WEIGHT LOSS HACK: STOP LABELING YOUR EATING STYLE

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The culture of diets is as hostile as the cult of fitness.  There is a mentality that says
“My way or the highway” .

“Keto is the only way to go. Low carb means you lose weight.”
“Eat clean to lose weight.”
“I only eat Paleo.”
“I don’t eat any sugar, ever. It will kill you.”

So may people go from one style to another style in search of the holy grail eating but they foil themselves because.. these things are NOT sustainable.

If you have fat to lose you will do so by being in a calorie deficit. That could be by
 burning calories, or in taking less calories.

The style of eating you do over all is not what makes you lose weight.

So listen,  I can understand wanting to  jump on a band wagon for lightning fast results.
I understand the desire to grasp at magic bullets, or extremes but let’s start here.

If these things (diets) were fool proof, we would not have an alarming obesity rate world wide.

But let’s get back to you.. I want to help you feel better about your food choices so let’s give up the labels.

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When you are thinking about all the food you ‘cannot’ have.

By nature, the restriction of food groups could trigger binges.
Have you ever told yourself, “No more sugar.” 
What is it you crave the most while on your new plan?  Sugar.
When we restrict ourselves from certain food groups, we are essentially, white knuckling our eating.  There’s no peace, there is militant, discipline and on the other side, failure if things don’t go as planned.

Keto: restricts carbs.
Paleo restricts Grains
Clean restricts “processed” food.
Competition Bro diet: No fruit, dairy, processed food.. good grief.

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By nature, restrictive diets limit food groups and therefore micro nutrition suffers.
When you are restricting veggies and fiber your body notices.  When you are restricting fruit, you miss out on the glorious nutrition of vibrant colors and sources of vitamins!
When you restrict all sugar, you have to remove pretty much everything fun because even frozen yogurt has lactose which is technically sugar.  Bummer.
Dairy can be a great source of protein!
Are you willing to let your overall nutrition suffer so you can  sit at the back of the bus with all the ‘bros?’

WHEN BRO DIETS MAKE YOU ILL

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By nature, labeling our eating style sets us up for failure and it’s not necessary.

This is the big one:   The eating disorder, Orthorexia comes to mind here. The clean eater, is terrified of eating anything ‘not clean’ or things that are processed.  What we typically see with the clean eater is frequent binges of ‘non clean things’ .  So basically, it’s not sustainable.

“I only eat clean, until I’m face down in a bucket of icing or doing late night at Denny’s after the bar.”

“I eat clean, gluten free.. but I love this craft beer and I drink Whey protein”
Both are clearly processed.  So it’s only clean because you made up that it is.

There is NO such thing as clean. Even blueberries are processed.

Why there is no such thing as clean
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We often see the ‘clean eater’ purchasing large amounts of “clean” food for binges.
“I can’t help it. At night I ate 5 RX bars. I feel so bad about myself”
“I can’t stop eating almonds from Trader Joes, they are clean but I can’t lose my belly fat”

IIFYM/FLEXIBLE DIETING/MACRO COUNTING
The problem with labels is.. what difference does it make?  You could stop labeling your eating style and follow IIFYM which could be done any way you like.

With IIFYM we are simply counting
Protein P
Fat F
Carbs C
and the micro nutrient Fiber.

All food has macros. All food.  You can find that information on the label or look up nutrition on sites like FatSecret.com
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We set your macros for physique goals .. whatever that is.  Then we eat them and stop when we are done.  We are not locked into to one style of food and each day we could enjoy variety as long as we are hitting our macros.  That mean..

The style of food that we like.. is how we should eat.

Your macros are not dependent on clean food, paleo or zero sugar, but you could eat them any way  YOU like.

If you find Dairy upsets your stomach but egg whites are ok.. that’s good!  You can choose your own adventure!
If you like a snack treat now and again and it keeps you from feeling deprived, you can certainly work that into your plan without it being detrimental to your physique goals.

If your doctor has asked you to limit gluten or keep your fats at a certain level.. that’s ok too. You can eat for your body, your health and your own likes!  You never have to eat food you don’t like.

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I like lower carb though.. I just do.

IIFYM doesnt’ mean you can’t eat toward your style.  Use your carbs for fueling your workouts and to get your fiber and veggie/fruit requirements.  You are not required to eat poptarts or high carb snacks. But you could.. if they fit your macros.

If you feel better on no grains, you can certainly make that work too.

If you don’t want sugar foods, or snack treats in your life because they trigger you. Maybe you feel better when you don’t eat food like that.. Maybe you just enjoy whole fresh fruits and veggies.. totally fine too.  It’s all about YOU.

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When you let go of labels, you have no fear of mistakes. You simply figure out how YOU enjoy eating and tweak to hit your macro/micro nutrient goals!!

