How to Start IIFYM Today

The most common question we get fom our readers:
HOW DO I START IIFYM?!?!?

In this article I will take all of the guess work out of IIFYM and give you a specific path to follow:

1. Buy a digital food scale (weigh everything in grams, uncooked)

2. Open a free account at one of these online resource:

www.myfitnesspal.com
www.fitday.com
www.calorieking.com

3. Use the IIFYM Calculator to get your exact macros based on your your specific body and energy levels.

4. Weigh everything you eat for the first 3 months. (Eventually you can eyeball it but we suggest staying consistent with the scale for best results)

5. Log every single thing you eat at your online resource from above.

6.  If trying to lose weight, eat between 15% – 20% calories less than your TDEE, every day (the IIFYM Calculator is perfect figuring this out)

7. If trying to gain weight, eat between 5% and 10% more calories than your TDEE, every day (preferably from carbs and protein)

8. To dial in IIFYM with more accuracy, follow these steps:

-Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (a range of .85 – 1.25 is acceptable)
-Eat at least .35 grams of fat per pound of body weight and as much as .50 grams per lb.
-Any remaining calories you have left in your daily total will come from carbs
-Take in 20% – 25% of your body weight in fiber every day
-Drink 1 gallon of water per day in addition to any other liquid you consume

9. Once your fat loss stalls, reduce your daily intake of carbs by no more than 10 grams. Adjust your macros ONLY when your fat loss stalls for 5 days or more. Never reduce calories or carbs if you are still making progress. Any changes you make should be few, and infrequent.

10. Things to remember

-Select foods that are rich in micro nutrients (vitamins and mineral) first. Once your micro nutrients are met, go for food that you enjoy eating, while staying within your personal range of macro nutrients. (Once micros are met, worry less about the foods you eat, and more about the macros you meet)

-Take a gender specific multi vitamin to insure your micro nutrients are being met

 

Comments

  1. Coleton Bunyan-Naulty says:

    Good

  2. my calorie intake is higher for fat than from protein is that correct?

  3. “-Take in 20% – 25% of your body weight in fiber every day ”

    I wonder what that would equate to in cabbage, for example, my weight is 80kilos, 20kg is 25% of that.

    Cabbage fiber content is about 25gr. per kilo, so to get just one kilo of fiber I would need to eat 40kg of cabbage, multiply that by 20 – 400 kilos of cabbage is my daily intake. Right?

  4. Andrei, quite obviously, when they say ‘Take in 20% – 25% of your body weight in fiber every day’ they mean you’re body weight in lbs. So for example, a 200lb man would take in between 40-50g of fiber a day. I hope this helps clear up this already blatant concept for people.

  5. Good call Andrei, nothing “blatant” about using both metric and imperial measurements togethe

  6. Jon Jon says:

    Im using the my fitness pal. its macros requirements are different from the iifym calculator. Which one should i go by??

    • Without a doubt the IIFYM macro calculator is the better of the two. I only use myfitnesspal to log my macros. Nothing else

      • You can change your macro goals on myfitnesspal’s website. Not in app, but online

      • i am starting to work out again and when i enter in my workout to myfitnesspal.com i have to input the calories burned for weight lifting? i have no clue, please help.
        this is what i have been doing so far that doesnt populate calories burned in myfitnesspal.com:

        bicep curls 8-10#s
        triceps behind the head 8-10#s
        squats with 8-10#s
        squat jumps-25
        plank jacks-30-45 seconds
        jumping jacks-25
        burpees-10

    • Natalie Rowe says:

      Jon you can fix the goals on My Fitness Pal, on home page go into goals, reset goals and choose custom, then go in and put the numbers you need. The other thing I would do with My Fitness Pal is not log your exercise or it will give you extra calories and that just messes with your numbers!!

  7. Filipe says:

    Simple and effective!

  8. Ok so I think I calculated my macros right. I got 75g of fat, 450g carbs and 202 grams of protein for a total of 3275 calories. My question is if I hit my fat spot on but my carbs are 58 grams short of 450 and I have 256 calories left, would it be okay to eat a high carb food with some fat and minimal protein? My protein is also a bit high at 231 grams. My goal is also to be gaining weight.

    • Always best to hit your macros consistently..

      • Alexander David says:

        Is your 3275 TDEE or your TDEE+5-10% for gains? If you train in the PM carb backloading the extra 256cals would work, 50g of dextrose or vitargo post workout or sweet potato for more micronutrient value

  9. Right so should I not worry about eating more fat and protein so I can get in my carbs?

  10. I’m starting a moderate cut diet after doing a bulk for some time. My calorie intake has gone from about 3100 to 2200 and I’ve been following it exactly. I’m assuming it’s normal to be starving for most of the day, right?

    • Starving? No.. If you were bulking on 3100 calories and then you made a sudden change down to 2200 calories, then yeah.. You will be hungry. You dumped 30% of your intake so of course you will be starving.
      A better way to to is is to reduce your calories in incriments over a period of a 6-8 weeks. So if you were at 3100, go down to 2800 for a few weeks, then down to 2500 then 2300..
      IF you start losing weight at 2800 there is really no need to lower calories again until you stall.. This give you room to drop calories later when fat loss slows down.. Dropping calories too early does not leave much room down the road..

  11. I am using myfitnesspal to track my macros and I just discovered if you log-on to Myfitnesspal.com you can set your own goals for carbs, protein, fat, fiber and so on. Maybe you all already know this but it is a life saver for me. I always get my numbers screwed up (is it 124g carbs or 142. So if ya don’t know, now you know. Happy tracking :)

  12. Just a warning on using MyFitnessPal to set “custom goals” and track your macros… if you input any type of cardiovascular exercise into your day, their system will turn around and change your Macros to take in consideration the calories you burned. It will not matter if you never enter your exercise. However, my FitBit is synced and wreaks havoc on my Custo Goals I set. I have flat out memorized my macro goals.

  13. should i eat the same amount of macros on days that i work out if my goal is fat loss? i have this macro tracker app, similar to yours, which states that, for far loss, on days that i dont work out i eat about 1650 cals and on days that i do work out i eat about 2250. is this right?

