If you are just begining your IIFYM/Flexible Dieting Journey you may be surprised to see how much protein you are going to need to eat each day. In fact, most of my new clients come to me eating very little protein so it looks daunting to try to hit those protein goals!
The question I get the most is “How can I hit my protein goals with out going over fats and carbs?”
Protein is very important to our physique goals!! We need protein to build muscle and we all know that muscle is the fountain of youth! In a fat loss plan, we eat protein to help us maintain the muscle we have!! Protein also helps you feel full!!
Protein 101: Basic Sources Meat Lean cuts to keep fat down. Skinless white meat is lower in fat. Chicken
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops) Dairy Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Laughing cow cheese is fun!
Cottage cheese (add to your pancakes to add a fluffy texture)
Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
Halo top Ice cream (I had to add that)
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)
Beans and legumes have some protein but the carb profile is higher, but if you can make it fit.. could be an option.
Whey Whey protein or Isolate : you can cook with this!!
Lenny and Larry’s cookies (low protein profile but worthy)
Kodiak protein pancake mix (Target)
Protein Bars like Quest or B-Up bars (check your local Supplement store for variety)
Peach Protein Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon icing.. I tossed this in for you just for fun. Here’s that recipe. P:11 C:11 F2 for each cuppie.
Protip: Aim for protein first, Carbs second and fats last. If you aim for hitting your protein goals first, you won’t be left at the end of the day with 120g to eat!!
Protein hack: You could split your protein goals up by meal.
Mary Jo has 160g protein per day. She likes to eat 5 meals a day. Each meal could contain 32g protein per meal.
100g of shrimp is 28g of protein!!
Many foods you enjoy each day will have protein in them!! These amounts will help get you to your goals. Track that food!! Let’s see whatcha got!!
“I don’t like eggs or egg whites.” Ok.. I hear you. I don’t care for egg whites on their own either, but I do love Crepes, Pancakes and French toast which are all made with egg whites /egg.
Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart, Sup stores, Amazon.
Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos! The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
Hack: Start tracking your normal eating. Look at it like a puzzle. Are you lacking in protein but way over in fatty/carby foods? Let’s start working on ways to tweak your normal eating!
How can you add more protein in and hit your other macros on point?
Our Team LOVES Taco Tuesday! Who doesn’t!! IIFYM is bomb because you can make them fit your macros!! Here are a few of our creations! The tacos above are grilled chicken !
Alicia scored this find at Trader Joes! 24g Protein! Holla!
Coach Michelle is on vacation and on prep. Her tacos are on point. That avocado!! Avocados and that wrap have fiber. That’s about 20g fiber right there!
Ashley is about 4 weeks out from her show. This is her masterpiece!
Coach Julia is 7 weeks from her show and this is her taco crunch wrap!
Melissa is 7 weeks from her show. These are her shrimp tacos! I love the lime.
These are mine. I am 13 weeks from stage. Each one of those shells is only 4 carbs.
Jen nailed her macros while eating tacos out! um.. yes please!!
Holy Mama, sometimes you need a taco when you are out. The macros on the Taco Bell Chicken Soft Taco are sweet.
Hack: If you are craving Tacos, front load your tracker with your tacos early in the day and eat around them.
Here’s my 4g Carb Taco shells.
These are in the grocery store or order online. We buy 72 shells at a time!
Warning: These are actual pizzas made by our bikini team in PREP!!
One of the thing that has me completely over the moon is our team’s ability to create amazing food from prep ingredients. They do it quickly and with flair.
There is no reason to eat plain when you are in a cut! Creativity goes a long way and creates a sustainable plan!
The above pizza was made by our girl Ashely who is just 4 weeks out from her show.
Here’s another one she did!
Coach Michelle is 7 weeks out from her show and rocked this masterpiece.
Chicken, sundried tomatoes, onions, FF mozzarella, reduced fat feta and basil on a flat out.
This is my SOB on a flat out. I toast my flat out before we bake the pizza.
Jimmy Dean Sausage crumbles, Onions and Louis Rich Turkey Bacon. Sauce Prego light smart red sauce from Walmart.
