Everyday, my FaceBook feed is loaded with craptastic mutli level marketing quick fixes to
KetoX, HGX, Sparx, whatever… The reality is, food is awesome and YOU CAN DO it!
You do not need all that stuff. Spend your money on food and take the time to learn how to make changes that
will last a lifetime!
I’m so excited! Finally the media is taking note! I am very passionate about helping others
reach their fitness goals and flexible dieting is an amazing concept. My clients are very successful.
This article clears up many of the myths from the naysayers.
My favorite part of the article is that we all have to come to understand that sometimes we do have to
I hope that if you are a follower of my blog, I can help you with new ideas. There are so many amazing bloggers and fitness professionals who support Flexible Dieting /IIFYM! I learn something new every single day.
When I began competing, it was all I thought about. I was in beast mode 24/7. I started with the determination and will of steel.
The next time I competed, I was fired up, but had a hard prep. I was sick and injured. I relied on sheer will when the motivation was lacking.
Maybe you have also felt that way when you began a program. You were excited, on point until you got weary.
I’ll be honest.. sometimes I think of quitting when I smell the neighbor’s bbq .
Then I have to re-evaluate my whole life.
Motivation fades and discipline has to take over.
This year, I am doing a long cut. I am not interested in a fast weight drop with the potential to rebound so I have made a decision to take it slower. I think in some ways this is a different struggle than being handed a menu with six meals of chicken turkey or fish. I HAVE to make good choices. I have to make choices that further my goal and it’s all on me.
The other day we drove by a QuikTrip. I saw lots of very overweight people leaving with their slushies and bags of treats. That place is heaven on earth. Every craptastic snack treat under the sun is present and accounted for!
All the people leaving looked happy.
They looked like they were going somewhere fun!
For a moment I asked myself “Why do you want to be an elite athlete?”
“Why get leaner? Those people look so happy”.
Now, I know in my heart that I would never and have never been happy eating mounds of junk food. I straight up do not feel well. Been there. I know better, but that internal dialog is a real B. I chose my sport. I know it so I need to level up and
get my cut done.
The Mister has been with me in every prep. He seems to know the right thing to say to help me out.
Prep in our house lasts only 18 hours. I have to get through these 18 hours. I can do anything for 18 hours!
That means I’m eating this weird elephant 1 bite at a time. I’ve always had better luck if I don’t look at the project as a huge undertaking. I’m better off stringing together lots of successful days . This feels much more do-able than 4 months on cutting macros.
Cutting is hard. It’s not fun, you do the best you can to make it as delicious as you can but the bottom line is you are eating less. Take your project and create a small incremental goal. One day, one week , YOU CAN do it.
Disclaimer: There are many schools of thought carb cycling. There are also many methods to doing it. I am showing my lifestyle clients one way to create flexibility in their day to day!
What is Carb Cycling?
If you are counting macros then you have a certain number of grams of carbohydrates that you are eating each day.
Carb cycling is simply eating more carbs on one day and less on another, instead of the same exact number of carbs each day.
Benefits of Carb Cyling: With my clients who’s main goal is fat loss, carb cycling offers them even more flexibility in their meal plans.
It allows them to plan for social situations where they would benefit from having more carbs to work with. It helps clients feel less restricted, because let’s be real, if you are cutting you are definitely eating less!
One of my goals is to help them not feel so restricted that they binge. Carb cycling can help them be successful by giving them an opportunity to enjoy foods that normally might not fit their macros.
Carb Cycling is often used to break plateaus. The body is super smart so switching things up could help keep fat loss moving.
Carb cycling is amazing in prep and off season so you can really fuel and feel at peace with your food!!
Do I “have to” Carb cycle? No. You can eat your macros as they are written each day. It’s nice to have options though. Example: One of my clients had a dinner planned for Saturday night. She reserved 20g carbs a day for Saturday and had an extra 120g carbs for her dinner.
Can I save all my fat and carbs for Saturday night? No. You may not. You must be fueling your body each day. Fat cycling is not “a thing”. Your body needs the fats on your macro plan so you can be healthy. Fat in your diet can help some of us from feeling hungry.
If you are looking for a binge opportunity, reassess your goals.
Do I have to have a pattern for my carb cycling? Well.. you could. You can test the waters and see if having a few lower carb days followed by a higher carb day works best.
Frankly, I haven’t’ seen true scientific evidence that it has to be certain patters to make fat loss more prevalent. I have had clients come to me on Low carb days of 20 carbs then a high carb day of 400. I can’t even with that. No one wants to live like this. Keep it simple and see how your life unfolds. This is about YOU. You will be happier and able to sustain your program if you figure out the best plan for yourself.
Prep girls.. you know we work hard in off season so we can do carb cycling easily in prep. It’s a game changer!
Other thoughts: High carb days for training benefits is one way I use carb cycling. If I am doing a heavy leg day, dead lifts, squats, that is a great day to eat higher carb. I use my pre-workout carbs to fuel my lift. I can eat more that day because I’m really really hungry!
