In our industry there are lots of protocols which are labelled, ‘’diet X’’ or ‘’diet Y’’ and amongst some very good principles lie some absolute BS! By now you know I am not one to ‘’beat around the bush’’ and if I believe something, and feel I have a reasonable level of material to back up my feelings then I will say it!! Today my beef lies with a diet protocol known as ‘’IIFYM’’ which means – ‘’if it fits your macros.’’ In the past I have touched on this before, but today I want to completely dismantle any foundation this ‘’diet’’ method holds.
What Is IIFYM?
OK keeping it simple, because it really is simple actually – IIFYM states that you have a macronutrient split (protein, carbs, fats) and that once you know your percentages of each you are allowed to take them from any source. To give an example, 9g of protein from a sausage would suffice in the same manner lean chicken breast would. Do I really need to write any more about this, do any of you REALLY believe this system is good? As I said, today I am going all out to smother any credibility this might have so yes – I am going to continue.
Does It Work?
Undoubtedly, SOME people do get great results with it – but as you can imagine these people burn fat easily. They may claim they don’t, but if they are able to have white bread as part of their carbohydrate arsenal during the day then it is obvious that they do! My concern is this, these guys in shredded condition who use it say ‘’this works, it is the way forward’’ and ‘’normal’’ people use it. The truth is most won’t get into sub 10 body fat figures with this way of dieting, it isn’t gonna happen! Don’t get me wrong, if I was able to have bacon, white bread and other goodies on a fat loss diet and get ripped I would love – as I am sure most of us would! However we have to be real, for most these two events, getting ripped and eating these kind of foods cannot coexist together. Sorry!!
Most people gain body fat due to a number of factors, but possibly the biggest one is the way the foods they eat effect their hormone balance. We are talking hormones you cannot even pronounce, way beyond testosterone and estrogen although these two are essential nonetheless.
IIFYM has absolutely zero consideration for hormones and the effect foods have on them, yet hormone control is probably the single most important factor of any diet. If you are able to influence hormone balance with nutrition the results you can achieve can be staggering.
This means not only eating certain macronutrients during your day, but at given times. Some may argue that certain protocols lack science studies to support their use, but when we have thousands of people with transformations to make anyone’s jaw drop that tells a story in itself!! Yes I believe in studies, when they are done properly I might add – BUT I also believe in results and eating food groups at given times of the day according to hormone stimulation is something which has stood the test of time for decades.
I will give you a very simple example – insulin sensitivity is something we all need to improve to speed up fat loss, it is a very simple yet very effective. If I was to take two people with similar body fat levels, muscle mass, diet and body type and made just one change to their diet and that was to give ONE baked potato with their pre-workout meal, and the other with their post-workout meal the difference in fat loss would be noticeable. I am not talking guys with sub 10% body fat because their insulin sensitivity will probably be excellent anyway! We are talking average guys with 15-20% body fat who want to get LEAN!
Everyone is different therefore we need different diets, but I would suggest if you took 10 guys with similar body types, workout schedules and gave them a IIFYM diet maybe 3 at BEST would get sub 10, but I doubt that many would.
To conclude what is a drawn out rant on my behalf, IIFYM works for some yes in the same way having a weight gainer shake before bed works for one of my clients because his genetics ALLOW it! However, for MOST of us it is NOT something we can work with – this is the last you will hear from me on this topic I promise!!
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