IIFYM – Flexible Dieting

IIFYM – flexible dieting Layne Norton

Read and watch videos on you tube so you can understand my methods well!

Dieting Trend Leaves room for Doughnuts

YouTube: Dr Layne Norton — please watch these if you can over the next couple days and start tracking food in myfitnesspal !!

Videos

IIFYM vs clean eating

Reverse dieting

These are great videos to understand why you need variety and why you will need to add more food before physically pulling food out or eating in e deficit. Most people are eating in deficit greatly when they start macro tracking.

Flexible Dieting Basics

IIFYM, or flexible dieting, is a method of dieting that revolves around meeting daily macronutritional intake targets, and not on what you eat to get there.

That is, you plan your daily meals to provide you with so much protein, carbohydrate, and fat, based on your goal (lose fat or build muscle). It’s essentially a form of calorie counting (a gram of protein and carbohydrate both contain about 4 calories, and a gram of fat contains about 9).

The “If It Fits Your Macros” diet is getting a lot of attention these days. What is it, exactly, and does it work? If you lurk in any of the Internet diet and bodybuilding communities, you’ve surely heard of people talking about “If It Fits Your Macros.”

And chances are many of the conversations were about eating junk food while dieting or pounding post-workout Pop Tarts or some such thing. But is that all If It Fits Your Macros really is? An excuse to eat fast food and ice cream every day? Is it just another fad that will come and go?

Well, let’s find out…

What the Heck is a “Macro?”

“Macro” is a contraction of “macronutrient,” which is defined as follows:

A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, fat, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Simple enough. Moving along.

What is the “If It Fits Your Macros” Diet?

If It Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM as the “cool crowd” calls it, is relatively new as a meme, but the dietary principles have actually been around for quite some time in the bodybuilding world, just under another name (flexible dieting).

IIFYM, or flexible dieting, is a method of dieting that revolves around meeting daily macronutritional intake targets, and not on what you eat to get there.

That is, you plan your daily meals to provide you with so much protein, carbohydrate, and fat, based on your goal (lose fat or build muscle). It’s essentially a form of calorie counting (a gram of protein and carbohydrate both contain about 4 calories, and a gram of fat contains about 9).

For instance, I’m currently eating to maintain my body fat percentage while allowing for slow but steady strength and muscle growth, and my daily “macros” look like this:

125  grams of protein per day

475 grams of carbohydrate per day

52 grams of fat per day

(A little over 2,700 calories per day) 🙂

This caloric number gives my body more or less the energy it burns every day, which means my body fat percentage stays steady.

Now, here’s the part of If It Fits Your Macros that throws many people for a loop:

According to its principles, so long as I hit those numbers every day, the foods I eat to get there will not negatively affect my body composition.

My protein could come from 99% lean ground turkey or fatty ground beef, my carbs from sweet potatoes or candy, and my fats from olive oil or ice cream, and so long as I “hit my macros,” I will be able to lose fat or build muscle as desired.

If that sounds ridiculous to you, read on…

Does the “If It Fits Your Macros” Diet Work?

The short answer is yes, it absolutely works–flexible dieting is exactly what I go over and recommend in my books.

But let’s dive a bit deeper so you fully understand why it works, and how you can apply it optimally and successfully.

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) has been a hot-button item on the nutrition and bodybuilding scene for quite some time now. This approach means you can eat any foods you like, as long as it fits in your daily caloric budget and your daily macronutrient split (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). The gist of the idea is that if you eat oatmeal and whole wheat bread, the result (as far as body composition is concerned) is the same as if you were to eat the exact same amount of carbohydrates and fats from donuts, as long as calorie intake is equal and macronutrient targets are hit. According to this theory, gaining body fat is not about the types of foods you consume, rather the excess calories you are consuming.

Wrong Idea?

I am not saying that you should go to McDonald’s and slam three Big Macs and a silo of soda just because it fits your daily macros. Obviously, it’s better to plan your diet around good, micronutrient-rich healthy foods. However, if you need to have that pint of ice cream or something else you have been craving, you may fit that into your daily macronutrients and not have it negatively affect your body composition.

But, what about the glycemic index (GI), dummy?

GI is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to body composition due to the metabolic equation, which is similar to the law of thermodynamics. There are always going to be insulin spikes, no matter what you eat. What is important is your total caloric content during the day. Your body will use the energy it needs, regardless of where it has to get the energy. Low GI or high GI, it does not matter.

I would add, for those athletes on performance enhancing drugs, there may be a small positive effect to eating lower glycemic foods and eating on a schedule, as hormone levels may be fluctuating much more. As such there may be added benefit depending on what “supplements” are being taken, but that’s not really relevant for most of us.

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