At the time this article was published, the our macro coaches have helped over 15k clients burn fat and lose weight while eating foods they love. Most of our clients come to us by way of our weight loss Macro Calculator, which is used over 8k times per day (just over 14 million times since we launched this website and revolutionized fat loss dieting!).
People find the calculator because they are desperate to lose weight without all the suffering, hunger and restrictions that most diets force upon us. Once they find us, they plug in their stats and POOF!!!
Then the person reads about our Custom Macro Blueprint and how we have helped over 15k clients get their macros dialed in with 30% MORE accuracy than our calculator provides and they sign up for a customized weight loss program designed specifically for them and them alone. Then comes the confusion:
“SOMETHING IS OFF!!! The IIFYM Macro Calculator told me to eat 1720 calories for weight loss, but the coach that created my Custom Macro Blueprint tells me I should eat 2174 calories to lose weight. Which one is right?”
This question comes up every day. We see it on the IIFYM FB page probably 5 times per day in fact!
The Initial Shock
One of the most common remarks people first make when receiving plans from our website is something along the lines of “Wow! I can really eat that much?” Or, “Are these my diet macros?”
Yes. Yes, you can and they are! Not only is it something you ‘are able’ do, but it’s more like something you ‘should’ do. In my years of experience, I’ve found that most people who are dieting are likely under-eating and not taking in as many calories or macronutrients as they probably should be.
This is due to a variety of reasons. The biggest reason is that most people who start a diet in an attempt to lose weight usually begin with an impatient mentality where they want to lose as much weight as they can as quickly as possible.
Ditch the Impatient Mentality
This causes people to adopt the mindset of consuming fewer calories is better, as they think it will allow to them to lose weight faster and achieve their goal in a shorter duration.
This is true to an extent but as most of these people find out later, even though they may lose a lot of weight initially, it’s not something that is sustainable and they’re quick to gain most of the weight back as soon as they stop dieting on super low calories.
Although, the consumers aren’t to be blamed for having this thought process; unfortunately, it’s all too common for many fitness ads or popular yet unqualified trainers to make outlandish claims such as you can lose 10 lbs. in a week or 20 lbs. a month with this *insert product here*. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Great results that will actually stay just
take time and they cannot be rushed.
Set Your Sights Long Term
Back to the original question that the article title presented- why does IIFYM give so many calories?
Our diet plans are designed to set you up for long-term success, not just immediate results.
Anyone can starve themselves and lose a lot of weight initially. The goal of IIFYM, however, is to provide you with a balanced distribution of macronutrients that will prioritize your overall health and drive your performance in the gym regardless if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
If you are trying to lose weight, though, it is ALWAYS more ideal to start off with as high of calories and macronutrients as you possibly can while still being in a deficit. The exact amount of calories and macronutrients can be hard to pinpoint, but it is far better to overshoot it rather than undershoot it.
Worst Case Scenario
If you undershoot the starting macronutrients, you’re just limiting how low you can ultimately drop them over time. If you overshoot them, though, the worst case scenario you can experience is that you might gain a pound or two the first couple weeks or just maintain weight.
Obviously, that is going against the goal of weight loss, but what’s an extra two weeks if it’ll greatly help out your results in the long
Even if this does happen, this initial process is still very important in setting up your caloric capacity and metabolism for long-term success. Plus whenever weight loss plateaus or progress stalls, you have much more room to drop down your macronutrients which will just allow you to lose more weight when all is said and done. Slow and steady wins the race.
Fuel Your Daily Activities
If you regularly go to the gym or engage in physical activity in any way, it is important to prepare for your exercise with adequate calories and macronutrients even in a weight loss phase. Excessive workouts but not enough calories or the right distribution of macronutrients (protein in particular) to properly repair your muscles is a recipe for muscle loss, overall feelings of soreness and a lack of
energy on a daily basis.
You’re helping your metabolism get back to a healthier place which is essential for numerous aspects
It’s pretty common for people on fad diets who are eating a very low amount of calories to combine that with endless hours of cardio in an attempt to double their weight loss efforts.
Their heart’s in the right place, but unfortunately, the more extreme approach doesn’t always mean the better, especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition. If you’re exercising like crazy then that just means you need even more calories and macronutrients in your diet to make up for the extra calories that you are burning through exercise.
Is Cardio Really Needed Weight Loss?
Just to clear things up in case anyone is reading this who is not aware, cardio is absolutely NOT needed in order to lose weight. Cardio can be great for overall health and cardiovascular reasons, but to say it’s a requirement for weight loss is not accurate at all.
Like anything, it can be bad in excess depending on your goal so don’t overdo the cardio from the beginning if you’re trying to be in it for the long haul.
