IIFYM 101: HOW TO GET 35 DIFFERENT FOODS A WEEK.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you eat the exact same thing every day?  Did your coach give you a plan with a total of 6 items on it?  Are you struggling to incorporate variety into your meals because you “just don’t know what to eat?”

This blog will help you.

Sports nutrition 101 tells us that we need to eat 35 different foods a week.  Our team of athletes and lifestyle clients follows this goal.
This is important simply because, variety allows us to get micro nutrients from lots of different sources.

I have spoken openly about my Bro diet plan  and how it made me very sick. You can read more about that here.  I was eating a ‘totally clean’ competition diet of
turkey
chicken
fish.
egg whites
oats
ezekial bread
brown rice
sweet pot
spinach

I had 12 cups of spinach on my plan each day.
I hated my meal plan.  As I got closer to my show, my calories were very low and I had 6-7 meals a day of tilapia and spinach.

That is about 9 different foods and entire food groups are missing from this plan.
There is zero nutrition coming from beautiful fruits and other veggies.  I could have had other options and still reached my goal. I would have felt better and had more energy.  I certainly didn’t look better on this plan than I do on a variety of food.  That’s a fact.

If you are on a “bro plan” but want to learn how to get variety.. click here

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Nutrition should be a priority no matter what plan you are on.
It astounds me that intelligent people accept this style of eating when “dieting”. If you were told to give your kiddo this food 6x a day, you wouldn’t.  Kids need better nutrition. They need their calcium and fruits and veggies. How dare someone recommend this.
When did we lose our sensibilities!! Let’s eat some beautiful food! Stop removing total food groups! You don’t need to!!

How can I increase my variety to get to 35 different foods a week?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT.
Eat simply. If you are in the mood for black berries, eat them.  Have an apple on another day.  Eating the rainbow is a perfect way to increase your variety easily.


DON’T SHOP FOR 35 DIFFERENT FOODS
You don’t need to do that!!  Just start with what you like, and add to it.
We use challenges like “Taco Tuesday” and “Waffle Wednesday” to help our clients get creative and increase their variety.  Both of those meals can be created with lots of variety!  It’s easy to find yourself with 15-20 different foods a day on those days!!
Think of the toppings, the ingredients.  If you want fish tacos, great?  Do you want a taco salad?  Or waffles with Halo top and chocolate sauce.. Or perhaps you just want  Waffles with blueberries!


Hack: My Net Diary tracks your food amounts!!
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You can see the number of foods you have eaten each day!  Cool.  MyNetDiary Pro is bomb!

If you need a macro plan or want to learn more about IIFYM you can work with us at LEARNIIFYM.COM

Do I have to count macros forever?

Well.. that’s a giant bucket of OMG!  How do you count that???  I count it as  DGAF.

The question I received today was

“UGH.. do I have to count macros forever?”

The answer is “Yes and sort of yes and no-ish.”

Let me explain: 
Your body counts macros whether you count them or not. If you are fluffy,  it is because you are eating in a surplus. If you are drinking that giant margarita you know you are going to feel accountable for that in some manner. That is surplus for sure!!

IIFYM/Macro counting is not a diet. It is  simply a way to  eat well and achieve your physique goals while enjoying the foods YOU like.. So if you want to achieve your physique goals, yes.. for sure you will have to count them.  However..

The progression of macro counting is fantastic.  The longer you do it, the more comfortable you may feel with “Intuitive dieting”

Intuitive dieting is basically eating your macros and doing math in your head.  Simply understanding that you have a certain amount of Protein, Carbs and Fat and fiber to hit and are able to do that fairly easily.

Example:  I had a Quest bar.. that was  25g protein, 27C and 8g F.   Iced coffee with it that’s an extra 10g protein… etc.  I’m doing math in my head.  It starts to actually become a natural thing the longer you do it.  This works great when you are traveling.  I have found it very easy to eat in airports with intuitive dieting.


When I get a check in from a  client that said “I didn’t track yesterday but I aimed for my protein and hit my calorie goals  pretty close”  this is awesome.  This is someone who understands her goals but can be “flexible” in her food!!

BREAKS ARE GOOD.. SOMETIMES.
I had a client check in and tell me. “I didn’t track at all for the holiday. I was on a float and ate some things, but kept my portions small. I enjoyed the day”

This is a time when you don’t need to track.   This is a flexible dieting win!  My client was aware, she enjoyed her day and she didn’t stay glued to a tracker.   She is back on her normal food right away.

I was very excited to hear her experience over the holiday simply because a dieting break is good for the soul. It’s ok.  On that break, she didn’t binge, she didn’t freak out or beat herself up.  She woke up and went back to her plan.  This is amazing.

Ok.. so I’m just not going to track and guess..
This is could be a struggle with clients who are used to starting and stopping diets.
I’m not advocating this at all. Consistency wins over perfection in the IIFYM game.  Working intuitively for long periods of time is for the advanced macro counter.

