Monday, June 16, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I was lying in bed last night and milling over the content of my whopping 3 blog posts and I began to overwhelm myself. Then I thought, well hell if I’m feeling like it’s information overload then your heads must be spinning. So considering the fact that I’m delving into nutrition this week, I’ll make an extra special effort to simplify the information without losing out on any essential points. As always, if anything on here is in the least bit unclear I would love to help you understand. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email! The link to my email will be at the bottom of this post.
Last week we covered a basic format of the training schedule that I follow. I’m not a fan of fad workout plans/diets simply based off of my results, or lack thereof, so for me it was really about cutting out all that noise and going back to the basics. Going back to a more traditional way of exercising (weight training) and eating (balanced diet). There are a million different weight loss gimmicks out there; teas, shakes, body wraps, pills, even sugar-like granules (what?) that all promise an outrageous claim like, “Blasts Belly Fat” “Drop 10lbs in 5 days” or my personal favorite “Blocks Carb Absoption!”. I think you are all smart enough to know that these products are 100% BOGUS and will only cause you to lose funds, not fat. So if you can’t take all those nifty little weight loss supplements, how you gonna lose any weight? Let’s take it allllll the way back to our early health classes when we learned about calories in versus calories out.
If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. It’s that simple. Our bodies are extremely efficient machines. We come into this world pre-programmed. Yes, all of our bodies are different so how quickly and where exactly we will gain and lose fat is all relative but how our bodies operate remain the same. I hate to break it to ya but it’s science people, we can’t change it. Since we can’t change it, we must learn how to manipulate it.
I personally follow a diet (eugh I hate that word, it has such a negative connotation, right?!) commonly called IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) but also referred to as “flexible dieting” or “counting macros” but it’s all the same thing. A very simple way of describing this plan is: it is a guide for maintaining a balanced diet that is ultimately aimed at reaching a specific calorie amount. In other words, you determine your daily calorie amount based off of your fitness goal (lose weight, gain weight, maintain) and then determine your food sources so that you consume all necessary Macronutrients. Your Macronutrients are: Fat, Carbohydrate & Protein. This is what creates your balanced diet.
For example, currently I am aiming my fitness goals atgaining weight (until Feb. 1st) so my calorie and macrobreak down looks like this on my normal training days…
Calorie Amount to Consume/day= 2,108 (Kcals)
Fat = 52 g
Carb = 270g
Protein = 140g
This means that every normal training day I choose foods that help me “hit” my daily macros. I know that if I consume 52 grams of fat, 270 carbs and 140 grams of protein that I will have met my daily calorie total. How do I know this? SCIENCE!
NOT ALL MACROS WERE CREATED EQUALLY
Every gram of Fat = 9 calories
Every gram of Carbohydate = 4 calories
Every gram of Protein = 4 calories
This is why foods heavy in fat are also heavy in calories and keep you feeling full for longer!
The best part about this plan?
You have virtually zero restrictions on your food sources!Your body cannot distinguish a difference between the sugary carbs you absorbed from your bowl of breakfast strawberries and the handful of skittles you’re about to pop in your mouth. It only knows how to break down theirMacro (and Micro) nutrients. I like to think of it as your digestion system is the most loyal employee you’ll ever have; it doesn’t question your decisions, it just does its job.That being said, I wouldn’t suggest wolfing down a chicken for protein then snacking the rest of the day on peanut butter M&M s to hit your fat and carb amounts, because of a little thing called micronutrients. Your Micronutrients (fiber, Vitamin A, C, D, etc) won’t determine whether you gain or lose weight but they directly influence your health so these levels should be monitored as well.
Generally, I do my best to get the majority of my calories/macros from minimally processed whole foods (think: lower tiers of food pyramid) for health and performance reasons. Then if I want to satisfy my sweet tooth/junk food craving, I just make sure that it still fits within my daily macro requirements. The 80/20 rule is my gauge in this area, 80% or more of your calories should come from whole foods. This allows you to satisfy your cravings when they do come up without feeling guilty. This aspect of flexible dieting really changed my life. I was always choosing foods blindly simply because I thought they were “healthy”. Now, I’m able to not only make conscious decisions about my food (not eating unknown portion sizes with zero regard for nutritional value) but I don’t stress after I splurge because I know with certainty that I have not exceeded my overall calorie/macro amount.
If you want to know more about this method of tracking your food intake (flexible dieting) there are tons of articles and videos online. You can visit IIFYM.com and use their IIFYM calculator to find out what your macros should be or contact a coach who specializes in this form of dieting.BEWARE: as with any other diet/fitness plan, there are great coaches out there and then some NOT so great ones. Really make sure he/she understands the science behind the method. A proven track record is great and a reference is even better! My coach Brian Melancon, owner of C620Nutrition, offers services that are completely diet/macro based. You can contact him firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. He’s the best and will definitely hook you up!