There is much freedom in the ability to be consistent and live without the restrictions that diet labels give.  Being consistent is how you reach your physique goals.

Do you need help with macros or workouts?? Head over to my site LEARNIIFYM.COM

Roo Ferrigno eats her macros every day.
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Moving from IIFYM into Intuitive Dieting part 1:

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Progressions through my journey. I’m getting better every year.

It’s been a while since I posted an update on my training/dieting.   I finished my show season in June and have reversed dieted back up to over 2000 calories a day.  I will not have another bikini competition until I take the stage at UFE Mayhem 2019.

I am training for plenty of pole show cases, and two competitions in 2019.

So let me back track a bit.  I want to show you a progression of my flexible dieting journey. Part two will explain my current use of IIFYM for my competition.

Binge/Restrict 2012
I spent the bulk of my life in a binge restrict pattern.  I was knee deep in the Tosca Reno EAT CLEAN movement but  never measured servings. I refused to eat sugar because it was the devil (according to the Skinny Bitches movement). I was deep in orthorexia but still binged until I made myself sick.   Cookies, cakes, whole pies, then returned to a restricted plan with full intentions of redeeming myself. I know   I choose to compete in a competition partially because I knew I could lock myself down to get rid of these binges. This is the first time I admitted that.

When I began my competition journey in  late 2012, I was basically starving myself.  Nutrition was tough for me because of my patterns of binging. ;(
This is how I looked on my first day of bikini competition training.   Yes.. I was lifting, doing massive cardio but not getting enough nutrition to fuel the work I was doing.  My coach told me “you are starving”. I agree.

 

 

 


Bro plan: Restrict. 2013/2014
I started immediately on low carb bro plan but.. I also started eating more protein and I began to look better. My nutrition was improving too because I was consistently eating 12 cups of spinach each day. My vitamins were on point and I was fueling my workouts.
I was focused and did well until I binged out. I had terrible derails that lasted for days.
My coach told me 8 weeks out from my first show, that one more derail would keep me off stage. Well. I handled that just fine. Placed 2nd and ate an entire pound of birthday cake fudge in the car on the way to the restaurant.

I had no reverse diets either. It was a hot mess.  I did Bro hard core off and on.
I got very sick from the lack of nutrition my coaches gave me. I resorted back to my binges in the off season and then I would grab my old show diets and use those. It makes me so sad to say that. I never fixed one thing. I only proved to myself that I had an iron will until I fell apart and that was NOT going to be ok for me any longer.

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Jan 2013 and June 2014.  I began IIFYM post show Nanbf  in July 2014.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  I asked my coach during 2014 prep for swaps and was told I wouldn’t look right on stage if I swapped out my protein or carbs.  I don’t believe that is true.  I was going to make this happen and end this nightmare of binge/restrict.  I fired her and  began this part of my journey.

I want to say to you, if you are still with me.. all of the things I experienced above made me a better athlete and a better coach.  I’m not mad about this journey. I’m here to learn and grow.  I’m leaving behind those old ideas and people who won’t use science!!

IIFYM: The First year with IIFYM was interesting. I set a goal to learn to find out what triggered me and my binges. I found out!!! Then I fixed it. Sometimes it was baby steps but it was information.  I still believed in ‘clean’ food but I added in small sugar treats until I started to get mad when my veggies got in the way of my snacks. 😦  Read more about that here
I worked very hard my first year to decrease binges by eating foods that made me happy.
I still believed some food was “bad”. I made huge strides in my physique and my happiness. I would go 6 months without a binge.  This was great.  Here’s how that looked.  I had almost 18 months between shows and I prepped myself for UFE Halloween Mayhem 2015.  I did not binge in prep. I did however have 2 months post show that I lost my way. I’m just being honest.  I pulled it together and set new goals for 2016.
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IIFYM Flexible Prep: 2016
For my second full year of IIFYM I wanted to take my nutrition to the next level. I had done so well curtailing my binges and I was very confident in my ability to master flexible dieting.  I paid mind to eating food that made my body run great, I focused on my fruits and veggies and variety.  I began to let go of the “bad ” food concept and allowed myself to eat foods that were previously off limits.  Amazingly, I didn’t get fat, I didn’t lose my way. I began to understand that I could fuse lots of great food into my plan as long as I was eating my daily nutrition requirements!!  YESSS.

That journey was seriously incredible. I focused in on micro nutrition as well as my macros. I began to understand more about my body than I had ever dreamed. I wanted to know!!  Yes… old habits die hard. I still found myself wanting to have treats (albeit “clean”) to help me stay out of that binge territory. I know what works for me!!  I made it work. I want to show you this picture because this was all about fueling for my build from just doing a basic cookie cutter bro plan. Yes.. time had passed but let’s be honest.. I started this at 47 so three years isn’t’ that long.

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Eat lift slay for a booty. I ate more carbs than ever!

