Friday, April 25, 2014

Fitness Friday - IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

Image courtesy of artemisphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Happy Fitness Friday, Everyone!

There is a new hashtag floating around the Instagram world these days and it's #IIFYM, short for "If It Fits Your Macros" or Macronutrients. If you've ever clicked on that hashtag before, you must have noticed all the Pop-Tarts, Oreos, donuts, pizza, and every other un-Godly form of artificial-ness on the planet. Then, having grown even more interested in the subject, you may have clicked on a picture, then to the user who posted the picture to see what this chunk-a-lunk of a person must look like eating Cheetos as a part of their "diet," only to be surprised or perhaps even perplexed at the reality. This person is pretty, stinkin' RIPPED!!! How is it that he/she is able to produce that physique while also being able to eat half a chocolate cake with some Skittles on the side?!

The answer, my friend, is IIFYM also known as "flexible dieting." Basically IIFYM is a way to achieve your weight loss/gain/maintenance goals by managing your daily intake of macronutrients, or in other words, the balance of your intake of carbs, protein, and fats. Essentially, IIFYM allows you to eat literally whatever you want as long as you don't go over or under your daily needed macronutrients and calories. Craving Taco Bell? Go for it! Cake? Sure! Chocolate eclairs? Why not? If done properly, you can still lose weight and achieve a great, muscular physique. Now, do I recommend eating junk food all the time? Absolutely not, however many people following IIFYM tend to do just that. All IIFYM does is allows you the freedom to eat these foods without guilt while still being able to achieve your fitness goals.

If you're wondering how to do this successfully and to gage if this type of dieting is right for you, here are my 

5 Steps to following IIFYM:
    Image courtesy of BrianHolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. Calculate Your Macros: The first step is to calculate your daily needed macronutrients in order to lose, gain, or maintain your weight. Use this IIFYM Calculator to help you figure out the grams of carbs, proteins, and fats you need daily in order to achieve your fitness goals. It will ask you for some basic information, like current weight and height, as well as your level or frequency of activity/exercise. Most people looking to bulk-up or create visible muscle tone will likely increase their protein intake. However, be sure not to ingest too much protein as it is bad for your kidneys!

  2. Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  3. Incorporate IF (Intermittent Fasting): Not everyone does this and it is not required in order to follow IIFYM, however I have achieved the best fitness results by incorporating IIFYM into my intermittent fasting schedule. IF is basically a 6-8 hour eating window followed by an 18-16 hour fast. You are allowed to eat your macros within your selected eating period; Nothing before your window and nothing after. This allows your body to burn your extra fat stores during your fasted state. Many bodybuilders continue to use this eating schedule for bulking and maintaining weight as well. I have personally shed about 7 pounds of extra weight within 2 weeks and have noticed an increase in energy. For more information about intermittent fasting, as well as my progress pics, please click here.

  4. Image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  5. Keep a Food Journal: I can't stress to you just how important keeping track of your food intake and progress is when it comes to health and fitness. By keeping track of your macros, you can easily see what areas need improvement. Did you overeat or undereat yesterday? Need to add more protein for muscle growth? What meal pushed you overboard? All your notes are essential to understanding your body and can possibly help you to break bad eating habits.

  6. Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  7. Keep It Clean and Simple: Like I mentioned, many IIFYM users like to eat a lot of junk food. While IIFYM gives you the freedom to do so, I wouldn't recommend it. Eating cleaner, healthier whole foods is just all around better for your body and I don't just mean your outer appearance. Having a healthy inside, to me, is much more important than having a rocking bod. Your future is completely dependant on what you choose to do with it now. To prevent the possibility of developing future health problems, eat healthier proteins, carbs, and fats like chicken breasts, avocados, and brown rice. However, if you have room for a bag of chips, by all means enjoy. Don't make your diet complicated and calculate your macros to death. Keep track and have fun with it. Life's too short to be stringent.

  8. Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  9. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!: The most important part of any diet is hydration. I can name quite a few people that don't drink enough water during the day or worse, no water at all! In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, it is an indication that you are already dehydrated! That is just horrible for your body as it is made up of at least 60% water! Your body needs water to flush out toxins, maintain body fluids, and control calories. A lot of times our brains mistake dehydration for hunger, so by restricting the amount of water you drink you can actually gain excess weight. And although adding more protein into your diet is going to increase "gains" or visible muscle, too much can cause kidney damage. Therefore, water is a must in order to ensure that your insides function properly with the newly added macronutrients. 
Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to a brand new you! It's just a simpler way to be able to have your cake and get fit too! Be sure to check in every Monday for my progress pics and fitness discoveries! Best wishes on your fitness journey! Aloha!

Anyone try IIFYM or intermittent fasting before? How were your results? Let me know in the comments!

That's it for now. Remember life is what you make it! Have a blessed day!


6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Amber! I've been doing so much research on it and my husband is also a big fitness addict, so he helped me with the info. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. I agree with this. Depriving yourself completely of the foods you crave only causes you to over-indulge in them when you stumble. Life is too short not to eat the donut. ;)

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    1. Celeste -
      So true! That is exactly why I am a firm believer in this type of eating. I can literally eat a donut a day and still reach my goals! Although for future health purposes I wouldn't recommend that haha

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  3. Interesting approach. I believe everything in moderation which I guess is kinda similar to this but without all the counting and everything.

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  4. Great posting! Thank you so much for sharing.

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