IIFYM: Part 2 Are you doing it right?

images4MRCJONZWe have all heard the phrase “IIFYM brah!” and have seen the endless number of Poptart pictures on Instagram. IIFYM has been huge in the diet and workout industry as of lately. Even my first post on IIFYM has seen the most hits out of all the ones here on my blog. I personally shift back and forth from eating things I WANT to eat and eating things I SHOULD eat when it comes to macro tracking. First let’s start with the three macros one tracks when dieting or bulking: Fat, Protein and Carbs. There are a ton of sites and ways to calculate your macros and calories. From IIFYM.com to the plethora of google results you can get just by typing it in, it might be hard to choose the right formula.

Fret no more! Direct your attention to this article written by a good friend of mine: Scott Herman Fitness Now this isn’t a shameless plug or a bit of spam. I’ve known him since we were in high school and his fitness success has exploded on the internet. You can find him on Youtube as well and follow all his free workout videos.

By calculating the correct number of calories and macro percentages based on your goals, you will find that losing weight or gaining weight can be very easy.

One of the biggest takeaways from IIFYM however is what you put into your body. Many of these IGers will swear by IIFYM and because they are lean and “make gainz” IIFYM and eating poptarts and pizza must be right. Here is where I disagree. There are so many chemical in today’s foods that by eating whatever you want as long as it fits your macros, can set your body up for self destruction later on. Why do I say this? Another good friend of mine recently beat cancer by changing his diet and incorporating raw greens juicing and healthy organic foods into his diet. He is a professional bodybuilder and admits to eating fast food at least once a week as his cheat meal before his cancer diagnosis. After cancer, he realized that more should go into what you put into your body. Forget about all the conspiracy theories and people who go for media drama and hype, there are a number of chemicals that are banned in other countries but not here in the US (for those readers who are outside of the US, check online to see if any other chemicals your nation might use are considered harmful).

By raw juicing and eating organic, grass fed beef and chicken, you can rid your body of the harmful chemicals that are snuck into your foods. While it’s great to look lean and cut, what good is that going to do you if you decrease your future quality of life? Be smart about this folks!!

Now I don’t claim to have vast amounts of knowledge in dieting and nutrition. However I’m sure this photo will prove that I have made great progress in trying to understand health and fitness:

 

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While it might be fun to eat poptarts and pizza, please consider the damage you may be causing to your body. Instead, focus on clean foods that will round out your macros while allowing yourself to cheat once and a while so you don’t binge on snack foods. If you have any questions on counting calories or macros, comment below and we will get back to you right away!

As always, following along on Instagram and come on over to our Facebook page Fitness by Claire

 

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How to Beat the Thanksgiving Day Bulk

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Most Americans love the holidays. It is a time we get together with family, enjoy great food, and catch up on all that went on during the year. This is also the time where most Americans put on the most weight. With a spread like that pictured above, how can one NOT want to indulge during the holidays? Well if most of you are on a healthy diet or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then these tips will surely help you avoid the holiday weight gain many of us dread.

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Tip #1: Drink Responsibly

This seems like a no-brainer however, when we get together with family, there seems to always bee alcohol available, especially around the holidays. Sam Adams has their pumpkin brew and I’m sure many other companies have similar beers. But, did you know that for example, the carbohydrates found in one pint of Guinness are 100% sugar! Sugars are simple carbs, used up faster by the body and can create unwanted insulin spikes! This can cause you to eat more than you wanted and crave more of the sugary sweet stuff you’ve worked so hard to avoid.

Tip #2: Drink H2O

Drink a full glass of water before you sit down to your Thanksgiving day dinner. Many times it is hard to differentiate between hunger and dehydration and that second and third helping you have, may have been better served with just another glass of water.

Tip #3: The 70/30 Rule

70% of the food on your plate should be protein in the form of turkey, chicken, or any meat of your choosing. Preferably the meat should be the white meat as it is lower in fat, but if you must have the dark meat (let’s face it, it tastes much better) just even it out with a mix of white and dark. Your protein should be no larger than approximately 4oz (basically the size of your fist or a deck of cards). 30% of the food on your plate should be from complex carbohydrates in the form of green beans (NOT the casserole), wild rice, or sweet potatoes (again, NOT the casserole).

