flexible dieting

What is Flexible Dieting / IIFYM?

IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. Its another name for ‘Flexible Dieting’ and is a form of calorie counting based on tracking your macronutrients (Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates) without restricting food choices.

Advantages of Flexible Dieting/ IIFYM

  • No food restrictions
  • Easy to follow
  • No desire to binge
  • Nutritional Education
  • Sustainable

No Food Restrictions

With flexible dieting/ IIFYM there are no food restrictions. If the calories match you macros you are good to go. However, with this freedom comes great responsibility. For this plan to work you will need to consume foods that are also rich in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) aka healthy foods. The most popular rule with flexible dieting is to go with an 80/20 ratio. 80% healthy foods, 20% flexible options (i.e. cake, donuts, favourite snacks etc.)

No desire to binge

Flexible dieting helps to eliminate the need to binge as there are no restrictions on your food choices. 

Nutritional Education

One of the biggest and most important benefits of flexible dieting is learning about the food that you put inside yourself. Nothing influences your actions more than your own understanding. As you track your calories you will learn which of your favourite meals has little nutritional value and which meals are making the biggest difference.


Most diets aren’t sustainable long term. This is mainly due to restrictions in our food choices and the amount we eat. With flexible dieting you can make room for your favourite meals and account for eating at your favourite restaurants or places. It is a diet that keeps you emotionally happy and physically healthy if you make nutritional choices. 

Who is this diet best for?

Flexible dieting / If it fits your macros is best for people who enjoy tracking their food and health movements. We are well into the age of health apps and gadgets that make this once tedious task, fairly easy. In addition, this diet approach is also suited to those who enjoy eating with ‘flexible’ choice.

How to plan your Flexible Dieting / IIFYM Diet?

Step 1: Calculate your Calories

Step 2: Calculate your Macros

So you’ve got your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculated and know how many calories you need to eat to reach your goal (Weight loss / Fat Loss / Muscle Growth / Maintenance). 

Now we need to figure out your macronutrient ratios.

Here are the calorie values for each Macronutrient:

  • 1g Carbs = 4 calories
  • 1g Protein = 4 calories
  • 1g Fat = 9 calories
  • 1g/1ml Alcohol = 7 calories

For aggressive Weight Loss

20% of your calories  = Carbs
40% of your calories = Protein
40% of your calories = Fat

For Fat Loss

25% of your calories = Carbs
40% of your calories = Protein
35% of your calories = Fat

For Muscle Growth / Weight Gain

50% of your calories = Carbs
35% of your calories = Protein
15% of your calories = Fat

For Maintenance

When trying to maintain it is important to look at your body type.

For Ectomorphs (Naturally thin, skinny limbs)

50%  of calories = Carbs
30% of calories = Protein
20% of calories = Fat

For Mesomorphs (Naturally Muscular, Athletic)

40% of calories = Carbs
30% of calories = Protein
30% of calories = Fat

For Endomorphs (Naturally broad and thick bodied)

25% of calories = Carbs
35% of calories = Protein
40% of calories = Fat


Step 3: Plan your meals

Now that you have all your numbers, it is time to plan your favourite meals.

Start looking at the macros per serving and see if it fits into your calculations.

For complete beginners we recommend using MyFitnessPal . Alternatively, if you prefer to be more hands on you can use google or use most nutrition websites to find out the nutritional values of your favourite foods.