Our Bikini Team Athlete, Tracy made this gem. Pepperoni Pizza for Dinner! 🍕💪🏻Oh man… Winning! ❤️ 308 Calories / 4.5G Fat / 37 Carbs / 32 G Protein
Tomato Basil flat out Wrap
Fat Free shredded cheese
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes
Melissa did a fun peperoni and sundried tomato version! mmmmmm
Debbie, who is 7 weeks out from her show created this version of the white pizza!
Tips: Pizza is an easy dinner and it has a secret bonus. Flat our or tortilla wraps have fiber.
There are lower carb wraps too. You can create your own toppings from your prep food. You can load veggies if you are into that. You can use full fat or non fat cheese depending on your macros.
You do NOT have to have 12 dry roasted almonds for your fats. You can have other fats!
Cheese has protein. Feta is a great choice too! This is all about you.
Pro-tip: Build your pizza in your tracker in the morning so you can have exactly what you want. Then eat around it for the rest of the day. You can enjoy your evening meal hitting your macros and feeling super smart!
Congratulations to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for being chosen as People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
Note: This is also win for the ladies who like a little beefcake, that’s for sure. 🙂
The Rock is a fitness icon! He is an athlete and clearly he lifts!
Not only is he a super positive force in his career, he knows how to eat for his physique goals.
One thing we can all be sure of he has his food correct !!
Plus, he likes pancakes.
Pancakes! After he finished filming “Hercules” The Rock held an epic cheat day! On this day he whipped up his famous pancakes and ate 12 of them!
I love this picture because in our world of IIFYM, we call this a ‘carb up’ or refeed.
When a person has dieted for a while, a few things happen.
1. The person gets weary of the diet. Even on IIFYM the fact that we are on a hard cut means we are eating less.
2. Our bodies can become adapted to the lower calories/macros.
A simple carb up or re-feed or in this case.. cheat day will help in both those scenarios.
So while “The Rock” called this an epic cheat day, he still utilized the concepts of body building and IIFYM. He is eating with purpose!
In our program, carb ups or re-feeds are given to clients with specific instructions. It’s not a random cheat day or binge day, just so you know.
The Rock is a huge dude so 12 pancakes fits his macros. Most of us, ladies.. not so much. That’s why we tailor our carb ups for our clients so they have the best results.
If It Fits Your Macros is amazing because it’s all about the YOU. You can carb up on things YOU like. I like Fro-yo and Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Our clients have a lot of fun when it comes to their re-feed!
If you would like to know more about IIFYM and learn the secrets of success, please check us out on LEARNIIFYM.COM We will teach you online!! We will work with you to help you reach your physique goals!
Ok.. let’s talk for a minute about choices. First of all, you are IIFYM, you have them.
Your world does not have to be protein cookies and no fun.I have compared two items.
Lenny and Larry’s Complete Protein Cookie. Serving size is HALF the cookie.
One Taco Bell Soft Chicken Taco
The macros in each are almost the same. The rating is higher on the cookie because of the fiber. Although, in the large scheme of things a B- isn’t horrible.I eat mostly A /B rated food because I’m probably psycho but more because I like to. It’s a slippery slope when I’m all crazy with my food. It’s just my way. I’m in no way advocating getting an eating disorder of only eating A rated food. That’s no good.There are people who eat IIFYM who don’t monitor their food rating because they just hit their macros and fiber numbers. The food rating is my thing!
I also have issue with eating a A rated protein cookie because sometimes I think it’s important to eat some food that looks like food. If I can’t make a chicken taco fit in my day, and choose a half of protein cookie.. what? That seems to defeat the purpose of being flexible. My gut instinct is to choose cookies because I eat like a 4 year old. Sprinkles, and icing is my game!!
The taco would be nice and satisfy my brain and my macros. It has less carbs than the cookie. I really can make it fit. If you don’t want fast food in your life.. I get that too but we have options.
Now. I’m not going to get crazy because the taco is lower rated due to the fiber. It has more protein than the cookie.
I am 21 weeks out from UFE Halloween Mayhem. I’m doing a slow cut and I’m 100 percent IIFYM. We are using the grill for prep this year!!
