Have you ever heard of IIFYM or If It Fits Your Macros?
This is the theory that you can eat anything that you like as long as they “fit” into your pre calculated macros. For those not familiar with the term macros, they are referring to carbs, protein and fats.

The truth is they are not wrong. I know, i know a former bodybuilder defending IIFYM. As a traditionalist, macros and caloric deficit/surplus are the meat and potatoes of any traditional gain/loss program. They are the fundamentals that allow you to gain or lose weight

You need a specific level of carbs, protein and fats to meet your caloric goals and the level of those does vary individually. In a pinch, IIFYM will help you if you are in a situation where you cant have a healthier choice meal as long as you stay within your ratios for the day. Where I disagree with most peoples version of IIFYM is the constant use of processed foods to meet your macros. I know this is not indicative of all IIFYM proponents but it most definitely become a common misconception.

IIFYM people will tell you a carb is a carb based on science. While technically true, processed food is also scientifically proven to lack certain nutrients, cause insulin spikes and inflammation throughout the body among other things. These alone mean your carb choices should be healthy ones unless you have no other choice or just have to kill a craving. You would be hard pressed to find any true nutritionist that will compare 200g of carbs from twinkies to 200g of carbs from rice or oats.

One thing to think about is inflammation in the body acts as a stressor and you wont recover optimally while your body is fighting it. Your body will be pulling double duty of muscle repair and inflammation repair… obviously we want to avoid this. processed foods can alter the bacteria that live in our gut, and that alteration has the ability to interact with our immune system and eventually trigger it in a way that leads to chronic inflammation.

Keeping this brief and summarized IIFYM can work. If shifted to healthy choices over all the sugars and pastas I see most IIFYM recruits boast about, it can be a solid plan of attack in the world of GAINS and LOSSES. After all, most of us plan our clients meals around surplus and deficits to begin with.

Sean Casten