IIFIYM stands for ‘if it fits in your macros’ which is a
guideline for those who are seeking guidance generally for fat loss. Macros just
means protein, fats and carbohydrates and the theory behind this nutrition
protocol is that you have a specific calorie allowance per day and if your food
choices are within that limit you are OK. There is generally a macro split
where you get a certain percentage from protein, carbs and fats but that is the
extent of the plan. Never one to deliberately play something down I pondered
for some time on this approach to dieting. Then after all logical thoughts had
raced around my head and settled, the next two letters which sprung to mind
were BS!! Before I go on, I totally accept that SOME people have indeed enjoyed
great results with this and some have got amazing physiques from doing so. In fact,
a very good friend of mine follows this and he has abs to kill for. However, as
a general approach to dieting for the majority of us it is floored on so many
levels it could stand up tall next to the Empire State Building.
In a series of points I wanted to show you why this approach
is not the best way for you to get ripped.
Ask any well respected top trainer who continues to get their
clients results time after time and you will hear the same thing, insulin
sensitivity is a major factor where fat loss is concerned. To learn more about
insulin please read this article, but I will give a brief explanation now. Certain
foods, mainly high GI carbohydrates will stimulate a higher volume of insulin
to be secreted into the blood stream. Over time you become insulin resistant
which means burning fat becomes a really big chore, almost impossible in fact. The
people who ARE able to use this dieting method to great effect will be very
insulin sensitive which means they are able to get away with more high GI foods
– unfortunately this doesn’t relate to most of us.
Not all carbs are equal
When fat loss is the goal you need to ensure the body is a well-oiled
machine with the capability of burning energy effectively. This has a direct
relation to insulin levels and the ability of the body to absorb and utilise
energy. To give an example, fructose which is found in some fruits will cause a
surge in blood sugar yet they don’t stimulate a surge in insulin levels. As a
result you can be left with high blood sugar levels without the means of using it;
of course the body will store this as body fat. This is why eating ‘carbohydrates’
is a very vague approach, to get the best results you need to understand which
ones do what exactly. Again, there will be some people who can get away with
this because their genetics allow for it.
Slower burning fuel sources are generally better for you if
high energy levels are key - going to lift weights for an hour for example.
High GI carbohydrates can give an initial burst of energy but there after you
can suffer from a blood sugar crash where by your energy levels take a dip. Lower
GI carbohydrates burn at a much slower rate for longer periods of time giving the
body a constant steady feed of energy in contrast to high GI carbs. Again, the
lucky few amongst us will probably suffer less from this effect than the rest
Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is secreted during
times of stress where the brain is potentially fatigued or ‘feels’ fatigued. Leading
on from the previous point, if you were to consume high GI carbs when then led
to a blood sugar crash your body is put into a state where by it will decrease
insulin sensitivity and secrete cortisol to counter act it’s energy ‘crisis.’
Cortisol is a very catabolic hormone, more than that it is responsible for
higher body fat percentages especially in areas like your lower abs. As I have
repeated several times, this won’t apply to all but it will apply to many!
There are some points which I hope have debunked the theory
that eating the right amount of calories from certain macro sources is OK
without paying attention to the actual source of each macro.