End game: You need to be in a calorie deficit (eating less overall) to achieve fat loss. If you are training/fueling properly, you have options with your food.
ACK:*clean. There is no such thing. For the sake of this blog, I will use this term as nutritious food. Some processed foods are very solid. I like Flat out wraps. They are processed. So is Whey and greek yogurt. I love Lenny and Larry cookies and they are A rated.. Just so you know.. I’m NOT talking about things that have to come from Mother Earth. Candy bars are discretionary. Potato chips are discretionary. Those things do have nutrition but we certainly don’t NEED them. We know the difference between Tootsie Rolls and Apples. 🙂
Food quality matters to me. If you are unsure of all this.. check out this blog.
That is a big bowl of food for just 17 carbs! It is very filling!
If you are prepping or cutting you must buy a spiralizer!
You can get this little one from Walgreens or Target.
This is the Vegetti. It’s just $14.95 (AS SEEN ON TV)
The Holtzies upgraded their spiralizer because PREP got real. We got this badazz version from Amazon Prime for $20!
It has 3 blades! Click the pic to order! $20 bucks. Easy to clean! Whoo hoo.
Raw Green Zucchini.
Boiling water with a bit of salt.
Toss the zucchini in for only 30 seconds so it’s still firm.
The mister had sautéed the veggies in a pan with cooking spray and
then added the zucchini.
If you have fats you can add Parm or use your allotted fats for olive oil or you can go a little crazy and add
These are popcorn seasonings and the macros are
Serving: 1/4 teaspoon .08 g
You can find these on Amazon, Walmart or at your grocery store! There are so many flavors.
Remember: If you have protein available you can certainly add that to your pasta!
Guess what, moms.. your kids will eat this. 🙂
Note to competitors: I frequently eat between 350-400g of broccoli each day to get my green veggies. As I’m still in 13 weeks out and still have almost 200 carbs a day, that’s ok. The carbs for that broc are about 22 and fiber is 12g . It’s a lot! However, if you are on a carb cycle or have come to the end of prep and you are lower on carbs, you can substitute zucchini for that green veggie. It does have fiber but not as much as the broccoli so make sure you are still reaching your fiber goals.
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
All fruit, veggies , no protein
All protein, nothing else
Eating only baby food and less than 500 calories a day
No sweets, no processed food, NO no no no
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!
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
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.
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.
So I weighed on January 31 even though I said I wouldn’t. I’m still at 152.
Rob said “Oh, I guess it’s not February yet.”.
See.. this is a struggle because I grew up looking at the scale, just like YOU.
OK… so day 3. No weigh in that’s great.
Dirty it up
Saturday night we had some ‘dirty’ food at the diner. I had a Cuban Sandwich and fries. I knew I was going to have a bad ass leg day on Sunday morning. I crushed it! I felt awesome, awesome.
Hit my macros Sun, Mon, Tuesday and today I feel like I look pretty good. Yesterday, hugely bloated and inflamed!
I’m 20 weeks from my first show and today I actually feel like my macros are working on my behalf.
I’m still *trying* to lean out as much as I can without cutting food or adding hours of cardio.
Changes I made this week. I added one interval on the step mill. I got a new Polar monitor that works with my phone. My Fit Bit Charge HR went back to BestBuy because the heart rate monitor was NOT accurate. SCIENCE here!
I need correct info!!
I haven’t done true heart rate training for months and my intervals were terrible. I couldn’t get my pulse to drop into my second zone.
I had to stop the machine to get it to drop down at all. For my age,159bpm is like near cranial explosion.
With my new monitor, I can see my calories burned might allow me some extra food. I’m going to give it another 2 weeks and see how I’m looking.
Lifting 6 days a week, 1 plyo and 2 HIITs (15-20 min).
Macros: about 1900 calories. 200C 145P F 59
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
When you start with your pancake base macros, you can get creative and see what fits!
Since I’ve been competing, I have been a huge fan of protein pancakes.
I eat them at least once or maybe even twice a day. They are a great way to get my egg whites
in without .. well.. sitting and eating egg whites.
The video above was filmed when I was strictly doing Bro-science with my coaches.
But it is still the pancake I use almost every day with some variation.
Here is the modified recipe for this pancake:
3/4 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 cup uncooked quick oats
SF Torani syrup (or stevia) to taste
*1 table spoon chia seeds (wow fiber)
Calories: 316 P: 27g C: 33g F: 8g Fiber 9g
Blend all ingredients and make as a pancake. You can dress it up however it fits your macros.
I eat this in the car on my way to my 5:45am workout!
Bikini Competitor Pancake variation 4 whites
½ scoop protein
¼ cup low fat cottage cheese 1/3 cup oats
Calories: 310 P: 20g C: 22g F: 3g Fiber 9g
To get my fiber in, I would add either Flax or chia to these recipes.
We were never counting fiber in my prep before but I am very in tune with getting
enough fats and fiber so I would modify. Of course you can add many variations to your recipe.
If you are hyped on protein pancakes then hit PINTEREST for some cool ideas.