Let me explain…
There seems to be a lot of hate (or love) or simply misunderstanding on IIFYM. For those of you who are unaware of what this acronym means, it stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”. A macro, short for macronutrient is protein/fat/carbs/alcohol(but not included in this topic for other reasons). When we look at calories per 1g of a macronutrient, it is:
1g Protein = 4 cal
1g Carb = 4 cal
1g Fat = 9 cal
and for the sake of it, 1g Alcohol = 7 cal
According to nutritionist and research vet, Alan Aragon, it was a term coined back 2009 in theÂ bodybuilding (dot) com forums by Erick Stevens (his pro wrestling name) who would consistently get questions about certain foods you can or cannot have for physique development (Video link below).Â
The most common example of what you HAD to eat: Tilapia as it “thins the skin” which we all now know, is completely false.Â
IIFYM IS NOT A DIET. Any one with common sense knows this. It’s just a term coined to let people know how much food = calories = energy they need to reach a physique goal. The law of thermodynamics doesn’t change. Its why its scientific LAW. It is repeated over and over and over and is always the same result.Â
The law of thermodynamics states “that energy can be neither created nor destroyed (conservation of energy).”* Food = Calories. Calories = Energy. Energy needed to brush your teeth, poop, pee, sleep, repair skin, grow hair, pump your heart and blood, regulate hormones, get swole, lose fat, repair muscle tissue, etc.Â
So far as physiques (women and men) are concerned, by stating IIFYM, all the person is really saying is if you are trying to reach a physique related goal (hypertrophy or fat loss), dependent on your current level of activity, how much you workout, your current weight to height, and dieting history (amongst a few other variables), this how much food you can eat to obtain the goals you would like.Â
For the HEALTHY individual, it really isn’t so much what you eat in comparison to HOW MUCH you eat. So when I hear “I eat clean…” I roll my eyes. I know tons of “clean eaters” with weight issues. With body image issues. Who are nowhere where they want to be. Who blame other foods in which they don’t eat as “bad”. Who look at me in disgust when I say I eat candy and sweets without problem.Â They say its genetics (which I can’t say it is given my family history). Everyone’s definition of ‘clean eating’ is purely subjective. In fact, “Clean eating” is a myth So whatever clean eating is to you, make sure you get ENOUGH of it in terms of protein, fat, and carbs, goal-dependent. No one is saying that you should be eating jellybeans and pop tarts all day because they fit your macros. I mean hey, I love those and YES I do eat them almost every day BUT I DO get a majority of my diet from a lot of single ingredient, whole, unprocessed food as should you. Why? Because its nutrient dense.Â
Many people fear food as it is. They blame it for a lot of the “problems” they have (and 99% of the time, without justification except an emotional one which is NOT justifiable). They believe in these “detox” products which do not work for the 1 millionth time. If you have a functioning liver, just add water and BAM, detox. They believe in eating “gluten free”, “dairy free”, “fat free”, and “sugar free” when none of that is the issue UNLESS YOU HAVE A DIAGNOSED CONDITION (ex: diabetic, celiacs, lactose-intolerant to name a few).
I can’t even say, “eat in moderation” because, just like “clean eating”, it’s purely subjective to the person.Â
I will not claim to be the best nutritionist or nutrition coach in the world. Im not. I am no researcher. I leave that up to guys like Alan Aragon, Armi Legge, and a few others. I don’t have a shit ton of “pro’s” under my belt. I am a student. I am constantly learning. I am also a logical and rational person. If 10 studies are done on a topic and 8 out of 10 come up with the same/similar results, then guess what, ITS MORE THAN LIKELY that the majority studies are true. If people choose the other 2, chances are they will stretch the findings of them to better fit their confirmation biases, and sell a product or lie (i.e.- gluten). I was once the person who ONLY ATE:
-Tons of tilapia
-only brown rice
-no fat (poor egg yolks)
-tons of chicken, no steak
and I was miserable, still competed, and rebounded after every show…and didn’t look how I looked now.
There are no magical detoxes. There are no magical foods. Theres just the right AMOUNT of foods for you, your current state (weight, activity level, CHOICE of foods), and goals.Â
The guy who does little to no cardio, who lifts, eats enough single ingredient foods, enjoys candy and poptarts, and walks around more shredded and show ready than most competitors year round without rebound and without losing my mind.