    • If you used our calculator to get your macros, hit our macros every day = and change nothing.
      It is crazy to lower calories on non workout days.. This is when you do = the most recovering. The most growth.
      People that tell you to lower calories on non lifting days only consider = the energy output from the food and assume that since you are not using = as much energy, you don’t need as much food. What they dismiss is how = beneficial those extra calories are for recovery, and for keeping your = metabolism high.
      Our calculator takes a weekly average and divides it by 7 giving you a = daily goal, which is better for recovery and fat loss

      ANT

  14. im 5’9”, 225 lb, moderate lift/cardio 5 days/week for 2 hours, 25% bf, goal is to lose fat/preserve as much muscle.. are the presets for protein (1g/1lb) and fat (.45g/lb) ideal for my situation to achieve my goal or should i lower fat in order to increase carbs to preserve more muscle?

    • I like to go with lower fat so I get more carbs but that is how my body responds.. You will have to figure out how your body responds and move forward accordingly.

  15. I would like to cut so do I still eat the same macros all 6 meals? Or should I keep my last two meals lower carb and add those carbs to the first few meals of the day?

    • How you split your macros up is of very little importance..
      Try to get all 3 macros in every meal but don’t stress about when you eat them. 6 meals per day is a waste as well. there is no need for so many meals. Meal timing and frequency is irrelevant when it comes to body composition.

      • Please explain how meal frequency and amounts of meals per day is irrelevant when it comes to body composition. Is it not true that one burns calories and works their metabolism harder when they eat more often. Also how can a person gain if they are to ingest 3000 calories over three meals? A 1000 calories a meal really?

  16. Jason Sanders says:

    If something like nuts lets say has 4g carb but 3g dietary fiber, how do we track that? I have seen where some only count the carbs minus the fiber.. this make since

    • If you eat a cookie that has 30 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber, you will log that you ate 30 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fiber.
      There is no additional math that needs to be done. If you use Myfitnesspal to log your macros, just go to your diary and add a fiber column.

  17. i have a problem with mfp 5% customization goal cant really get my exact macros! any suggestions?

    • Sure..
      Don’t use MFP to tall you how many calories/macros you have left. Use it only to ad up your calories. You do the math on your own.

  18. Hey a friend of mine recommended me to this site. I would say I would be quite a rookie when it comes to macros. I’ve been in the body building scene for quite some time now and I know nutrition is a huge part of training! I’ve just never been able to get my “numbers” down…..or understand how to juggle it all anyway. This site makes a great deal of since and I’m excited to get started!!! This site is amazing!

  19. panitpong says:

    I wonder about protein per meal. I’m 64kg. i want protein 128g. per day right ?
    and I have a question. About protein I can eat how many protein per meal ?
    1.All i want ?
    2.or some article I ever read about protein that tell me I can eat protein 0.5g/1kg permeal that’s mean I can eat 32g of protein per meal ?

    Ps. Sorry my english so bad but I’m very try to better. I really want to know about my question very much
    Thank you.

  20. hey Friends I have a question about food scales. What would be the best food scale to buy?

  21. I figured out my macros and have been weighing all my food but I’m getting a little confused at the end of the day trying to meet my macros w/o going over. For example, if 1 serving of a food would put me over my macros I need to cut that food in half or have less than 1 full portion of it. Therefor do I just divide the p/c/f listed on the label by 2 for half a portion? Or by 4 if having only 1/4 of the portion? Seems simple but just making sure that’s how it works… Thank you!!

  22. Danielle says:

    Am I supposed to include veggitables in my carb count?

    • Depends…
      Do you eat them or do you dress them up in funny clothes and pretend they are little people from another planet?
      If you eat them, then yes.. Count them!!!

      • Sorry but I just had to say that I LOVE your reply. Actually laughed out loud lol

        • I laughed out loud at that reply too…But I cant lie, if I go over a little on my carbs, I say to myself “its ok cause over 2/3 of them came from fruits and veggies”!!! I know I know, not a good way to think BUT sometimes its the way it goes :)

      • hahahahah that made me ROFL i <3 IIFYM :)

  23. “Our calculator takes a weekly average and divides it by 7 giving you a = daily goal, which is better for recovery and fat loss”

    So if I use the activity level formula, all my input of activity should be on a 7 day average base? For example: I workout 4 times a week, each 50min heavy weight. Should I take the average of 7 days? something like 50min x4 divided by 7? being 28,5 min? Or?

    Or which formula do you recommend Admin?
    Sorry if I’m being very noobie.

    • There is not additional math required. Simply enter your honest answers and the calcualtor will figure it all out for you.
      Your job then is to eat the macros it provides.
      The same macros every day regardless if you exercise or not.
      If you exercise 4 days per week, then enter 4 days on calculator.
      Any of the formulas will work. Your best bet is to pick the one that gives you the highest number and start there, and stay there for 4 weeks. If you lose weight, stick with it. If not, adjust until you make progress.
      1 lb per weeks is a great amount of fat loss

  24. Hi,
    I’ve been eating about 1650 calories for a while now and have stalled with my weight loss. After using your updated calculator i can see that i’ve probably been reckless for my tdee. I’ve amended my calories now to agressive, but is a change of 100 calories too much in one go for a female? Or should i go the other way and drop it more?

  25. Hamdan Merchant says:

    My problem is that the tdee calculator suggests I intake 2768 calories/day If wanna loose weight.. While myfitnesspal. Com say only 1478.. Which should I Lsn to.. Plz help.. And how do I knw the micro needs for my body?

  26. Hamdan Merchant says:

    Ok I’m sorry abt the question.. Apparently I’m not the only 1 with that problem… So I read in the comments above and it answered my questions.. So.. Sorry to bother. I hope I start loosing fat.. And preserve mu muscles..

  27. I’m 5’9” – 5’10”, 152lbs, waist line is about 31 inches and body fat 12 – 15 percent.

    I work 5 days a week for 7 – 6 hours a day and I do a lot of walking and a lil bit of running at work.
    I workout 4 days a week

    I was wondering what are my macros should be if I wanna lower my body fat to 10 percent?

  28. Konnie Witt says:

    I just recently discovered iifym and I wanted to know if I want to gain muscle I would choose bulk? I am a SAHM and workout at home. I have been seeing good results but would love to gain more muscle and love your concept. Thanks!!

