The Myths of IIFYM Busted

It's easy to lose weight in an unhealthy way; counting macros isn't one of them. Find out why macro tracking can help you eat healthy and lose weight.

There are plenty of ways out there to lose weight, and many of them are unhealthy. Counting macros can be an ideal diet because it doesn’t just help you lose weight; it also helps you eat right and stay healthy. An added benefit of counting macros is that it is a flexible diet that allows you to maintain a balance on a busy schedule, but if it’s abused, it can lead to health problems.

Though the flexibility of counting macros adds convenience to your meal planning, it should be a stepping stone toward a comprehensive dieting plan, rather than a shortcut to self-indulgence. With the help of the Lifesum App, which has an easy-to-use macro counting feature, you can avoid overindulgence while still eating delicious meals that are good for you.

What Is IIFYM?

If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) is a trending diet derived from a misunderstanding of macro counting. Macro counting is supposed to take calorie counting a step further to look at the sodium, carbs, and fats (macronutrients, or macros) that you are intaking to lay down a foundation for a balanced diet.

Though macro counting is a great step to a healthy lifestyle, there are many unhealthy foods that you could eat while staying within your macro count. Ultimately, IIFYM is a superficial take on macro counting that ignores the nutritional needs that macro counting was designed to meet.

The Dangers of Not Paying Attention to Overall Diet

It’s true that you can lose weight eating donuts and fast food, but that completely misses the point of macro counting and can even lead to a vitamin or nutrient deficiency. There are many unhealthy ways to lose weight that can lead to other health complications, and IIFYM can easily turn into one of them.

Counting your macros essentially builds a frame for your diet, but just because a certain food fits inside the frame, doesn’t mean you should eat it. The frame is composed of carbs, fat, and protein, but taking a look at sub macros, such as sodium and sugar, is also an important part of  a healthy diet.

Watching your Sub Macros

In most cases, an occasional, moderated indulgence is fine. Giving in to a craving once in a while won’t spoil your diet and ultimately won’t harm your progress. However, if you constantly feed your body more sugar than it needs, or more sugar than nutrients, not only will it make you feel sluggish and low on energy, but it can also have negative effects on your health.

Another important part of calculating your macro goals for each day is taking into account your level of activity. If you consume more sugar than you need to use, the sugar can go into your system and potentially do harm, even if it doesn’t form fat.

Similarly, the three macros of macro counting don’t count sodium, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely. Too much sodium can also have negative effects on your health, such as heart disease or high blood pressure. For those reasons, it’s important to avoid a food with too much sodium or sugar, even if it fits your macros.

Tracking Macros the Right Way

Flexibility is important to finding a sustainable diet plan, but it shouldn’t be used as a cheat code to avoid making meaningful — or nutritionally sound — changes. Instead, you should use your resources, like the Lifesum App, to help you find food that is easy to make, wholesome, and delicious.

Personal Goals

When you download the Lifesum App, the first thing you do is enter whether your goal is to be healthier, to lose weight, or to gain muscle weight. This is because the amount of each macro you eat will depend on your goals, as well as the amount of activity you get every day. Someone who runs a few miles everyday likely needs more calories than someone who gets little physical activity in their day.

Wholesome Diet

Assuming you can eat anything you want on the macro diet as long as it “fits your macros” is a superficial way of dieting. Yes, there are fried foods or fast foods that you might be able to squeeze into your count, but the point of this diet is to better understand the needs of your body and to eat better food.

When you’re counting your macros, you should always go for fresh food that has natural ingredients and whole foods. Though you might have cravings for junk food now, you can find many delicious recipes for wholesome meals that will not only taste great, but will make you feel energized.

In order to find a diet that works for you, you should make sure that it fits into your schedule and that it is realistic for you to maintain. You also need to make sure that are aware of what you are eating. Eating the right amount of calories and macros is one step in the right direction, but you also need to put wholesome and nutritious foods into your body. Just because it fits your macros, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.

Read this next

Screenshot from the Lifesum app
  • Apple AppStore:
    4.6 average rating
    Google Play:
    4.4 average rating
  • Editors’ Choice, App Store 2018
  • Best of Google Play 2017 & 2018

Gain control of your nutrition intake and boost your health.

Learn more