If It Fits Your Macros: What's Behind The #IIFYM Craze With Nearly 3 Million Instagram Posts

If a person takes a journey through the #iifym hashtag on Instagram, nearly 3 million photos will result. Most of those Instagram photos will show fitness-minded health folks in the gym, showing off their muscles. Or they will show photos of food. Whatever they display, the curious should know that #iifym stands for "if it fits your macros," a sort of "eating right for your type" diet lifestyle plan.

According to the Daily Beast, the IIFYM eating plan doesn't necessarily dictate the specific kinds of foods that can be eaten, portion sizes, and the times during the day that are optimal to eat such things -- as other diets have made their focus. Instead, the "if it fits your macros" regimen looks towards the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat certain foods contain.

The "if it fits your macros" mantra means a person has to figure out how many calories they are supposed to eat each day, based on their own specifics such as activity level, gender, height, and current weight. Once that daily amount of calories is learned via apps such as My Fitness Pal, or other online calculators, the further #IIFYM calculations begin.

That's when the total amount of daily calories can be broken down into 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. For example, a person who needs 2,000 calories per day would purportedly do well with 800 calories representing protein and 800 calories representing carbs, but only 400 calories making up the fat part.

Supposedly, that mix of IIFYM calories would be optimal for the person's fat burning powers, muscle growth potential, and to keep the prime energy levels going strong. The IIFYM folks take it a step further to translate calories into grams, which can get confusing. For example, since one gram of carbs carries about four calories, dividing 800 calories worth of carb grams by four results in 200 grams of carbs for the day. That would be the same 200 grams of protein, in the above example of a person needing 2,000 calories per day -- and critics say that's a whopping amount of protein.

The questions flow when it comes to all carbs not being equal. Even though, in theory, a person could get their macros via "clean eating" versus fatty or sugary foods, the food that's packed with denser and greater amounts of nutrients would be more filling and satisfying.

As reported by the Inquisitr, the proliferation of meal delivery services could help take some of the guesswork out of meal creation for IIFYM-minded eaters.

[Image via Instagram]