Your carbs should equal no more than 2-3oz (the size of the inside of the palm of your hand). And that extra 10% we haven’t covered? Enjoy a small helping of the item of your choice. It IS the holiday season and that DOESN’T mean you can’t enjoy a small taste of Grandma’s homemade stuffing! Just make sure it’s ONLY 10% of what you’re eating!

Tip #4: Dessert

Beware! This is where you can really pack on the calories! Restrict your dessert to an item no larger than the palm of your hand, or no bigger than the size of your thumb. (So that 7 layer cake is OUT of the question!) Many of you may not like this suggestion. Hell, I’m known in my family to eat two slices of pie with ice cream before everyone is done being served their own slice! However, desserts are filled with sugar, butter, and are so calorically dense, that you could take all the precautions during dinner and throw it right out the window at dessert. Remember what you are working for and use your wits when it comes to these sweets.

Tip #5: No Round-Trips through the Table!

No going back for seconds or thirds… yet. Get enough in the first pass to keep you from going back. Many times, you’ll attempt to fill the plate in your hand again, either wasting food you’ll find you’re too full to eat, or an additional meal’s worth of calories you didn’t really need to eat. Stay where you are and catch up with family you might not have seen for awhile. Many times you’ll find a 2nd trip unnecessary if you’ve followed some of the tips above.

Tip #6: Wait 20 Minutes…

You’re allowed a trip back to the buffet… IF you wait 20 minutes first.

Wait 20 minutes after you’ve eaten your big holiday meal. If you’re still truly hungry, go back for a smaller version of whatever you’re hungry for.

However, chances are, after that 20 minute wait you’ll find you’re pleasantly satisfied. Why? It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to get the message to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Scarfing down a 2nd helping of Aunt May’s sweet potato casserole before your stomach has had time to get that memo to your brain can result in the top button of your pants relieving itself from the buttonhole without you even realizing it!

Tip #7: The Workouts

Try to get a good workout in the morning of Thanksgiving if your gym is open. If it’s not, go for a run. By burning off some calories you can increase your caloric deficit, helping you when it comes time to eat. You can also use Thanksgiving dinner as a refeed option and won’t have to feel as guilty or watch those calories so closely. The day after thanksgiving, while everyone is fighting each other in lines for Black Friday, go to the gym again. I’m almost positive they will be close to empty the day after, but not so much the Monday that follows. (Everyone feels guilty about the weekend they just had and all rush to the gym to work it off in one workout, we all know that won’t work!)

Tip #8: Diet Wisely Leading Up to Thanksgiving

Since weight loss or gain is determined based on calorie balance over time rather than day to day fluctuations, if you can create a decent calorie deficit during the week leading up to the meal, after you have that higher calorie meal on Thanksgiving, you’ll actually just set yourself back closer to baseline.

For example, even if you can remove 200 calories from your daily diet starting on Monday leading up to Thanksgiving that will be 600 additional calories you can add. Depending on where your calories are, 200 may seem like a lot. I know for me, if I eliminated 200 a day, I’d be down to 1100 calories a day, and I’d be hungry all week, which could be dangerous. Those of you on a bulk during the winter months, this might be a bit easier for you to do. If you are already on a caloric defict, try reducing by 50-100 calories a day.

Given a typical dinner meal of 500 calories, this allows you to eat 1100 calories that meal without gaining any weight (note that you may have typical dinner meals of more or less calories than this so the number would have to be adjusted).

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I know we won’t be doing much for Thanksgiving this year, I may cook a turkey, haven’t decided yet. However, I hope these tips will help some of you avoid feeling so guilty during the holidays. Family should understand your healthy lifestyle and help you rather than hinder you during this time. I know I love the holidays. In fact, it’s hard to go grocery shopping now as all the ingredients for ginger bread houses and pumpkin pies are screaming my name as I walk down the aisle (or atleast that’s how I see it!). By staying motivated and allowing yourself to relax a bit during the holiday, it will allow you to reduce your stress levels, which we know creates cortisol and increases body fat all on its own.

5 Halloween Treat Myths You Should Know!

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Halloween is fast upon us. Most of you have picked out your costumes, RSVP’d to your parties and have purchased candy to hand out to trick or treaters. For those of you trying to maintain a strict diet and weightloss program, this particular day may be difficult. With so much chocolate and sweet treats floating around, it could be difficult to pass it all up. Here we will provide you with 5 Halloween Treat myths to help you stay on track.