Honestly, I can’t even fathom not counting for a long period of time. If you reach that level greatness.. Cheers!!

If you are not solid on your macros. If you cannot hit them consistently. If you are prone to binges and see not tracking as an opportunity to eat in a surplus.. you are probably not ready for intuitive dieting.  That’s ok. Stick to your journey and use the tools you have to be successful.  Never give up but know that the longer you do it, the easier it will become!!

IIFYM 101: I don’t know what to eat

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When a new IIFYM client starts my program, I will typically get this questions.
“What should I  eat? I don’t know what to eat”

hmmmm..

Ok.. first of all the most important step you can do as a new IIFYMer is to  follow directions of the plan.  Our plan starts with three full days of tracking YOU.

I ask my clients to fill out their tracker with their normal food for 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day.   Looking at your normal eating habits is eye opening. It’s easy to tweak your food so it fits your macros.  If you toss the entire way you eat, and are searching for food to eat, you are missing the whole point of IIFYM.  EAT WHAT YOU WANT.

If you are low on fiber and protein, then you certainly can figure out how to add more of those. If your carbs and fats are way over, you are going to have to make some adjustments.  Simply cutting the serving sizes for overages is one way you can modify . Weigh everything in grams.
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The protein bar problem.

One client told me she was really sick and tired of trying to find a protein bar that would fit her macros for a snack.

“I need a bar that is 12g protein and 13g Carbs.  All the bars have 24g Protein and 26g carbs. “

Ok.. so she probably could simply use half the bar . Right?
Make it fit.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Clients start this project jumping ahead to the middle instead of following our directions.
A huge mistake is to start with a whole new menu because you “think” you have to.

WE NEVER TELL YOU TO DO THIS. Success in IIFYM comes from the fact that you can eat like YOU.  The more it feels like  YOU, the more consistent you will be. Consistency wins over perfection.

When you want Qdoba.. add it to your tracker and make it fit.  You can use Fatsecret.com to find all kinds of food that you might like if you have a hankering.

Hacks:
AIM FOR PROTEIN FIRST.
Most of our clients come to us eating very little protein. They end up with 100g of protein left at the end of the day and no carbs or fats.

This blog tells you where to get protein  (feel free to also search “Protein” on this blog)

Add your breakfast first.  Most of us have a favorite breakfast so put her in there and let’s see how she fits!
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This is Ashley’s pancakes with Cinnamon and pumpkin. She tweaked her recipes so it fit her macros.

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Tracy topped her waffles with syrup and Sugar free Jelly.  Man I love her. She’s bomb.

Add dinner or Movie time carbs next
If you are fired up about Taco Tuesday,  then do yourself a solid and put those tacos in your tracker in the morning or the day before. We call this FRONT LOADING YOUR TRACKER.

You can eat the tacos YOU want!    Or what about Pizza!! Maybe you have a pizza craving!! Whatever it is.. put it in so when movie time happens you have your food accounted for.


Fill in what is left for the day!!

HACK: 
Front load the whole tracker. Sit down at your PC and add the food you want to eat to your tracker for the next day.  Make it fit. Take the time to do it and pick things you want.
Make sure too add your fruit and veggie requirements and your fiber too.

Then hit the PRINT button for your menu. Eat that for 1 or two days.  You don’t have to track it again.. just follow the menu.

Even if you don’t want to food prep, you can still make convenient foods fit!
EAT WHAT YOU LIKE.

I did that but someone asked me to have lunch with them and now I don’t know what to eat.

That could happen and that’s why you are learning IIFYM. So move some things around in your plan so you can enjoy lunch with your friend. If you cannot fit it into your macros ask your friend to give you a days notice so you can be prepared!!  You are never more than 24 hours away from what you want!!

I filled in my lunch but now I have a bunch of ‘dangling macros left and I dont’ know what to eat.

If you don’t front load your dinner, evening food and eat around that all day.. this could happen.
You can do a flex bowl if you truly can’t get it together.
This is the blog on Flex bowls.  

Flex bowls are a way to take the protein you have left and create something exciting and fun with the macros  you have left.

I had a bunch of macros left over and I don’t want to eat anymore so I’m just going to bed.

ACK we get this quite a bit.  Try harder. You need to hit your macros +5/-5 grams every day.  That is your job. You are eating like it’s your job so focus.  You can do it.

If you end up with 75g protein left at the end of the day.. just move on with your life. Tomorrow, figure out how to eat more protein during the day. Increase the protein at each meal or have something extra to bring your protein up.  I like Laughing Cow cheese or even Kraft Shreds. Cottage cheese is packed with protein.

macro

Really? Still have no idea?  Go to Ripped Recipes.com and enjoy their recipe search.
Use your computer, NOT your phone because the filters are better!!
You can add the macros you have to work with and get recipes to match.
You can do a whole day or just a certain amount.
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This game is like Tetris. You can learn something new every day and when something doesn’t work.. that’s ok. You have a clean tracker tomorrow!! So get on it!!
Let’s see what you can do.

