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?
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!
If Quik Trip is local to you, you might have seen this egg bowl in their stores. I had the chance to taste it last fall and it was insane. I know a lot of restaurants serve this as well.
Last night, we recreated this masterpiece for my prep macros. I have no pic, because I ate it up. But it looked much like the above one so go with that.
1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
In the pan with cooking spray, heat your onions first.
Next add the crumbles until they are hot.
Eggs go next
Put the cheese on top and put a lid on it so it melts.
You can modify anything here just adjust your macros.
If you take out the whole egg you can take off 5g Fat. I use an omega egg so
that’s a good way to get my EFAs. If you have the fat, get some real cheddar!
It’s so good!
BRO ALERT: If your coach has locked you down to Bro-city, you can still rock this meal.
Use cooked ground turkey and seasonings instead of your sausage.
The mister has been binge watching “Top Chef” so my prep has gone to level 3000.
This sandwich is the bomb and the macros are fierce! Seriously, you can use whatever you want to make your own to fit your macros but this was one I had for Brekkie!! It’s a good pre workout too.
2 slices 97/3 Ham
1 slices FF turkey
100 calorie english muffin
1 slice FF cheese
1/2 egg whites
Splash of vanilla
Mix egg whites and vanilla together
beat it until it is frothy
Drop the muffins into the mixture and let it soak up the eggs.
Fry the bacon and turkey in a pan with some cooking spray.
Remove from the pan.
Put the muffins in the pan and pour the rest of the mixture on top.
Flip them over then put the turkey and ham and cheese on the muffin.
Close it like a sandwich. cover the pan so the cheese melts.
Serve with syrup and jelly or powdered sugar if you have the carbs.
Your macros will vary but you can make it fit, even with some
I know you are working hard on your prep!! Keep going!
Hello December! Friends… you are about to bombarded with food, food and more food.
Also in December, we are bombarded with a million weight loss quick fixes guaranteed to give you a super model body with no effort.
If you are on social media, you’ve seen diet teas, magic workouts, booty bands, menu plans.. omg.
Before you click ” Purchase” on that quick fix plan, let me tell you the truth!!
Here are a few reasons your plan is setting you up to fail.
1. Your mindset “I am going to eat everything in sight now and then lose weight starting in January”
How has that worked for you in the past? It doesn’t. One reason we see clients struggling is because they live in the ‘all or nothing’ world.
“If I can’t eat everything, I will eat nothing. ”
That only lasts so long. With little balance, nothing in life really can be successful.
Success tip: Set your December up for eating well but taking positive steps to not over indulge. Eating smaller portions is one way you can enjoy the Holiday’s without eating in a surplus.
Drink less alcohol! We practice Faux Drinking during the Holidays. You can see more here at my Holiday Survival Guide.
2. Your program:
When a person finally decides to “lose weight” we often learn that there was and
“x factor” that created the desire to act. Something drastic happens.
“I saw a picture of my self at the dinner table at Aunt Minnie’s house and I was chewing!”
Sometimes a partner or stranger says something critical. Perhaps moving up a clothing size is the X factor. It’s very normal to feel desperate and be reactionary.
Things that promise “instant weight loss” are very attractive to a person who has had this
moment of truth.
Success tip: The program you should be doing is the one you see yourself on 1 year from now. Studies show that over 80 percent of people who do restrictive dieting rebound and gain their weight back! This is also very hard on your metabolism!! So let’s take a moment and think about where you see yourself in a year. Do you see yourself in the exact same place as now, but more frustrated? Let’s make a plan right now to stop repeating behaviors that are not working!!
SECRET:The most successful programs are those that are sustainable and can be done with consistency.
When you see a plan you want to try, do your homework. Research. If your new plan has 6 small meals a day and barely get a lunch break at work.. that’s not a good sign!
If your new plan requires you to remove fruit, carbs, or other food groups, ask yourself if that is sustainable. It’s not. You already know it’s not.
Really think about WHO you are. Search for the plan that works with YOU.
3. No clear cut goals: I want to lose weight is the worst goal I’ve ever heard. It’s the same as I want a million dollars. Well… ok.
Get specific!! Really sit down and think about it. What do you want? Do you want to fit into your clothes again? Do you want to go all the way and rock a bikini body?
Think harder.. hmmm
What do you want your physique to look like? Do you want leaner legs?
Would you like a peach booty? This is about YOU. Be specific.
Success tip: WRITE THIS DOWN! Studies show that we are more successful in reaching our goals if we write them down.
SECRET: It’s awesome to have your long term goal but let’s write down a few short term goals and how you will accomplish them.
In January when everyone starts hard then drops out so quickly, set yourself up for a set of small goals that will help you feel successful. I promise you, hitting goals is very motivating!
Example: I will make it to the gym 4 x this week. I will do that by putting that into my calendar as a very important meeting.