1. The Sugar Free Candy Myth

Just because it says “sugar free” it does not mean to go ahead and indulge in these candies. If you are looking at the sugar free hard candies, then you would be right in your assumption that they have fewer calories per piece. However, it is the sugar free chocolate candies you should watch out for. They tend to contain plenty of fat calories and can be worse in total calorie consumption compared to a sugar filled gummy candy.

2. The Size Illusion

Halloween candy is all about those cute fun sized little packages that make you think because it’s small, its ok to have. Let’s look at it this way: If you were to eat a full sized candy bar you probably would feel a little guilty after cosuming it, no? It wouldn’t impact your diet too much unless you are really cutting out sugar and you would continue about your day. This fully sized chocolate bar might contain 250-400 calories depending on what you ate. Now lets look at the bite sized candies. They typically have 70-100 calories per mini bar. The problem is, you might find yourself reaching for another an hour later, and then another, and then another. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a good 8-10 of the tiny candies, giving you 800-1000 calories to your day….at night! OH MY!

3. Dark Chocolate

When comparing dark chocolate to milk chocolate, yes, dark chocolate is the lesser of two evils. It will never be as healthy as an apple, a bowl of oatmeal or chicken breast. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of consuming large amounts of dark chocolate on Halloween. Keep your portions in check!

4. Raisins

Many people opt for the chocolate covered raisins over the chocolate covered peanuts. They seem to think that since raisins are fruit, they must be the better choice…..right? Well if you look at the macros, 20 grams of raisins have 90 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, 14.4 grams of carbs (13.6 of them from sugar) and 0.8 grams of protein.  20 grams of chocolate covered peanuts on the other hand, contain 109 calories, 6.7 grams of fat, 9.8 grams of carbs (only 7.6 grams from sugar) and 2.5 grams of protein. The fats in the peanuts are healthy fats and if you maintain good portion control, the peanuts get the win in this one!

5. How to Avoid Snacking

The trouble people have is reaching into that bowl in between the trick or treaters. One trick to ward off those cravings is to buy candy that you are not a fan of. Don’t go and buy your favorite peanut butter cups and butterfingers (I am guilty of this one!) but instead buy the candy you don’t really like, this way you are less inclined to reach into the bowl and snack!

Happy Halloween everyone, be safe, keep the diet in check, and we will see you again for how to maintain a good diet during Thanksgiving! Follow along on Twitter @levyii

IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros

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I’m sure lots of people by now have heard of Macros when researching diet options. First let me start by saying that dieting should not be a “diet”, it should be a lifestyle. Once you accept that you are no longer dieting and you are choosing to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will find it much easier to stick to!

Macronutrient ratios

40-60% CARB    25-35% PROTEIN    15-25% FAT         Higher-carb for bodybuilding
30-50% CARB    25-35% PROTEIN    25-35% FAT         Moderate-carb for maintenance
30-50% CARB    40-50% PROTEIN   30-40% FAT        Lower-carb for fat loss
Your first task should be in deciding what your nutritional goals are. While building lean mass and fat loss can occur simultaneously, it’s best if you do one before the other. I suggest if you have the fat to lose, work on the fat loss first and then concentrate on building lean muscle.
Notice that fat never goes below 15 percent of total calories. Since hormones are constructed from cholesterol and other fat molecules, getting any less than that can actually suppress normal hormone levels. This also has a negative effect on the bodily functions driven by those hormones, including growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, and mood. Low fat intake can also impair absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Even worse, not getting enough essential fatty acids can increase your risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Now body type also plays a role with weight loss and muscle building. The three body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
ECTOMORPH

An Ectomorph is best described as slender. Characteristically, they have delicate bone structure, small shoulders and chest, and a fast metabolism. Ectomorphs are the classic “hardgainers.” They find it hard to gain weight and put on mass.

On the plus side, it’s easy for them to get lean. They tend to require a greater percentage of carbohydrates to prevent muscle catabolism, as well as a higher calorie intake overall.

MESOMORPH

A mesomorph is someone who trends toward being muscular. They’re often strong, athletic hard-body types with well-defined muscles, broad shoulders, and dense bone structure. Mesomorphs generally have little trouble gaining muscle or losing fat, though they will put on fat more readily than ectomorphs.

