What is IIFYM?

IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macros

‘Macro’ is short for Macro Nutrient, of which there are four plus one consideration*:

    • Protein
    • Carbohydrates
    • Fat
    • Alcohol (not much nutrition from this one, just calories)
    • *Fiber

*Fiber is the consideration that we mentioned above. It is one of the components of the carbohydrate macro nutrient, though many in the nutrition community consider it a micro nutrient. For our purposes, fiber intake should be a major consideration when dieting, therefore we include it in with the other macros.

IIFYM speaks specifically to fat loss from a macro nutrition and thus a caloric stand point and is purely a means to improve body composition. IIFYM does not address health concerns of the heart, brain or other organs and does not put an emphasis on so called ‘healthy eating’.

Regardless if you like to eat pizza, or boiled chicken breasts, IIFYM teaches us that if you eat less calories than your body requires (while getting adequate protein, carbs, fat and fiber based on your goals and the energy needs of your body) you will lose weight at a steady and predictable rate. IIFYM makes fat loss that easy.All you have to do is stay within your daily macros and the fat will start melting off!

The Origins of IIFYM
IIFYM was haphazardly started by a few competitive bodybuilders that grew tired of eating bland and boring food when dieting for a bodybuilding contest. The so called “bro” or “clean” foods.  The traditional bodybuilders diet is very plain, very tasteless and usually reduced to a handful of simple options:

  • Chicken & turkey breast
  • White fish (grilled)
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Rice cakes
  • Oats or plain oatmeal
  • Protein Shakes
  • Egg whites


These are commonly referred to as ‘clean’ foods, and there are tons of them out there, all, equally flavorless and mundane. I am sure you can see how eating these things day after day, week after week for months on end would get extremely boring (part of the reason many people quit their diet or give up on their weight loss goals entirely). Sure, the traditional bodybuilders diet has been getting athletes shredded for years, but it has also been making bodybuilders miserable for just as long. Thanks God for IIFYM!!The athletes that came up with the IIFYM method of dieting did so for that exact reason. They were tired of eating the same tasteless things when dieting for a show.
They were sick of cutting out the food they enjoyed; the so called ‘dirty foods’.

An example of dirty foods, would be exactly what you are thinking right now. All the foods we love to eat and are told to avoid:

  • Fast food
  • Fried chicken
  • Pizza
  • French fries
  • Cheesecake
  • Icecream
  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Pop Tarts
  • Donuts


All the good stuff that would surely wreck your diet if you even so much as thought about eating them. (or would they?!?!)

The IIFYM Connection
When most people start dieting the first thing they think is that they have to ‘clean up’ their diet. Perhaps they think that they need to start eating healthy or start eating ‘health food’ to lose weight. After all, we as a society have been brain washed for years about what is healthy, unhealthy, fattening, toning, good, bad and everything in between.
Not so says IIFYM!
Eating clean, healthy food can certainly help you lose weight and burn fat, but there is no magical connection between ‘health food’ and weight loss.
The fat loss details are in the calories. Yup, calories. Something we all know about, but avoid like the plague.What I am about to say is bound to upset a lot of people. Most of the so called nutritionist out there are more misguided than the clients they lead in to ignorant metabolism damage. Here goes:
Eating clean accidentally causes fat loss. Kind of like how dropping a nuclear bomb on an island to kill an infestation of rats accidentally kills everything it touches.

Here is why eating clean burns fat, by accident
When we clean up our diets and pay no attention to calories, we automatically reduce our calorie intake. Removing sauces, and sweets and fried food, reduces calories due to simple math. There is not way around it. How many calories? Who knows. But less calories, certainly. The problem is that too big of a drop can cause metabolism suppression or at a minimum reduce metabolic capacity, which makes steady and long term fat loss much more difficult, and in some severe cases, nearly impossible.Since our daily calorie intake accounts for the majority of what our bodies look like, it only makes sense that when we eat clean, we lose weight. Eating clean however is not the answer to fat loss, but is simply a trick or technique that helps those who don’t count calories or macros, to lower them. The biggest problem when we eat clean and have no idea how many calories we are actually ingesting (let alone how many our body requires) we end up starving ourselves, and line up our metabolism for a bounce back that is sure to have us putting on extra lbs. soon as we start eating “normal” again. And let’s face it, eating normal usually comes a lot sooner than we expect when eating nothing but boring diet foods.