Kickstart Your Metabolism
For people who have been dieting on super low calories in combination with excessive cardio for a long time, they may find themselves in a situation where no matter what they do or how low they drop their macronutrients, they just CANNOT lose any more weight. They’ve effectively run themselves into a wall.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation like this, I’ve personally experienced with myself and many clients that sometimes adding in MORE calories compared to what you were eating can actually help you lose some more weight.
There can be a variety of reasons for this, but it’s something that can really only occur if someone has been dieting in a caloric deficit for a very long time or has been doing
way too much cardio in combination with too low of calories for a while.
Healthy Metabolism, Healthy Mechanisms
A big reason why the aforementioned situation can occur is that by adding more calories back in your system after depriving it for so long, you’re helping your metabolism get back to a healthier place which is quite important for many aspects.
When your metabolism is healthy due to having a proper caloric intake more aligned with your actual bodily needs, overall energy will be greatly improved and lean muscle mass can either be gained or retained better which will lead to a better body composition over time.
Our coaches use your specific variables to provide you with the proper daily caloric intake and distribution of macronutrients that you need to optimize your health, metabolism and
your fitness goals.
Adherence Is King
Perhaps the most important reason of why IIFYM gives so many calories though is the adherence factor. The best diet is the one you can adhere to after all. It wouldn’t even matter how optimal the diet was if it was so low in calories or restricting from food groups that you couldn’t even follow the plan most of the time then all of that optimization goes out the window.
Having the correct macro/caloric breakdown helps with adherence massively, have one of our coaches make your Macro Blueprint
If starting off your calories in a higher place allows you to actually stick to your diet and not feel miserable in the process, even if the progress comes with a lot slower result, I feel as though that’s a minute price to pay. All great things take time so I don’t see why your health or your goal physique should be viewed as anything different.
IIFYM Is A Lifestyle
IIFYM shouldn’t be viewed as an actual diet, but more of a lifestyle change. The term ‘diet’ usually instills in people’s minds that it’s going to be very bland, difficult and deprive you of all your favorite foods that you enjoy. IIFYM is none of that (well, it can be difficult depending on if you’ve been cutting for a while).
When following IIFYM, the only thing that truly matters is hitting your macronutrients at the end of the day; the food sources they are coming from is pretty much irrelevant in regards to weight.
You should still try to fill up most of your macronutrients with nutrient dense food sources for overall health reasons and to help your performance in the gym, but regardless the total calories and macronutrient numbers will be the most significant factors that determine if you’re losing fat or gaining muscle.
Moderation and Balance
This allows you the flexibility and freedom to eat ANY food that you want which should greatly help in adhering to your plan. Many popular diets eliminate certain foods; they warn people that these foods are ‘bad’ for you and cannot be consumed if you want to stay on track of your goals.
Anything can be bad in excess so that’s why it’s all about moderation and balance. If you’re eating a balanced diet with a variety of healthy macronutrients and micronutrients, having some more refined and process food here and there will absolutely not deter you from your goals in any way or prevent you from losing weight.
Eat More Macronutrients, Lose Weight
Since you can eat whatever you want and because IIFYM plans give you a lot of calories to work with initially, a lot of people don’t even feel like they’re on a diet. Granted this isn’t the case for everyone, but I know many people who are trying to lose weight on an IIFYM plan that actually had a hard time even reaching their required macronutrients, let alone going over on them.
Struggling to eat enough and STILL losing weight? That basically goes against the framework of any ‘diet’ you’ve ever heard of I’m sure! Usually, it’s the exact opposite and people are trying to find ways how to not go over on calories.
The Proper Caloric Intake
For people who have been tracking macronutrients for a long time and have lost a significant amount of weight in a caloric deficit, it is likely hunger will start becoming more of an issue over time as your calories are getting lower, though. That part is indeed normal.
However for people brand new to tracking macronutrients just beginning their weight loss journey, the initial amount of calories and macronutrients should be comfortable for them to work in their daily life and not feel like they’re hungry all the time.
Our macro coaches always give you proper caloric intake and a healthy balance of macronutrients to start off with so you shouldn’t at all feel deprived when first beginning a plan.
The Real Reason IIFYM Gives So Many Macronutrients and Calories
So, why does IIFYM give you so many calories? Because we want to see you succeed. We want you to be healthy, to be happy, enjoy life and not feel like you have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods or calories in general.
Losing weight may not always be easy, but it doesn’t have to be as awful as the majority of mainstream fad diets make it out to be. While tracking macronutrients may take some practice initially to get the hang of, it’s something that literally anyone and everyone can do with enough time and patience.