**Let me start of by saying that I’m not trying to criticize anyone’s diet. The food that you eat is a very personal matter, and I am in no way qualified to judge whether it is right or not. What I’m about to say is just my opinion, nothing more.**
This morning I woke up to rain and wind and in general just a very dreary day, so naturally I ventured onto YouTube to binge watch some videos. I love watching ‘what I eat in a day’ and fitness videos, and today YouTube recommended me a new YouTuber who made these types of videos. I soon noticed that she followed an IIFYM diet. I had no clue what that was, so I quickly Googled it. IIFYM stands for ‘if it fits your macros’, and it seems to be a new a diet that is gaining popularity. It seems to be particularly used by those who do a lot of weightlifting and want to tone their body.
Before this morning I had never heard of this eating style, but after watching a few videos, I noticed some things that really didn’t sit right with me. The first thing was the fixation with numbers. I know that the IIFYM diet is not the only style of eating that focuses on calories and macros. However, the name of the diet itself, ‘if it fits your macros’, highlights how much of a focus on numbers there is. Basically, if you choose to follow the IIFYM route, you are given a set amount of macros a day based on factors like your height, weight, sex, and exercise schedule. Your task throughout the day is to then eat whatever you want, as long as you hit your macros. Consequently, you are constantly focusing on numbers. The particular YouTuber I watched said on several occasions things along the lines of: “I don’t have many macros left, so I’ll have to eat a small dinner”. For me, this rings alarm bells. Personally I think that if you are hungry, you should eat. You should not deprive yourself of food just because of a number.
The second thing that bothers me about the IIFYM diet is the things your are allowed to eat. The IIFYM website itself states: “You can eat any kind of food you like while doing IIFYM. Clean, dirty, paleo, low carb, high carb. Anything you want.” In a way, I think this is a good thing. It is giving those who follow the IIFYM diet the chance to eat what they want, a choice that I think is important to be made by any individual. However, what I saw this particular YouTuber eat was not something I saw as healthy. I watched several of her ‘what I eat in a day’ videos, and 90% of the foods she consumed were processed. Microwave ready meals, a lot of eating out, energy and protein bars: barely anything was made from scratch. Again, this is her personal choice, and I am not judging her based on what she eats. I do however think that you need to nourish your body from the inside out, and feeding your body junk made in factories is not the way to do so.
The third thing that started to grind my gears was the amount of supplements she took. Because the IIFYM diet corresponds with those who want to tone up, it seems to be the norm to take protein and other supplements. From what I gathered from her videos, she takes several supplements, in the forms of pills and drinks, in order to achieve more muscle mass. Now, I have never been very into body building, and so I don’t know much about it, but again, I don’t see a benefit to putting so many chemicals into your body. It corresponds with my point above: why would you choose to put so many unnatural substances into your system?
To try and compress my thoughts I would say that food should not rule your life. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat, but it’s not constantly on my mind. I eat when and what I want to eat until I’m full, and pay little to no attention to things like calories and macros. I have been able to do this because of a vegan lifestyle, but I am in no way saying that you should become vegan. Everyone has their dietary preferences; just make sure that they don’t become your top priority. You should enjoy your food, and so should your body.
I know that this post is a bit of a ramble. I found it quite difficult to put my thoughts into words, and to do so without sounding very condescending. Let me know your opinion, and if you happen to follow the IIFYM diet, please comment any response you have. I only found out about IIFYM today, so correct me if I said anything incorrect.