Chances are you’ve heard of the new diet sweeping the internet. It is one that claims you can lose weight while still enjoying pizza, doughnuts and wine. This magical diet is known as IIFYM – or “if it fits your macros”, “the macro diet” or “flexible dieting”.
The macro diet focuses heavily on obtaining a certain percentage of your daily calories from each macronutrient. These macronutrients – or macros – are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Depending on your goals, your daily macros might be broken down as follow: 40% of calories from protein, 35% from carbohydrates, and the remaining 25% coming from fat.
The reason IIFYM is called flexible dieting is because it removes the restrictions of what you can and can’t eat to lose weight. As long as your consumption”fits in your macros”, you can eat what you like!
IIFYM still means making healthier choices for the most part. Consuming healthy forms of these macros including whole wheat and fibrous carbohydrates, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds and olive oil, is vital to a balanced diet. But the growing popularity of IIFYM is thanks to its flexibility and the principle that nothing is forbidden.
IIFYM, Anything Goes
The macro diet does not give you permission to go wild. Don’t rush off to eat all of the ice cream and fried chicken your heart desires. That definitely isn’t what this diet is about!
But if you want pizza, need pizza, and are living for pizza – you can have your pizza.
You just need to have left enough room in your daily macros to fit pizza in.
You can have your pizza if you haven’t consumed your limit of fats and carbs (which is the majority of what pizza is made of) already, and if you have enough calories left in your day to allow pizza to “fit your macros”.
This is the reason the IIFYM diet is touted as being so flexible. It leaves room to consume your favourite foods and have treats in moderation. The battle to ‘stick to the diet’ is often accompanied by pressure to avoid certain foods. This denial is then the stumbling block for those trying to lose weight but unable to overcome their cravings. Following the IIFYM diet can remove the psychological barrier of avoiding ‘forbidden foods’ and helps to prevent binges that can hinder weight loss progress.
While the macro diet is flexible, it is still important to track your macros carefully on an app or in a journal from the start. This will ensure you keep track of what you are eating and your balance of macros. Doing so will prevent you exceeding both your calorie allowance and your macros, giving you the best chance of success.