Macronutrients are energy providing substances that we need to survive. What are the three macronutrients? Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Proper knowledge of these three bad boys is essential in proper nutrition. Each of these three macronutrients (macros for short) have their own function for human survival and every day function.
IIFYM is an acronym for “If It Fits Your Macros”. Now that we know what macros are, what does it mean to fit them? What are we fitting them into? Life. We’re fitting them into our life. IIFYM is not a cool sounding diet, rather, it’s science. Understanding the basic science behind the idea is going to help you learn to not want to curl up in fetal position hating your life for eating a slice of pizza. Here’s a super quick overview of we are going to implement IIFYM into our lives:
- Figure out your total daily calories based on whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your weight.
Total daily calories are based off of several factors such as gender, age, height, weight, and activity level.
- Figure out how much your total calories are going to be coming from each of the three macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. There are several different formulas/recommendations to calculate your total daily macros depending on several factors such as activity level, age, disease states, etc.
- Now that you did all your math, you have a formula of your nutrition for the day. Majority of those calories should be coming from whole, minimally processed food. At the same time, it is okay to fit in “junk food”. What is the key here? Remember that number we set at step 1? Well our primary focus is to make sure we hit those target numbers we set for the day. And that, ladies and gentlemen, if how we get “IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS”. Let’s make up some number for the sake of this explanation.
After using a few online sources, Liam Neeson decided he needs to lose some weight. Liam figures out that at 2000 calories a day, he will be at a caloric deficit (we’ll talk about that later) and therefore lose weight over a period of time. In addition, he calculates that he needs 140 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, and 70 grams of fat (arbitrary numbers used). Liam’s new goal (besides stopping his daughter from leaving the house) is going to be to make sure that every day he hits his total calories of 2000 and that he reaches the amount of protein, carbs, and fats he set for himself. As we already mentioned, majority of the nutrition should be coming from minimally processed, whole food (fish, lean chicken, veggies, etc). BUT, when Liam gets hungry after kicking ass and is craving a slice of pizza, he’s going to wonder whether or not he should eat it. Well, let’s say if he’s only eaten 400/2000 calories of the day and still hasn’t exceeded his macronutrient intake for the day, well then yes, IT DOES FIT HIS MACROS.
We just glossed over a very important subject in about 500 words. Don’t worry we’ll talk plenty more about everyones favorite 5 letter acronym.