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

macrosss

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.
Instagram-Perfect-9dff24
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!
17190516_1263568680378236_1601495578207310329_n
This is Ashley’s pancakes with Cinnamon and pumpkin. She tweaked her recipes so it fit her macros.

17796230_10212908317609365_9097603495480875805_n
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.
FullSizeRender (3)SEARCHripped
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

protein1

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)
image14FullSizeRender (3)
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!!  
sf5
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

oates
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.
IMG_0812
This is my Birthday Cake  crepe. The recipe is here
pancake
Here’s a Banana Protein Pancake!!!
Protein pudding is boss.. This is at Walmart,  Sup stores, Amazon.
vanilla_pudding_label_printpower
Oh Hey.. let’s make Fish Tacos!  The shells are La Tiara (4 carbs per taco shell)
tacos

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.
puppy

I know you are working hard! Don’t give up. If you need macros or help.. connect with me on
LearnIIFYM.com
t

Prepping Not Starving: Taco Tuesday

taco8
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 !taco1
Alicia scored this find at Trader Joes! 24g Protein!  Holla!
taco2
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!  taco3
Ashley is about 4 weeks out from her show. This is her masterpiece!

taco9
Coach Julia is 7 weeks from her show and this is her taco crunch wrap!
taco4
Melissa is 7 weeks from her show. These are her shrimp tacos! I love the lime. taco5
These are mine. I am 13 weeks from stage. Each one of those shells is only 4 carbs. taco7
Jen nailed her macros while eating tacos out!  um.. yes please!!
taco
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.

shell

taco
These are in the grocery store or order online. We buy 72 shells at a time!

Eat food that makes you happy!  #makeItFit

Prepping Not Starving: Pizza

pizza2
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.
pizza7
Here’s another one she did!

pizza6
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.

pizza4
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.

tracy

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
Turkey pepperoni
Marina Sauce
Fat Free shredded cheese
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes

pizza1
Melissa did a fun peperoni and sundried tomato version!  mmmmmm
pizza8
Debbie, who is 7 weeks out from her show  created this version of the white pizza!
pizza5

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!

Hey.. if you want to learn more about IIFYM.. go to LEARNIIFYM.COM and let us teach you!
If you want to join our IIFYM bikini team.. we’d love to talk to you.

Prepping Not Starving: Quik Trip Egg bowl hack

breakfast-bowl
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.

bowl

1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage Crumbles
1 whole egg
1/2 cup whites
1 slice Kraft Fat Free Singles
onions

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.

Wish I’d saved room for Buttered Toast!

Hey.. do you need help with IIFYM? Check us out at LearnIIFYM.com

Prepping not starving: The Monte Cristo Sandwich

montecristo

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!
t

20 weeks out

Just an update for my competition/fascia blaster journey!
Since I changed my show date from October to June, I’m having a “HOLY WOW”
moment.

Last week was the worst week I’ve probably had in decades. Our little Kitty went missing on Christmas and we found her last week. She had passed away outside.  She was only 2 and was my heart.  I was a wreck. I got so many grey hairs.

I also dislocated my sacrum on NYE when I slipped on some beer at the Kid Rock concert.
So I was in terrible pain. I’m thankful my chiropractor got me on the right track. My workouts were minimal though because she asked me to not lift very heavy. I couldn’t pole at all.  Tough week.  I don’t like to whine, but it was bad.

My food was good  though. Oddly.
15941367_1508358212510870_81038829478542849_n
IGGY!!
PREP
20 weeks out now and I’m feeling much better. We adopted a new baby kitten and he is wonderful.  My back is really feeling better too so I’m mentally and physically ready to start my prep with focus so I bring home a Pro Card for the Team!

Changes: Because I’m working with my Fascia Blaster and I’m working hard to fix my fascia and alignment issues I have made serious changes to my plan!

I have been blasting and got some insane results on my inner thighs. I’m still working hard on the rest but I’m seeing progress.

I have taken my workouts to zero impact. No unilateral movements, running, jumping, plyo, box jumps, back flips, burpees, NONE.  I do my cardio exactly as Ashley Black told me to. I’m training so much less overall than before and getting progress.  So we will see how I start looking now that I’m back on a cut.

