IIFYM – does it work?
More and more and more people are now are using this method to either drop body fat with, gain muscle or just as a lifestyle choice. IIFYM is a method of hitting your calorie goal with any foods you want, this can include foods such as pizza, ice cream, chocolate etc.
So first off, does this work if your goal is fat loss, and the answer is YES, this is as long as you are in a calorie deficit (expending more than your consuming) fat loss (if your not getting on stage condition) is usually as simple as calorie in vs calories out
Do i think it is an effective or optimal way to reach a goal, NO. If your using an iifym approach for every meal then it is far from optimal, you have to consider protein quality, fibre intake, ratios of fats (omegas 3, 6, 9), the micronutrients you may miss out on, and the sugar content of carbs. This is assuming your diet will be made up of more processed, high sugar, low fibre food as people want to diet on foods which taste good or use this as a way to eat junk food daily. Again this is fine if its suite your lifestyle and your not looking to get in stage condition or trying to change body composition (build muscle/shape change)
Improving body composition has to include foods that will nourish our body, feed it all necessary micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), enough fibre for good digestion, reduce inflammation in the body (the right balance of fats, and low sugar foods). IIFYM may not work if you struggle to digest certain foods or have some intolerance to foods, in this case whole foods are a much better choice.
Whole-foods over processed…
Do i use IIFYM? yes but not in the way i have pointed out above, i make sure 90% of clients meals are made up of whole foods, focussing on good quality, varied protein sources, variation of fat sources and plenty of fibre from carbs and vegetables to keep digestion up to scratch which is massively important when trying to build muscle or drop fat.
I would use iffym for one meal usually depending on the clients goals, bodyfat, muscle mass and training volume. the best place to give clients some freedom would be post-workout, where your body is primed to use simple carbs (higher sugar, low fat) or for clients with a big calorie target, which could cross over to the meal after post workout or last meal. Foods such as cereals, bagels, jams, honey, pop tarts etc. this is good for keeping clients compliant and reduce cravings while not affecting results as all the necessary micro and macro nutrients have been hit with whole foods.
I like this approach as it ticks all the boxes, the benefits are it helps compliancy, results aren’t hindered and your recovery is much much better.