  29. candace says:

    Admin. thanks for being so helpful … came to site via instagram and read info then scrolled comments … I feel able to do this though I am intimidated by weighing food…

  30. I’m clearly doing something wrong with the calculator, because it’s telling me I should be eating -3.2 grams of carbs a day. How do I eat negative anything? 35yo female, 5’9″, 255 lbs, Katch-McCardle, 45% BF, exercise 3x week, aggressive, IIFYM, 1g protein/lb, 0.45g fat/lb as recommended on the main page.

    Daily results are:
    Carbs: -3.2g
    Protein: 255g
    Fat: 114.8g
    Fibre: 51-64g
    Calories: 2040

    Even ignoring the impossibility of eating negative carbs, I don’t see how achieving these targets could be physically possible. I’ve been using MFP for over six months now; it has set my daily calorie target at 1400 and I’ve lost 80lbs following their system so far and not been “starving” or even hungry most of the time. Is this just part of the “brainwashing” mentioned in the FAQ? I really feel like I’m missing something rather significant.

    • It looks like there is an issue with the Katch-McCardle part of our calculator.. Try using one of the other options until we get it fixed

  31. new guy says:

    hey all new to the whole fitness scene and i have a quick question… wats the point of weighing the food with the scale??

  32. Can someone help out I’m a 22 y/o weight 175lbs and I’m 5’9. Im pretty confused about this math but would love to cut weight to get ripped. I’m pretty big already but I’m lacking proper dieting. pls. help

  33. I have two questions!

    1. In the last step on “how to start iifym today” it says…”Select foods that are rich in micro nutrients (vitamins and mineral) first. Once your micro nutrients are met, go for food that you enjoy eating….” — so my question is, how do I know what my MICRO nutrients are? Other than fiber…the iifym doesnt calculate my micros, so i’m not sure how I am supposed to know whether or not I am meeting them.

    2. My second question is…what happens if you go over your calories/macros one day? I KNOW the logical answer is “don’t go over them, hit your macros spot on every day” but I am only human and we all have those unexpected “cheat” meals that put us over our daily macro goals.

    I know the iifym calculator takes a weekly average and divides it by 7 giving you a daily goal, so if you exceed the DAILY goal one day … should you reduce your calories/macros the next day so that you dont exceed your WEEKLY goal? Or do you still aim to hit your macros the next day (thus, putting you over your weekly macros).

  34. In the above comments, you mentioned that it’s important to “hit all 3 macros at each meal” (this may be a stupid question but I want to assure I understand this), that being Carbs, Protein & fats correct? Is it crucial to hit the exact number of fats, carbs, proteins, & calories at each meal or does it only matter that you hit your total number for the day? I hope that makes sense?!
    Right now my current macros are: Carbs:201.9 Protein: 148 Fat: 66.6 Fiber 30-37 Cals: 1999 and for the day I’m already at carbs: 153 Protein:150 Fat: 42 Fiber: 24. I’ve already hit my protein goal, so do I just eat carbs, fats, and fiber for the remainder of the day to hit my totals? That would leave me with at least 2 more meals before bed without protein and I normally have a casein shake before bed, which would increase my protein intake for the day. Any clarification you can provide would be appreciated. I want to make sure I’m doing this correctly and I’m excited to try it. It sounds like I obviously am used to eating lots of protein as I was trying to gain muscle and now I want to lean out more, so maybe this is correct, but it just doesn’t seem right not to eat any more protein today. Or that I need to plan out my meals better for tomorrow. Thanks for your help!!

  35. I also meant to ask, in trying to reach my carb, fat, and fiber goal for the remainder of today, what if I go over in calories? Do I also want to keep the foods within my calorie goal as well? I would have to choose something that meets cals, fat, fiber, and carb numbers for the day, correct? Thanks!

  36. I’m new to IIFYM. I also currently use MFP.. After using your calculator, these are my macros for weight loss: Carbs 167 protein 155 fat 70. It also says I should take in 1917 calories. Do I use that for my goal calorie intake on MFP? When I do that.. It screws up my macros goals. :/ MFP has me on a 1200 calorie plan.. And when I enter my exercise it says I’m taking in too few calories.

  37. Hi There,

    Does it matter what fats you consume? eg unsaturated or saturated?
    Or does it not matter because saturated fat will give you more calories which just means you can have less?
    Am I understanding this right?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Sorry another question!
      My fat came up as 69.8g per day. Is that not quite high?
      My goal is to lean out (fat loss) I’m 5’10 155lb weight training 5 days a week.
      The calculator came out as 1961cal/day, 178.3g carbs, 155g protein and 69.8g fat.

      Sorry if it’s a stupid question but I wanted to check before I started. Thank you

    • All fats have the same calories but some are healthier than others.
      I’d try to be as healthy as you can whil still eating foods you enjoy!

  38. lorraine says:

    do i weigh my food before or after if it is cooked? I have read both. whats your input? thanks

    • Depends on how you log it. If you log grilled tuna, you would weigh it as grilled
      If you log raw tuna, you would weigh it raw

  39. Ok…so I am on day2 of IIFYM…
    question:
    I eat according to the calculated results…I understand that and am using MyFitnessPal to track; however, to I deduct my calories burned while exercising or that is a non factor.
    By reading, it appears that the calories burned is a non factor but I want to be sure.
    Thanks!!

  40. Kristy Yong says:

    Hello,
    Im a newbie in intermittent fasting therefore im pretty new here. I just want to know if we got to attend an event so we dont know what are the nutrition facts like then how do we go about it?

  41. Hi all, I am very new to macros. I am 135, 5’4″ and I go to the gym 5-6 days a week. I work out with my friend and her husband. They do not do macros. I would like to lose weight. please… help, what should be guidelines be for protein,carbs and fat?

  42. oh, what is the difference in the calulatores in trying to figure out your macros?

  43. Kristina says:

    So im just curious and maybe i missed something i have my calorie needs which say 1916 to loose weight/BodyFat. Is this my baseline and if i workout and burn 700-1000 Calories am i supposed to eat back that amount or just create a larger defecit?

