IIFYM: You are doing it wrong

Stop eating food you hate.
Stop eating food you hate.

This week I have seen so many competitors posting about doing IIFYM and eating food they hate because their coach said so.

Can someone please tell me how to fix chicken so I don’t gag and have to drink water to get it down.  My coach has me on chicken 5 meals a day”  That was on an IIFYM Competitor forum.

Why are you eating food you hate?

I saw two meal plans from coaches that ‘said’ they were IIFYM but had only 3 protein sources to chose from. Guess which ones..
Turkey.. yep
Chicken…yep
Fish.. yep

I saw non competitors posting on IIFYM boards about being sick and tired of eating broccoli, or whatever.

Let’s start with the basics of IIFYM.

1.  If you are on IIFYM: Flexible Dieting, NO food is off limits.

2. You will be counting Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats and the micronutrient, Fiber in grams.

3. You must eat your macros daily and those are configured properly for health and based on body, your activity level, and goals by someone who understands how to do it properly. More on that later.

4. You must hit them daily +/- 5g  including your fiber.

Competitors: You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>gives you random numbers or cookie cutter macros /PDF that everyone gets.  Macro numbers are based on a scientific formula.
SCIENCE!
science

> gives you a list of options for your food choices.  Remember, no food is off limits.  That’s not IIFYM.
You can eat what you want as long as it’s on this list of 5 things

I saw a menu this week that had

“Post workout you can have 2 plain rice cakes and 1 table spoon of jelly.”

Macros for that are:
27 carbs
1g protein
0 fat
0 fiber

Why not have a banana?
1 med banana
27 carbs
1g protein
0 fat
3g fiber
You got some fiber! Whoo hoo.

You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>tells you things you CANNOT eat. Nothing but  Walden farms salad dressing and plain salsa  for condiments is NOT IIFYM.
No fruit allowed. No dairy (protein much?)  Basically.. you should just hit your numbers.
Caveat, I’m not going to say that there are not circumstances  in prep that call for you to make adjustments as you near your show. For the most part, you should be eating .Good coaches will help you with IIFYM . My IIFYM coach gave me suggestions for high carb day of Skinny pop or Skinny Cow.  Sometimes, in prep we will have to tighten things up a lot but   at 12 weeks out, if you limited to tilapia and asparagus, you are seriously bumming!
Which you already know!

Flexible Dieting in 1979?? WHAT?  READ THIS!

I love this. 1979 YO
I love this. 1979 YO  He used Flexible dieting and He won the Olympia!

You are doing it wrong if you have a coach who
>does not have a fiber number for you to hit.  Red flag.

>has your fats below 20% of your daily intake.  I said it. Health first!
Sports Nutrition tells us that you should NEVER go below  20% not even on the crash diets.  Fats are important to your hormones and brain function.  One egg yolk a day for 12 weeks  is NOT the only fat you need.  Show prep or not.  It’s not healthy!

>is flat out starving you and giving you hours of cardio . (I threw that in because WTH?  You should not be ‘starving’ on IIFYM because you can use volume foods and make them fit!

What about non competitors?

You are doing it wrong if you are freaking out over your macro tracker. If you can’t figure out what to replace one food with and it stresses you out.  If you are out of egg whites, eat greek yogurt. Make your food fit. Namaste! It takes a few weeks to get a groove. Keep trying.

You are doing it wrong if you are eating the same 5 things every day.
Sports Nutrition 101 says we need at least 35 different foods per week.   Two Quest bars and 2 salads every day  is NOT healthy.  Eat a variety of  food that makes you happy and make it fit!

You  are doing it wrong ( and this makes me so mad) if you take the numbers you are given and “cut them in half” or cut out a whole nutrient group so you will “get thin”.    This thinspo mentality is
horrific and damaging to our bodies.  Calling it IIFYM and starving is NOT ok.

You are doing it wrong if you are dragging Tupperware to restaurants still.  (Competitors in prep are excluded here).
You can make a plan using the site Fatsecret.com. They list all the macros for resturants! Or just look at the actual restaurants website for their nutritional information.  If you are going to  get Mexican food, you can probably figure out, what’s in a burrito and  get a solid count.  I take my mini scale with me, but I’m competing. Just sayin.

