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If It Fits Your Macros: A flexible diet approach for exams

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Exams are around the corner and we’re all old enough to have experienced one of the most annoying impacts of the season: weight gain. They give nightmares to fitness enthusiasts who are religiously connected to their strenuous exercise and diet schedules. But this need not happen anymore, as fitness science has come with a sure shot solution to curb this problem.


If It Fits Your Macros or IIFYM is an alternate and flexible dieting approach which goes by the thumb rule that one can eat whatever one likes and still remain in his/her desired body composition. This is possible only when one knows his/her caloric requirements to maintain current weight are and must simply track the calories consumed and not exceeding them whatsoever. That may sound strange but what it means is that you don’t have to eat the so called ‘healthy foods’ all the time to reach your goals. Especially during the exam season, many people who have fitness goals get frustrated because of constantly eating foods that they don’t generally eat.

Before going ahead with this approach, one must figure out the personal calories required by the individual for maintaining current weight (which is no more than a number game!). The calculation is simpler than you think. Just hit Google and type maintenance calorie calculator, give in some measurements and you are ready to go. To track your calories you must know what foods you eat and how much calories they contain. You can download the ‘myfitnesspal’ or ‘Food Secret’ app on your smart phone (which contains a huge database of all foods that exist and provide accurate calorific measurements and other nutritional information too). Similarly, all packed foods come along with a ‘nutrition information’ box at the back, where you get all the information regarding the product you consume. So it is little hard work to get started. But everything has a price! And in this case, it is clearly not monetary or much.

This approach revolves around the concept that as long as you fill your calories (the benchmark for losing or gaining weight and muscle) and macro nutrient split for the day you’ll be fine in terms of the body composition, with whatever foods you like. For example, if with chicken breast and broccoli of 1000 calories you get 50gm of protein, 10gm of fat and 52 gm of carbohydrates and you get the same calories and macro nutrient split from a pepperoni pizza (i.e- 1000 calories 50gm protein 10gm fat 52gm carbohydrates) or your favorite festive season dish for that matter, you can eat the pizza instead of the boring broccoli and chicken breast and it won’t make any difference in terms of your body composition, i.e. you will still progress steady to your goals. This should not be confused with cheat meals as cheat meals are meals which stray away from your diet schedules and they have their cons but IIFYM is an approach which is more sensible and helps you enjoy foods you like while still sticking you to your diet schedule. Interesting, isn’t it?

But, this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you like whenever you want and in any quantity you like. It is all about moderation. This approach is not designed to help you cheat, but to help you stick to your diet without much frustration coming your way. Like mentioned earlier, moderation is the key and also keeping in mind the micro-nutrient intake (vitamins, minerals, iron etc) one must keep their base steady towards healthy nutritious foods (for general health and well being) as that is another important aspect of fitness. Also, not to forget that there will still be people who will be exceptions and might not find this working for them and so they might have to go the hard way and stick to conventional healthy foods to achieve their goals.

Featured image credit: www.yomuscle.com

Amitoj Singh
[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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