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Halloween Mayhem October 2016 I became a UFE Elite Athlete. I loved my package and I loved my prep. It was an amazing learning experience.  I ate so many amazing foods in my prep and came in with my favorite package!!

2017
I competed right away again in June of 2017 and I loved my package but this prep was harder on my body and I had to dig deeper to get lean enough.  I basically did 42 weeks of prep in 1 year.  I would never do that again!! That’s not what my body wants at all.
It was still a great prep and I ate beautifully as I got ready for stage.
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After Fury in June 2017 my next step was to reverse diet and then begin my training for the Pole Sport Organization Gateway competition in December.

Intuitive dieting: What is it?
The goal of our team with clients is to teach them the progression of flexible dieting so they can learn to be truly flexible.  That means they can begin to use their knowledge to eat for their goals without being tied to a scale and tracker. This comes with time and practice.

To be effective a client  would understand and manage your macros in their head.  I know I have to reach 150-180g P each day. I need 25g min of fiber and 500g veggies min. I know my minimum fat intake should be about 40g so I just eat and add this in my head. I’m using visuals and my scale as well as nutritional information on lables.

When would a person use this?  I started using intuitive dieting loosely post show 2017.  It was magical. I was spot on because, trust me.. I’ve seen 5 ounces of chicken breast more than I’d like to admit.  I often use it when I”m traveling or eating out. Most restaurants have nutrition on their websites.  It’s handy!

Who should use this?  Only people who have a clear understanding of their body, macros and feel committed to hitting all their micros/macros!!

Do you do it daily?  Maybe..  I might do it on a day then use my tracker.  I started gingerly and progressed.  I’m very tied to MYNETDIARY tracker.  It’s a safety blanket for me. However.. being able to start this process is a huge step for me.

Here I go!!  Part two is here.

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
t

Prep 101: Summer time grill

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So this week a competitor was on a board talking about how she was going back to her Bro plan because she tried that “iifym thing” and it didn’t work. I asked her what was it that didn’t work and really had no answer. She said she ” just needed to eat clean.”

Some people get overwhelmed by too many choices. I can understand that, especially when you are used to being a strict meal plan kind of girl. It’s all you know, right?

Refresher:  
IIFYM is not a diet. You count macro nutrients :Protein, Carbs and Fats.
You must eat at least 20 g of fiber each day.
You must hit your numbers +5/-5 grams daily.
You can eat any way you want but in a fat loss plan, your ratios are 95 percent nutrient dense foods and 5 percent discretionary.
You could eat paleo, diabetic, vegan, bro, whatever you like. You just have to hit those numbers!

This girl was confused. She missed an opportunity to eat well and have choices which is exactly what IIFYM is about. Choices!!

Ideas!
My prep is starting up and we decided that this summer is going to be about the grill.
I want to show you some things we did for my prep.

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Bison burgers are lean.
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This is shark! mmmmmmm
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This is Cajun shrimp. He didn’t even flip them. Just closed the lid on the grill.
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Butter Ball Turkey breast , thawed and cut into steaks on the grill.

Protein:  I get about 190 g protein per day. Rob grilled bison burgers, Shark Steaks, Cajun shrimp and turkey.  So the turkey.. he took a Butterball breast and thawed it. He cut it into steaks and grilled it, 20 min per side. It was insane.  There is no added fat in anything here.
I added avocado to my turkey for my fats and fiber and it was amazing.

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Bison and cabbage
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Grilled purple cabbage from the farmer’s market.
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The zucchini was the best. It’s so flavorful! Asparagus was great! So much better grilled.
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Yellow peppers and poblanos! There’s zuc in there too. This bowl was gone fast! YUM.

All our food came from the farmer’s market next door to my studio.
There is no additional fats on these at all. The squash is my favorite. The flavors burst. We used poblanos and yellow peppers. I hate regular green peppers but you could try.  The yellow ones are so sweet when you grill them.

Roasted cabbage is very good. We have made that into a salad for lunch tomorrow. With this grilling, Rob really just chopped and grilled. He likes to use seasonings so you can too.
I’m sure you have your own flavors you dig.

You can do it
If you are a person who thinks you have to choose the restricted non scientific BRO plan because IIFYM means all you eat is crap.. I am so sorry that you have misunderstood.
I want you to learn so you can have peace in your plan. If you are happy with ‘clean’ food then by all means, enjoy the food you eat.  Dousing things with mustard because you don’t believe you can sub out anything for egg whites is just foolish. It doesn’t make you a better athlete. It doesn’t make you  more HAM or beast mode.  Here’s what makes you a better athlete. Listening to your body. Eating well for your gains. Choosing things that YOU like for consistency and to not feel restricted.

Remember as athletes we need 300-500g of fruits and veggies per day. All my clients, in fact eat this. That’s about 300 calories and 40g carbs or so.  We need 35 different foods per week and we need to focus on our micro nutrients too. Different foods provide micros! Don’t be stuck with the same 6 food items! Investigate!!  Let me know if you have questions!!