    • 1916 is your TDEE less a caloric deficit. You must eat 1916 calories to lose weight based on the energy input you fed our calculators
      You do not need to add anything back. Adding back calories only works for your BMR, not your TDEE

  44. Lilly H says:

    I’m brand new to this and trying so hard to grasp this concept. Maybe I already get it but I’m second guessing myself? Does this sound familiar. History: I’ve been stuck at 115 lbs for a really long time and don’t see my extreme dieting/calorie limitations or intense cardio and weight training sessions making enough of a difference. I decided to try this because I am tired of being hungry and guilty about eating with my 1300 calorie diet! I used the calculator and it tells me my TDEE is 2037! I’m feeling like I should use the “reckless” numbers because the other ones just seem so scary! I don’t want to gain weight! And yes! I’m also scared of carbs! I read about “cutting” and “increasing carbs” so often; it confuses me more! are these phases of the iifym style? Can someone help? Help me get started! Or maybe I already started and have to start believing!

    • From what I can tell, the best thing for you to do is to skip the calculators and start revers dieting.
      Basically you will slowly add calories back in to your diet. It might take you 6-12 months to go from 1300 calories up to 2000 calories but by the time you finish, you should still be pretty lean and will bea eating a lot more food with less guilt. You might even start to lose a few lbs depending on how your body responds.
      I’d suggest contacting a nutrition coach that is good ad reversing girls out of low calorie diets. email me if you need a suggestion: answers@iifym.com

    • Sounds like your underweight unless youre under five feet so your body is probably in starvation mode and I wouldn’t count on losing any more weight

  45. So that you know exactly if you’re getting the correct amount of food indicated on the nutrition facts.. ie: meat. That’s just what I think. Could you someone confirm??

  46. I set the calculator for “Ketogenic” macro ratios and it says both my protein and fat intake should be around 105g even though the ratios are 65%F and 30%P. Does this make sense???

    • davetree says:

      yeah sydnee, that measurement is all about calories so carbs and Protein are 4 calories per gram. Fat is around 9 calories per gram so the ratios of calories from Fat is over twice as many (65 to 30) despite eating the same weight (105g)

  47. I am new to this. I am 165, 55″ I want to lose weight. My IIFYM recommended 1821. I plan to work out 6 days a week. cardio / strength training. Should I still be burning 250 to 300 cals through exercise. My protein intake seem pretty high. I have never eaten that much before. Can I still take protein shake to help increase me protein levels. When I burn 300 from 1821 for 6 days for a month I will only lose 2 pound in a month can you explain this to me???

  48. Hello,

    About the re-feed day, where u have to eat like 1000 calories of carb to peak up your leptin level, in order to prevent the body from reaching platue and get shredded fastr.
    Is this really true and do we have to do it based on our body fat percentage and how is the beat way to calculate it?

    Thank you in advance

  49. This might be a stupid question but im confused… I am currently looking into iifym. If I meet my protein, fat and carbs for the day but haven’t met my calorie intake what am I supposed to do?

  50. so what you’re saying is……i can have carbs 8)

    tears of joy……….lol

  51. is there any way you can please respond to my 2 questions above? No one ever responded to my questions…I would appreciate it! Thank you.

  52. ive just started with IIFYM and have heard about a refeed day is this important?

  53. i new at this, love it so far but i am a bit confused.i plug my macros and it says that i have to eat 63g of fat ad 180g of carbs, as i put the numbers in the calculator to to moderate, aggressive drop. it only drops carb but my fat intake is the same…
    right now i am at 220g Protein, 178g Carbs, and 44g Fat im a little hesitant to go to 63g of fat that fast.? any recommendations?
    thank you

  54. here is one more question. sorry in advanced, my previous coach has always told me to measure the food cook, the only this that was to be measure uncooked was to be oat meal.
    now i am doing more investigation in the matter and I see more article that say measure meats,rice, pasta raw.. any recommendations on this subject.??
    thank you

    • Always measure food dry
      Dry food always weight the same where as cooked food can be different
      You can turn 50 grams of oats in to 100 grams or 120 grams depending on how long you cook them for.
      Same amount of oats. The only difference is water. Dry is always most accurate

      • Should I be measuring meat cooked or raw? I have been measuring things cooked to account for the water lost in cooking, but I’m not sure if this is correct or not? Thanks!

  55. all this adding subtracting multiplying and trying to figure foods density..what if im freakin busy..no wonder im a fat ass

  56. Hello, why is it that people workout a certain area of the body per day ?
    Example: (Monday: Leg day) (Tuesday: Arms day) etc?
    In one day I usually try to divide my workouts evenly by working out my arms, legs etc. (I do 30 min interval cardio and the rest I lift weights for both legs and arms) my abs I work out twice a week. Overall I try to workout 6 times a week.

    Which is better? Working one muscle group per day or having a mix of both legs and arms?

    I’ve also started to track my macros 2 weeks ago, (I did the calculations myself) I’m working on slowly doing the famous ‘reverse dieting’. My goal is to gain muscle in my legs and arms (not for competition though) and to obviously cut fat in my abdominal area.

    Thanks!

  57. Natalie Rowe says:

    I am having a hard time eating enough protein everyday. I have like 83 grams leftover and I am done eating for the day?? I feel like I am pigging out since I got my numbers and realized that I was under eating.

  58. I’m new to IIFYM, im not over weight but I’d like to drop some belly fat so I can start seeing the abs that are there, somewhere. I figured I’d give this method a whirl. First, is the scale necessary? Second, I use MFP and I just adjusted based on the numbers from your calculator but the protein, carbs, and fat all go by a % so my macros are all off by a few. Anyone know how I can either get them to be the correct amount or recommend a better app to use?

  59. Someone might have already asked this question but I am having a hard time figuring the answer. When using myfitnesspal you can only change the macros in 5% increments. Is there a way to change that to be exact or do you just log in what you eat and just remember to add or subtract the number you really need? I feel so silly with this because it should be something so simple!! But that just sounds like a pain in the butt to remember what you have left or over especially if you are like me who likes to be exact with that sort of thing! Please help!

  60. Apryl Wilson says:

    I’m having trouble figuring out my carbs in general. Also, I’m 5’8 135…I’m wanting to bulk/tone and drop my body fat which is 20%….how do calculate this??

  61. Apryl Wilson says:

    NEVERMIND I have the carbs figured out but I would like to know the answer to the second question about calculating if I’m trying to bulk/tone and lose body fat % or does it matter?!?!?
    Thanks!

