So you are interested in fat loss with IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and flexible dieting? Great! You’re already on the road to success! Knowledge is power.
If you are just starting out researching the topic and not sure what IIFYM and Flexible dieting are and what they involve and how they impact fat loss, I’ll give you a very high level overview.
IIFYM for Fat Loss
is a way of eating that offers flexibility in the kinds of foods you eat (Pop tarts and Pizza are allowed!) as long as at the end of the day, you reach the specific amount of calories and macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) you have been allocated, by weighing, measuring and recording all foods eaten. this is a great method for fat loss because it helps to identify how many calories we are eating every day.
Flexible dieting for Fat Loss
Flexible dieting is very similar to IIFYM, the slight difference being that IIFYM dieters aim to hit their calories and all 3 Macros (Protein, Carbs, Fat) exactly. While in Flexible dieting, dieters aim to hit their calories, Protein and Fibre (27g for a woman/30g minimum for a man). They can do what they wish with Fat and Carbs which is where the flexibility comes in. by counting calories, we can work out what our calorie intake is and can therefore we achieve fat loss by ensuring our calorie burn is higher. Caloric deficit = fat loss
Tips for fat loss – lets get started
- Plan ahead, Log food before eating – logging food before you eat it is so basic but essential. You may find that after you have settled into the food you eat to hit your macros, you will stop planning ahead and can tend to log at the end of the day. Believe me, this is a slippery slope. I’ve done it several times and as a result would wake up at 3am in the morning realising that I ate a chocolate bar and forgot to track it. Can you imagine your disappointment when you think you have a couple of hundred calories left to have, prepare your meal or snack and then realise that actually you don’t have any calories left at all and have to put the fork down. It’s a killer!
- Eat to hit your macros – pretty quickly the way you eat will change. You may notice that some of your meal combinations might be a little weird… (Broccoli and Jelly anyone?). Reason being is that you start to eat to hit your macros so will break the meals down into smaller parts and combine in a different ways. For example, if I was low in protein and fat, then I might eat 0% fat free Greek yogurt and some peanut butter.
- Identify macro friendly foods that you like to eat. The key to IIFYM is to work with the food you genuinely like to eat. ‘Macro-friendly’ refers to foods that are high in one macro (Protein, fat or carbs) while low in the other 2. For example, most protein bars are higher in Protein than in a chocolate bar but they are also high in fat and carbs. Therefore they are NOT macro friendly. Protein powders (such as NN) are high in protein and low in carbs and fat. Therefore they are ‘Macro-friendly’ and make hitting your protein macro easier without impacting fat and carbs too much.
- Don’t clean eat – Unless you genuinely love to eat completely clean, don’t. Why not? Simple really,will you be able to clean eat for the rest of your life? Absolutely not. 99.999999% will fall off the wagon so to speak at some stage, usually in spectacular fashion i.e. unplanned binges or ‘cheat meals’. By having a balance of nutrient dense and non-nutrient dense foods, you will more than likely find this lifestyle much easier to sustain. Try to aim for 80% of your food intake from nutrient dense foods and 20% from non-nutrient dense sources.
- Keep active. After all the aim of flexible dieting is to create either a caloric deficit in the case of those trying to induce fat loss or creating a caloric surplus forthose in the clean bulk stage (muscle growth).
- Check MFP entries – when scanning foods into MFP, please be aware that these entries have been entered by regular people and some may have not been inputted correctly, guessed or will have missing entries. Always double check the nutrition label to confirm that macros have been entered correctly. If you see an entry with ‘Team RH’ after it, you will know that a member has already corrected that entry and it will match the nutritional information. When eating out, Large restaurant chains will sometimes have their menus on MFP. Entries with green ticks mean that this nutritional information has been verified as correct.