Welcome to the world of Flexible Dieting !! Yes you read it right, it is a Magical World.
I heard about ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ aka ‘IIFYM’ aka ‘Flexible Dieting’ when I enrolled my self in the Winter Challenge at The Fit Mill , my fitness studio for HIIT cardio circuit training, in Jan 2017. Since then, I have embraced it as my lifestyle, never thought the science behind weight loss would be so simple.
First I want to quickly recap some of the basics, Calorie in VS Calorie out. Whatever we eat or drink has calories in it and that sums up to total ‘Calories intake’. On the other hand, everything we do burn calories like lifting, cardio, walking, even simple things like breathing, standing, talking, etc. and is commonly referred to as ‘Calories Out’
The result depends on how the Calorie in beats Calorie out, or vice versa.
- Calorie in < Calorie out, body runs into a Calorie deficit, losing fat or muscles or both.
- Calorie in = Calorie out, body runs in maintenance, leaving everything as it is.
- Calorie in > Calorie out, body runs into Caloric Surplus, gaining muscles or fat or both.
So now its up to your body goals to decide if you want to be in deficit, maintenance or surplus.
Next coming up is ‘Macros’ – You will continuously keep hearing this word in my blog, so first let me explain what it is. Macro-nutrients are primarily Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat that make up the calorie content in a food. IIFYM is all about tracking the macros, To macro means measuring the total number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you consume on daily basis.
1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories
1 gram of protein provides 4 calories
1 gram of fat provides 9 calories
How I got started ? IIFYM official website has a free macro calculator here : Macro Calculator , I used this calculator to determine my daily calorie intake split into Macros by entering some required information like, age, gender, height, current weight, goal weight. Upon filling up on all the information in this form, they calculate and tell you the macros. Mine is below –
My suggested Calorie intake per day is 1439 with a 112 g of protein, 59 g of fat, and 115 g of carbs. There is an option of adjusting the macros, like I have increased my fat intake to 0.45 grams per lb which reduces a little from my carb to keep the same calorie.
Now next question that popped up in my head was how do I calculate the number of protein, fat and carbs in food that I eat daily. I asked people around and got to know about a mobile app called MyFitnessPal . It has the largest food database and its very easy to track meals in there. This app is pretty intuitive, you can first build your profile, set your goals and your daily summary will reflect on your home page. See below –
Oh totally forgot !! Along with this app, another extremely important thing you need in your kitchen is a measuring scale. You will measure a lot of food every now and then 🙂
There are different ways with which you can enter food in your diary –
- Search up the food in the database, adjust the quantity you ate and add it to your meal. For e.g., I had a banana for snack so I click ‘Add food’ under Snacks and search for 50g of banana and add it to my diary
- If I have my own recipe, I navigate to Food -> Recipes -> Create a Recipe, Add in all the ingredients there and MyFitnessPal calculates the macros for my recipe. For e.g., if I am making a plain Lentil Soup, with my recipe I will add 1/2 cup of yellow (Toor) lentils, 5 g of Turmeric, 5 g of red chilli powder, 1 tbsp of ghee, 2 cloves of garlic, add the number of servings (3 in this case) and save it. Now I can easily search Lentil soup from my recipe and add it to my Diary.
- Other fantastic way of adding food to diary is simply scanning the bar code on the food package. For e.g., If I have a greek yogurt in my breakfast, I simply scan the bar code on the yogurt box and edit the quantity, and it’s ready to be added to the diary. It is one of the most convenient way to me.
And that is it, about IIFYM, I enter all my meals on a daily basis and make sure to hit my protein, carbs and fat for the day, that was calculated earlier by IIFYM calculator. Isn’t this amazing ?
You eat whatever fits your macros 🙂 No food is off limit
Hope you all enjoyed reading this.