Part of the problem is that people, for whatever reason, think that in order to lose weight we have to starve our selves. You hear the diet scam people saying it all the time to discredit calorie counting, and sell you an item or a diet plan. After all, if they can tell you that counting calories automatically equates to starvation, they have almost nearly convinced you to buy whatever scam they are selling.

Most people, whether they are athletes or couch potatoes know that the more you eat, the fatter you get. How can anyone deny this simple logic?
And in that same line of thinking, the more ‘crap’ you eat, the faster you get fat as well. The truth of IIFYM lies right in the middle of those two statements. MORE!!!

Moving away from rabbit food
IIFYM teaches us that these so called ‘dirty’ foods are ok to eat as long as we stay within our own required calorie intake for the day.
What bodybuilders have known for years is that everyone is different. We all have different bodies, different metabolisms, different muscle mass and a hundred other things that set us apart from everyone else on this planet. This is where IIFYM shines. Rather than telling your how many calories you need based on your gender or even based on your weight loss goals, it looks at every person individually and tells them, with a made up stat of 95% certainty how many calories to eat.
IIFYM doesn’t care if you eat pizza, or chicken breast.
IIFYM doesn’t shame you if you chose ice cream over oatmeal.
Nor does IIFYM care how often you eat, or how many meals you eat in a day.

Eat the foods you love, stay within your own personal macro nutrient range and burn fat without the pain that most people associate with dieting!
Notice I did not say “starve your self, and enjoy one slice of pizza per day”. This is because IIFYM is based on Science. Not on voodoo. a 15% reduction in calories is all that is needed to make your body a fat burning furnace.

That is the basic idea behind IIFYM
There is more to it but it really is quite simple:

1. Know how many calories your body burns in an average day (your TDEE)
2. Eat 10-20% less calories every day than that number
3. Split those calories up between fat, protein and carbohydrates (with adequate fiber and water intake) in an specific way that preserves muscle and encourages fat loss, without a drop in daily energy.

For more details on how to get started with IIFYM, browse the other articles on this site and check out our proprietary Macro Calculator by then end of this hour, you can be on your way to eating foods you love, and burning fat while you do it!

Anthony Collova


  1. Katia says:

    I’m lost on the 3rd step I’m not quite sure how to spilt them up in fats carbs & protein

  2. Jodi Theisen says:

    Hi there,
    I’m so glad I found your website, it is an invaluable resource for someone like me who’s aiming to recover from metabolic damage! I still have one question regarding counting carbs: Quest bars (for example) include a carb count on their packaging as well as NET carbs, which one do I input when counting my carb macros? How does this fit into my fibre count?
    Many thanks again :)

    • Jodi, do not use NET carbs toward your total carb count. NET carbs are total carbs minus FIBER to give you your NET total. You would count the Quest bars carbs towards your carb count and the fiber toward your fiber count. When you input all your info into the IIFYM calculator it will give you total carbs and total fiber, hit that everyday. Quest bars should fit in perfectly! I hope this makes sense. Good luck!

    • Fiber is a Carb, however it is an insoluble carb, meaning your body can’t break it down and use it as sugar. Therefore you subtract the # of fiber from carb total to get your net carbs.

  3. Shai Smith says:

    I will donate my first born to this website, Fu****g magnificent!

  4. Great site. I think history will show that this plan was invented under the name “Enter The Zone” by Barry Sears.

  5. pierre says:

    I’m having trouble with meeting my macros, i can never eat all the carbs or fat my fitness pal tells me i should take in. i usually end up with 110 calories left in the day and about 40-50 grams of fat left and 100-120 grams of carbs. my fitness pal also recommends me to eat about 90 grams of protein but i weigh 160 and want to stay at that weight so should i eat 160 grams of protein? i read i should take in a gram per pound. i have also read that once i meet my macros i can eat whatever i want but won’t i go over my macros if i do so and is it bad to go over your macros but stay within your calories?

    • Aaron says:

      You mean go over your micros not macros as in your vitamin C or Iron once meet your micros you can eat whatever you want to fill in therest of your macros you should eat 160 grams of protein if you are looking to maintain or build your muscle. You can try eating pizza for your fat as a dirty food or chips but for clean you can try almonds, olives, some red meat, salmon, peanut butter, butter, bacon, bacon, and more bacon :p

    • Use the IIFYM calculator then put those numbers into your MYFITNESSPAL app. It helps me to try to hit my macros only, and not even look at total calories. If you can hit all your macros then you will fall within your calories no matter what. Try it.