  62. I’m a little lost, when I’m doing the iifym calculator how do I know what to pick as my protein intake and fat and such, there are 3 choices and I don’t understand which one I am supposed to pick. And then the whole thing with weighing food and how to tell how many grams of fat or carbs something has in it has me completely lost. How do you find out these things? If its on the labels then why do I need to weigh my food? I hope someone can help me and not in a language I don’t understand haha HELP

  63. Why do the macro percentages vary whether you choose suggested, aggressive or reckless? For aggressive they are around 35-35-30, is that the best place to start? I always thought 40-40-20 was a good starting point or standard? And I noticed the protein grams never change, but the fats and carbs do which changes the macro percentages drastically. How do we know if that is what’s best for us to start at?

  64. Lindsey R says:

    I just downloaded the my fitnesspal app and found out hoe to determine my macros which I believe is the pie chart with the percentages ppercentages located under it.. I am 5’3 and 115 pounds and I would like to stop restricting myself to certain foods so I want to variety and not feel quilting about it. I’m confused as to what yo do next. Do I follow the my fitness pal app l,log my food and let it figure it out for me.can someone please explain to me what to do, I know I’m missing something and I’m desperate for help. I can’t live life with the eating disorder that I have. I need to try something else. Any help is GREATLY appreciated !! Thank you(:

  65. Hi newb here to iifym/flexible dieting? Think they’re one in the same.
    Anyway my questions are
    1.im looking to lose fat…100+lbs. Do I use my actual weight or lean body mass.. I read in another flexible diet site that significantly over weight ppl should use LBM.. Should I even be using this program with so much weight to lose?
    Second when given my macros with this calculator it says to consume 34g carbs per day and 68-85g fiber… Using MFP I’m having a hard time finding ways where I can consume high fiber without increasing the carbs with it. So is Carbs calculated after subtracting the dietary fiber.
    Example 1 cup of almonds is 28g carbs with 16g dietary fiber… Fiber is under carbs. Increasing fiber means increasing carbs.. What am I doing wrong?

  66. Hey Admin!

    Well I’m new to the IIFYM way of eating. I calculated my macros and I have to say the calories are high but I’m ready and willing to give it a try. My concern is I’m looking for fat loss. Now I’m not looking for skinny just some fat loss. I’m a strength athlete so strong and stacked is what I’m looking for. I just want to make sure my calculations aren’t too high for fat loss.
    Current Stats:
    Weight:230#
    Goal Weight: 175# (respectively I’m flexible)
    Height:5’3″
    Activity: Mostly 5 days a week sometimes a 6th. Strength training 4 days and Crossfit 1 to 2 days a week.
    Thank you for your time!

  67. Sorry forgot to put in my calculations!!
    Carbs: 90.5
    Protein: 225
    Fat: 90
    Fiber: 45
    TDEE: 2438

  68. Is this site and counting macro’s only for bodybuilders and contest prep? I would like to lose some weight/fat but I am not prepping for anything other than life. Should I follow the IIFYM macro guide for this?

  69. New to IIFYM and not sure how to do this. I understand using the calculators and using macros and all. I would like to stay the same weight but add muscle. If I choose “MAINTAIN” as my goal, will I keep the body fat (stay the same) or will it go down as I build muscle? I workout pretty intense 5 or 6 days a week. I began lifting in 2008 and went from 165 to 195.

  70. I hope this doesn’t seem redundant to the question asked above about fiber/carbs, but I’m just seeking some clarification. If my macros from the calculator tell me that I should be consuming 47.5 grams of carbs/day and 28-35 grams of fiber/day – are those fiber grams included within the 47.5 grams of carbs or in addition to the grams of carbs. I would hope that that it is 47.5 grams of carbs + additional 28-35 grams fiber… or else I am going to be getting ketogenic mighty quickly :) Thanks for the help!

  71. I just started IIFYM. I am 5’7, 140 lbs, heavily active in crossfit. My macros according to this calc are 140p/56f/186c/ 25-28 fiber. Is this alot of carbs for someone who is trying to lose fat?? My nutritionist had me on 96 carbs when I was 130 lbs… Maybe I’m not used to the high amt of carbs, I just don’t wanna blow up like a balloon!

  72. brighteyedgirl99 says:

    Hey admin ive been researching iifym and have been watching biolayne’s videos and im siked to start this type of eating. Ive been tracking on mfp for awhile now and my biggest problem even when i havent been using iifym is hitting my protein targets. Now since I used the calculator on this site my total daily protien should be 182 daily or approximately 60g each meal. Any suggestions on hitting that high a protein intake each meal without going over my carb intake?

  73. i’m having such a hard time reaching my protein requirements without going over on my fats! help! any suggestions?

  74. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank
    you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody having the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution
    will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  75. Hey,
    I’m still a bit confused with the fiber. I’m told I should be eating 30-37g of fiber/day. That amounts to 3-4 bowls of All Bran a day and that seems to be the highest fiber-content food I could find. Fiber supplements only give 3 grams/ serving. Am I missing an essential dish?
    Cheers

  76. Can you change your macros exactly on MFP? I can only see where you can change the % and it doesnt get it exactly right for me

  77. what an awesome site. Admin you are the bomb. thanks for all your help. just a quick one.
    i train at 5am. does a specific percentage of your calories need to preworkout and postworkout or is that irrelevant in the grander scheme of things?

    i tried carb back loading recently and somewhat messed up my physique as they dont calorie count on that program so i over did it by forgetting the basics of calories in vs calories out and the iifym principles.

    i prefer eating most of my calories at night in front of the tv or when we go out for dinner. does it make that much of a difference considering its so far away from my workout at 5am?

    thanks again

  78. one last one, do you count calories from fibre? are there calories in fibre? so if a piece of food has 5grams of carbs and 5 grams of fibre only, does it then have 20 calories or 40 calories?
    sorry for the dumb question!!!

  79. Ok forgive me for asking a dumb question but how the heck do I figure out how many grams of fat I’m consuming in for instance, a pizza or an avocado? Every website I look at list different calorie and fat grams for almost everything. How do I know if what I am logging is accurate??

