IIFYM is the favoured hashtag of many of a fitness fanatic, including myself.  Flexible dieting or an if it fits your macros approach seems to be becoming more and> more popular and> it is the approach I tend to follow.  This style of eating lends its self in my opinion to a more balanced diet, and> allows you the flexibility to enjoy more foods. Nothing is off limits – if it fits your macros!

So first up what are macros. Well they are the 3 main macro nutrients we need from food for energy. Protein, Fats and> Carbohydrates.  We need them all, and> no one group should be eliminated from your diet.  Some may favour lower carb, higher fat or others may prefer to eat more carbs and> reduce the amount of fats they eat.  I’m not a dietician and> I’m not claiming this is the perfect eating plan for everyone.  It works for me, and> I think it is a good way to stay on track whilst allowing yourself a little more freedom.  

So how does it work? Well first up calories in vs calories out is still the start of the story. If you are eating too many or too little calories you will not get results.  Find yourself a BMR calculator online and> work out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.  Or work out a deficit for weight loss, or a surplus for muscle gain.  (Around 300-700 calories a day, monitor your progress and> adjust accordingly). 

Then choose your macro split.  For weight loss look at something around 40% protein, and> 30% fats & carbohydrates.  A typical bodybuilding split may be 40% protein and> carbs, with only 20% fats.   These are just some basic ideas and> may not be what you stick too.  Again monitor your progress, see how you feel and> adjust if you need too.

You then need to convert your macros into calories and> grams.  Multiply your calorie goal by the percentages from your split.  Ensure they total 100%.  Then divide the total calories for each by the total calories per gram of each macronutrient.  Carbs and> Protein by 4, fats by 9.  Round each number to nearest gram or 5 grams and> boom you have your daily macros.

Macro Splits are a personal preference, you will still lose or gain weight if your calories are on track but how you feel and> perform will be affected by your macros.  There is no wrong macro split.  

Don’t stress too much about hitting your exact macro intake, unless you are working towards a very strict goal around 5-10 grams either way will be ok.  We can’t be 100% accurate all of the time, life isn’t like that.  

There are issues with IIFYM as with anything else and> you should be conscious of that. It can lead to poor choices, chips over sweet potatoes, too many cookies or doughnuts and> not enough veg. However for me it allows me to eat a varied healthy diet and> stay on track whilst enjoying treats, and> knowing nothing is technically off limit!

Do you follow an IIFYM flexible dieting approach? Do you find it easier to manage? I’d love to hear from you. Social Media @ode2fitness