Donut Dieting: How To Use IIFYM To Eat Your Favorite Foods

Look, we live in a misunderstood world where some people think weights don’t need to be re-racked, crunches burn belly fat, legs don’t need to be trained, and that you must eat like a rabbit to get lean. If eating like a rabbit is the only way to getting lean, that just sounds cruel and unusual.
We all want a lean muscular body, but get discouraged because many of us believe that eating celery and carrot sticks is the only way. Its unenjoyable and not worth the sacrifice to getting that hot dream body.

But wouldn’t you rather eat sushi and gelato while burning fat like a champ? Deep down, you’re itching for it to be possible, but you’ve accepted the fact that it’s not possible because you’ve tried eating your favorite foods with no signs of results.

I’m here to tell you that it is not only possible to eat delicious food while being able to look great, but that it’s one of the best ways possible.

You must understand how IIFYM(if it fits your macros) actually works and do it correctly. Once done correctly, you can begin to manage your daily intake like a methodical mastermind who can look great naked and eat the mouthwatering delicacies of this world.

use IIFYM to eat your favorite foods

What is IIFYM?

IIFYM is a style of eating in which you can eat whatever you want as long you stay within a number of calories and hit the correct numbers on your macros each day.

All calories are made of macronutrients. The 3 main macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fats. Alcohol is technically also considered a fourth macronutrient if you were curious. All the calories on this planet are comprised of these macronutrients. One gram of protein or carbs is 4 calories. One gram of fat is 9 calories and one gram of alcohol is 7 calories.

The 3 main macronutrients play an important role in how you set up your ratios.

Protein is the muscle macronutrient. It is responsible for building muscle and preserving muscle when you’re losing weight. It’s also the most filling and takes the most energy to digest. These are the main reasons why fit people consume a lot of protein. It’s not because we’re meathead cannibals, but rather because protein is crucial in having a sculpted strong body.

Carbs are the energy macronutrient. Carbs don’t make you fat as many people have been led to believe. They are used to perform better in the gym. If you can lift heavier with less rest, you will get better results. This is only possible with a sufficient amount of carbs. They also help with brain power, organ function, and can make you fall asleep easier.

Fats are the hormone macronutrient. They help regulate hormones in our bodies. If you avoid fats completely, you will get cranky, absorb less nutrients, and have crappy sex. They also help with brain function and are required to live.

These 3 main macronutrient make up your daily calories. While it is more important to hit your daily calories correctly, hitting your correct macro ratios daily will be pretty important as well. How much of each should I eat you ask?

For someone trying to shred fat, try 30-40% of total daily calories coming from protein, 20-45% coming from carbs, and 10-20% coming from fats.

For someone trying to put on muscle, try 25-40% of total daily calories coming from protein, 30-50% coming from carbs, and 10-15% coming from fats.

Note that this is an extremely general ratio. If you want a more accurate macro ratio customized towards your specific needs, contact a coach like myself.

Why IIFYM works?

IIFYM takes full advantage of arguably the most important principle in effective nutrition and that is energy balance. Energy balance is just a fancy word for saying all foods are measured in calories and depending on the number of calories, you eat you will either gain weight or lose weight.

Eat a higher amount of calories than your body takes to burn and you will gain weight. Eat a lower amount of calories than your body takes to burn and you will lose weight. It’s pretty simple and deeply flexible, but raises a lot of questions.

With great freedom comes great responsibility.

There is no specific food you are not allowed to eat in order to achieve your goals. But before you order 10 dozens of donuts, you must understand that with great freedom comes great responsibility.

If you fill your targeted daily caloric intake with just donuts, your macro ratios will be off because donuts have a much higher carb/fat to protein ratio. Remember we want to hit the correct number of calories, but still get close to the macro ratios as well. Each day, even if we hit the correct number of calories, if all of those calories are carbs and fats, we will have a difficult time building lean muscle.

Ok, what if I eat the correct amount of calories and the correct ratio of macronutrients, then I can splurge on pizza, hot dogs, and ice-cream right? Technically yes, but that’s usually not sustainable. If the correct calories are in place with the correct macro ratio, you will get the results you’re looking for while eating these foods, but not for long.