You are doing it wrong if you “leave out whole groups of food”.
You seriously won’t die, if you “drink” some calories.  I know, I used to feel differently.  Seriously, if you have a Flat White and make it fit.. you will be fine. Are you happy? Did you enjoy it? Good!

You are doing it wrong if you refuse to track and just “eyeball” your portions.  As a coach, I see this and it’s usually followed by  “IIFYM” doesn’t work. Well..   If you are beginning on IIFYM you need to measure everything on your scale in grams. Not half cups or tablespoons in your silverware drawer.  You will learn to do intuitive dieting later  but you must first get serious about knowing portion sizes.  Weigh your peanut butter so you really know what 2 Table spoons (32g) looks like.  Mind blown.  I lost 5 pounds when I used the scale instead of relying on that table spoon measurement!

If you have not tracked everything correctly, how will your coach/trainer know what to tweak. Everyone is different. This is data. 😉

eyes up! Weigh it properly for success!
eyes up! Weigh it properly for success!

You are doing it wrong if you have dangling macros and you don’t eat them because you think you will lose weight faster.  Remember how we talked about your body starving and holding on to fat? Eat your food. Food is good.

You are doing it wrong if you have dangling macros and you don’t eat them because you don’t know what to eat.  How do you not know what to eat? Eat what you like.

TOM

THE BIG “NO!”
You are for sure doing it wrong if you have to ask a public forum
“I have 10 carbs, 4 fat grams and 23 grams of protein, what should I eat?”
Stop doing that.   Learn about Flex bowls. (Blog post is here)
Asking other people what you should eat is ridiculous.  If you really are so unable to fathom what to eat, go to Ripped Recipes.com and
put in your dangling macros and figure it out.

Secrets of why you can’t keep your weight off

Restrictive diets work.. temporarily
Restrictive diets work.. temporarily

Fact:
Everyone is looking for the ultra quick fix for weight loss.  Diets by nature are restrictive.

Here are some of the ones I see  online.

No eating after 7pm
No carbs
No grains
No fats
No fruit
All juice
No juice
All fruit, veggies , no protein
All protein, nothing else
Fasting
Eating only baby food and less than 500 calories a day
No sweets, no processed food, NO no no no

FACT:
To put it in very simple terms:
To successfully lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit.
So by default, if you eat less food, or burn extra calories  you will lose weight. Simple right???

Then why is there still a 60+ percentage obesity rate.

Quick fixes sell
This is nothing new.  Since the dawn of time, people have been looking for the magic pill for weight loss.

The problem is that restrictive diets are ‘restrictive’. Science tells us  that people who lose  weight on crash diets, will gain the weight they lost back and more!

You have an over 80% chance  of gaining more weight!

Did you need science to tell you that?  Everyone knows someone who has lost and gained at least once!
kirstie-alley-people-cover

As a competitor who has done the normal Bro-science prep, I can assure you this is real. The interesting thing,
which I now consider data, is that upon regaining 15 of the 20 pounds I lost, the fat came back placed differently, and it’s tough to get rid of!

Basically, if you restrict yourself and then go back to  to the eating habits you had before, you will rebound.
This is a post starvation rebound.

Socially, it’s grueling
tup

There is something to be said about the un-socialness of restricted dieting. Friends get fussy if you aren’t eating or drinking with them.
Some people get judgey with you while you are dieting and going places socially is, sometimes, too much temptation.  We often see clients fall into the “Screw it!” mentality and eat more food and drink than they would have if they just allowed themselves to eat well.

What else?

_hyper__027
Another reason why restrictive diets aren’t effective for permanent weight loss is mental. If you are told you cannot have something, isn’t that typically what you really want?   On my last prep, I stayed up at night pinning recipes of sugary desserts and treats to binge on post show. I had dreams of vats of cake icing.  The first thing I ate after stepping of the stage was a pound of Birthday Cake Fudge that had more butter in it than I would eat in a year.  I don’t even remember tasting it!  So when you throw the baby out with the bath water.. the baby is GONE!  Buffets here we come!

Metabolism
Another reason, restrictive diets fail is metabolic adaptation. You metabolism isn’t static. Every time you put yourself on a restricted diet, your metabolism adapts to that amount of food for survival.
If we are eating so much less, we must be starving!  After you stop your diet and go back to your old eating habits, you will gain because you are now in a surplus of calories from where your body has adjusted.

So which ‘diet’ should I do to lose fat and keep it off?”