If you have to break it down to just one day at time.. that’s OK!! “I will track my food today” I will do that by using my phone tracker or I will set an alarm to remind me to add my food.
If you have to break it down to 1 meal at a time.. do it.
SUCCESS TIP:String together successes even small ones add up and keep you motivated. We keep going when we are doing well!!
Do you need help with your food? We can teach you how to eat what you love and get lean!
You can be successful. Our class is done online!! whoo hooo.. Check us out here
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!
Working with as many clients as I have for the past 35 years, I have noticed certain patterns of sabotage that can destroy physique goals. My goal is to help clients recognize and problem solve.
Problem: All or nothing attitude.
“Well.. I just blew my diet so I may as well eat everything I want then start back tomorrow.”
Does that sound at all like you? So many clients tell me they are either hardcore dieting or propelling into a buffet, face first at warp speed. The “all or nothing attitude” can be created by habitual on again off again diets.
What you should know. Consistency not perfection is how you make progress in your physique goals. No one is perfect and we don’t need to pretend to be.
Solution: What we need is a plan that will allow us to eat things that make us happy so we can follow through on that 7 days a week. Falling off a diet is not a fail. It’s a learning experience. Why did you derail? Was it lack of preparation? Was it a certain food triggered your hunger? Each time you notice a concern, problem solve it. Fix it the same way you would fix a leaky faucet. It’s not personal. If you need to plan ahead more.. do it.
Even when we derail, remember tomorrow’s tracker is empty! We keep trying again and again. Soon you have strung together weeks and months of successes and those blips won’t matter.
Problem: Diet ADHD “I blew my diet so I will just go on the Whole 30, or HGH or Dr. Oz’s new total starvation plan”
You need another style diet like a hole in the head. Switching gears to, yet another diet isn’t the solution when the diet isn’t really the problem at all. Diet fails aren’t really fails. They are learning opportunities. No one is perfect at their diet but we can get better by problem solving.
I call out the Whole 30 because basically you get a whole lot of nothing to eat. Food group elimination seems like the perfect reaction from someone who has just felt that they failed their current plan. It’s super OCD, restrictive and straight up punishment for your screw up!
What you should know: Thinking that one diet works better than another because it is more restrictive is setting you up to fail. Studies show that 80% of restrictive dieters will rebound.
Solution: Consistency wins over perfection. The diet you should do is the one you see yourself doing a year from now. Not half ass doing but for reals. How about, while you are at it, stop punishing yourself with food or lack of!! That would be great.
Problem: Detox Debby “If I do a juice cleanse, detox, detox teas, zero carbs, 24 hour fast, I’ll lose weight so I’ll do that.”
Again, you are switching gears and how has that worked for you in the past. This client is throwing things at the problem to see what sticks.
What you should know: You don’t need a detox diet because you have a liver.
“Your liver detoxifies harmful substances in two steps. The first step uses enzymes and oxygen to burn toxins, especially fatty ones, so they are more water soluble, making them easier for the body to eliminate.”
When you do a juice cleanse, you are still ingesting calories and carbs and well.. macros. These are things should be eating anyway! Juicing removes much of the fiber!
If you take out all the fiber.. why is that a good thing? You could add juicing to your IIFYM plan if you like it but restricting food other than veggies still leaves you with a restricted diet. And where will your protein come from? You still need protein. Remember?
Now.. if you are juicing for weight loss.. remember science. To lose body fat you must be in a caloric deficit. Basically starving on really healthy food is still starving.
If you are doing the low carb/no carb plan, you are going to see the scale move because you are losing water. Carbs draw water into the muscle so once you get off your plan and eat again.. scale will go back up. Did you lose fat.. .. though? It was water. WATER.
If your detox tea makes you pee or poop, you could really start with some dandelion root tea and eat fiber each day! Dandelion tea is at the grocery store and is a natural diuretic. It is in a lot of products with the word “shred” on it. Good info, Yes?
Solution: Stop wasting your hard earned money on magic potions and solutions. You are smart enough to know that these protocols are very temporary. Being honest with yourself , can you see yourself living on this plan for the next full year? What is going to happen when you stop this restriction? Will you find yourself in a binge?
Sustainability wins over perfection.
Problem: I eat great during the week then blow it out of the water on the weekends.
Well.. this is really just about everyone I know and this is a big one! Being “good” during the week is somewhat easy because it’s more routine. The weekends are social or off routine.
Let’s talk about Mary: She’s on a fat loss plan and she’s doing great Monday-Friday because she has a routine. Weekends she finds herself at the ball game, bbq, having a few drinks .. well you get the picture she’s in a surplus of calories from her plan. (Binge)
Monday rolls around and she’s upset because she didn’t lose any weight. She might be heavier on Monday and begins a plan to “really get it together”. This week she tells herself she will not have any sugar, dairy, or carbs. (Restrict) That lasts for a bit until she derails again. (Binge)
Several months pass for her and she’s steadily gaining weight and highly frustrated!
