When someone says the word ‘diet’ to you, do you groan with anticipation of the restriction that’s about to follow? If so, you aren’t alone. Let’s face the facts. Diets, generally speaking, SUCK.
You’re forced to give up your favorite foods, you suffer from food cravings, and your hunger starts growing by the day. It’s not a pleasant time and is one big reason most women either fall off their diet plan or don’t even start in the first place.
But what if dieting didn’t have to be this way? What if you could eat what you want and still lose weight?
Sounds good to be true right? You’ve fallen for tricks and schemes like this before and they never work out.
So why listen now?
There is one dieting concept that is becoming more and more popular in today’s dieting world. In fact, you might of heard of it before. It’s called If It Fits Your Macros dieting.
What’s this approach and can you really make it work? Let me give you a few things to know and remember.
What If It Fits Your Macros Is All About
What this diet plan – often referred to as IIFYM – is about is allowing yourself the freedom to pick and choose foods you want to eat. No lists telling you that you must eat this food and can’t eat that food.
Those are out.
With IIFYM, you figure out your total target calorie intake for fat loss purposes and then with that, figure out how many grams of carbohydrates, dietary fats, and proteins you need to take in each day. Once you have these numbers, you are set.
You’re free to eat whatever you like provided those numbers are met.
Sounds pretty great, right? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- You need to calorie count.
This diet is not going to work if you are someone who hates the thought of calorie and macronutrient tracking. You simply must do these things for it to be a success.
So think about this before you begin. Are you willing to do that? I mean, for those who love eating what they want and not feeling restricted, it’s probably a small price to pay.
But if you hate calculating calories, it’s probably not going to be a plan that you enjoy.
- Nutrition still matters.
As great as it may seem that you can eat cake, burgers, and potato chips all day long provided it ‘fits your macros’ remember, if you want to get good health promotion results from your plan, nutrition still matters.
This means the bulk of your diet should be focused on unprocessed foods from all the main food groups – lean protein, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and some low fat dairy and whole grains if you can tolerate those foods.
If you just go on a junk-food binge, you aren’t going to be feeling – or looking that great. Sure, you might be able to lose some weight at first, but you’ll be losing primarily lean muscle mass, not the fat mass you want to lose.
If you are good with these two factors, then IIFYM may be for you.
Setting This Up In Your Life
To set this up in your life, you simply need to figure out your target calorie intake and your macro recommendations.
While this will be highly unique for everyone, a good starting place for fat loss purposes is around 10-13 calories per pound of bodyweight depending on how active you are. The more active you are, the more towards the higher end of that range you’ll want to be.
From there, once you have your target calorie intake, you’ll simply need to figure out protein, carb, and fat intakes.
Everyone should consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So figure that out now and get that number. Multiply it by 4 if you want to figure out how many total calories from protein you should eat. Remember that there are 4 calories per gram of protein.
Fat intake should be set to no less than 0.3 grams per pound of body weight. You can go higher if you like fat-rich foods or you find you feel better eating a higher fat lower carb diet plan. Anywhere from 0.3-0.7 grams of fat per pound would be acceptable.
Once you have that number, calculate your total fat calories by multiply that by 9 as there are nine calories per gram of dietary fat.
Finally, what you are left with is your carbohydrate intake. Ideally you want your carbohydrate intake to be at least 100 grams per day, however if it’s a little lower, that is okay provided you feel good on this diet plan.
Once you have these numbers, simply get planned. Pick and choose the foods you want to use to fill your daily meals and as long as you hit those numbers and choose healthy foods about 80-90% of the time, you should be setting yourself up for success.
So if you want to end feelings of restriction while dieting, you may very well want to check out the If It Fits Your Macros approach.