The ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ (IIFYM) still is and continues to be a very popular diet for all the wrong reasons. It may seem like an easy to follow and flexible diet, but the reality is is that it is slowly killing gut bacteria and causing serious digestive issues in the long term.
IIFYM is a diet plan that stands for If It Fits Your Macros. It claims to help users lose weight by tracking macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) without restricting food choices. In other words, if cookies fits into your macronutrient requirements, then you can eat cookies in relation to your ‘total’ for the day.
The whole diet concept was created in the bodybuilding community as bodybuilders began to tire of eating just chicken and rice to sustain their physical activities. They tried experimenting to see if they could eat ‘dirty’ foods and still maintain and build their physique. Now, it should be clear at this point that the diet wouldn’t be around if people didn’t experience results. However, those results may be short lived and it severely comprises the health of the gut. Let’s start by taking a look at an example of the ingredients and nutrition of a poptart.
Just take a gander at some of the ingredients found in the packaging. May be tasty, but clearly not a healthy way to fuel your body for physical activity. That brings me to my main point; the whole philosophy of “it fits your macros” is lazy. It stems from the current culture that enjoys instant gratification and doesn’t like planning, consistency and effort.
The question always comes up at athlete camps or during consults with new clients.
“Well ‘X’ athlete eats this and they are still performing at a high level.”
My response is always, what if they actually took care of their bodies properly? Imagine the possibilities. And to be quite frank, the reason they can get away with it is because they are simply more resilient. Eventually there is a point where resiliency ends and changes need to be implemented in order to function. Not just perform but also to live our daily lives in health. If you eat ‘crap’ food expect adverse effects and inflammation. There are multiple reasons why, they should be fairly clear.
At OPEX, in the principles we teach our CCP Coaches, we start with a simple philosophy. First, when analyzing nutrition prescription and dissecting macronutrients, we look at the individual’s goal. That is the base of all nutrition prescriptions, including specific macronutrients for the client. Next, we start simple with asking the clients about basic food hygiene principles which are essential to Actually using the macronutrients digested.
Marcus Filly, creator of functional bodybuilding, realizes the importance of gut health and has made it a recent focus of his. Learn the diest he uses to keep his gut healthy and keep him at or below 5% bodyfat in this blog.
Simple food hygiene principles that I send some of my clients are as follows:
(Coach’s Resource: Learn our simple food hygiene principles here.)
Lastly, as a coach I consistently assess nutrition and then design a plan based upon what the client presents with. Thus, if these simple pieces are not being followed, macronutrients become less important as the system is not absorbing the nutrients properly, which essentially sets them up for failure. We have a saying at OPEX; Clients have to earn macronutrient plans by being compliant with hygiene principles and showing consistency with other simple principles like a specific amount of protein and drinking ½ your BWT in ounces of water per day. Don’t follow the craze, stop being lazy and understand what needs to be in place for you to perform (whatever that may mean for you). Be smart about what you are putting in to your body to fuel daily, stop making shitty decisions because Instagram and Facebook say it’s the gateway to look like me!
Clean, healthy and performance can be done, it’s proven. Lebron James spends over a million dollars on his recovery throughout the entire year. One specifically is a full-time chef that knows the ins and outs of his body to ensure his food profile is perfect to align with what’s most important, recovering post and fueling for the next.
Learn how you too can implement clean and healthy nutrition programs with your client, in our free Coach’s Toolkit. Sign up today and learn how to create holistic nutrition programs.