What you need to know:Consistency wins over perfection.
Mary needs to be in a deficit for the the entire 7 days for fat loss. The 5 day a week deficit was great but the weekend put her calories into a surplus for the whole week! Those numbers would be super bulking numbers!! Her body is now set to store not lose fat.
Solutions: Mary is great at her work week and a simple weekend plan would be one thing she could do. Mary could go to her tracker and put the macros in for the food she is going to eat on her date this weekend. She could plan the amounts of food she can eat that will fit her plan and stick to that.
She could also save some carbs from her week and use them for her event on Saturday. She would still need to eat her nutrition/macro goals but she will eat what she likes and be accountable . Since she is consistent with her total calories for the week, she will be remain in a deficit and continue her fat loss.
Problem: End around the plan so you can continue to “do what you want”. Examples:
“I saved all my carbs and fats for the whole week so I could go to Craft Beer Fest 2016.”
“I ate no carbs and fat all week and had 300 g fat so I could eat at the buffet and drink all weekend.”
“I save all my carbs all day long so I can eat what I want on the couch and watch movies.”
What you need to know: These things just chap my hide.So let me start this one by saying, this attitude/behavior is never going to help you ever get the physique you want.
We all need to eat for our health, and we have macro nutrient needs that we must meet daily. Our bodies need macro nutrients, protein, fats and carbs especially if we are training or body building! We must not eliminate them in attempt to save calories for binges!!
Our brains require certain nutrients and we certainly don’t want to mess up our hormones!
Eating on our macros daily is good for our physique but also good for our health. We all need a balanced diet.
Solutions: One thing a person could do is carb cycling. Carb Cycliing is basically taking your carbs for the whole week and eating more on some days and less on others. If you like that idea, that’s fine as long as you are fueling your workouts. Fat cycling is not a thing. We all need our Essential Fatty Acids and fats daily for proper nutrition.
Carb hording is becoming a problem because clients are seeing an opportunity to binge.
This is not an example of problem solving an issue with your physique.
It is way to “cheat” your plan and do what you want.
Saving carbs for your evening movie night, isn’t wrong as long as you are accountable and have met your nutrtional goals for the day. Carb hoarding is a slippery slope.Clients not reaching their protein goals but overeating carbs can also find themselves in a surplus of calories or eating too much discretionary food.
Solution: Make a plan. If you are looking forward to movie night, pick something that fits your macros and put it in your tracker ahead of time. Be consistent throughout the day with your nutritional requirements of fruits, veggies, fiber.
If you are solidly committed to drinking a lot on a fat loss plan, you will be disappointed in your results. Unless your macros are high and you have room for discretionary calories, finding room to fit booze is tough. Frankly, I have yet to find a weight loss plan that allows you lots of booze.Personally I don’t think you should drink while you are cutting . You can read more about alcohol and macro tracking here. if you want to know why I’m such a hard ass on that subject.
These issues are not essentially diet related issues but non commitment.
1. Stop trying to be perfect.
2. Consistency wins in this game
3. Consider your health as well as your physique
4. Notice concerns and don’t personalize them.
5. Work on solutions one day at a time.
6. Stop doing things that don’t work.
7. Don’t try to end around your plan.
8. Problem solve for success
I know you are working hard. I hope this helps you in your journey.
Oh man.. who doesn’t love TACO’S!
I am 12 weeks out from my show and I am nailing my IIFYM prep. This one has been the most fun yet. Taco prep is going to be my new thing!
Look what I found! LaTiara Low Carb Taco Shells. I got these at my local Schnucks store in the Taco section.They are also available on Amazon and other Low carb sites. Check Google!
Each taco shell has just 4g carbs where as other shells or tortillas are around 18g carbs each.
La Tiara registers a B on MyNetDiary’s food score so that works for me.
It’s a small taco shell but it’s so good.
The macros for two tacos are
2. oz grilled tilapia
25 g light sour cream
20g fat free cheese
2 table spoon of salsa
Total for two tacos
That’s just 118 calories per taco!
Bro prep swaps: If by chance your coach has you on the “no fat ever” bro plan, you could drop down to fat free greek yogurt and only take 4g fat for the whole recipe.
I bought 72 taco shells on my last trip to the store!
Everything in my recipe has an A or B rating and would be considered “healthy”!!
What about doing Shrimp tacos? Yesss! I mixed shrimp with light sour cream, avocado and
filled the shell! mmmmm..
Try grilling Corn on the Cob if you have the carbs!
You could also use those taco shells for some nachos if you do it right!
Pro-tip: create your recipe and load it into your tracker early in the day. Just eat around the recipe so you hit all your macros/fiber/veggies/fruit requirements.
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!