“IIFYM”

Be aware: this is a long winded post! But I promise there’s pictures.

You may be asking yourself… what the hell does this title stand for? If you’re an Instagram dork (specifically Instagram FITNESS dork) like me, you may have seen this hashtag as well. It stands for “If It Fits Your Macros” and it’s a concept that, without knowing it, I followed in the first year of my weight loss. It means exactly what it says- if the food you want to eat fits into your macro nutrient requirements, then eat it! Macro nutrients, in non-science terminology, is made up of each person’s specific number of carbs, protein and fat that their body needs. To figure out your macros, I recommend going to the IIFYM website and using their calculator. From there, if you don’t already use it, I would download the MyFitnessPal app and begin tracking your calories and macros there. You can adjust your macros on MFP through their actual website after entering your weight/goal weight and activity level.

I know some people are against counting calories and I agree it can become an obsession, but there isn’t a need for it to. I think that once you understand that under eating is just as bad for your health and metabolism as over eating, you don’t look at the numbers in an obsessive way. Some days you’ll hit your targets, other days you’ll fall short and others you’ll go over. If you really listen to your body, it all evens out. Take it from me- I’ve been in this journey for 4 years, and I’ve been on the very over weight side and the under weight side and felt miserable on both ends. For me, my priorities have changed a lot over the last few years. It stared with wanting to just be healthy. And that’s exactly what I achieved, through eating BETTER, moving MORE, but still fitting in the foods I loved as long as they fit within my calorie range. I was happy and healthy until I focused too much on being “skinny”. Once I got there, it wasn’t enough as I kept trying to get smaller and smaller. Do you know what it takes to get smaller and smaller when you’re only allowing yourself 1200 calories and working out for 2 hours a day? How could I have EVER known that eating more would have actually got me the body I desired deep down, which was to be toned and lean, not just a stick figure? But I had no idea how to get there, and assumed that I had to keep eating less. Once I had to start gaining weight back to get back to being healthy, I gained fast and it went to all the places I had worked so hard to tone in the first place. My arms, stomach and inner thighs. It’s been an extremely frustrating almost 2 years working so hard to overcome under eating, binge eating, and just over eating to get back to a healthy spot. I have a much healthier body image now than I ever have. But when I look in the mirror and see my arms still having so much work to go and wondering if they ever will tone up again, I definitely doubt myself. But what I don’t ever doubt is me giving up. I know I won’t ever “let myself go” or whatever you want to call it. I DO know that I’ll gain weight, lose weight, and maintain along the way. Because I’m a human, and that’s what humans do. But part of the reason I no longer fear giving up this lifestyle is because I eat the way I’ll eat for life.

What do I mean by that? Well, I eat pretty balanced these days if I do say so myself. I’ve preached about “eating clean” a ton of times, and I’m in no way bashing that. But, for some people, eating grilled chicken, broccoli, and nothing with artificial sweeteners in it EVER is extremely boring. And there are some people who have such great dedication that the boring factor doesn’t get to them, and the results they get are worth it. But what some people don’t understand is that it’s not the ONLY way to get results. Of course it is better for your body (insides mostly) for you to eat vegetables, less cholesterol and saturated fat and sugar. But if you’re controlling your macros then eating what you love more often than just a “cheat day” is completely possible while attaining results. I lived with my cheat day for the last few years, and I would eat so much every Sunday that I would be sick come Monday morning. I finally now don’t eat until I’m ready to burst, but I still eat A LOT because it takes a lot to fill me up. Instead of telling myself I can ONLY have pizza or froyo or fries on a Sunday, I just eat them when I really want them, and make sure “it fits my macros”. I’ve been doing this for the last few weeks and I feel so much better about food and myself. Being healthy does not mean you have to “eat clean” for every meal except for 1 day, but if that works for you then that’s fine! At the end of the day, you have to do what you will STICK to. And that will also change sometimes, because change is good. 

I think you get my point. It should be as basic as this: fuel your body with the important stuff first- whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats- and fill in the rest with what you love to eat. I’ve been eating pizza 2-3 times a week and my pants are loose. I’m eating no less than 1700 calories, and upwards of 2400, working out 4-5 times a week. It works for ME and you have to figure out what works for you.

Let me show you my balance in pictures, shall we?

Sometimes I treat myself to a Starbucks mocha light frap. Other times, I save money and calories by making my own!
Sometimes I treat myself to a Starbucks mocha light frap. Other times, I save money and calories by making my own!

Let me throw in the recipe for that bad boy.

  • 4-8 ice cubes (depends how thick you want it)
  • 2 tbsp Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso mixed w/ 1/3 cup hot water- put in freezer to chill before putting in blender
  • 2 Splenda packets
  • 4 drops chocolate stevia (I use NuNaturals brand)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Oatmeal. Every. Damn. Day.

Banana egg whites chia oats topped with crunchy coconut pb, cheerios, and homemade coconut cream that melted :)
Banana egg whites chia oats topped with crunchy coconut pb, cheerios, and homemade coconut cream that melted 🙂

Other days, when eating the “IIFYM” way, your banana chia oats will be topped with a big, melty spoonful of COOKIE BUTTER and a crumbled coconut macaroon.

