Flexible dieting and IIFYM

· April 20, 2017 · 3 minutes to read

Firstly, what are they? Will they help you lose weight? Plus my views regarding them.

Flexible dieting

Can be a few things, fasting, calorie counting, eating around training and even going into food typing. Generally flexible dieting means you have more freedom of choice when it comes to foods meaning that it doesnt feel like ‘you’re on a diet.’

IIFYM means if it fits your macro’s. Macro’s are divided into 3 groups, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The whole premise behind IIFYM is that you can eat pretty much what you like as long as it fits your calorie or gram ranges for each of the Macro’s.

The benefits of both

  1. Freedom of choice. Provided you’ve not already gone over your allowance for carbs, proteins, fats or calories for the day. You can have what ever food you like.
  2. Ability to satisfy cravings. Kind of links with point 1 and the bonus is that if you do fancy a cookie or a donut. If you’re still within you calorie and macro limits you can have it.
  3. Not feeling restricted or deprived.
  4. It works if you’re already training regularly.

My issues with them

Now here, I’m speaking from experience and voicing my opinion based on what I’ve learnt over the last 11 years.

  1. IIFYM and flexible dieting work if you’re already in decent shape and training regularly. If you’re a long way from your goal, carrying excessive amounts of fat and only training once a week. IIFYM wont cut it for health or consistent weight loss.
  2. Your body breaks down food to its smallest form. Once in that form it contains information to tell your body what to do with said food. This information might be grow hair, repair that skin wound, it might be increase fat stores, it might boost liver function, grow nails, grow muscles and the list goes on. If you’re giving your body bad information, it will simply store bad information as fat. I genuinely heard one time a personal trainer of all people. “It’s ok I can have this cake ‘cos it fits my macros”. Me personally I don’t care if it fits your macro’s, CAKE IS F**KING CAKE!!!!
  3. Giving yourself justification to cheat on clean food every day, is probably one of the reasons you’re carrying excess fat in the 1st place. Just because you’re under your carb and calorie allowance for the day doesn’t mean that the piece of cake you’re ‘allowed’ to eat wont be stored as fat.
  4. Not all calories are created equal! 2000 calories of takeaway pizzas and fizzy drinks will have a vastly different physiological response in the body compared to 2000 calories of meat and veggies. One will spike insulin levels, wont leave you massively full for a long period of time and could be consumed in 1 meal. Try eating 2000 calories of non processed meat, veggies and healthy carbs. Its a LOT of food, it will leave you fuller for longer, it will have a vastly different response in the body and will promote health, weight loss and increase energy levels for longer.

Further thoughts

As I’ve already stated, if you’re already fairly lean (can see muscle definition) then flexible dieting and IIFYM could work really well for you. Particularly if you’re training well. By training I mean hitting the gym 2-3 times a week for some well put together weights routines. If you’re struggling with training or if you’re carrying a lot of fat then IIFYM and flexible dieting probably isnt for you.

Ideals for weight loss is to create a calorie deficit, this is really easy to achieve. You wouldn’t even need to change your diet, all you would have to do is exercise a little more. However if you made the switch to clean what I call from the earth foods. Then your weight loss will be boosted by taking in more nutrients at the same time as dropping calories and if you increase activity on top of that, then you’re onto a real winner.

Hands down the best results I’ve seen are people who are fully open to changing their food routine and making the switch to eating like veggie but garnishing their plates with meat. For me this is where I’ve had the most success personally and where my clients have had their successes.

To wrap up the rant.

Personally for IIFYM and flexible dieting, does it work? It depends, depends where in your health and weight loss journey you are. If you’re already seeing muscle tone and definition then flexible diets and IIFYM can work really well. If you’re just starting out and carrying excess fat that you want to lose then I’d advise lowering carbs and sticking to a more structured way of eating.

As always if you have any question fill in the contact form or drop me a direct email and I’ll always respond personally.

Much love



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