This is because these foods have little to no micronutrients in them. While macro nutrients will determine your scale weight, micronutrients will determine your longevity. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. Foods with a lot of micronutrients are also higher in volume and fiber. This means you will get fuller longer from a lot less calories. Some examples of these foods are chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, oats, and spinach.

Here’s how to look shredded, and eat yummy foods.

The key to making IIFYM work correctly is to eat mostly nutrient dense foods which is the stuff that is really good for you like animals, vegetables, fruits, and grains. This will ensure you get the correct digestion, the vitamins to actually make you feel good, and the volume to stay full.

Depending on what you enjoy to eat, save some calories to eat a scoop of ice cream, a bowl of mac and cheese, a slice of pizza or two.

If you want to maximize your results, make sure your yummy food fits your remainder macro ratio as well too.

use IIFYM to eat your favorite foods

Here’s an example:

After weeks of meticulously tracking his calories, Calvin is estimating his maintenance calories to be about 2400 meaning his body generally burns about 2400 calories a day. He wants to lose some fat, so his imaginary girlfriend doesn’t dump him. He drops his calories to 1900 in order to be in a deficit, so he can lose fat.

He realizes while losing fat, he still wants to eat out with his imaginary girlfriend every night. Calvin begins to save 600 calories each day, so he eats only 1300 calories throughout the entire day making sure he’s eating a lot of lean protein, vegetables, and fruits to stay full and feel great. At the end of each day he has 600 calories to spare.

He goes out with his imaginary girlfriend and with 600 calories spends it on a slice of pizza, two buffalo wings, and a diet coke. He only has about 90 calories left for the day, so he opts for a scoop of gelato instead of ice cream for dessert. His imaginary girlfriend loves that he eats with her every night and stays with him because each week, he looks leaner without feeling miserable.

Why eating pizza is great for your goals

While I do use IIFYM with some of my clients because they have a hard time giving up milkshakes, I also use it because it’s one of the best methods for sustainable fit living. Methods like low carb and low fat can be good if done correctly, but your food choice is limited and after you’re done with these nutrition plans, the only way you know how to get results is by restriction.

IIFYM is the complete opposite. With IIFYM, your food choice is open to sirloin steaks, pizza, gelato, sushi, baked potatoes, eggs, and even cupcakes. IIFYM also teaches you what’s in your food as you track, so you learn how to get results while fitting in your favorite foods into your diet.

use IIFYM to eat your favorite foods

Take my client Anthony for example. He eats a high protein macro ratio while keeping calories under a certain point each day to get lean. He eats mostly foods like rice, chicken, and broccoli to stay full. With the leftover calories he has, he eats out with his wife a few times a week while getting a little bit leaner each week. He’s learned so much about what’s in certain foods and gets better at tracking as time goes on. Now he’s progressed to the point where he’s smart enough to choose foods that taste good in relation to the macro content. He tells me he always orders sirloin steak paired with half a baked potato w/ butter on the side instead of fettuccine w/ garlic bread. He understands that both meals are just as pleasurable to him, but the steak dinner is going to be significantly lower in calories while being higher in protein.

After just a couple of months of tracking calories/macros, you will learn so much of what’s actually in everyday foods. You will begin to understand that a food might be good, but its not worth the amount of calories in it. IIFYM is also one of the few methods that lets you fit in literally any food you want and still get results. Eating the foods you actually enjoy will increase adherence which is the main factor in determining success with any diet.

So that is how you use IIFYM to be able to eat your favorite foods while getting that shredded strong body you want. It might be more difficult at first to measure and track correctly, but the flexibility of it is far more rewarding than other diets. IIFYM gives you the control to choose where as other diets take control away from you.

The longer you track, the better you’ll get. You’ll be so efficient and used to it, that it will just be second nature.

The slight inconvenience of accurate tracking at first will be completely outweighed once you have your dream body while eating a chocolate donut.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a taco dinner to attend with my imaginary girlfriend.

About the Author

Calvin is an online coach, personal trainer, lover of food, and wise beyond his years. When he's not transforming people's bodies, he's making YouTube videos and writing about how gainz can be made. He creates lots of fresh content and has plenty of free resources, check them out here.