Flexible dieting is becoming more popular in the fitness world. It's also known as macro counting or IIFYM vs the strict 7 meals a day where you stick to very limited sources of food like lean meat, rice, potatoes, eggs, and protein powder. This is essentially an alternative, more flexible eating approach than most standard (and outdated) diet plans that basically tell you what foods to eat and in what amounts.
With IIFYM, you are given “macros” for the day that you must follow. Macros are macronutrients, which are otherwise known as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. With IIFYM, you are given the total number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats that you can eat during a given day.
The concept is very simple – each macro has a calorie amount. Protein has 4 calories per gram, carbs 4 calories per gram and fats are 9 calories per gram. The beauty of IIFYM is that it’s simple and flexible. You do NOT have to eat the same boring foods over and over, nor do you have to eat food you hate. If you want a piece of cake, you work it into your macros.
You can eat a variety of foods which is not only great for dealing with cravings and unexpected work lunches or dinners out with friends and family, but it’s also a great way to make sure you get a variety of nutrients. Macros to me are exactly like having a budget. If I have $100 to spend, I can only spend $100 and no more than that. Depending on how strict you are, try to stick to your macros within + or – 5 grams.
To determine what your macros are, first you need to know what your goal is. You will need to figure out if you want to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your current weight. You can always use a generic calculator that will spit out a number for you OR you can hire a coach that will work with you to help you accomplish your goals which is the ideal situation. Why ? Every one is unique and different in the way they metabolize food. If you are not even eating 1200 calories today but the generator spits out 1600 calories, you will most likely gain weight if you make that jump. A coach will help build your metabolism so that you will gradually build up to that without fat gain.
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