Costco: The mister hit Costco yesterday. He literally walked the food from the car to the grill.
The above pic is our charred chicken breasts. I like them so much better on the grill. They were juicy!
This is the seasoning he used.
Jennie-O turkey Sausage
This is crumbled Jennie O lean turkey sausage, onions, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. This was really good. The macros on this are 6g fat per 56g of sausage so I only had a little but it fit my macros!
Grilled Cali flower!! The mister cut it and laid it on the grill. Done.
Other things that we could have added to this were BBQ sauces! These are at Walmart.
I love having choices and not living on 6 meals of turkey, chicken and fish.
The grill makes things taste better and it’s fairly easy.
I wish you luck with your show!
I drink Starbucks every day. Close to my show, I’ll do 2x a day. That’s my thing. These are the things I love to order when I’m cutting. You can make your own at home too. I have an espresso machine so often I will do my own.
Iced coffee plus 1 scoop vanilla whey in the blender!
I love this. It’s fantastic!
Or Icy Donut (my hubs created this one for me)
Add your own protein powder to this. I use Quest Salted Caramel! It’s amazing.
I don’t know what the macros are for Starbucks protein but I know my own!!
So this week a competitor was on a board talking about how she was going back to her Bro plan because she tried that “iifym thing” and it didn’t work. I asked her what was it that didn’t work and really had no answer. She said she ” just needed to eat clean.”
Some people get overwhelmed by too many choices. I can understand that, especially when you are used to being a strict meal plan kind of girl. It’s all you know, right?
IIFYM is not a diet. You count macro nutrients :Protein, Carbs and Fats.
You must eat at least 20 g of fiber each day.
You must hit your numbers +5/-5 grams daily.
You can eat any way you want but in a fat loss plan, your ratios are 95 percent nutrient dense foods and 5 percent discretionary.
You could eat paleo, diabetic, vegan, bro, whatever you like. You just have to hit those numbers!
This girl was confused. She missed an opportunity to eat well and have choices which is exactly what IIFYM is about. Choices!!
My prep is starting up and we decided that this summer is going to be about the grill.
I want to show you some things we did for my prep.
Protein: I get about 190 g protein per day. Rob grilled bison burgers, Shark Steaks, Cajun shrimp and turkey. So the turkey.. he took a Butterball breast and thawed it. He cut it into steaks and grilled it, 20 min per side. It was insane. There is no added fat in anything here.
I added avocado to my turkey for my fats and fiber and it was amazing.
All our food came from the farmer’s market next door to my studio.
There is no additional fats on these at all. The squash is my favorite. The flavors burst. We used poblanos and yellow peppers. I hate regular green peppers but you could try. The yellow ones are so sweet when you grill them.
Roasted cabbage is very good. We have made that into a salad for lunch tomorrow. With this grilling, Rob really just chopped and grilled. He likes to use seasonings so you can too.
I’m sure you have your own flavors you dig.
You can do it
If you are a person who thinks you have to choose the restricted non scientific BRO plan because IIFYM means all you eat is crap.. I am so sorry that you have misunderstood.
I want you to learn so you can have peace in your plan. If you are happy with ‘clean’ food then by all means, enjoy the food you eat. Dousing things with mustard because you don’t believe you can sub out anything for egg whites is just foolish. It doesn’t make you a better athlete. It doesn’t make you more HAM or beast mode. Here’s what makes you a better athlete. Listening to your body. Eating well for your gains. Choosing things that YOU like for consistency and to not feel restricted.
Remember as athletes we need 300-500g of fruits and veggies per day. All my clients, in fact eat this. That’s about 300 calories and 40g carbs or so. We need 35 different foods per week and we need to focus on our micro nutrients too. Different foods provide micros! Don’t be stuck with the same 6 food items! Investigate!! Let me know if you have questions!!
Are you moving from a Bro prep/ coaching experience to IIFYM/Flexible Dieting and feeling panic in the core of your soul? I am going to talk you down today and gently help you find your way to success and meal time peace.
