That one chocolate or alcoholic drink, is that allowed or is it absolutely not allowed? One has no problem with it occasionally cheating, but another adheres to his diet as strictly as possible. If there is no alcohol or chocolate in it, then it will not be eaten either. It's that simple. However, we can well imagine that following a nutrition plan strictly in the long term or in certain (social) situations is extremely difficult and that is why if it fits your macros (IIFYM), or flexible diets as it is increasingly called, perhaps a good alternative. With this you can, if you play well, achieve your physical goals and enjoy yourself occasionally gowlty pleasure in the field of nutrition. In this article we will explain how that works.
What are the macros?
You can probably dream the answer to this question. The macros are of course you macronutria, or the proteins, carbohydrates and fats. As the name of this diet suggests, they form the basis. To refresh your memory again and to give you a complete picture of what if it fits your macros is, we will first briefly explain what proteins, carbohydrates and fats are exactly, and then go deeper into the idea behind the diet.
Actually, we don't have to explain it to you anymore, because you probably know that egg whites consist of amino acids and that amino acids the building blocks are within human cells. Nowadays proteins are very important for people in general, but as a (strength) athlete in particular it is completely important that you get enough protein. Proteins have a number of important functions for athletes:
- They contribute to the growth of your muscle mass;
- They contribute to the maintenance of your muscle mass;
- They support rapid muscle recovery after training or sports performance.
Almost all foods contain a certain amount of protein, but there are various foods in which the amount of protein is relatively very high. You read which foods they are here!
In addition to giving proteins carbohydrates our body also provides energy. However, an excess of carbohydrates is converted into sugar, which can therefore lead to a higher fat percentage. As a bodybuilder you naturally want the lowest possible fat percentage and that is why it is important to keep a close eye on your carbohydrate intake. Some important functions of carbohydrates are:
- They contribute to the maintenance of normal brain function;
- They help restore normal muscle function after very intensive and / or prolonged exercise.
Carbohydrates are found in wholemeal bread, potatoes, vegetables and fruit, among other things. However, there are also many carbohydrates in sweets, cakes and soft drinks.
Finally the fats. Your body also needs this one. At least, healthy or unsaturated fats. In contrast to saturated fats, these have an important function in our body:
- The replacement of saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
Unsaturated fats are found in fish, avocado, (olive) oil and nuts, among other things.
What is the principle behind if it fits your macros?
The name of this diet actually says exactly what it is all about. In principle, you can eat anything, as long as what you eat in one day, but falls under your personal intake limit of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. So the focus is not so much on the products you eat, but on the nutrients that your body gets from these products. In theory, according to IIFYM, it does not matter whether you get the desired amount of carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables or from cookies and candy.
Thanks to this principle, you can give in to eating foods that you cannot resist and still train and build muscle as you wish. Score!
How do you know what is within your macros and what is not?
It runs with if it fits your macros so all about your macros. Now the amount you should get from the different macros differs from person to person. For example, someone who moves intensively every day at work and also goes to the gym often needs more nutrients than someone who does not exercise and has an office job. Depending on your gender, age and lifestyle, you can calculate personal energy requirement and fine-tune your macros to your physical goals. You do this by determining your energy requirement on the basis of different formulas and then dividing this in a certain ratio over the three macros.
You determine how that ratio will be, depending on your physical goals. You are probably in the gym more often than sitting at home on the couch and that is why it is important for you to get enough protein, but for your training buddy who has an injury at home, the ratio can be very different. Losing or reaching the targets can also lead to different relationships.
Choices, choices, choices ...
After calculating your macros, you know how much protein, carbohydrates and fats you need to get in every day, but you don't know how you're going to get them yet. Now it might sound very logical to immediately think of chicken, broccoli and brown rice, but if you do if it fits your macros you don't have to. If you don't want to eat chicken, you don't. Do you prefer white rice instead of brown rice? Then you just eat it. As long as you do not or hardly exceed the maximum amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, everything is permitted. At least ...
The small print of if it fits your macros
Although IIFYM sounds like everything is allowed, it really isn't. At least not if you take it seriously and you are in the gym 5 to 7 days a week to train your muscles and develop the perfect body. There are a number of comments or assumptions that apply to if it fits your macros. Only if you take this into account will the diet provide the desired results. We discuss the three most important principles.
Principle 1: If it fits your macros only works if you have a healthy lifestyle
As we said, in theory you can eat anything you want, as long as you don't consume more than your personal amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, you will understand that those tough guys in the gym hitchhiking next to you haven't gotten that wide by scooping in a tub of ice cream six times a day. And we can already get you out of the dream that you could succeed.
The structure of if it fits your macros only works if you have a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet as a basis. You will simply have to fill up most of your macros with healthy products such as vegetables, fruit, meat or fish, legumes and rice. If you are not yet at your max, you can fill it with nutrients that you get from candy, biscuits, soft drinks or ice cream.
You can also reason it the other way around. For example, do you have your nephew or niece's birthday and don't want to be rude by turning down a piece of cake? Then calculate roughly how many of your macros you spend on this. You then fill up the remaining amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats with healthy products.
Principle 2: Make sure you don't overlook the microphones
The macros are the 3 nutrients that we need in a large amount to function properly. Targets here if it fits your macros therefore indulged. However, in addition to the 3 macros, there are also 3 micro's. In addition to the macros, we need these three nutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, to function properly, albeit in a lesser amount.
In principle, you get enough of these substances if you have a balanced diet. However, if you fill your macros too often with unhealthy choices, you may not be getting enough of the micros. If you don't supplement this with supplements now, it will undoubtedly affect your performance and you looks.
Keep an eye on! An excess of the microphones is also not intended and can even be harmful to your health.
So if you stick to the first premise and fill a large part of your macros with healthy food, then this second premise will undoubtedly be fine too. So you really don't always have to leave that piece of cake or that fat hamburger.
Principle 3: Dieting is not an exact science, even if it fits within your macros
Actually, this last principle does not only apply to if it fits your macros, but for diets in general. It is not an exact science, so you cannot put definitive results on your diet before you start. Only afterwards can you conclude whether all your efforts have worked or not.
To calculate your macros you have to use your estimate activity levelso you can determine how many calories you need each day. You then include this estimate in further calculations. Of course, estimating is not a guess, but the chance that you estimate yourself just one level too high or too low is present. And since you have to calculate with this estimate, it can have consequences for the later distribution of your macros.
In addition, it will also be a bit of a puzzle before you have found the right relationship between the three macros and achieving your physical goals. Therefore, experiment with if it fits your macros and don't immediately assume that you will see results after a week. That will probably only lead to deception and disappointment, and not a single muscle will become wider.
If it fits your macros is therefore a diet where nothing is mandatory and (almost) everything is allowed. It is important that you have a healthy lifestyle as a basis, where you organize most of your balanced diet with healthy and nutritious products. Then you can also loosen the reins from time to time by removing the other macros from products that are tasty, but less healthy. In this way you do not have to worry that your muscle mass will immediately disappear due to an increasing fat percentage.
How do you feel about it? if it fits your macros?
Would you like to give it a chance or have you perhaps already done that?
Share your opinion and / or experiences with us by leaving a comment!