  6. maria mariscal says:

    Thank you, thank you for this!!! I’m going to give this a shot and END my yo-yo dieting record!!!

  7. I think this is an awesome idea. However, it would be awesome to add options in the calculator for individuals who may work high intensity jobs (Carpet Cleaner), I basically do cardio all day, and also work out intensely 5 days a week. Being able to select multiple options would be great. I appreciate this site!

  8. Nancy says:

    Hello! I am in hopes to get some more information. I hope I don’t sound too stupid because hopefully its not something that is complete common sense and I am not getting it. It’s just that I am one of those gals that has always had a hard time gaining weight. I have never worked out so I am just about to start with trying to gain muscle. I’m not sure if it exists or not with so many things I read and hear now a days but I would consider myself an ectomorph. What I am trying to get at is, after reading about staying within my cal intake in order to lose weight.. I would think I am trying to gain weight especially if I am now going to start workingout. Is there any info here that can help someone like me? I can only assume to eat more proteins which would up my cal intake over all?? I don’t know if it is safe to assume. I’d really appreciate some direction. I have started a fitness pal account but the numbers I get here on the website are different from what I get on the fitnesspal app. And are the numbers I get here for example per day I need to eat 108 for protein. Is that grams? I would think so. I really hope you’all can please help me. Thank you

    • Aaron says:

      You listen to the calories provided here as they’re Better calculated than my fitness pal just use MFP as a way to track your macros don’t use the provided ones. You would have to eat the amount of calories it says on the Bulking side there is a Cutting, maintenance, and bulking which is what the amount of calories you must eat per day. You would choose the option for 1 gram per pound of body weight for protein. And yes the protein is in grams good luck! You’ll be a pro in no time :)

    • Felipe says:

      What you need is a caloric surplus, which means you need to increase your daily calorie intake by 20%

  9. Shelley says:

    Thank you :)

  10. Manuel soto says:

    This is what confuses me. Let’s say your eating at a restaurant and there is no nutrition labels what do you do to figure out the numbers in that food?

    • You use your brain, and figure it out.
      Ask your server
      Ask the cook
      Look it up online
      Order food that is easy to track. Grilled chicken breast for example is a lot easier than lasagna.

      Common sense Manuel!!!!

  11. How often should I adjust my Macros? I mean If Im going to be shedding weight (since I am about 45lbs overweight, I don’t continuously level my macros at my 174 weight.

  12. Ra7ae1 says:

    Awesome!! Thans @way_protein (instagram) for recommending this site.

  13. 2100 calories to cut! Let’s go! 160p 209c 90f!!!

  14. I would love to believe the things you guys are saying, but this text consists of a pile of allegations with a few lashes to the main sportsman basically by calling them ignorant ‘bro’s’ for believing the things professional nutritionists tell him. The thing i’m missing here, is a good foundation.

    This text raises more questions than answers to me. The biggest one being: Why is the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs unimportant? Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the sudden increase of blood sugar create a glucagon drop which causes hinder to the body in reducing bodyfat? And don’t simple carbs get broken down to glucose more easily, which results in too much glycogen storage, causing sooner glucose-to-fat conversion?

    • Semper Fi says:

      You are correct – Your 1 step past the Macro game and heading towards Micro Nutrition. Stick with it – This info is the most basic for beginners and while it works it could certainly be improved – FYI – a little Post workout simple carbs help :)

  15. I am still trying to get a grip on the differences between figuring out your iifym numbers and what my fitness pal tells you. very different.

  16. I’m so glad I found this site. I gained 30 lbs after my thyroid turned off years ago and I’ve been trying to lose that weight for ten years. My thyroid was stated back up but it has remained sluggish. I have had three children and easily lost my baby weight within a couple of weeks of birth. I dont gain weight easily, but traditional diet and exercise programs didn’t work. Apparently I’ve been starving my body for years and simply maintaining the excess fat. I’m going to try this. I also just started my own distributorship with It Works! Global and I plan to share this website with my customers because there is no magic pill that can accomplish what eating properly can. My products along with this website should garner great results and I am definitely planning to personally do it and be an example. Thanks!

