So here is a quick walk-through on the first steps you should take to start the IIFYM diet/ lifestyle.
Step 1: Understanding what IIFYM is:
What exactly is flexible dieting? Flexible Dieting (Also known as IIFYM, if it fits your macros) is tracking the macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) of the foods you eat to achieve a certain body composition goal.
There are no food restrictions with IIFYM and their are no claim that foods are dirty or clean. Flexible dieting is one thing above all else, flexible. You can eat the foods you love guilt-free as long as you reserve some macros for it. You can have a slice of a cake and not feel like you cheated your diet, if you were still on track with your macros at the end of the day which helps prevent binge eating.
For more introductory information please see the video Intro to IIFYM for Beginners from FeedingFitness.
Step 2: Understanding the Math
Macros (Macro-nutrients) are the key components of foods nutritional Calorie value. Calories are made up of 3 macros: Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. One gram of each macro has a calorie value.
- 1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories
- 1 Gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
- 1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories
Instead of tracking just calories Flexible Dieters would track their macros, setting a daily caloric intake but also setting where those calories are coming from by assigning certain amounts fats, carbs and proteins they can consume each day. Tracking macro-nutrients, more effectively influences body composition than just calorie counting and it can even help you stay fuller longer.
Step 3: Calculating your Calories and Macros
- First if you want to use your body fat percentage used to calculate your calories and macros, you have to find out your body fat percentage; I highly recommend this Calculator
- If you decided calculate your body fat percentage or not, continue to head on over to this macro calculator
- Once at the calculator page, fill out the required fields. If you do not pre-calculate your body fat percent then leave the formula section alone. If you did calculate your percentage then select lean mass formula.
- Once you put in all your information, the page will provide you with the recommended macro-nutrient gram amounts for you and your goals.
- If you are not seeing the results you want after following those macro allowances they can be adjusted at any time by using this calculator, i have noticed that it can take about 2 weeks to see how your body adjusts to your changes.
For an easier way to calculate your macros please see the video How to calculate Calories and Macros from FeedingFitness.
Step 4: Properly track food
- Make sure you get a reliable food scale that is large so you can read the weights when a plate is on top of the scale.
- i suggest reviewing a helpful post about tracking your food.
Please see the following video for more information about Importance of weighing your food from FeedingFitness.
Step 6: Watch videos from Feeding Fitness for answers to some additional questions you may have.
Step 7 : Know the difference between Nutrient Dense foods and Volume foods.
Nutrient Dense foods are foods that are high in macros (calories) for a little bit of food. (aka trail mixes, granola, candy bars, nuts, cheesecake)
Volume foods are foods that are low in macros (calories) for a lot of food. Those who are ‘cutting’ and have poverty macros love volume foods. (aka jell-o, broccoli, zucchini, strawberries, pumpkin, egg-whites, most green veggies)
Please feel free to provide feedback and rate on how helpful this review was for you or if there are any additional things you would like me to include in order to make the information better for you.