  80. As my weight decreases do you go back and adjust your macros or wait till you stall in weight loss and adjust your macros then>

  81. When I got my break down for all the macros and how they would be divided over
    6 meals, I wondered if I should eat less carbs at the end of the day. Should I still stick to that? Or could I eat brown rice at 8:00pm as long as it fits my macros?

  82. I’ve used IIFYM calculator for my macros since I started really wanting to revamp my lifestyle (diet). I have been on it for 3 weeks or so, doing fairly well at finally hitting my macros for over 2. I use myfitnesspal to log and I agree it would be nice to be able to change the macros in the app to suit the iifym calculations.

    If it were possible, I’d like to lose fat and gain lean muscle. I understand now that muscle burns more calories and women won’t look like ogres if we do. So I have been weight training 5x a week with some cardio worked in. I think I will look at switching jogging to more HIIT workouts instead of steady cardio.

    I find it a little odd that I can only take in 87 grams carbs daily when carbs feed workouts. Yes, I want to lose fat so I’m at a 500-cal deficit. 160g prot, 87carbs and 63 fat…I’m just not certain it’ll get me where I need to be. After 3 weeks I haven’t noticed anything really. I’m VERY new to this but I don’t like the idea of bulking… gaining weight to add muscle and cutting to get rid of just fat. Is there truly no middle ground?

    Background: 27 year old female, 5’8″ 165lb. Hoping to get to 150 with (let’s be honest) sexy muscles. Insight? Thank you!!!

  83. I’m confused. Iifym calculator tells me to have 36g of carbs per day and around 80g of fiber. Isn’t fiber carbs? How does that work?

  84. I want to hear from actual people following this diet. I this really a good way to lose weight?

  85. so quick question, lets say i meet my protein and fat intake is it ok if while i am trying to meet my carbs i pass my fat and protein intake to meet the required calories? thanks in advance.

  86. I did a customized amount of calories on my Fitness Pal requirements, but I am wondering just how much sugar I should be taking in for the day. It only has me at 30 grams a day and I feel as though I can never follow those guidelines because everything has some amount of sugar in it. FYI, I am on a 1753 calorie intake to lean up and on 176.1 g of carbs, 138 g of protein 55.2 fat and between 28 – 35 of fiber

  87. hi! i’m a pescaterian and am having trouble meeting my protein requirement (160g). I use the gold standard whey protein, is it okay to use this 2-3x per day to help me meet my requirement? Thanks for the help

  88. umm ok, so im currently “meal planning” not tracking macros, and im sick of it, I want more flex in my diet, I honestly have no clue how to do any of this or work MFP, any and all help would be greatly appreciated my macros are this carbs 447.8 protein 151.1 fats 66.4 fiber 33 – 42 what my total cal at 2993, so if someone can please please please help me out I would greatly appreciate it to the fullest, can you please email me at fitmike85@gmail.com with any info thank you

  89. Hi I was wondering does the amount of sugar you eat have an effect? I know you probably shouldnt eat that much as it is not really that good for you? But surely if it comes from fruit etc its ok?
    I always get confused :/ plus for my body shape I dont think I can eat the remainder of my macros in carbs!!

    I would love to do IIFYM but seems confusing…or perhaps I am just ‘clean’ stupid brainwashed. some variety in my diet would be amazing lol

  90. Charlotte says:

    Am I reading it right? I entered my starting/current info in the iifym calculator for reckless fat loss:

    Carbs per day: 16.3
    Protein: 163
    Fat: 65.2
    Fiber: 33-41

    Overall calories – 1304

    My confusion is the carbs & fiber totals. Fiber is double Carb amount. Uhm…ah….not sure how to get that much fiber in without going over the recommended daily Carb goal

  91. hi there,
    am new to the whole IIFYM. I have calculated my macros and all seems good…i am a long distance runner trying to lose weight without compromising my training. should i assume the carbs provided (166g per day for me based on my goals) is sufficient for my running?

  92. I am breastfeeding and am n

  93. Sorry about the above…I am breastfeeding and have been told I need to consume 500 additional calories per day. I am not sure how to break up the macros on this. I would assume that some of this would be protein and fat, not just carbs? Or after the body weight requirements are met would it be 500 additional calories worth of carbs? Seems like a lot.

  94. I have lost a little over 50 pounds in my wieght loss journey and I am looking to switch things up with IIFYM. I am currently 5’3 and about 145lbs. I would say my body fat is at about 20-22%, as it is very hard to accurately calculate. I would still like to lean out to about 17% while continuing to gain muscle. When I calculated my Macros I came up wth 136 carbs, 181 protien, 43 fat with about 1660 calories a day. Does this sounds correct to you? Thank you for the help!

  95. Has anyone tried using the nutrition tracker at SparkPeople? I know that you can change the nutrients you track, but I’m wondering if everything tracks correctly mathematically for this type of lifestyle?

  96. Christina says:

    Hey!

    So I just started IIFYM about 3/4 weeks ago – at that point, I was 160lbs (26 y/o 5’6” female) and only working out 3 times a week. My macros were set at 65g Fat, 104g Carbs, 160 protein (this was aggressive). Now I’m about 156/157 and working out 5 days a week. Any recommendations how to switch my macros? i’m trying to lose fat, and I’m nervous to increase my carbs to the new recommended amount (132g) so quickly. Is it wise to slowly add them in (ie: over the course of two/three weeks)? Would you recommend decreasing Fat intake as well? (The last macro plan I was on lasted me for two months before i wanted to jump off a cliff, with my macros at 150P/25F/75C – and obviously this was when I saw immediate results) i believe I’m at about 25% BF right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  97. Hey,

    I just discovered your website. It’s cool ! Love this page. So much value.

    But I have a few doubts about this method :

    - What about the saturated fats (that cause artery-clogging) ? Don’t you consider their danger ?
    - What about the protein quality ? How can you consider proteins in a cookie the same than the ones in a piece of steak (not the same amino acid profile at all) ?
    - What about the simple and complex sugars ? Simple sugars can be very nocive for your glycemia and cause diabete and heart disease if consumed exclusively ?

    I’m not criticizing. This method looks wonderful and so accurate, but I’m just worried about my health. From my knowledge, I don’t think we can consider all fats or carbs or proteins as equal.

    What do you think ?

    Thanks!