Along with my coaches help I also “follow” many fitness pages/InstaGram accounts of athletes who practice flexible dieting. Many will post recipes with the macros already calculated for you or offer tips for success. In the mean time, I’ll be working on posting my favorite recipes and full menu break downs.
While this is an individual sport, it’s definitely accomplished with group effort so don’t be afraid to ask when you need it!
I hope “flexible dieting” was explained in a way that’s not only easy to understand but also easy to implement in your daily life. Before I go, here are a few items that I can’t live without. If you make these small purchases, your food tracking experience will go much smoother…
MyFitnessPal- FREE in the App Store
This is the absolute FIRST thing you need to do beforestarting a flexible diet plan.
-Tracks all foods that you eat throughout the day
-Displays Macro break down clearly on Home screen, making it very easy for beginners
-Browse nutrition info entered by other users
-Most barcodes on packages will “scan” and pull up the nutrition content
-Enter your own nutrition info for food items & even create your own “meals” for the stuff you eat often (ex: spaghetti) & many other features
*if you don’t have a smart phone you can create and maintain an account online via desktop/other device
*I always double check the accuracy of the nutrition information before “adding” a food to my day. They can beincorrect simply due to an updated product with slight macro change that was not updated on the app, slight product variation, human error, etc.
Food Scale - $20-$30 online or large stores such as Walmart
My Husband and I have owned 4 different scales throughout our macro-counting life. Our favorite was TheBiggest Loser scale ($22.90 at walmart) because not only was it inexpensive but it we found it to be the most accurate and definitely the most well made. It was actually the first scale that Jarred purchased when he started flexible dieting roughly 3 years ago and it just broke on us a few weeks ago :(
-This is how you will weigh out any foods that are calculated in grams, ounces or pounds
-It is not REQUIRED but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to purchase this item but it does help you to be very accurate when calculating, which is the ultimate goal
Measuring Spoons/Cups - $10 - $20 online or in most stores
The good thing is that many of you already have these in your home!
-You will use these when a measurement in grams is unavailable. IE: milk
The way you track your progress can be done a few different ways: Scale, Measurements, Pictures
Since the changes I make in my diet are so slight and gradual, I find that the scale is the best way to accurately track my progress. The problem with the scale is that many people have a very unhealthy relationship with it. It is important to remember that its not the NUMBER you need to be focusing on but rather if there is any change. IE: if you are aiming to lose fat and your weight jumps from 157lbs to 158.8 in 2 weeks, you can safely assume that your calorie amount is too high and you can thenadjust it appropriately.
-weigh in at the same time every day to ensure accuracy. I would advise weighing in first thing in the morning afteryou’ve dashed to the bathroom for your morning pee andbefore you take a sip or bite of anything
-weighing in each morning gives you the best gauge on your average weight. Stress, sleep and carb sources can all affect water retention so weighing in daily will help you identify an irregular weigh-in. If you were to only weigh in weekly, you may by unknowingly holding water and inevitably basing your progress off of a false weigh in.
-remove all clothing before hopping on
-after weighing in, write down your weight or put it in your phone
-now go to the mirror and check ya lil sexy self out! I mean, who doesn’t love to start their day off naked?!
If you have any questions, email me!
If you are interested in macro coaching or have questions, email Brian!
If you want to complain about your day, email your friend!
Until next time,
Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious week, y’all :)
Monday, January 20, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Monday, January 6, 2014
Method of Execution
To have a “perfect” body
Wishing, obsessing, diet restrictions, lifestyle restrictions, etc.
Zero physical change, binge eating to satisfy cravings, binge drinking, depression over failure, resolution to “start again on Monday”
To lose body fat
Ran 4 miles a day/cardio for 45min a day, only lean proteins, no carbohydrates after lunch
“skinny fat” look (we will address this term later on), little to no bodily changes, increasing consumption of alcohol to hide hunger pangs
To “tone up”
Little bit of weight training was incorporated, still doing heavy cardio daily, very restricted diet (I only incorporated what I thought to be “healthy carbs”)
Did not push myself 100% in the gym due to fear of “bulking”, nervously burning off any muscular “gains”
*AT THIS POINT I READ AN ARTICLE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE…PLEASE SEE ** FOR LINK TO ARTICLE
To have a strong and muscular build
Heavy weight training 4x/week, no cardio, began counting macronutrients ( a theory commonly called “flexible dieting”)
Happy with my body, wanting to help others achieve their fitness goals, wanting to go to the gym