Any diet that you can see yourself realistically on for at least the next year is the one you should do.

Consistency is your greatest ally in the fat loss endeavor.
Stopping and starting diets,  starving  followed by binging  these things lack consistency.

I have learned a great many things following the process of competition prep and Flexible dieting.  Things I swore by, I no longer hold to be true.

Flexible dieting works for me and many others, to help them get off this roller coaster. Eating foods that satisfy your nutritional needs as well as your mental ones is quite liberating.  Flexible dieting means no food is off limits.   While I cannot eat a whole cake, I can certainly be accountable for a piece if I want it.

I am finding that meeting my nutritional needs with food I like makes me feel amazing.  Being ‘perfect’ on flexible dieting isn’t the goal.  Being consistent is the goal and it’s not that hard.

Long term, we can expect that by eating well, training hard we can expect solid body changes for the better.  We must be willing to work toward long term goals as well as our short term ones.

If you need help with your macros or workouts,  you can contact me here https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1784339-lO8cLAnEsY

Round Booty Blaster

This is my special secret weapon the round booty blaster.
This move is guaranteed to give you a burn on your glute like no other.

We say “booty in the back seat, chest on the dashboard”. That means, push your hips to the back
wall as far as you can and your chest presses forward and is lifted.  Make sure your leg goes
back!

Here’s how I would use this:

Heavy sumo squats 20 reps
+
20 RBB each side
3-4 sets.

I would also use this on a metabolic workout! It’s so hard!
Get it!

No Scale February Challenge

SE

Omgoodness.. every day I get email after email about the scale!
Stop with the scale already! I totally understand but it’s time to get over it!

The scale is not an accurate representation of body composition.

Oh,. remember last week when this happened to me?

3 weeks difference with no change on the scale.
3 weeks difference with no change on the scale.

In case you missed my last two years of blogs about why the scale is dumb and if you have too many committments to go look them up.. here’s a recap.

1. Water will show on the scale. Six ounces of water “can” show up to a pound on the scale. You body is made of water so figure that out.

2. Eating carbs puts moisture into the muscle (good thing). See number 1.

3. Hormones will make the scale shift.

4. Your body weight fluctuates on the scale up to 6 times daily.

5. Biggest Loser weigh-ins are TV! They are dehydrated, they pee blood and have kidney issues from sitting in saunas for 4 hours a day. This is NOT real.  You need to eat and train to lose body fat! Science said so!

Science:
To gain weight (fat) you need a surplus of calories and 3600 calories will equal a pound.
If you want to lose weight (bodyfat) you will need to be in a deficit of the same 3600 calories. (less food or exercise ) Calories matter.

So having some salt and gaining 3 actual  pounds is NOT possible.

NO SCALE FEBRUARY CHALLANGE
My goal for this month is to create “No Scale February” or “Self-uary”.  

This challenge is very simple to do. I wonder how many of you can complete it without cheating.

1. Begin with a set of selfies or have someone shoot your beginning pics.  Front, side, and back shots are best!

2. Measure your waist, hips and abs and write that down.
If you need help with these things visit my “How to measure tutorial”.

3. Commit to your macros and your water each and every day.

4. Train 4-5x a week consistently.

On February 14 and 28 repeat numbers 1 and two.
You will use your collage app to see your side by side comparisons.
We will check back with selfies at the end of the month for results.

Results:
If you are see your body changing and your clothes are fitting better, what difference is the scale?  No one ever, at any time will ask you what you weigh. No on stage,  not on a date. It’s not important. It’s NOT important.

Rules:
You must NOT, no matter what.. abandon this challenge. If you binge drink on Mardi Gras, get right back to your plan. If you eat candy Valentines Day, get back on your plan.  No scales, just day to day successes.

My hope is that without the stress of the impending weigh in you can focus your energy on positive steps toward your physique goals.

Challenge ON!

If you still don’t know about the scale.. read my posts here

If you want me to see your selfies for accountability: You can drop them here.

Best Glute Blaster

Gym time! I used my heavy duty giant rubber band from Dick’s Sporting goods for this one.   You can hook your band around the dead lift bars in the cage or squat rack at your gym.  Grab a bench and start thrusting.

Stay in your heels and pull your toes up to really keep the work in the glutes.

The red band is a Slingshot. This red one is the mega tight one which really activates your glutes the second you put it above your knees. It’s almost unbearable.

