5 Tips To Make IIFYM Easy As Can Be
Apr 18, 2017
Have you ever wanted to try the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) approach but weren’t sure where to start? This blog will give you 5 Tips to Make IIFYM Easy As Can Be!
IIFYM (or Flexible Dieting) is a simple concept, but can be tricky to master because we all have so many preconceived ideas about what “dieting” should look like!
Here are 5 tips to help you start on the right path and make macro tracking as easy as can be. If you have already started with the IIFYM lifestyle, check them out and keep on the right path!
This blog will cover the following questions with tips to navigate each one!
Should I meal plan or not? Is a meal plan different from meal prep?
How should I shop?
Should I eat clean?
What fits my macros?
Is it possible to burn fat and eat this?
How accurate should I be to lose weight?
Can I do it for contest prep?
How is flexible dieting different from tracking macros or IIFYM?
These are some of the questions we get from clients in their first few weeks, so we thought we would share some answers with you!
- How do I shop for this? We have been conditioned so much to shop for “healthy” foods when we are on a diet. But what’s healthy? Keto? Paleo? Low Carb? Gluten free? “Healthy” seems to change week to week.
The best advice we can give you is to choose foods you like and will eat, and actually enjoy. Once you have picked out a few of these, choose some lean proteins, a few carb sources, and a higher fat option.
Get some fruits and vegetables. Then go for depth. It always helps me to have different versions of the same food: Full fat, low fat, and fat free cheese, or full fat and fat free ice cream for example.
This ability to make the food you want fit will go a long way towards macro success. For more in depth shopping advice, check out our blog
- Is this a meal plan? Again, we have been conditioned to eat “this” not “that”, or choose from a list of allowed foods while trying to lose weight.
In a traditional meal plan, a coach lays out what you are allowed to eat at each meal, taking all choice from you. Some will give you the option of brown rice or a sweet potato, and call it flexible. This is a meal plan.
Meal Prep is when you take the time at the start of the week or day to pre-make (prep) some meals for the week. We are huge believers in meal prep (meal plans…..not so much.)
By planning ahead, you will have much greater success. I am a strong advocate of tracking a day ahead, not as you go, until you get comfortable with the process.
Sit down the night before and figure out what you are going to eat tomorrow.
Try different combos until you get it to fit.
Then, prep the food for tomorrow and enjoy, stress free! See blog for some meal ideas to get you started.
- Should I eat clean? This comes down to personal preference.
Starting out, we advocate focusing on hitting numbers and learning the process over stressing about food choices.
Long term, most clients fall into a pattern of roughly 75-90% healthy, with the rest made up of foods they want.
This ratio is a good balance of sanity, hunger and health. Some clients are much higher or lower. It depends on you and your specific goals, competition vs off season, etc.
We advocate making sure you are eating fruits and vegetables every day, regardless of anything else. Micros, or vitamins and minerals are still important!
Tracking macros just means that you are keeping track of what you are eating, and hitting numbers.
Flexible dieting is using foods you actually like and enjoy to hit those numbers. BE flexible and enjoy it. You will find the right combo for you.
Traditional “clean” foods tend to be a bit higher in bulk/fiber and help with hunger. A pound of strawberries has very different macros then a pound of pop tarts.
See our blog for tips on hitting specific macros combinations.
- How do I structure my meals? This one is pretty simple….divide your macros by the number of meals you plan to eat, and that structure makes up each meal!
The bottom line is that you hit your numbers at the end of the day, but we have found a few tips that will help you get faster results.
First, if you keep your meal size roughly equal throughout the day, you will aid in digestion and hunger control.
Second, give yourself 3-5 hours between meals. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your gains. ;)
You will lower your resting blood sugar, and help insulin sensitivity.
Third, make sure you get protein, carbs, and fat at every meal. Try eating 3-4 bigger meals over 6 small ones if you’re finding yourself feeling yourself hungry after eating.
When clients switch to this meal split, a lot of them find they feel full, and remain satisfied longer.
Our goal is to get you eating the most you can while still losing weight, and these are some tips to help you achieve just that.
- Give it time! This is probably the most important point, and can’t be emphasized enough.
This isn’t a crash diet or a 48 hour miracle cleanse. If you only lost a half pound this week, but ate foods you liked and didn’t feel the stress, pressure and restriction of a “diet”, that’s a win in my book.
We are looking for improvement, not perfection. Give yourself a break and don’t get down on yourself.
You also need to be honest with yourself and track what you are eating, even if you go over! Tracking and overeating is much preferable to not tracking!
So be honest with yourself and TRULY hit your numbers.
If you aren’t seeing strong trends/patterns in your body weight, then re-assess how tight you are tracking/weighing foods. Remember that restaurant eating can be inaccurate and is a pitfall for many regardless of online nutrition facts.
When I have clients that aren’t seeing the results they want, it’s usually because they are going off the rails on weekends, and truly tracking for only 5 days a week.
I encourage them (and you!) to be consistent with 2 weeks of daily tracking within 5-10 g of your numbers. 14 days.
At the end of 2 weeks, a majority have seen some positive results and they have the motivation to keep going!
So keep it simple, stay consistent and make it a lifestyle!