The video above is the Pit Shark Squat.  I don’t use a bar on my back anymore so this one really gets it done for me.  I normally do over 200 pounds with this, but I’m still on lighter weights.  I really feel this in my glutes.  There are ways to do a Pit squat with benches and a Kettle bell. You can see that on Youtube. I just love this piece. Lucky for me , my gym has it!

15895086_10154960659949726_8222946204561615658_n
Show date is UFE Fury, Chicago June 3!!
Good luck with your show too!

IIFYM, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Pancakes

therock
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!

YOU CAN LEARN EVEN MORE ABOUT RE-FEEDS HERE

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!
capm

 

Drama! Don’t call me a “clean eater.”

tri

This past weekend was my show in Chicago. I want to preface this post by saying, I dislike drama. I don’t like to focus on the negative but I will today just to clarify my position.
I built my reputation on being healthy and balanced!

Read on:

This weekend a competitor/coach was doing a live feed and pointed her camera at me.
She said something to the effect of “She’s 51. You don’t look like this unless you eat clean.”

My hubs did NOT like that. He said “She’s not a clean eater”.
Then came the “Well. she has to or maybe you just see the bad stuff she eats ” comment.
I needed to just let that go, because it wasn’t the time or place.
I did stand up for myself and said “My nutrition is on point”.

 I am passionately NOT a clean eater. Clean eating did NOTHING for me.

Clean eating from my competition coaches.
7 small meals spaced 2-3 hours apart of turkey chicken fish and spinach or green beans.
I got 2 eye diseases from one bro prep because my  HDL (good cholesterol) was so low my doctor demanded I quit my competition prep.  My immune system was wrecked.

I lost 35 % of the vision in my eye. But hey.. I eat clean.

Clean eating gave me an intense fear of food and led me into terrible cycles of restrict binge.  I was obsessed.

Clean eating gave me zero balance!

IIFYM takes a bad rap in the bodybuilding community for the under educated. This woman is just another  who really doesn’t understand that all food has macro nutrients.  Old school prepping is based on old science.  We look to  new studies for IIFYM and it’s very nutritionally sound. My nutrition is balanced because that is incredibly important to me.
In fact, I learn from the best in the industry every single day and we use science!

But.. you may be surprised to know that the basics of IIFYM require minimums of
fruits, veggies and fiber along with meeting protein, carbs and fat goals.
By nature, IIFYM is more balanced and nutritionally sound than ‘clean eating’ alone.

If you follow my blog, you know how I eat. I eat well. My off seasons are full of wonderful, food that makes me happy. I eat with my family and do not carry Tupperware to functions.

I used to.

I don’t pretend that suffering in my show prep makes me a better athlete.
I don’t post pictures of 30 containers of broccoli and tilapia to show how bad ass I am.

I used to.

I am 100% committed to show how flexible dieting does work for lifestyle and competitors.
I am committed to helping others understand that clean eating is not sustainable and we are our best and most successful when we can choose consistency over perfection.

Oh.. and  yes.. you  may know that I eat very nutrient dense foods in my last weeks because it’s hard to fit other things in.  Show prep is tough so my food is locked down but it’s still flexible and I still like it. I would never step on stage again if I had to eat chicken 6x a day. I would quit the first day.  Truth.
me

I am 51 years old and I hold my own. I like the way I look. This may sound terrible, but if someone else doesn’t like my physique, I really don’t care. I work to be the best I can be with what I have to work with. I know I have work to do on my physique. My goals are to get better each year. This year, my goal was to bring a better package than last year and also to be more in tune with my health and micro nutrition.  Oh.. and  I didn’t look better on a clean eating/bro  diet. I didn’t.  (age 47/49 were bro prep)
I actually didn’t.

I am a better athlete not because I suffered with my food, but because I am  in tune with what my body needs.

If you want to know.. here’s how I look the way I do at 51.
Hard work in the gym.
Water.
No sun.
Skin care
IIFYM.

I look better with solid nutrition, inner peace, joy in my food, and freedom from food fears.
I look better without deprivation, starvation, blindly following old science with nothing to back it up.
I look better because I wake up each day with choices and goals.
I look better because I don’t beat my self up for eating cookies . I eat what I like.

I look better because I’m balanced.  I look better because I’m happy and I won’t be an example of anything less.

Here’s some hardware.
First place bikini masters, 2nd place Glamour and top 5 in the bikini open.  #IIFYM
14925477_1422697721076920_1606753999465565149_n