Tag Archives: IIFYM

The IIFYM Experiment Week 10

Even though I haven’t been posting much on this topic, behind the scenes I’ve been trying to stick to the plan, which is basically eating anything you want as long as you get the right amount of protein, carbs, fat and fiber your body needs based on your activity level, exercise regimen and age.  Hence the IIFYM — “If It Fits Your Macros.”  And I’ve still been monitoring my digits.  Problem is, after 5 years on a low-carb diet with a one-day-per-week cheat days, it has been really hard to stick to it.  In other words, I’ve been cheating on Saturdays.

Still and so, my results have been remarkable:

Date Body Fat %¹ Muscle Weight Fat Weight Total Weight
5/21/2018 23% 123.1 36.4 159.5
7/27/2018 17% 128.2 26.3 154.5
Change -6% +5.1 -10.1 -5

But that’s not even the whole story.  My energy level is up, I feel better overall, and I’m enjoying my food far more.  And those are not insignificant benefits!

I’ll probably stop posting on this topic because the results are pretty much in.  IIFYM isn’t a silly fad — it’s real science and it works.

¹ Measured with suprailiac crest  body fat calipers.  Not super accurate, but better than guesswork.

The IIFYM Experiment Week 3

After roughly 3 weeks and four weigh-ins, here are my digits and a little graph.  As I said before, it defies logic and science that a human being could add this much muscle and shed this much fat in so short a time.  I can only assume that body fat calipers are really inaccurate and/or that my carb-starved muscles are pumping up, tightening skin, and skewing the fat calipers.

If you want to try the IIFYM thing, check out their website and my first post here.

Date Body Fat % Muscle Weight Fat Weight Total Body Weight
5/10/18 Thu 26% 119.9 42.1 162.0
5/17/18 Thu 23% 123.1 36.4 159.5
5/28/18 Mon 17% 130.7 26.8 157.5
6/3/18 Sun 17% 126.6 25.9 152.5

The IIFYM Experiment Week 2

After almost three weeks on the IIFYM eating protocol I’m scratching my head at the results.

IIFYM stands for “if it fits your macros” which means that you eat a specified number of macro nutrients — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (and if you’re smart, fiber).  My first week results were mind-boggling, and now after two weeks, even more so.

According to the numbers, as of week two I had lost 4.5 lbs.  That’s believable enough.

Date Body Fat % Muscle Weight Fat Weight Total Body Weight
5/24/2018 17.00% 130.7 26.8 157.5
5/17/2018 22.80% 123.1 36.4 159.5
5/10/2018 26.00% 119.9 42.1 162
2 week change 9% -10.8 15.3 4.5

But adding 10.8 lbs of muscle and shedding 15.3 lbs of fat?  Preposterous!

A superhero couldn’t add this much muscle and lose this much fat in this short a time period.  I can think of only two explanations for these numbers.

  • Explanation 1: Improper use of body fat calipers.  Is it possible that, even after reading the instructions and watching several videos, I’m still not using the calipers properly?
  • Explanation 2: Muscle pump.  Is it possible I’ve been so carb-starved for so long the carb intake is plumping my muscle, tightening my skin, and skewing body the fat caliper readings?

If you have other plausible explanations, or have input on my proposed explanations, please comment.  Also, if you are trying IIFYM I’d love to hear about your experience.

I’m weighing again tomorrow and we’ll see what the numbers say…

The IIFYM Experiment: Meal Calculator and First Week Results

Over the last six months I upped my calories in order to add some muscle and I let myself get heavier than I’ve been in 20 years — 162 lbs.  Now it’s time to get back into my regular pants (and my swimsuit).

For about 10 years I’ve been either low carb, slow carb or paleo (with a Saturday free-for-all cheat day).  Normally I would just drop my carbs to <20/day and add some HIIT workouts to the mix.  But after listening to The Art of Manliness podcast #401 I decided to try eating a balanced diet per IIFYM (“If it fits your macros”).  FYI, macros refers to macro-nutrients — protein, carbs and fat.  Supposedly this way of eating helps you cut fat while retaining muscle mass.

After one week on the plan I’ve noticed the following:

  • I’m less hungry.  Contrary to the popular wisdom, this meal plan satisfies me more than the low-carb one.
  • I have more energy before, during and after training sessions.
  • I’m losing fat without sacrificing muscle and without adding extra training.  Basically the same regimen, maybe a jot less because I’m no longer running 4 or 5 days/week to get ready for that mud run.
  • The math on this is impossible (chart below).  Nobody can add 3.2 lbs of muscle in one week, so clearly my single-point body fat calipers are only approximate.  Still, I think it’s safe to say that most of my weight loss was in fat.  Here are the digits:
    Date Body
    Fat %
    Muscle Weight (lbs) Fat Weight (lbs) Total Body Weight (lbs)
    5/17/2018 22.80% 123.1 36.4 159.5
    5/10/2018 26.00% 119.9 42.1 162
    Change: -3.2% 3.2 -5.7 -2.5

Most people use My Fitness Pal to track their macros, but I don’t have the time or patience to enter food minutia into a an app.

If you want try my method, use this IIFYM Daily Meal Plan Creator Spreadsheet that I made to print out a few meal plans (it contains the entire 2016 USDA macro nutrient database).  Then just cycle through the various daily plans as needed.

Pro tip:Cook all breakfasts and lunches on Sundays and eat the same thing every day for those two meals — that way the only thing you have to think about are dinner and snacks.  

Here’s what I looked like back in 2014 when my wife took pictures for the Calisthenics Codex book – pretty much just thin and nondescript at 11% body fat.  Four years and plenty of weightlifting later, I’m going spend 90 days getting lean and see how I look and where I end up this time.