  17. Felipe says:

    Its the same thing people!!! A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. To lose weight you need a calorie deficit and to gain muscle you need a caloric surplus.

    • Felipe says:

      Calorie deficit means you lower your daily calorie intake by 20%

      Calorie surplus – Up your calorie intake by 20%

  18. How close do have to be to your macros , some days I’m under around 6-9g on my total for the day

  19. Melissa says:

    So I just started tracking macros as opposed to counting calories but I’m worried my activity level is totally wrong. I have a sedentary job where I work 9 hour days but I try to get in the gym for 30-90 mins at least 5 days a week. Does averaging an hour a day for 5 days make me active? It doesn’t seem like it would but I’m into lifting as opposed to steady state cardio so I wasn’t sure if the weights make a difference. Just want to make sure I get an accurate number so I can put on some muscle. .

  20. Abegail says:

    So let’s say I’ve met my carbs and calorie for the day, and missing a few protein , how do I consume the remaining protein that I need without going way over my calorie and carbs or vice versa.

    Thank you

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  28. alissa says:

    I’m totally confused on how every food is either a carb protein fat or fiber. What are vegetables? Fruits? Milk? Ice cream with ores and fudge? Pizza too, pizza is literally carbs with fat on top so how do you account for that?

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  30. Can you provide a list of what I should and shouldnt eat?

  31. I’m looking to lose 15lbs …. I now weigh 168 …. A friend of mine calculated my macros to be 30g Fat … 100g Carbs …. 115g Protein …. at 1,150 calories …. does this seem correct ?

  32. What about sugar. I was told that If I don’t do enough cardio then I should count my sugar in as fat. Reading this states to cut back on the carb portion. I guess then I would be cutting back on sugar as well. so sugar does not get counted at all because it has no nutritional value and can be cut back on when cutting back on carbs when you are starting to be at a stand still with weight. Am I correct on this?

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  35. it’s STILL important for reasons OTHER THAN FAT LOSS to eat “healthy” foods and to consider things other than macronutrients. question: if i eat more “dirty” foods, wouldn’t i end up having to eat less food overall in a day? for instance, i think a Baconator meal at Wendy’s (my personal favorite) is about an entire day’s worth of calories for me. i can’t possibly JUST eat that. i would starve.

  36. So does ice cream magically become healthy as long as it fits my macros?

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  38. Raquel says:

    I’m 400 pounds. Currently eating 1700 calories a day abd working out 3/4 times a week walking a mile or two each time.

    List 60 pounds but need to lose a lot more…. this is telling me to up my calories and portion and fat, etc but when I do I gain weight.

  39. jacqui says:

    I use my fitness pal already but never kept an eye on the carbs, protein section just the calorie intake so ill have a try at this and see from there.

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    “an specific”? Does IIFYM affect brain function? I’m in university and I can’t get dumb. This is a commercial site filled with grammar and spelling errors. Is it a scam?

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  1. […] actually nothing to do with me comparing different dietary approaches (or “teams”), like IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and Paleo, to see which is best.Comparing them would be grade-A, fucking dumb. You don’t have to […]

  2. […] i get off my horrible ‘diet’. I’m actually interested in If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), but that is for another post on another […]

  3. […] “IIFYM speaks specifically to fat loss from a macro nutrition and thus a caloric stand point and is purely a means to improve body composition. IIFYM does not address health concerns of the heart, brain or other organs and does not put an emphasis on so called ‘healthy eating’.” – IIFYM […]

  4. […] inevitably see them preaching their diet and how it’s the best. These diets range from ‘IIFYM‘ to […]

  5. […] I am guessing that you might already heard of macros. Hashtag iifym aka if it fits your macros. That is not the topic right know but I do suggest that if you are looking for long term healthier lifestyle than keep an eye out for macros instead of just calories. Macronutritients are broken down in your daily fats, carbs and protein intake. Read about iifym RIGHT HERE. […]

  6. […] I am guessing that you might already heard of macros. Hashtag iifym aka if it fits your macros. That is not the topic right know but I do suggest that if you are looking for long term healthier lifestyle than keep an eye out for macros instead of just calories. Macronutritients are broken down in your daily fats, carbs and protein intake. Read about iifym RIGHT HERE. […]

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