We have all heard of #IIFYM before. IIFYM stands for 'if it fits your macros'. If you're one of the few that haven't heard of that, it's a lifestyle where you have a set amount of macros for the day where you can fit in whatever you want, just as long as you hit your fat, protein, and carbs pretty perfectly. And if you're new to this, macros are, you guessed it, fat, protein, and carbs. Micros are the nutrients found in food. It's confusing, but it's important to know.
It's also important to know that everyone needs a different amount of fat, protein, and carbs. Some people believe their bodies work better on a vegan, high-carb diet and some believe theirs work better on a high-fat, low-carb diet called the ketogenic diet. Fat, protein, and carbs all do something different for our bodies. Healthy fats keep us lean and full, protein is also great to keep us full and to build and repair muscles, and carbs are great for energy.
However, if you're new to trying to figure out what your body needs, there is a specific guide on how much fat, protein, and carbs you need in a day to be the healthiest and to live the longest. According to this global study, people are more likely to die earlier by eating more than 68% of their calories from carbs than those who ate less of their calories from carbs. And as for fat, it actually had the opposite effect on people. Those who got 23% of their calories from fat were less likely to die early on than those who ate less of their calories from fat. A lot of people think that fat makes you fat, and that's so not true. However, it depends on if you're eating the right fats, which are healthy fats. Same with carbs and protein. Protein from cheese is way different than protein from a lean chicken breast.
You just have to know what works for your body, and here is the breakdown of what a balanced macronutrient diet looks like, if you're interested in a simple and basic diet:
Examples: Avocado, flax oil, nuts, coconut oil, fish
How much you should be eating: Around 30% - 35% of your diet should come from healthy fats
Examples: Bananas, berries, sweet potato, spinach, quinoa, brown rice, vegetables
How much should you be eating: 50% of your diet should come from carbs
Examples: Chicken breasts or thighs, eggs, protein powder, fish, steak
How much should you be eating: Around 15% to 20% of your diet should come from protein
Now, like I said before, everyones diet/health journey is going to be different. Realistically, all you need is a healthy balance. When one of the macros lowers, you usually balance it out with too much of something else. For example, if your diet is low fat, then you're probably going to be hungry a lot so you add more carbs into your diet. Carbs are great, however, it depends on what carbs you're eating. If you're eating cereal, white flour, sodas, etc., you're going to spike your blood sugar levels and that leads to weight gain. However, if you eat too much fat, you may find you won't be able to concentrate because your brain needs carbs for energy. Protein is absolutely essential for muscle gain and repair, and not a ton of bad things will happen if you eat too much, but it's about balance.
This is what is considered a healthy, balanced diet. If your goal is to lose fat fast, up your fats and lower your carb intake. If your goal is to gain muscle, up your protein and lower your carbs and fats. High-carb really only works for those who are vegans, and it's all personal preference. You may need to adjust your macros a few times to get it to where you think your body performs best. However, this is a great guide if you're new to counting your macros, or if you just think you should be getting more or less of something in your diet.
Eating too much fat or too many carbs can make a huge difference in your health and body. Your goals are important, and at the end of the day, all that matters is that your diet is balanced. Remember, this is a guideline. There is no right or wrong way to eat, but for a healthy and balanced diet, you need all three in some way to give your body the nutrients it needs!
To be able to track your macros accordingly, if you are super serious about it, apps like My Fitness Pal or Lifesum are perfect as they have a ton of options so the food you're eating is probably already logged. If you're wondering how to track your macros by eating clean foods or just in general, these videos below will show you exactly how: