We are starting to hear about this more and more now: If It Fits Your Macros (or IIFYM).
I’m not exactly sure where IIFYM gained most of it’s popularity, because I used to never hear about this up until the past few years, but let me just tell you that bodybuilders have been doing this for decades and decades now.
But eating this way was more of knowing what the body needed for fuel, not a lazy way to eat that discounted actually cooking and preparing meals!
Now we are hearing all of this bologna about people eating pop tarts, chicken wings, and cereal on a regular basis!
It’s almost as though IIFYM has become a legitimate way of daily dieting and not a spontaneous meal to give your body the boost it may need from a depleted state!
No, I never used to hear guys who were trying to get shredded up tell me, “Yea, I had a few Pop Tarts yesterday and today, but I still stayed at 2,500 calories so it’s all good.”
All of the serious bodybuilders that I ever knew bitched about being sick and tired of eating fish and rice.
They bitched about being tired and run down from the diet, and a cheat meal was occasionally thrown into the mix but it was called just that, a CHEAT MEAL, not an entire way of dieting for someone trying to get REAL RESULTS!
I dare you to go find someone eating clean and busting their ass to prepare meals and compare their body to someone who practices IIFYM on a daily basis, because I’m going to tell you right now who is going to be the one who looks better!
With all of that being said, here is where the elephant in the room comes in for me… try sustaining a diet THAT STRICT all year long!
You’ll more than likely experience everything from depression to muscle catabolism, problems with performance at your job, relationship issues, irritability, and just an overall poor outlook on life at times!
To most people there are 2 options: they either bulk up or go on “the diet.”
This is why we see people make noticeable changes to their bodies primarily when they go on a strict cutting diet and then rebound from that diet just to throw on water and fat weight!
Is there in fact some middle ground here? Is there a way to live a little while staying hard as nails all year and being able to take your shirt off at any given time and turn heads?
YES, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY A WAY TO FIND A MIDDLE GROUND!
But lets not get confused here. This middle ground still requires discipline and you’re not going to be able to live like everyone else and eat out all the time.
But you should be disciplined enough to care more about your health and body in the first place! But maybe you need to know a way to accomplish it all.
I bullshit nobody when it comes to REAL BODYBUILDING AND NUTRITION INFORMATION! I’m going to give you my version of IIFYM right here!
HIGH CARBS OR LOW CARBS?
They both work for me and whether I’m adding in carbs or taking them out solely depends on how my body looks and how I feel.
I’m not going to discredit protein for helping maintain and build muscle mass, but carbs are so neglected when it comes to pump and volume in the muscle!
They’re neglected when it comes to a transporter for nutrients and hydration to the muscles for recovery, and glycogen is further neglected for available energy!
Carbs are absolutely necessary to be included into a diet. But at what amount? Well, that’s all going to depend on how you react to them and where you’re at with your body!
I have a Brazilian steakhouse near me that offers a lunch special for $10.95. They have a vast option for different foods during lunchtime. There is salad, fresh mozzarella cheese with tomatoes on it, boiled mushrooms, pasta salad, asparagus, fruits, steamed collard greens, rice, lunch meats, and a bunch of other things that I can’t even think of right now. Let’s just say it’s the best lunch buffet around for the money.
I frequent this place a decent amount and everyone who works there knows me. It’s one of these places that people normally go who are dressed in suits and ties, or people who are normally dropping at least $100 on dinner in the evening time. But me? Hell, I walk up in there in a tank top and gym shorts after a workout!
I just don’t give a damn about dressing up for a post workout lunch, and nobody there is telling me shit about a dress code because I probably tip better than most people who go there. I get treated very well there and the manager and employees are always very friendly to me.
Sometimes I will pay for someone homeless to eat there if I see someone looking in a trash can for food. So now you have all of these suit and tie people eating, and in walks a homeless person loading their plate up! But nobody who works there says a DAMN THING ABOUT IT, because they know I’m going to treat them well if they treat me well!
Back to eating at this place. You see, this is my version of IIFYM. I’m still eating somewhat clean, but I’m eating here to refuel my body when my body tells me it needs it. Sometimes it’s once every 7 days, sometimes every 5 days, sometimes 2 days straight! It all depends on my look.
If I’m looking flatter than normal, my veins are disappearing, and my motivation and energy levels told me not to work out that morning, then I’m probably going to go eat there for my post workout meal.
Yes, some of the foods have some sodium in them, but this is a good thing when you’re flat and depleted and you need that sodium to help hold nutrients in the muscles!
I can get away with eating at a place like this and still stay shredded up because I’m not eating here because it’s easy, it’s because my body needs it.
And I’ll be honest, it helps my mind too sometimes. I still prefer to interact with people rather than be a recluse and sometimes I need this sort of thing to stay grounded.
But am I eating Pop Tarts daily instead of chicken and almonds? HELL NO!
Am I eating some packaged dry food garbage and telling people “Yea, I’m still under 3,000 calories for the day so it’s all good!” HELL NO!
IIFYM to me is something that doesn’t exist, because how do you know exactly where your macros need to be at? If I did 8 sets of squats that morning, 6 sets of leg presses, and spent 30 minutes strictly on abdominal work, don’t you think I’d need a tad bit more to recover than a brief 40 minute workout doing the standard “pyramid up in 4 sets for 3 different exercises”?
How in the hell am I supposed to know that the same 3,000 calories I’ve been taking in daily (500 of them from junk foods due to IIFYM) is going to cut it when I just went through a war in the weight room? So why not replace those 500 garbage calories with quality foods?
I’m going to tell you right now that 500 calories of chicken isn’t the same as 500 calories of M & M candy! So why would I tell myself it’s OK to consume M & M’s on a daily basis as part of some diet? It’s not OK, it’s an excuse for the lazy!
I like to think of any meal off-diet as a reload, I cannot stand the phrase “IIFYM” because everyone I know who practices that diet daily looks like complete shit!
So there’s the short answer of how I fit off diet meals into my diet; they’re eaten for a reason, not because I’m too lazy to cook!
I’m a realist here. I realize that it’s difficult to diet hard all year long, however I don’t discredit refueling your body and living your life.
But don’t expect it to EVER COME WITHOUT SOME LEVEL OF DISCIPLINE.
Over and out!- JD