coming back down and muscle mass is increasing.
BUT, I’ve been lucky enough now to have been accepted as a team member in the IIFYM Challenge and will be undergoing some one-on-one coaching about my macros and targets to get myself back to that lean and happy place that comp prep got me to but that I couldn’t maintain. The challenge starts off properly in a few days and I’m excited as all get-out to learn more and see how this works for me.
You can find out more about the Challenge, register for future intakes and say thanks to the gorgeous sponsors of the free program HERE.