The goal with this burnout is to stay up and squeezing with the the lifts. I don’t want any bit of this work to be done with my back, or calves or whatever. It’s sheer will to keep pulsing for as long as you can.  Challenge and change tempos. Squeeze, holds, fast pulses and keep your knees from caving!  Glutes are screaming!

xoxo

Ps.  Tank is VSX studio Tank. Pants are from Capezio. 🙂

 

Show update 21 weeks out

arkansas
First of all.. picked my shows. If I’m ready, my first is June 20, 2015 in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Starting the cut
I have struggled with binge eating after my last show in June.   If you follow my blog you know this.  I rebounded from my Bro diet hard and ate  some great food. I added muscle too.  I got some great lifts while I was getting fluffy. No apologies. I’m fixing this problem. It’s a journey, for sure!

The process
I began a slow cut January 1. I made a change to remove most processed foods like cookies and candy, pastries because I was being triggered by the sugar.  I am NOT on a a bro diet at all. I’m simply eating more whole foods and enjoying things I KNOW I would have  never gotten to eat on my Bro-prep.  IIFYM  Tracy Style.  I’m ONLY using processed sugars around my leg workouts and eating things that are not triggers for binges.

My Goal
My goal was to cut 1 pound a week until I’m 10 pounds from show weight then start my official 12 prep-whenever that would be.

In my mind, I’m 20 pounds from my show weight right now. 153.

I started January 1 at 157 and dropped immediately to 153, then 152, then back up to 153, where I have been for 3 solid weeks. EVERY SINGLE DAY!

My beginning macros were 1800 calories and we upped them in week 2 to 1900 and I’m at about 200g Carbs per day.
I’m not carb cycling.  I just want to eat well and not binge and I’m doing great on that!

FRUSTRATED!

I was very stressed at the scale! I was contemplating adding more cardio! Hey, my FitBit said I should have lost 3 pounds a week!
My head kept saying, cut back,  cut carbs at 21 weeks out!  I was seriously freaking because my plan was NOT happening.

Fortunately,  I had taken  my beginning pics  on January 4. I hate these with all my heart!  UGH! Fluffy but determined!

3 weeks difference with no change on the scale.
3 weeks difference with no change on the scale. Left side is 200g carbs a day. I added more food to see what would happen.

I took the next set January 24. I just woke up no spray tan, no pump, just 5am -me.  I like these!!  I know I have miles to go in 21 weeks but I’m encouraged!  More food!

Flex prep!
There is not one other person in this world who cares as much about my health or show prep than me. I will do what it takes to
flex prep properly. If I can’t compete until later, I’m ok with that!
I’m  100 percent responsible here.  I will be successful! Yeah, I said it. No one would be as anal as me about this!   After 2 eye diseases, I’m doing this right.

I’m actually  not scared. I will reach the stage without starving, or burning off my glutes with hours of cardio. I’m only doing 2 x 15 min HIITs right now. I’m lifting heavy 6 days a week. Changes will come later as needed.  Stay the course and eat.

What I learned :
With my past  Bro preps (low carb, dangerously low fats) the scale moved.  I’m eating more carbs now than I ever had before.  By nature, the scale will be inaccurate because of the carbs.
I expect it to move eventually. I typically hold for a bit then drop.
However, the scale is not going to be the determining factor this prep.  I will be leaner for my shows, but I won’t be hungry and ready to pass out on stage again!

So that’s the long update for today!!

xoxo

Kodiak Protein pancakes!

kodiak

For you Flexgirls who are ready to branch out, Kodiak Protein pancake mix is FANTASTIC!
You simply add 1 cup water and  1 cup mix! Super simple and can be used in many different ways.
I found them at Target but Costco has the giant box! FlexGirls dream come true!
Each serving
Calories: 190
P: 14g
C: 30g
F: 2g
Fiber: 5g

High carb day whoo hooo!
There are 100’s of recipes that are IIFYM friendly on Pinterest using the Kodiak mix.
p2

 

I found this picture on Pinterest. I would make this with the Kodiak mix.
Adding Strawberries to the mix and on top. Sprinkles are optional!
straw
If I needed more protein, I might mix greek yogurt with the berries and stevia to create
a sweet icing.