  98. Hey,
    I’m new to this and I have a silly question to ask. I am 5,3 and 108 pounds. How do you calculate the percentages of fat, protein and carbs into my fitness pal? I want to gain muscle and lose body fat. If anyone could help me out that would be great :)

  99. Katrina Freeman says:

    I used to have a nutrition coach that kept me around 1400 cals. I’m a 6’1 female, 140 weight. It says I need to eat 1832 cals to lose a little weight I gained some pounds post shie and trying to pull some back off.. So it kind of sounds like alot more. Is this correct?

    • Your coach started you off at 10 x body weight, which is usually where you end up at the end of a diet. It is always best to start out around 12-13 x bw, then reduce as you lose weight.
      1832 is not a ton, if your energy expenditure is high.. The best thing to do is slowly work up to it. Add 10 grams of carbs every week until you get to the new macros.
      If you put on fat (FAT, not WEIGHT!!) then pull back some..

      • Katrina Freeman says:

        How will I know which one I’m actually putting on? Weight or fat. I’m starting this all on my own so I’m not sure. Thank you for your help

  100. MFP (My Fitness Pal) website custom goals are in increments of 5%.
    the differences are so minor, I’m thinking it’s not going to make a major change in meeting my goals. For example MFP sets my at carbs 167g fat 74g and protien 222g. IIFYM sets me at carb 162.5g fat 82.8 and protein 207g. Will I really notice major differences in my progress with such minor differences? i would prefer a little more protein than fat on a daily basis. What do you think.

    • Your macros are yours… Do not let MFP tell you how many you have left (due to their limitations)
      Rather than look at the number that MFP says you have remainin for each macro, do the math yourself>
      If you know you are supposet to hit 200 grams of protein, and you ate 170, this means you have 30 left, even if MFP says you have 42 or 19 left. Your macros are yours.
      Hit them!!

    • Try using a macro counting app like My Macros+ rather than a calorie counting app like My Fitnesspal app…it sounds like your macro counting would be a lot easier to manage.

  101. I’m just trying to figure this all out….I want to start this whole IIFYM
    So I just put in my whole day on MYP.

    Totals ***1,234*** ***112*** ***30*** ***90*** ***31*** ***67***

    Your Daily Goal ***1,750*** ***109*** ***68*** ***175*** ***43*** ***24***

    Remaining ***516*** ***-3*** ***38*** ***85*** ***12*** ***-43***

    Calories Carbs Fat Protein Fiber Sugar

    Does that look right? I obviously still need to eat a bit more.

  102. Ok, so I just want to make sure I’m doing this right and not some of the silly stuff I’ve been doing…

    I’m currently around the 110lb-112.44lb range, my goal is to reach a 106lb weight and then gain muscle weight.

    For now my macros should be:

    Calories: 1,484 (is it too low/high?)
    Fat: 16 g
    Protein: 128 g
    Fiber: 21.2 g
    Carbs: 207? Not really sure on this one…

    Also, what would be more important: reaching your macros and either surpassing or having a caloric intake deficit —— Or —– Reaching your caloric intake goals but either surpassing/not reaching your macros?

    Thank you for the help :)

    Rina

    • 16 grams of fat?!?!
      Where did you get that number from?
      Way too low Rina..
      Go use the IIFYM calculator on our site.. Use the IIFYM setting in step 3

      • Yeah everything was off. That’s what I got on my fitness pal, but I must have written something incorrectly. I used the calculator on this website and this is what I got based on the results:

        47/47.6 grams of fat 27 grams of fiber 106/107 grams of protein and 89/107grams total of carbs.

        On a 1203-1284 calorie intake.

  103. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely
    enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
    deal with the same subjects? Thanks for your time!

  104. I saw someone else ask this question and it was unanswered. If I am breastfeeding that usually burns around 500 additional calories per day. If I was not doing any exercise and just breastfeeding how can I account for that in the calculator. I was thinking of putting in there 5 workouts a week to account for just breastfeeding

    Also if I do workout 3 times a week plus exclusively breastfeeding how would I account for that?

    Ty

    • The easiest way is to go back to the calculator and add 300-500 calories on top of your goal calories, then enter that number in to the custom field in step 1.
      Then proceed as you normally would and get your macros in step 4.

  105. I’ve seen this question asked a couple times and couldn’t find a response….I’ve hit my fiber macros for the day but still have all other macros left…is it ok to go over fiber…I don’t know what to do now?

  106. Ouch! Just been below all my macros each day so I was curious.

  107. I am having major difficulty entering my macros into the customized Daily Intake on myfinesspal. Please help….anyone want to help the challenged? lol

  108. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  109. I eat lots of fruit&vegetables but it always seems to push me over my fibre limit. Is it ok to go over or is that just ruining the whole concept? Also i naturally don’t eat very much (but recently my diet has been appalling which is why I’m jumping on the iifym train) so sometimes I struggle to meet my macros because I’m not hungry. What happens if I’m under? Or does it only matter if I’m over?

  110. Hello! Great article. I’ve been interested in making the switch from a low carb diet to iifym for quite some time. The calories arent much different, but is there a recommended transition so I don’t sabotage myself going from very low carb up to highet carbs? Ive heard increasing by 10g/week… any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  111. I’m currently on 1325 calories with one cheat meal a week I’m trying to find out what’s the best approach to iifym for me.

  112. Do I jump right up to the carbs, or go slowly until I hit the number. I’m currently on higher protein ratio to carbs.
    Thanks

  113. First day of IIFYM! I use loseit.com. I’ve entered my food for the day so I am prepared. I’ve got the macros entered. I’ve done the math ~ 4 cals for carbs and protein, and 9 for fat per gram. I have reached my proper caloric limit just like you say to do. However, loseit has calculated my calories as over by 60 calories!!! This is making me crazy! But I am going to stick with the math calculations and move forward. Correct? I don’t know why it calculates different since it’s a fact that protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram, and fat 9. HUMMMM….

  114. Bare with me… I’m fixated! Calories only come from fat, carbs & protein, right? Then why when I do the math for the macros (4 cals per gram of protein & carbs & 9 cals for each gram of fat) is the total different than what loseit.com calculates??? It’s really bugging me.

  115. I’m wondering what “exercise” means exactly. 30 minutes? 60 minutes?
    How can the calculator be accurate if someone that does cardio 3 times/week for about 30 minutes and someone else doing the same but 60 minutes get the same marcos?!