Moneeeey Shot $$$
Moneeeey Shot $$$

Brunch on a Sunday afternoon looks like…

sausage, egg & cheese on cranberry whole wheat bread & potatoes @ Grey Dog Cafe
sausage, egg & cheese on cranberry whole wheat bread & potatoes @ Grey Dog Cafe

Easy, simple, delicious lunches:

sweet potato chunks sauteed in coconut oil, red onion, egg whites, jalapenos & turkey bacon topped with organic ketchup & Frank's hot sauce
sweet potato chunks sauteed in coconut oil, red onion, egg whites, jalapenos & turkey bacon topped with organic ketchup & Frank’s hot sauce

Dinner when you’re too lazy to cook might look like dessert, but “it fit my macros”:

coconut Chobani, banana slices, cheerios, coconut oil PB, justin's chocolate hazelnut butter
coconut Chobani, banana slices, cheerios, coconut oil PB, justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter

Or dinner might be a big ass salad, cause that’s what I wanted.

romaine, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno chicken sausage & crumbled blue cheese with Franks hot sauce & pita bread
romaine, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno chicken sausage & crumbled blue cheese with Franks hot sauce & pita bread

Followed by a big ass smoothie in a bowl, pretending to be ice cream.

Vega french vanilla protein, almond milk, banana, ice, topped with cheerios & melted cookie butter + cinnamon
Vega french vanilla protein, almond milk, banana, ice, topped with cheerios & melted cookie butter + cinnamon

Some nights I may need froyo…

strawberry lemonade sorbet (dairy free!) & a little bit of vanilla froyo topped with "cookies n cream clusters", shredded coconut, sprinkles and a little piece of pb cup
strawberry lemonade sorbet (dairy free!) & a little bit of vanilla froyo topped with “cookies n cream clusters”, shredded coconut, sprinkles and a little piece of pb cup

Some nights for dinner, eggs or chicken or a salad just isn’t what I want. Enter in:

a sandwich with fries (from this past weekend at The Bungalow Bar in Rockaway Beach)
a sandwich with fries (from this past weekend at The Bungalow Bar in Rockaway Beach)

Or (usually cheese-less) pizza 🙂

photo (9)

 

In order to lose weight, get healthy, and turn it into a lifestyle, you HAVE to enjoy what you’re eating. Forming a fear of food is so unhealthy and it can be very hard to break that cycle. Take it from me- under eating, being too restrictive, and eating too much of the same foods over and over can be damaging to your metabolism. Work out hard and eat big, watch your calories/macros and live a little! 😉

What are your thoughts on “IIFYM”? I really really want your feedback!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on ““IIFYM””

  1. LOVE this! Totally agree with everything. Rather than having a cheat day, I like to cheat a little bit every day. If I wait for a certain day, I’ll eat wayyy more “unhealthy” food because I deprived myself of it all week long.

  2. I would love to be able to eat that way but it never seems to work for me. I do best with 1 weekend full-on cheat day and 1 midweek cheat meal. But, If there’s office birthday cake or a friend wants to chat over drinks with me I’m going there, even if it’s not a cheat day. I just want so many treats All.The.Time. So I tell myself “I’ll have that Wednesday night” or “I’ll eat that Saturday” and then I actually eat maybe a quarter of what I said I would.

  3. I have a very similar story! I started counting macros several years ago without really knowing what IIFYM was. Unfortunately, I was counting calories too and got in some serious trouble with under eating.

    My question is, how have you managed counting your macros and still maintaining your sanity? I would like to give flexible dieting another shot, but I’m afraid of going into obsessive tracking mode. Back in the day, I couldn’t go 10 min. without checking my macros on my calorie counting app. Do you have days that you kind of guesstimate how much you’re eating? Do you track all your foods right after meal times? At the end of the day? I’d love to know if it’s still working for you!

    1. Hi! I totally can relate to the becoming obsessed with macro/calorie counting and the only thing that has helped me relax is just that- RELAX! It takes time of course and trial and error but after awhile i realized i CAN trust myself to eat without overdoing it or underdoing it all the time. I still track calories and pay “attention” to macros but not strict about them at all. I eat mostly healthy fats and carbs and get enough protein but i know that my body does best with less protein to digest. Of course when I was obsessive, it was a ton of protein and little fat and carbs and i was bloated all the time but i blamed that on eating “too much”- which would be 1400 calories. Now 1400 calories would have me waking up in the middle of the night ready to eat my arm! Which leads to binging, that i also went through. So the balance is a challenge to find, but i more or less just use MyFitnessPal to stay on track but as a jumping off point. I eat almost the same meals during the week and on the weekends i sometimes dont track because i just try to enjoy life. It’s a process to trust yourself and your body, but I know you can find it! If you’re afraid of tracking maybe just give the flexible dieting a chance and go by feel instead of counting. You obviously know eating a whole cake is not going to make you feel great, but if you want cake then you have yourself some cake and eyeball a serving of it and enjoy every bite! Eat your MICRO’s first (veggies fruits fiber etc) and then let yourself have a treat a few times a week, and that way you dont really have to count at all! I track my weekday meals usually the night before so that i know what to make and grab out of the fridge before i go to work, other times if i have a change of plans and go out to eat i will either wait til after and definitely eyeball it. Let me know if this helps at all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s