First, a quick history of If It Fits Your Macros.
For those of you who don’t know already (which is more people than you may think, so you’re not alone if you don’t!) IIFYM is an acronym for “If It Fits Your Macros”.
Back in the day, bodybuilders used to eat canned tuna, egg whites, rice cakes, tilapia, grilled chicken, asparagus… and that was about it. Really boring, clean, healthy food, often without a lot of flavor (because if it tastes good, how can it be healthy… right?)
But let’s face it… eating boring food day in and day out sucks.
Eventually coaches started assigning their clients a number of macros – protein, fat and carbs – to hit every day rather than a specific meal plan to follow.
The conversation started to go like this:
Client: “Can I eat a protein bar while dieting for a bodybuilding show?”
Coach: “Yeah, you can… if it fits your macros.”
Client: “Okay then… how about cereal? Tacos? Pizza? Pop Tarts?”
Coach: “Yup, if it fits your macros!”
… and a movement was born.
But… the carbs! Can I really eat this many carbs?
Nearly every single person who comes to IIFYM.com is here because they hear that on this diet, you can eat whatever you want.
They hear you can eat the food you love and still get shredded, or lose weight to look great in a bikini or for your high school reunion, or get killer abs…
AND IT’S TRUE.
You can eat whatever you want… if it fits your macros.
So you come here all excited, which you should be, and you use the best macro calculator. You put in your current weight, your goal weight, some other information about where you are right now and how fast you want to get to your fat loss goal…
And the IIFYM Calculator spits out your macros. The ones you’re all excited to get, that will give you a basis for eating whatever you want…
And for a lot of you, THE BIGGEST MACRO SPLIT NUMBER IS CARBOHYDRATES.
Not only that, but the calories are WAY HIGHER than what you think you can eat and still be on a diet.
In some cases, especially for women who start at a higher weight and have been hearing for years, maybe decades, that they need to restrict themselves to 1200 calories a day to be “on a diet” and lose weight… they’re high enough that your brain immediately thinks they’re wrong.
So you freak out, quit immediately, and go back to what already wasn’t working for you.
But here’s the truth.
What most people consider high is actually adequate. It’s actually an appropriate amount of calories and carbs.
Most people have never tracked their calories before, or if they have, they’ve never logged their macros.
They’ve heard carbs are bad. They’ve heard sugar is the devil and that severely restricting calories and eating a ton of protein and cutting carbs to the bone is the only way to lose weight.
So when you see a higher number of calories and carbs than you’re expecting, it’s pretty common to forget that eating the way you have – and dieting the way you have – hasn’t worked in the past. It’s not sustainable.
And it can wreak havoc on your hormones.
Because carbs are just… carbs.
They’re not good or bad (though they are usually delicious). They fuel your body and they fuel your brain, and the only reason not eating them “helps you lose weight” is because they’re pretty easy to over-indulge in if you aren’t paying attention. That’s it.
Carbs get a lot of flack, but they’re not inherently any better or worse for you than any of the other building blocks of food.
If It Fits Your Macros is based on science, on evidence, and on the wisdom that comes from having this program work for hundreds of thousands of people.
So when you start our program, when you see the number of calories and carbohydrates and your brain goes “wait… what?”… try to follow it anyway.
Give it a few weeks, track your macros diligently, ignore the scale (which is going to lie to you for the first month or so, but that’s a topic for another time…) and see what happens.
Oh, and one more thing…
Don’t fall into the clean eating trap!
You can and should eat healthy food, especially if you LIKE healthy food, including lots of vegetables and fruit. It’s good for you. Eating healthy food isn’t the trap.
The clean eating trap is thinking, “if I can hit these macros and eat pasta and milkshakes and hamburgers, imagine how much faster I’ll lose weight if I hit my macros eating rice cakes and tilapia and grilled chicken breasts and kale!”
Unless you really happen to love rice cakes and kale and grilled chicken breasts, eating this way sets you up for failure.
It’s unsustainable. You probably won’t be able to keep eating that way forever. Eventually you will start to crave cheese and chocolate and bread and other delicious things… and you won’t have learned how to track your macros and build your food plan around eating the food you love.
So learn to weigh your food, track your carbs and, most importantly, EAT THEM. That is going to make all the difference in your fat loss journey.
And if you’re still not sure you can (our should) start letting yourself love carbs again, you may want to get a Macro Blueprint.
It’s a complete fat loss strategy created just for you by one of our coaches, using your specific macros and more data points than the IIFYM Calculator…and it’s jam packed with tons of information on macro tracking, carb cycling, and more.