Flexible Dieting and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), these terms are commonly used as the “end all” of evidence based dieting in recent years. If it fits your macros was a common response in early 2000’s bodybuilding message boards to answer people who asked if they could eat certain foods. This became much more popular with instagram/youtube fitness personalities sharing how they get lean while eating “junk” foods, Ie- donuts, ice cream, hamburgers….which then turned mainstream with the term flexible dieting. A term almost everyone can get on board with, who doesn’t like a flexible diet?
The overarching goal with these methods are based on longevity, adherence and moderation. The basic concept is that eating too much food (surplus) is what is making you fat and if you eat within your macro or caloric boundaries you can achieve your goals(be it gaining, losing or maintaining). This term started to open some people's point of views that no food is inherently good or bad.
There are foods that totally have more micronutrients(vitamins, minerals) and many that are better suited to lead you to your goals, ie: if you want to get stronger and build more lean tissue, focusing on your protein intake is crucial. Choosing foods with more volume that are less calorically dense can help when hunger or boredom strikes. So you don’t necessarily have to focus on eating “clean” all the time but instead focus on getting your required macronutrients in. We hear a lot of love for this style of diet because its less restrictive and you are essentially eating like you normally would.
This general philosophy of weighing and tracking your food, I believe, is a very helpful tool for many people to generally understand what our foods are made up of and how to eat in the long term. What do you think? Has IIFYM or Flexible Dieting been watered down to look like just another fad diet? Is it sustainable or practical in the long term? Let us know.
Additional Resources On Nutrtion/Diet