Thinking Out Loud: “If It Fits Your Macros” Diet

I stumbled upon this post on and immediately had a lot of thoughts and questions.

This “diet” which isn’t really a diet, more of a way of eating, states that:

“IIFYM is a flexible dieting approach where you disregard arbitrary food labels such as “junk food” and “clean food” and focus on your total caloric intake (calories in versus calories out), your daily set macro-nutrient targets (your fats, carbs, protein), and your micro-nutrient goals (your vitamins and minerals) in order to achieve your desired body composition.”

Basically, as long as you’re hitting your macronutrient targets (i.e.-grams of protein you need to eat daily), it doesn’t matter where the food comes from.

The author states that:

“How can a burger from McDonalds be equivalent to a meal of chicken, brown rice and cashews? It’s quite simple, your body does not recognize whether the food your eating is ‘clean’ or ‘junk’. It will only recognize food’s for it’s nutrients, such as proteins, fats or carbohydrates.

For example; a McDonalds Seared Grand Chicken Burger is worth 501 calories which consists of 35.3g of protein, 15g of fat and 53.4g of carbohydrates.

Whereas, 130g of chicken, 25g of cashews and 120g boiled white rice is worth 520 calories which consists of 16.5g of fat, 55.2g of carbs and 37.9g of protein.”

I’m not sure about you, but I have to disagree with this. I don’t think that there is any question that whole, clean foods have many more nutrients than McDonald’s. Sure, the macronutrients are/can be the same, but what about all of the chemicals and preservatives in junk food? The article goes on to talk about the professor who went on the Twinkie diet, ate in a calorie deficit, and lost weight.

Well, if you eat in a calorie deficit, you probably will lose weight no matter what food you’re eating! But that doesn’t change that you are putting in man-made chemicals into your body.

I just started reading Jillian Michael’s book “Master Your Metabolism,” and it discusses how chemicals in our foods, water bottles, and more can mess with our internal hormones, which could make it harder for you to lose weight.

Sure, you might not get overweight or obese by eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros, but you could be throwing your internal system all out of whack.

I’m not sure of the science behind the whole “your body doesn’t care if it’s junk or not, as long as its calories, protein and carbs.” Then how come when I eat junk food my body immediately gets tired, lethargic…my stomach cramps…these are all signs that my body did not want what I just ate. Lethargy after food is a sign of releasing insulin…releasing too much insulin on a regular basis can cause diabetes…or at the very least cause you to hold on to that fat you have been working so hard to get rid of.

I’m not totally discounting the theory behind this. I think you can certainly eat foods you desire and crave every once in a while…even one small thing once a day like I do. But I can’t believe that all foods are equal. I think there has been a lot of science to also back up the fact that whole, clean foods are so much better for our bodies than anything else.

I’m not done with Jillian’s book yet. She has a 2 week meal plan I want to try…once I finish I will probably write a review on here.

What are your thoughts on the “If It Fits Your Macros” diet? Do you think junk food and clean food are equal?

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  1. I agree with you. Yeah maybe you will lose weight. But how healthy will you be. Junk food is pretty much plastic made to taste good and im the end will harm your body.
    Also we get a lot of micro nutrients from clean food that are not in processed food and these are what help us get healthier and fitter.

  2. Oh boy. I too totally disagree with that theory. I think many of our modern health problems are a result of chemical additives in our food and plastics leaching into our water. I do believe some people’s systems are more sensitive than others, but this just sounds like a way to justify eating junk food. By the way, have you ever listen to Jillian Michaels podcast? It’s really great. Terrific post! Keep up the great work.

  3. That is complete crap! Since eating better I hardly ever get sick, I used to be sick allll the time! I might try that book, I’ve been looking for a good book on nutrition.

    • Definitely check out the book, she gives a lot of great tips and information…some stuff you would have never thought of. Like she talks about how water has traces of prescription drugs (what?!). Let me know if you end up reading it!

  4. The idea behind this baffles me. I have heard about the IIFYM alot and I know some people that do it and it works for them. I literally cannot stand it LOL. I have never tried it because I swear my body would just turn it into junk. I would always always always choose a whole food, nutritional source over fast food crap. I don’t see how some can receive benefits from this style of “dieting.”


  1. […] the whole “If It Fits Your Macros” thing works. I actually wrote a post explaining it more here. I’m all for IIFYM if you are eating healthy foods too (and not-so-healthy ones in […]

  2. […] I’ve written about IIFYM before, and don’t 100% agree with the premise, but I do agree with trying to calculate what percentage of each macronutrient you should be getting. Like I mentioned above, I use the LoseIt! app to track all of this. […]

  3. […] year, I wrote a post on the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet and what my thoughts were on […]

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