by Erin McCleary
If you haven’t heard the saying “If it fits your macros…” floating around every gym you’ve been in recently you may be living under a rock! Bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and gym-junkies alike are starting to follow this diet philosophy in place of the traditional “clean-eating” and no carbs after 5pm protocol. But what does it really mean? What are those macros that seem to be sweeping the fitness world by storm?
Macros are simply referring to macronutrients, which are found in the foods we eat every day. The Carbohydrates, or carbs, Fats, and Proteins are the specific macronutrients we consume whether we are eating healthfully or not. Certain foods are higher in one macro versus the others and some are lower. The concept behind “If It Fits Your Macros” is that you have a set amount of Calories for the day that is then broken down into percentages of each macronutrient, which allows you to eat anything you want on this diet, but at the end of the day it must all fit into your personalized macronutrient profile. For example, you may be allowed 1800 Calories per day with 40% of the Calories coming from Carbs, 30% from Fats, and 30% from Protein. There is a good amount of math involved, and having a basic nutritional understanding doesn’t hurt. Free apps like MyFitnessPal are the saving grace in this complicated counting scheme, which do all the work for you.
Now the question arises of, how do I start? Well it is simple by going to iifym.com, and then selecting IIFYM Calculator in the Calculators drop-down menu. Start by filling out all your information and decide if you want to maintain your weight, if you want to lose body fat, or if your goal is to bulk-up. Then just view what your total Calorie count is for the day and for each macro. You can even put into the calculator how many meals you eat per day and it will give you a macro profile for each meal of the day, making the step-by-step process as easy as possible.
Well if it is so easy, why isn’t everyone following this diet plan to get ready for Spring Break and the summer? The catch with this diet is that even though you can almost eat whatever you want, as long as it fits your macros, you have to weigh and measure all your food out. You have to know EXACTLY how many grams of carbohydrates, fats, and protein are going into your system at every meal, every day. The founders of IIFYM suggest following a certain macro outline for about 4 weeks before making any changes to see how your body responds.
It has been found to be relatively successful for thousands of people around the world to attain their ideal physique even though it is initially time-consuming. It may be worth giving it a try to prepare for your Spring Break vacation and blow everyone away with your aesthetics!