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Eat what you like – if it fits your macros

8/24 10:17:31

What is IIFYM?

IIFYM is a flexible diet catering for an individual’s macronutrient needs and fulfilling the rest of the day’s calorie goals with whatever tickles your fancy, as long as it fits your macros of course. IIFYM throws out all the conventional rules of popular diets that promote strict eating and in which failing to stick to the rules will result in failure.

Instead of following a stringently scheduled eating regimen, this programme sets a few guidelines which centres on the consumption of macronutrients which are needed by your body in various quantities, depending on your goals, fitness program, age, sex, metabolism and many other factors.

What are macros?

Macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and good fats, which are all aligned to help you achieve a nutrient-dense eating plan.

How does IIFYM work?

IIFYM calculates your fat loss or gain by accessing age, height, weight and sex, to determine your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The addition into the equation of your daily activity levels will then give your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), from which you can either subtract 300-500 calories to burn fat and lose weight, or add 300-500 calories to build muscle.

It is fairly simple: Calories in vs calories out

A good macro calculator can be found here and will even work out the protein-carb-fat-fibre ratios for you. A food diary like My Fitness Pal will help you keep track of your daily food and water consumption, as well as give you an idea of all the nutritional information of each item.

The site also has some well-known South African brands for which you can search to add to your journal. In the beginning it may seem a tedious task to document everything that goes into your mouth, but over time you will become well acquainted with the quantities and ratios you will need to consume, in order to fulfill your daily macro intake.

IIFYM encourages playing around with various food options in order to customise your own meals.

This does not mean that eating junk 24/7 will help you get in shape

If your quick assumption is to think that fast foods and cake will help you get to your body shape goals, think again. The principles of lean body building still exist - eat lean proteins, fresh fruit and vegetables, fibre, healthy fats and then top off the rest of your calories with good old-fashioned carbs!

Filling all your calorie needs with junk food will result in your body feeling heavy and weighed down, which will affect your fitness levels significantly.

If you have enough room for your colleague’s baby shower cake, then this flexible diet will not judge you

What are the benefits?

Psychologically, it gives the individual the freedom of choice, and the wretched moment you’re told you’re not allowed to have something, you instantly want it more. Feeling deprived can cause binges and some ill-fated FOMO.

No one wants to be that ‘guy’ at the birthday party table looking like a glossy-eyed puppy drooling over the treats displayed in front of them, and not eating. A good IIFYM plan can help you achieve your fat loss goals and still be able to enjoy the little treats in life.

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