    Wouldn’t it be more precise if you’d leave out the exercise-level of the calculator, and just add the -exact- calories you burn while exercising separately?

    My calorie-intake/day calculated with exercise-level: 1801
    My calorie-intake/day calculated witout exercise-level: 1572 + 107 (calories burned/day*)= 1679

    *3 times/week x 250 calories= 750 calories/week devided by 7 = 107 calroies/day

    Thanks in advance

  116. If you wish for to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this website and
    be updated with the most up-to-date news posted here.

  117. Is there an app that allows you to customize your exact macros? Myfitnesspal only lets you do it by rounding off to the nearest percentage and I can’t seem to have it fall on the exact amount of p/c/f I need.

  118. hey so for a new mother who fully nurses (aka no formula for my little one) i was told to add 300 calories to my macro calculator, so do i just split that up into my macros or is it like 300 protein cals or….?

    • No, go to the calculator, look at your TDEE, add 300 calories, and put that number in the custom filed inside step 2 (all the way to the right) then continue as you would normally and get your macros in step 4

  119. are we soppose to get macros from basal metabolic rate? because for example if you select one of the options like i exercise 4 times a week, is it really gonna be that accurate? because exercise could mean different things, some may run 3 miles or some may just lift weights.??

  120. Hello! I just started IIFYM and so far I’m loving it. I used to do the bro way of things with nutrition and it got me shredded for my last comp last yr and did good, but my old coach didn’t really educate me on how to reverse back to a normal diet.. So I was off a diet for a while and got super sloppy and but about 3 months ago I started to workout again and do a diet. I started to do what I did for my prep and I started to gain more weight. About two days ago I started IIFYM macros by using the calculator they had on their site and I started on the cutting phase one at the suggested setting at a weight of 211. I’m doing around 211p/211c/84f. The first day into it I gained like 7 pounds.. Idk what’s going on! The site also told me to stay on this track of macros for awhile and since then I’ve just been hitting them. But back to the point, I’m in need of help to see if I should just keep doing that or up my cals slightly each week or go down. Sorry for the long message… Lol

  121. Is it more important to simply stay *under* your macros, or maintain the proper percentages for however many calories you take in that day? For example, let’s say near the end of the day, I’m around 300 calories short of my “goal” (for whatever reason, just didn’t eat so much that day). Let’s say I’m still under all my macros, but my carbs are close to the limit – I’m short on fat & protein, throwing off my macro “split”. Is it better to just leave it be, or should I grab some pork rinds & bump up the fat/protein to meet my split (whether it be 40/40/20 or 30/50/20 or whatever)?

  122. I use the My Macros+ app to log my macros and I find it easier to use than the My Fitnesspal app. My Macros+ costs $ but to me it was totally with the money to see my numbers…listed by meal and daily total and on the same screen where my foods are entered. You have to check it out!

  123. I’m a few days in and I have all the appropriate tools necessary like MFP and a food scale and take vitamins to get my micros but I’m finding it so hard to meet my required carbs both per meal and in total. I have no problem hitting and going over proteins and fats though. Any suggestions ?

    • Don’t worry about hitting your macros per meal. Split your protein up evenly as you can, and let the carbs and fat equal up at the end of the day.

  124. Hi quick question.

    I’ve done a real solid job meeting my Macros but some days (depending on what I choose to eat or a random lunch, dinner meeting happen) and I adjust by I barely… and i mean barely go over 1-2g on something. How serious of a problem is this? I would think no so much since it’s not like 10g or something. Any feedback?

  125. Sorry keyboard is a little messed up, I rewrote so it’s more understable.

    Hi quick question.

    I’ve done a real solid job meeting my Macros but some days (depending on what I choose to eat or a random lunch, dinner meeting happen) and I adjust but I barely go over 1-2g on something. How serious of a problem is this? I would think not so much since it’s not like 10g or something. Any feedback. Other then that I’m on track every single day it’s just these random things come up and I’m shy just a tad.

  126. can someone recommend a good digi food scale from amazon.com…..

    there are so many.

  127. Thanks for the article, it was a huge help! I have one question. It says to make sure your micro nutrients are met and then just focus on hitting your macros. How do you know when your micro nutrients are met (other than fiber?)
    Thank you!

  128. I am confused on how to break up the amount of protein, fat, carb, etc. I used the calculator to figure my calorie intake but from there how do I separate how much to eat of the protein, fat , carb?.. help!

  129. What about sugar? I use my fitness pal should I follow their guideline for sugar?

  130. What happens if you kept your fats low but meet the carbs and protein intake?

  131. When trying to hit fats and carbs I always go over on protein.. What am I doing wrong?

  132. Perfect, simple and effective advice!!

  133. I use the calculators but I’m always worried that I will somehow not get the correct numbers and I will gain weight rather than gaining lean muscle. Right now I am slowly adding more carbs to my diet, with about 125 carbs 140 protein and 35 fat… But calculators always tell me WAY more carbs and fat and less protein. I just feel like I’m not sure what’s right

  134. Danielle says:

    When using the macro calculator do I enter in my CURRENT activity level (sedentary) or the activity level I will be when starting iifym (active weight lifting)
    Thanks!

  135. Hi,

    I’m new to iifym, and I just wanted to make sure my numbers are correct..
    5’4 female weighing in at 162 pounds, carbs 195g, protein 150g, fats 48g. I’ve hit my macros perfectly the past two days but I just wanted to check something before i continue..

    Maybe it’s just my “carbs are evil” mindset kicking in but doesn’t 195g of carbs seem a bit high if i’m trying to lose weight? In comparison to other comments it just seems a lot higher than others calculations..

    If i could get help i would be grateful, thanks

  136. Hey I’m new to tracking my Macros and have a question, I’m pretty muscular but I also do have some fat on me. I lift weights 3-5 days a week and do HIIT training 2-3 days a week. I’m looking to lose fat and gain muscle. I’m not sure how my Macros would be calculated because you have to chose one or the other. Could someone please help? Thank you in advance!

  137. How do i measure the total amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein in a food? Or do i just measure it pertaining to the grams used in my food?

  138. Okay, thank you for the explanation. I now know my macros but how do I now my micros? Should we calculate micros right on track like macros?

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