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If It Fits Your Macros: The IIFYM Diet

If It Fits Your Macros: The IIFYM Diet

One concept that you may have heard about when it comes to dieting is the phrase “if it fits your macros”, otherwise known as IIFYM.

What is this concept all about and how can it help you?

Let’s go over some of the main facts to know what this all entails.

How Does IIFYM Work?

First let’s talk about what IIFYM is. This is a concept that favors more flexibility in one’s diet plan. For instance, rather than being bound to eat a certain number of calories for each meal only coming from a list of specific foods, IIFYM basically lays out your entire day’s worth of food and then lets you pick and choose how you choose to go about hitting those macro levels.

For instance, you might be consuming 1600 calories, 150 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, and 45 grams of dietary fat in one day. Once you have these numbers, you can now fill them out with whatever foods you prefer.

This might mean having eggs for breakfast and eating more carbs at lunch or it may mean starting your day off with a large bowl of oatmeal and eating a chicken salad for lunch instead.

You are in control with this diet plan and you get to choose what you do and don’t eat and when. Unlike most conventional diets that do tend to be rather rigid, this approach is the complete opposite.

The Benefits Of IIFYM

So what are the benefits of doing an IIFYM approach? The first is obviously the flexibility. For those who don’t want to be bound to eating the same thing every single day, this approach gives them the chance to really change up their day based on how they feel and what the day brings.

If you often find that on a conventional diet plan, the minute you ‘fall off the diet’, i.e. eating something you shouldn’t, is the minute that you totally lose control (binge eat), then this approach will work great for you. Since you get to choose what you eat, more or less, throughout the day, there is no real diet to fall off of.

The second benefit is that it makes it easier to plan your meals. Going out to eat? No problem – just save a few extra macros for that meal and you can easily eat and socialize to your heart’s content.

Some people will often achieve a higher nutritional status using the IIFYM approach because they will include more variety of foods in their plan. And, when it’s healthy variety that you are eating, this means greater nutrient diversity. That translates to you becoming healthier overall.

Finally, let’s not forget the craving control benefits of this approach. If you are craving a particular food, you can eat it. No food is off limits. This is thanks to the fact you can simply just work it right into your macros and still stay on track for the day. Even if it’s something like pizza or an ice cream cone.

Making IIFYM Work For You

So how can you make IIFYM work for you? First, you do need to figure out what macros and calorie intake to use. This is paramount to the plan and making sure that you follow that will be critical to your success.

Then once you have that, start tracking your food intake. Consider using a tracker like our Weight Tracker app, which will let you journal your food intake.

Once you get the hang of tracking your macros, you’ll find that it’s relatively easy to be flexible as you go about your day.

Then finally, still remember to follow basic nutritional rules. While you can use IIFYM to indulge in foods such as pasta or a burger from time to time, don’t let this become the mainstay of your diet plan.

While you can still lose weight eating these unhealthy foods if you are hitting your macros properly, you will not feel nearly as good doing so if you aren’t eating foods that nourish your body.

Your best bet would be to combine the IIFYM approach with the 80/20 rule for healthy eating. Meaning, 80% of the time choose healthy foods in their natural state and then 20% of the time, allow yourself to indulge in what you really want.

If you do this in conjunction with the IIFYM approach, you may just find that you have finally found the diet that you love to do and that makes weight loss feel easy.

We would love to hear your thoughts on IIFYM! Or if you have any questions, comment below!

About Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 10 years now.