What is the difference? Bro-diets are legendary for only ALLOWING foods like these.
Egg whites, turkey, chicken, fish, beef (super lean 1x per week) asparagus, sweet potatoes, brown rice, olive oil (maybe) and the super duper magical oatmeal.
IIFYM /Flexible dieting, Macro counting is NOT a diet, you eat according to your fitness goals by hitting your macro nutrients of Protein, Carbs, Fats and the micro-nutrient fiber.
Bro-Flex is when coaches tell you you are eating IIFYM but give you a restricted list of items that you can swap with. If you have a swap list, you are not IIFYM.
Let me first of all reassure you. Look at this quote from Mr. Olympia Frank Zane who utilized Flexible Dieting in his show prep, 1979.
Remember this: IIFYM was born out of Bro-fatigue. It came about organically when competitors discovered they could swap foods as long as they achieved their macro nutrient goals. The goal of IIFYM was never to eat crap all day, but to offer options.
You must hit your macros but you must hit your fiber goals too. The food you eat will by nature be ‘healthful* to hit that fiber!
You should know this
In a cut (active fat loss) the amount of discretionary food is very low, about 5 percent of your day.
In off season, the percentage can be up to 85% wholesome*/15% discretionary.
This is where the ‘poptart divas’ of Instagram confuse and infuriates the Bro dieters. Everyone has different macros.
So… If your carbs are low, you can’t eat much in the way of sweet treats however if you have lots to work with, you could potentially have more. Everyone is different.
My macros wouldn’t allow me to eat 18 pancakes ever but the Rock did. His macros are totally different than mine! Of course they are.. Look at him! He needs more food than me! That’s why YOU need macros based on YOU and not a cookie cutter diet your whole bikini team followed.
How I prep with IIFYM.
As an IIFYM coach, I believe quality of food matters.Myself, I eat 5 different sources of protein each day. I do use greek yogurt and a little dairy as protein. I use whey, bars and of course animal protein.Chicken 5x per day disgusts me and my stomach can’t handle beef so I need options. I eat wonderful food that looks gorgeous, tastes delish and hits my macros perfectly. I have over 35 different foods each week- not the same 11 foods for 16 weeks that I used in my bro-preps. I eat 2-3 servings of fruit and veggies a day. I enjoy
a diet soda when I want one, but I get down a gallon of water every day. I use sugar free syrup and stevia too.
Story time:One of my competitors calls herself the pancake queen. I love this. I also find pancakes amazing and delish and they can be made to taste like whatever you want. My first coach would not allow me to eat pancakes. It had to be 6 egg whites and 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked. NO pancakes because “I wouldn’t look right”. I buried egg whites in mustard, hated breakfast so hard.
Quality of food
I also use my food score ratings from MyNetDiary. I only eat A and on occasion B foods. If you don’t know about food scores Click here
This would typically NOT be on the Bro diet but the macros fit my prep. I use it.
It has fiber and protein! I mix it with Sugar free syrup and get a lovely bowl of icing. Look here
Do I have to get my carbs from sweet potatoes, brown rice, ezekiel bread? I don’t. I use things like Flat out wraps, fruit, veggies greek yogurt (has both protein and carbs-I use Light and Fit). I use Light Smart red sauce from Prego. Basically I eat what I like.
But, aren’t foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes and Ezekial magic? My bro coaches told me they were but I can’t find any science that backs that up.
I hate brown rice. My first coach made me eat 8 cups of brown rice a day for a carb up.
I buried it in salsa and mustard to choke it down. I could have had something else. There was no reason I couldn’t have except her lack of knowledge. I refuse to be miserable in prep or any other time. GROSS. I carb up now on SF Fro yo. Even in prep. I refeed with purpose and I eat things that I like.
English muffins, eggs, turkey and ff cheese. I put SF syrup on it. It fit my macros. Those english muffins are fiber city.
Oh.. prepped with Margarita Shrimp salad
pancakes 100 ways too.
