CrossFit has become a lifestyle for many of us and it also makes us think more about what we eat. Many people connect CrossFit with Paleo or Zone diet, but we can see that there are also other diet approaches that are becoming popular. One of the most popular one among CrossFitters is If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) and I am going to discuss this approach further in this article.
Many professional CrossFitters have recently changed their diets from “I can eat what I want” to tracking what they eat and logging everything into applications like My Fitness Pal. They are more concerned about eating clean, but even more than that they concentrate on reaching the right amount of macro and micronutrients that support their athletic performance and goals.
IIFYM is probably the most common approach that we can currently see in fitness world. It is pretty simple. You have a set amount of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat that you should eat everyday. This amount can be changed depending on what your goals are. The main idea is that it is not important if your calories come from a bowl of oatmeal or a cheeseburger, but it matter more how many calories you consumed and how many grams of protein, carbs and fat the food you ate had.
That does not mean that you should hit McDonald’s every day. You still want to eat healthy foods, but if you have a craving for ice cream, you can treat yourself as long as you adjust your food intake for the rest of the day so that it fits your macros.
The main advantage is that you can have a cheat meal pretty much anytime you want as long as you adjust your eating for the rest of the day so that you have correct amount of macronutrients at the end of the day. The main disadvantage is that you have to log everything you eat into apps like My Fitness Pal, so that you know how many macros and calories you have left.
You eat the same amount of calories everyday and it does not matter if it is a training day or a rest day. Since you can have pretty much anything you want on any given day, you don’t have to have all day long cheat days that make you feel bad and slow you down.
IIFYM is great for losing and maintaining weight as well as for gaining muscle mass. For example, if you want to go from losing weight to maintaining weight, you just increase the amount of macronutrients you eat. You can get an estimate of how many calories you should be consuming depending on your goals here. There are also professional services that offer more precise macronutrient calculation and nutrition consulting, but eventually it is a very similar concept.
There are a lot of articles describing IIFYM in depth and the goal of this article is to only provide basic information about this approach. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me personally or in the comments.
I would recommend tracking food for a week or so to everyone. It might surprise you how many or how little calories you consume and it will give you a better idea of what you have to do in order to reach your goals. Different approaches work for different people, but if you choose any style, it should be maintainable long term. The food you eat should also make you feel good and support your athletic performance.
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