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?
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.
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.
Brunch on a Sunday afternoon looks like…
Easy, simple, delicious lunches:
Dinner when you’re too lazy to cook might look like dessert, but “it fit my macros”:
Or dinner might be a big ass salad, cause that’s what I wanted.
Followed by a big ass smoothie in a bowl, pretending to be ice cream.
Some nights I may need froyo…
Some nights for dinner, eggs or chicken or a salad just isn’t what I want. Enter in:
Or (usually cheese-less) pizza
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!