I wish you luck with your competition!!
t

Summer recipes: Protein Popsicles

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Had a great check in with my client, Heather. She is having lots of fun this summer, out and about.
That made me think about the challenge of getting all your protein macros in when you are on the go!

This is one idea that I think would be spectacular!
Check out Isopure’s zero carb protein drink.
We’re the only ones out there who can make a carb-free, clear drink like Zero Carb. One that’s packed with 40g of 100% pure whey protein isolate and 100% awesome taste – 160 calories and 10.2g of BCAA’s in every bottle.  Made with protein so pure you can’t see it – the microfiltration process used to create Isopure® Protein is so complete, it creates the only completely clear milk protein when dissolved in water. Not to mention it’s lactose-free and gluten-free, so you can better your bod without discomfort.  ”

I like these very much. I was thinking it would be easy to pour this into a cooler cup with lots of ice and
fruit to sip on during the busy pool days. Each bottle has 40g protein.  This  could make summer faux drinking intersting too!

Flavors are : Alpine punch, Apple melon, Blue Rasp, Coconut (yummo) Grape Frost, Icy orange , Passion fruit and pineapple orange banana!

Crushed ice and a blender! HELLO!
cocotein
Thinking about the hydration effects of Coconut water but don’t need the ’empty’ calories?
“Tastebud-loving coconut refreshment plus 100% pure whey protein isolate. It’s a perfect post-workout recovery: Hydration with total body-boosting protein benefits. Because Cocotein packs 20 grams of 100% whey protein isolate plus 5.1 g of naturally occurring BCAA’s in every bottle. It’s protein so pure, you can’t see it: The complete microfiltration process used to create Isopure® Protein makes it the only completely clear whey protein when dissolved in water. Not to mention Cocotein is lactose-free, gluten-free, with no added sugar and 100 calories per serving, served up in a sleek 16 fl oz glass bottle (because we want you to be able to see what you’re about to enjoy). So it’ll help boost your bod, without excess bulk.”

Protein Popsicles

I’m thinking of the popsicles
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Recipe

Cocotein 1/2 Cup
Coconut milk 1/2 Cup
Ripe bananas 2
Avocados 2
Juice & Zest of Lime 1 Lime
Himalayan crystal salt A pinch

This recipe looks amazing.

Myself, I like the idea of having protein that isn’t super ‘milky’ so using the isopure drinks alone or with fruit, would make
make it very juicy and refreshing when it’s hot!

I have found IsoPure at GNC and stores like SmoothieKing.  You can also order cases
if you like from http://www.theisopurecompany.com/

Stay cool!

Green Shake and Prep update

My security blanket is my green shake.
My security blanket is my green shake.

It’s game time! Prep is on! I’m on my leaning meal plan now and I’m ready to see what all that muscle I’ve been putting on
will look like come show time!
I’m about 13.5 weeks from my show, and I’m setting up to drop 1.5 pounds a week. We’ll use that as a starting point and see how
I’m doing closer to the show. This time, I want to come in leaner than my last show, so I’m working on my diet quite a bit differently.
I’m sticking to my macros and measuring everything I eat.

One of the things that helps me is my green shake. I don’t actually enjoy vegetables so I do a shake everyday with about 6 cups of spinach
and cytogreens for athletes. I feel amazing when I drink this. My video will tell you how I do it!

My Bikini
My bikini has been selected! I’m going for a very different package this time and my suit is going to be so beautiful!
I’m working with Ravishsands.com again. They are super nice and are going to make some tweaks for me to get the suit just perfect.
It’s so hard to choose a suit! I don’t think I will ever not get a new suit for each show. It’s one of my favorite things about
the sport. Shopping. I say, bikini competitions are the “new wedding”. You get to pick out a very expensive outfit you’ll probably never wear
again. You get to shop for sexy shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup and of course you are going to pick out all the food you will eat when your show is done.

Workouts

Since last week was impossible to make the gym because of the Polar Vortex, I did a lot of at home workouts. I’m so happy to be
back on schedule now. I am on track lifting and metabolic work. This week’s Plyo was a huge success. We bought a half cage and 300 pounds of plates for our studio so I can do a little more work at Sleek and cut my gym trips shorter.
I had a great PR this week on my Leg Press. I did 4 sets of 8 at 470 pounds. In November, I was at 370 pounds. I’m squatting around 100 pounds, which is very hard for me. VERY. I’ve also adding in thrusting and that is a burn like nothing I’ve ever had. I did 85 pounds for 60 reps. I’m excited to get some glut activation! Whoohoo!

New Squat Rack! It's on!
New Squat Rack! It’s on!

Hope you have an awesome week!!
Keep pushing!!
T