IIFYM 101: How to Get Protein like a boss

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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
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Fish
Other Seafood (shrimp, scallops)
Dairy
Milk, Chocolate milk (great post workout)
Sour cream
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
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)
Eggs
Egg whites (buy the pour-able kind)

Legumes
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)
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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!!  
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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!!

Hidden protein

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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.
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This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
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Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
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Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
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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?

Ideas:
RippedRecipes.com will help you find some fun ideas that are NOT boring.

This Blog!!  Search Protein and you will see all my ideas!!

This is Roo Ferrigno. She is very sure of her protein intake and likes to judge mine.
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I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
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Life Hack: How to take Next Level Progress photos

wpid-2015-03-14_01.08.10.jpgNo more selfies in the mirror!!
If you are on Team Sleek Body or Sleek Bikini Team  you will need to follow this protocol.

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So listen, I’m a selfie queen  but I’m also a very busy coach. I do client checks ins all day and when I get crappy check in pictures it slows down everyone’s progress.

Even if you just take progress pictures for yourself or for your FB group, I’m going to teach you how to do the next level version so you can be a BOSS!
I have progress pics weekly from the last 5 years. I can look back and see how my body has changed. Even if I don’t   see results right now, boy, you sure can see them  as time passes.

By doing it with this technique, you will always be able to grab them and do a quick side by  side!!

Reasons your check in  pictures should be good.
1. All mirrors are not created equal. Some mirrors can make you look way leaner and that will throw off your coach’s plan!!
2. If you aren’t doing full body, head to toe with shoes, you are not showing your coach what the judges see!!
3. If you are lifestyle client and your pics are cut off, camera pointing down, foggy bathroom, can’t get the back view with the mirror.. you will slow your coach down.

Show your coach your new photo skills!!    If you are just shooting your own progress pics you will be so glad you learned this hack!

What I require from my lifestyle and bikini/figure athletes
Full body pictures, head to toes. Faces can be cut off for lifestyle.
Competitors are in heels and in their  poses.

I also require a posing video from my prepping girls.  This is much more accurate than mirror selfies!! So this method is simple because you will already have your video!

OK.. here we go..
So think about your pictures. I’m not hating on this lady but I return check in pics like this.
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You can see progress but she could do better for herself and her coach. If she were posting this on, say her “fascia blaster” community she would get good feedback but this has some problems.  I care about stuff like this because we work hard so let’s fix it and really see what’s going on.

1. The right side is HUGE compared to the other side. Things that are close to the camera look bigger.
2. You can’t see her thighs on the right side. You could switch the order of the pictures and tell everyone you did some magic booty grow tea to sell some product!  We can’t see what’s happening so we need the full body and we need them both to be the same size!!

I expect this level of pictures from my clients so this is how it looks. Michelle is perfect on her check ins every time.

Here is exactly how you can do this quickly and easily so your pictures are always next level bomb!

Use a tripod or stack some shoe boxes on the dresser( we call this the South Side Tripod).
2. Set your phone to “CAMERA/VIDEO” and reverse the camera so you can see yourself in the screen.
3. Begin filming and walk way back so your full body is in the screen. If you can’t see your feet, back up. Back that train up. Trust me.
4. Hold your poses for a few seconds each. Do front, back and both sides.
5. Press STOP and go to your gallery so you can view the video.
6. Press PLAY then hit the ‘PAUSE’ . You will see a scroll on the bottom.
7. Begin to slowly scroll until you find the perfect shot.
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8.Touch the screen to make the scroll vanish and Screen Capture that picture!
You can also use the pinch method to expand your physique to fill the whole screen!!
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When you do your side by sides in your collage app you will have the same poses and can make both sides symmetrical.
This is what I see. So I need these to be the same so I can scroll and see where changes need to be made.
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Pro Tips:
1.Make sure your camera is not low and pointing up at you. Have it level for amazing results.
2. Wear the exact same thing in your pictures each time.
3. Shoot at the same time each week. My clients do their pics upon waking and after they use the rest room. They are at their dry weight which can help us  keep the conditions somewhat consistent each time they shoot.
4. Lighting should be the same too if at all possible.

Benefits:This is going to save you the heart ache of having your guy have to get up early and take your pics.  He doesn’t care about the quality but you can make sure it looks exactly right.

Many of our clients are shorter than their guys so we end up with cameras pointing down, feet and legs cut off.  We are wicked smart.. we totally have this!

16521689_1540162439330447_1388117194_nThis is baby Iggy aka Bun Bun. He is very good at his poses.

I know you are working so hard!!  Keep pushing.
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