Or.. If I’m feeling like Beyoncé, I would do a variation, Birthday girl Kodiaks.
I found this pic on Pinterest so I know I can make my Kodiaks as directed.
Adding zero fat greek yogurt, plus vanilla protein powder and a little SF or Fat Free Cool whip
to make the icing.  Sprinkles all around.

bdc

When you start with your pancake base macros, you can get creative and see what fits!
xoxo

No Jiggle Arm blaster

I train A LOT of brides!  Like a bikini competitor, there is NO margin for error on getting your look right.
You need to be camera ready and one area women struggle with is the “bat wing.”

Bat wing:  That jingle jangle part of the arm that NO one wants.   I’m very sure some snarky man named it that but I assure you that in MY studio, my clients do not rock a bat wing.  EVER.

Ok.. we have to do a full body workout and our symmetry has to be correct. Lots of tricep, back, guns but this one is a finisher that really pretties up the back of the arm.  Plus it hits that lat nicely so you can rest assured your strapless dress will lay flat. Your whole upper body will thank you.

Keep your chest lifted and your core tight as you press down.  I use a weight that is heavy enough to load the muscle but I do not want to see my clients struggling to press the bar down using their back.  I am almost moving too much in my video.
Focus on feeling the work in the back of the arm and squeeze.  Don’t just go through the motions “I wish I were somewhere else.”  Put the focus into those muscles!

This is one finisher we use  and feel free to hold it for a few seconds at the bottom for some extra burn.

Oh.. you won’t get to see that gorgeous, lean physique if your food isn’t spot on! So hit those macros!!
xoxo

It’s time for posing and new shoes!!

Posing class for 2015 has officially begun.
Posing class for 2015 has officially begun.

I hired a posing coach.  In one hour I gained some pretty intense new perspective and
where I was going wrong.  My last show, I was self study which I do not recommend.
Basically what you “think” looks right and good in the mirror is NOT what the judges see.
Everything is about how you look from the judges table and they are lower than the stage.
Angles mean everything.

Different federations have different poses that you are judged on.
In bikini, you are going to be judged on a front pose and a back pose.
The judges are looking for the best total package and bad posing can make or break
your chances. I need to be STRONG this year in posing.

Many competitors begin their posing a few weeks out from the show.
Trust me, you do not want to do that. If you have time, then get with your coach now.
You have to practice, tweak then when you are stage ready, she may change your pose stance
depending on how it looks because you are lean!!  You have to be so comfortable that you can take changes in stride.

SECRET:  I have competed where the stage manager changed our walk pattern  exactly
right before we stepped on stage!  There was oil and feathers left on the stage from another
body builder and that presented a slipping hazard. We had to t-walk on the fly!
I’m not saying that was right but things like this happen!

Shoes:
I love my platforms!
Alas, we have decided to switch to the mini platform stage shoe.
I’m so comfortable in those big platforms because those are what I normally rock!
When I tried on the tiny platform ones, I felt like a fish out of water so I am certainly
going to have to work harder this year to master these.

I think this one is nice.
I think this one is nice.

The suit I picked out is so fantastic that I may even go with a (gasp) plain shoe
so the focus is not so much on my feet.  I’m open to that.

If you aren’t sure what shoe you want, you can visit Uncle Larry’s  Hustler Club stores
and try on a few pairs.  Those stores are always in the big cities so you won’t have to
shield your eyeballs over on the East Side. Well,  you still will.
I have found that different brands run small.  My first pair of Pleaser platforms became
too big for me to wear on stage. I kept falling. Your feet get lean too.

If you don’t find a pair you like at least you know the fit of the brand.
You can order online by searching:
bikini competition shoes
fitness competitor shoes
exotic shoes

The plastic upper molds to your foot the longer you wear it and the shoe becomes
molded to your feet so get to practicing in your shoes.

Secret: I added little skids to the bottom of my shoes . You may or may not want to consider that.
Sometimes venues have slick stages and body oil is present.

HIIT: full body Kettle bell blaster

This is a Kettle bell pass through, plus twist.  This is a huge move and pretty tough if you are  not used to using kettle bells.  Start in a squat position and pass the bell under your leg and around, you are going to have to use some big force to get it back up high enough so it is level.  You want to “high five” the bottom of the bell; Keeping it level as you twist.   I’m using a 30 pound bell here. I did this for 5 rounds of 30 seconds.  It’s crazy. I don’t think it ‘looks’ nearly as hard as it is. I was sweating filming clips!