How to not go crazy when you start. When I began I might have flown a little too close to the sun. I can fit a lot of things into my plan but I sort of lost sight of my goal to eat for my health. I was crabby because broccoli took up so many carbs when I really wanted goldfish cookies. Now, I am very solid in my conviction eat well and I don’t feel well when I eat lots of sugar treats even if they do fit. I prefer in off season to use foods like Poptarts to fuel my leg day. But that’s my journey. The beauty of IIFYM is that it is YOUR journey.
For my team in PREP we follow the guideline of 95% nutrient dense food 5% discretionary.
Yes, I know that all food has macros and nutrients , you can read more on this here.
Off season is 85%/15%.
Start by tracking what you normally eat then tweak where you like.
I use sites like rippedrecipes.com to create healthful concoctions that feed my body and soul. I like sweets. I will put something like this in my tracker early in the day so I can enjoy it at couch time. The base of this is garbanzo beans. Every ingredient is rated A,
including the dark cacao chips that I count out and weigh.
But, I can’t seem to stop eating my Bro foods I’m too afraid.
I hear ya. The thing is, bro foods aren’t bad choices. They are solid choices especially the further into prep you get. Typically you will have to taper macros to continue to get stage lean. I am very good at ‘stretching’ my food out by using volume foods like miracle noodles and zucchini. Things like Quest bars aren’t good choices for me late in prep because it uses a lot of macros in a small meal. I need more volume!! However, you simply don’t have to live in a world where you have NO options. If you make pancakes out of your egg whites and oatmeal you can do it. I use Sugar Free syrups too but I weigh and account for everything I put in my mouth. If I find ways to eat foods that make me happy, and provide me with my P:C:F: and fiber I am very happy.
Give me an example:
I do this late in prep. Oh Lort, I had a some banana, that’s not bro at all. But look at those macros. My low carb days are happier than when M1-M6 was chicken breast only.
Again, to fulfill your macros +5/-5g each day you must eat well, but you have options.
Using sites like Pinterest, IG, blogs, with the #IIFYM #Flexible dieting you will find many amazing ideas that you can modify to fit your prep!
I wish you luck in your competition training!
*I know food terms like nutritious, wholesome or healthy etc are just terms I’m using to
give you a visual. All food has macros. I also know the difference between Apples and Hostess Twinkies and you do too. So bear with me. Use your food scanner and make the best choices for yourself..The overall snapshot of your day should be healthful food with room to improvise. Choices! Just as eating healthy one day of your life doesn’t make you ‘healthy’ eating discretionary foods doesn’t make you unhealthy. Its what you follow consistently matters.
I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I’ve had protein pancakes for breakkie since 2012.
I like them!
I was having a conversation with one of my friends/competitor clients. We both agreed that food prep is “meh”. So when I tell you I had to bake sweet potatoes for this, that’s about the extent of my prep. If I’m home, I will toss 5 or 6 into the oven. I keep them in the fridge for pancakes!
Note to the clean eating mafia: Hurray.. these are full of amazing magic sweet potatoes.
egg whites and oatmeal! #BroCoachApproved
How I bake Sweet Potatoes
Step 1: Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Set your timer for 45 min.
Line your cookie sheet with tinfoil so you don’t have to scrub it!
Put your washed sweet potatoes on the sheet and bake them until they ooze caramel.
*never microwave sweet potatoes. So yucky.
3/4 cup pourable egg whites
4 oz sweet potato
Mix it in your ninja.
Spray your pan and make a pancake. It’s not easy to flip. It might get messy.
Macros without syrup
Here it is with 4 oz IHOP sugar free syrup .
Just to mix it up. Here is 2 oz sweet potato and 20g quick oats
If you add the syrup, you could add less. 1/2 cup is a lot of syrup.
You can modify the amount based on the carbs you have to work with. Since I typically lift in the morning, this recipe with syrup is a great pre-workout with 39 carbs.
We make double recipe every single day and this is meals 1 and 2 for me.
I don’t mind eating pancakes all day!
If you want to up your fats, fiber, toss in some flax or chia. Just sayin..
This pancake smells awesome. It tastes awesome and you can add spices or SF coffee syrup to create something YOU love.
Say it with me. No. More. Gagging. On . Egg Whites!