IIFYM Strategy – “If It Fits Your Macros, Eat it”

IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macros

If you’re new to the idea of “If it fits your macros”, it can be a little confusing – How does it work? And what’s a macros to begin with?

To break it down as efficiently as possible, here are bare bones, stripped of all unnecessary hype and extra fat:

1.    Your “Macros” are your target calorie numbers, depending on your goal (lose weight, gain weight, or maintain)

2.    These calories are calculated by utilizing the formulas below

3.    Your total caloric intake target is divided into two main areas, protein and fat


In a nutshell, IIFYM helps you simplify your diet by stating that the human body does not need to be micromanaged calorie-wise, but a general strategy is needed to track and control your diet to meet your goals. Essentially, all calories are equal (within reason).


Source: CrossFit Fever on Flickr

How to Calculate Your Target Caloric Intake


Caloric maintenance: 14-16 calories per lb of body weight

Cutting Fat

Caloric deficit:11-13 calories per lb of body weight

Gaining Mass

Caloric surplus: any intake over caloric maintenance


Calculating Your Macro-Nutrient Intake


1-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight.


.35 – .45g fat per pound of bodyweight.


NOTE: Protein contains 4 calories per gram, and fat has 9 calories per gram.


Here’s an Example From my Personal Calculations

This is my current caloric deficit:

Total Caloric Intake: 13x189lbs=2457 kcals
Protein: 1x189lbs=189g @ 756 kcals
Fat: .45x189lbs=85g @ 765 kcals

So after my protein and fat calories are deducted I’m left with 879 calories I can use on anything. (2400 kcals – 1521 kcals).


Source: Sam Howitz on Flickr

Final Notes

IIFYM should never be as an excuse to fill your body with junk food.

Another disclaimer I’d like to throw out there is that IIFYM does not factor in the importance of micro-nutrients, so be sure to keep that in the back of your head while utilizing this strategy.

IIFYM is a great way to simplify, and if you’re a Minimalist like me, you’ll love it. Just don’t abuse it by failing to take into account the previously mentioned shortcomings of the strategy, and you’ll be okay.



Main Image Credit (Originally uploaded by ceemarie)


  1. 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life - Minimalist Living: Leadership, Health/Fitness, and Lifestyle. - April 23, 2013

    […] I plan on diving into in more detail on in the future, but for now my best strategy is the IIFYM diet: “If it fits your macros, eat it.” This method helps you simplify your diet to the bare minimum, while keeping you healthy and […]

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