The IIFYM Diet: A Flexible Way to Lose Weight and Stay Fit

The IIFYM diet is not just another fad. While many people are still cringing at the idea of eating carbs, others are finding that counting macronutrients is the right choice. It is a very popular diet in the bodybuilding world and the calisthenics world is starting to experience the effectiveness as well. Everyone from Layne Norton to Kane Sumabat are using macronutrients to maintain their shredded physiques.

Kane Sumabat doing a pull up and push up workout

It’s not a fad – it’s science.

IIFYM works a little differently than the rigid diets you’re used to seeing on television. Instead of being super strict in the foods you eat, you’re going to be strict by counting:

  • Carbs
  • Protein
  • Fats

The exact ratio is where the real science comes in. Since everyone’s body is different, you’ll need a different ratio for each person. A general rule of thumb is the following:

  • Protein: Consume .85 – 1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
  • Fats: Consume .35 – .5 grams of healthy fat per pound of body weight.
  • Carbs: The rest of your daily calories should come from carbs

You’ll want to note that 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories, while 1 gram of protein or carbs equals 4 calories.

There are other recommendations too, such as drinking a gallon of water a day, which will help you achieve your goals.

First and foremost, you want to check how much calories you need to eat a day to lose, maintain or gain weight. From here, you can break down your macros to find the proper amount of food you should consume.

On this diet, you can eat:

  • Pizza
  • Poptarts
  • Candy

In fact, you can eat anything you want, but it needs to stay within your macros. While pizza often fits, if you eat too much, you’ll exceed your fat ratio very quickly.

A few precautions on the IIFYM diet:

  • Don’t lower your macros unless you’re no longer losing weight.
  • Only adjust macros when no results are seen for 5 consecutive days.

When trying to lose more weight, lower your carb macros by no more than 10 grams. This will allow you to maintain steady weight loss.

Ultimately, macronutrients allow you to enjoy many of the foods you love without having to stick to such a rigid meal plan. Heck, you can even go out to a social event and have dinner without having to turn it away because you “don’t do carbs”.

I must note that while junk food is accepted, you also need to worry about nutrition. I would never advocate eating junk food, hitting your macros, and calling it a day. You want to pay close attention to what you’re eating and try to focus on whole foods. However, the IIFYM does provide the flexibility that most people need when trying to lose weight or maintain their weight.

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