Definitely the most common email I get is from people asking about IIFYM. I did a blog post explaining IIFYM here, but I thought I would share with you all my personal experience and my progress with IIFYM. The left picture above is at the beginning of my weightlifting and IIFYM journey (January 2013). I had already lost around 60-75lbs (can’t remember exactly) but I wasn’t happy with how my body looked. Of course I had lots of loose skin, cellulite, etc. I had heard of IIFYM and practiced it loosely, but in January 2013 I made a commitment to practice IIFYM as I also began my weightlifting journey.
Weightlifting has had a lot to do with how my body has transformed (as you can see I’ve built up quite a bit of muscle- resulting in more fat being burned), but that’s a whole other post for a different day (I wrote it! Read here.) Because I mixed IIFYM with weightlifting I saw DRASTIC results. If you’ve read my IIFYM post you know that if you’re at a slight calorie deficit, the point of IIFYM is to target fat loss instead of just weight loss (muscle and fat). This is how I was able to get my muscles to show through so quickly (many people call it getting “toned” but toned just means less fat more muscle).
These pictures are 9 months apart. The left picture is right before I began IIFYM and as you can see I had a lot of cellulite in my legs. With weightlifting and IIFYM I was able to reduce the size of my thighs as well as the amount of cellulite I had because I was reducing my body fat percentage (focusing on fat loss rather than weight loss) but because I was still ~20lbs overweight the weight slowly fell off as well. People freak out when they begin IIFYM or weightlifting and don’t see an immediate drop on the scale. Stay patient and persistent. If you’re not to weightlifting you’re likely gaining muscle, if not you’re at least maintaining it. If you’re at a deficit you WILL see a decrease on the scale, you just need to give it some time. It will be worth it in the end when you have kept your muscle and look “toned” instead of “skinny fat”.
I did notice that my progress with IIFYM was pretty linear. With low calorie diets, commonly people lose a bunch of weight in the beginning and stall out. For me I was losing 1-2lbs a week the entire process until I got close to my ideal body weight.
This is the best picture I have that shows my overall IIFYM progress. The left picture was May 2013 and the right picture was September 2013! It certainly wasn’t easy sticking to my macros; I had to measure my portions, weigh my food, and constantly prepare for any situations where I would need to make sure I could meet my macros- like eating out, going to a friend’s, or leaving town. There were days where I did not meet my macros but I never gave up. I didn’t feel like I was overly restricting myself so it was much easier to stick with. I didn’t dwell on the bad days, I accepted them and I found it was easier to move on and continue on the right path.
All the sacrifices were WELL worth it. I’m so happy with my body composition whereas in early 2013, even after losing almost 75lbs, I was not. Plus, I was still able to enjoy the foods I loved in moderation. That is definitely a HUGE principle IIFYM taught me- moderation! After I was done with the fat loss track I focused on maintaining which meant I didn’t really need to track any longer, because of everything I learned from IIFYM I knew how to properly fuel my body and what proper portions looked like.
I always recommend IIFYM to anyone trying to lose weight or fat because a) it gives them flexibility to still enjoy the foods they love whereas eating “clean” does not (my motto is 80% healthy, 20% whatever the F you want- don’t neglect your micros!), b) you learn a lot from IIFYM including how to successfully eat out, why eating enough is so important (why low calorie diets SUCK), & proper portions and c) it’s SCIENCE, it is 100% fool-proof if you are using the right numbers.
Poor quality but here is my entire journey of losing 100lbs! Left picture is 2010 and right picture is late 2013.
If you need help with your macros I provide 6 weeks macro support. I am a CPT which includes education on proper calorie intake with a breakdown of macronutrients, as well as learning how to approach fat loss. But mainly I understand where you are because I’ve been there. I know that in the beginning IIFYM takes a lot of trial & error and practice. Having confidence with the numbers you’re tracking and having support every step of the way can make the WORLD of difference. You can find more info here. Good luck!
Don’t forget to check out my weightlifting journey here!