IIFYM: The Truth About Making It Work For You

if it fits your macrosIf It Fits Your Macros.

It’s the latest trend.

But, does it actually work?  Is it true you can literally eat anything you want, as long as you reach your required macros for the day, and still look incredible?

Or will you just look like shit?

Like anything, the answer is always, “it depends”.

On paper, 50g of carbs looks like 50g of carbs whether it is from ice cream or oatmeal.  Your final pie chart showing your protein, carbs, and fat percentage will look the same, but your body does not work like this.

If only it were true.

Yet, this doesn’t mean we should flush IIFYM down the toilet.  When used properly, it can be very effective, and very powerful.

You can get ripped eating ice cream, and possibly pop tarts.  I personally think the craze with pop tarts is ridiculous.  I’d rather eat a cupcake.

The real secret to making IIFYM work for you depends on three things:

  1. Fiber
  2. Nutrients
  3. Digestion


In the example above using 50g of carbs, the difference between ice cream and oatmeal is the fiber content.  The higher the fiber, the slower the insulin spike.  This means more fat storage.

On top of this, the insulin spike almost becomes negligible in terms of fat storage when there are higher amounts of fiber present, especially if protein and possibly fat is included.

This makes a huge difference when you are eating with an IIFYM approach.  In order to cheat your way around this approach, make sure to get at least 30g of fiber in your diet by the end of the day; preferentially with your meals including dirty foods.

This means you need to eat your vegetables and possibly supplement with fiber.

Nutrients (specifically micro-nutrients)

Your body has needs, and certain vitamins and minerals are one of them.

Whole clean foods not only have a higher fiber content than dirty foods, but they also have a more favourable profile of vitamins and minerals.

If your whole IIFYM diet revolves around ice cream, pop tarts, and protein powder, then you are bound to be deficient in a ton of vitamins and minerals.

To be fair, if your diet revolves around turkey, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and fish oil, then you will still be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals; albeit less than if you only ate ice cream, pop tarts, and protein powder.

There is a happy medium.  You need to still be eating a wide range of vegetables, meats, and clean carbohydrate sources, on top of supplementing with a multi-vitamin and other things such as magnesium and zinc.


My biggest caveat with IIFYM is digestion.

If everything you are eating is making you have diarrhea, horrendous smelling fats, and stomach pains…and this is happening 24/7, then you obviously have a problem.

Your body isn’t meant to be treated like a food hooker, so don’t just stick anything inside your belly.

Here’s the deal, before you put something in your mouth, you should think about how it’s going to make you feel.  If the pros outweigh the cons, then go for it; just don’t make it a habit of always eating things that make you feel terrible.  In the end, this is the kind of thing that takes years off of your life.

My strongest recommendation is to make at least 80% of your food sources natural and clean (meat, vegetables, eggs, seafood).  The other 20% can be pure crap, as long as it doesn’t make you feel terrible.

One thing you will notice is that if most of your food is “clean” and natural, your body will respond better to dirty foods.  For instance, if I eat a ton of ice cream, I will feel like crap, but a little bit every once in a while will be fine on my body.

Find your happy medium.


Lately, I’ve been using IIFYM as a way to not worry while dieting.

I’m a strong believer that if we can minimize any stress, our bodies will look and feel better.  Worrying about only ever eating clean is not very fun, and it’s hard to live your life.

Here’s an example for you.  Yesterday, I spent the day with my girlfriend, Cassie, and we went to the Evergreen Brickworks flea market in Toronto.  There was homemade maple pecan gelato for sale, and I got a scoop.

I am super glad I did so, because it was quite possibly the best tasting ice cream or gelato I’ve ever had.  There were literally chunks of maple toffee and real butter tarts in it.  All I had to do was track the gelato into my macros.

IIFYM ice cream if it fits your macros

This ice cream was the best I’ve ever had.

No worrying, just pure enjoyment.

Once a week, Cassie and I will go out for dinner at a new restaurant in Toronto.  Saturday is date night, and we definitely go hard.  With IIFYM, I can order whatever I want, as long as I count it towards my macros.  99% of the time, I will also get dessert.

In this respect, IIFYM is awesome.  I get to have an awesome date with a hot Ukrainian girl, as well as enjoy amazing food and get the relief from eating solely “clean” foods.

In the past, I would have binged like a mad man.

Not anymore.

I have a killer appetite.  Now, I’m not saying I will never binge again, because sometimes a solid binge just feels fantastic, especially on a holiday.  But a weekly binge isn’t healthy.  It’s not good psychologically, and it’s not good for your body.

If you want to get into the best shape of your life using IIFYM and become another JMax Fitness success story, then hit me up for online coaching by clicking here.  If you have no idea what coaching option is right for you, then hit me up on Facebook here.