What about IIFYM (if it fits your macros)?

by 1768 · November 02, 2013 at 05:44 PM

I heard about this from a buddy of mien at the gym. It is basically saying that meal timing and food quality doesn't matter- as long as you hit your macros (daily calories and protein/fat/carb ratios) you'll have just as good of results. That is, basically eat whatever and whenever you want in as big or little of a window as you like, just make sure you hit your macros and you'll have just as good of success?

Anyone doing this? DOes it work? It seems a bit iffy to me. I mean, eggo waffles and protein shake is not the same as a eggs and sweet potato, right?

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8 Replies

224 · January 06, 2013 at 09:07 PM

Im no scientician, but I would wager he is close to right - for his goals. Which are probably "Get huge, pick up bit***S".

You will get results with GOMAD, carb loading, IF, Caloric restriction, splits & HIIT. You just pick which one best fits your goals. If all you want is to get huge, or lose weight I'm sure there are faster/easier ways than paleo.

That doesn't mean that just hitting your macros is right for you...does it?

5744 · January 06, 2013 at 09:24 PM

Other people have hit it in this thread already.

Two words: Define results.

My optimal results, for this period of time, is NOT necessarily perfect health. I understand that and don't expect that. Therefore, if I am not perfectly healthy but achieve my goal, that's fine.

It's the same for the person who wants to achieve perfect digestion but then also expect to achieve a massive dead lift or squat.

Some things in life are mutually exclusive, at least to achieve 100%.

25994 · January 06, 2013 at 09:07 PM

Depends on your goals. Macro diets usually focus on quality proteins and low sugar. For weight loss and mass gain, it's probably as good as anything else. Not optimal for health though

14507 · January 06, 2013 at 09:15 PM

I've actually been experimenting with this approach for the past couple of months, and have really become a believer. However, I take it more in the context of nutrient timing doesn't matter, but I still think nutrient quality does.

Try thinking of it this way- mainstream fitness nutrition would have you believe that the post workout anabolic period is this tiny "window" in the attic, but really it's a 3 car garage door.

So, what this mostly comes down to for me is that glycemic index of a carb is superfluous when you're training-hard and training-often (I train twice a day). SO, a white potato is equally good as a sweet potato NOT a pop tart is equally good as a potato (though Kane Sumabat would beg to differ)

I like the approach because it has allowed me to mentally relax a bit about nutrient-timing. Personally, I think achieving an athletic, lean, and strong body is the ULTIMATE HACK, so whatever natural means allow you to get there is what anyone should be doing. The rest is just details.

18 · January 06, 2013 at 08:59 PM

The IIFYM mentality works just fine for weightlifting progress in terms of building muscle (bulking, etc). But it can set you up to be nutritionally bankrupt. Sure, you'll definitely see progress. But somewhere down the road, years of eating terrible food, and lack of proper vitamins/minerals, WILL catch up with you. This is what creates a schism in the lifting community at times--you may have heard terms like "dirty bulk" or "clean bulk" being thrown around. A dirty bulk is usually IIFYM--eating anything, as long as you get your macros in check. Eating clean is being more conservative, and getting your macros, but ALSO avoiding bad foods.

80 · November 02, 2013 at 05:44 PM

Ive been following IIFYM for about a week now and already, my stress levels have gone down because Im not worried about eating too many carbs or too much fat. I follow the guidelines and have realized I need to eat more. I dont feel IIFYM needs to be junk food at all. I eat only Paleo foods and I've noticed results already. Leaner and also Ive had gains all week from the increase of carbs.

I also have distorted eating, and if Im not tracking it on myfitnesspal, I tend to binge. This is perfect and keeps me on track! A little preparation every night but I get to eat lots!

I highly recommend giving it a try!

1244 · January 06, 2013 at 09:34 PM

What kind of results are you talking about? I cannot speak on weight loss (though the case for "a calorie is not a calorie" seems compelling) but I do know that not all macros are equal if you are looking to be healthy. There are different types of fats for example which metabolize differently and accordingly have different effects on your health and weight loss rate. Getting 40g of PUFAs is very different from getting 40g of MUFAs. See this article: http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-2-nourish-your-body

10920 · January 06, 2013 at 09:19 PM

Meh, it's an ok general rule for some. But there are definitely foods that are going to help more than others. You won't get muscular eating agave(almost pure fructose), corn oil, and TVP(textured vegetable protein/soy protein). Foods rich in cholesterol, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, saturated fats, high amino acid score, glucose are gonna help a hell of a lot more.

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