They can handle a moderate level of carbs due to their ample capacity to store muscle glycogen. Weight gain will happen, however, if carbs and calories are overly high. No body type is immune to a bad diet!

ENDOMORPH

The endomorph is best described as soft. They typically have a round or pear-shaped body, shorter limbs, a stocky build, and a slower metabolism.

Endomorphs can put on a lot of muscle, but they also tend to carry more adipose tissue and thus have a greater propensity to store fat. Because excess carbohydrates in the endomorph’s diet end up as fat, a high carbohydrate intake will make it difficult for them to get lean or lose weight

Now, I weigh about 122lbs and I’m trying to lean down to about 115lbs. I have broken my macros down as follows:

I follow the 50% 25% 25% rule where 50% of my calories come from protein, and 25% from carbs and fats. I respond well to a low carb diet anyway so it’s easy to maintain that low carb level.

Total calories to eat in a day: 1440 (this is based on a few mathematical calculations along with my activity level and how I know my body to react to exercise)

Protein = 720 calories or 180g of protein.

Carbohydrates = 360 calories or 90g of carbs

Fats = 360 calories or 40g of fats

I tend to keep my carbs a bit lower than 90g and my fats a bit higher due to following the Primal Diet. These numbers can be played with based on your goals and bodyweight.

Start tracking what it is you eat and you’ll be surprised just what fits within your macros. Now, you should also know that just because you have some wiggle room in your carb allowance, that does not mean you can go out and eat a cake and feel good about it. Theres so much sugar in something like that, that it will have a negative impact on what you are doing.

Keep these tips in mind as the holidays are fast approaching. Want to know how to avoid the weight gain and maintain your healthy lifestyle while still indulging with family these holidays? Follow us here for holiday diet tips and tricks to help you stay on track!

Follow on Instagram @eatliftinspire for recipes and workout motivation!

Follow along on Twitter @levyii for blog updates and workout tips!

 

Fitness Facts: Fat

Fitness Facts: FAT:
🔹Believe it or not, fat is a nutrient! It is crucial for normal body function and without it we could not live.
🔹Fat plays a vital role in insulating body organs, maintaining body temperature, promoting healthy cell function, maintaining healthy skin and hair, and even preventing disease.
🔹Another of the main purposes of fat is as a source of energy- the body can pull on its fat reserves and convert it into glucose.
🔹But too much reserve fat can definitely be unhealthy! Excess fat can negatively affect many of the body’s processes, including digestion, respiration, circulation, and even brain function.
🔹Large amounts of excess fat can lead to many types of lifestyle disorders & diseases, including low energy, low self esteem, joint, muscle, & nerve pain, asthma, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart attack and even death.
🔹The human body creates fat storage from excess calories. Excess calories are calories that have been consumed and not burned through daily living and exercise.
🔹To burn excess fat, you must burn more calories than you consume. The best way to do this would be to eat a low calorie nutritionally balanced diet and exercise at a challenging intensity for at least 30 minutes 4-6 days a week.
🔹1 lb of fat = 3,500 calories. An average individual can healthily burn fat at a minimum rate of 1-2 lbs/week by creating a deficit in daily calorie intake + burn. To burn 2 lbs/week (7,000 cals), create a 1,000 cal/day calorie deficit.
🔹There are many online and mobile resources to track calorie intake & burn! From websites, phone apps, food logs, pedometers, or even wrist or arm bands, there is an abundance of ways to monitor calories and track fat loss.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE #FITNESSFACTS

Fitness Facts: Running

Fitness Facts: RUNNING:
🔹Running is a great form of cardio & can provide many benefits when combined with a regular strength training routine.
🔹Frequent running can boost the immune system, decrease stress, lower anxiety & depression, lower blood pressure, increase metabolism, & bring more circulation to the brain.
🔹Running a mile can burn between 100-400 calories, depending on the length of time, the weight, & activity level of the runner.
🔹Outdoor running generally burns more calories than on the treadmill, due to the forward propulsion that is needed on ground. Air & wind resistance also plays a part outdoors.
🔹There are 2 primary benefits of treadmill running: once the pace is set, the runner has to keep up with the machine, while outdoors the pace can pick up or slow down periodically. The other largest benefit is the decreased pressure on the joints.
🔹Moderate impact on joints can be a good thing! Running in moderation decreases the risk of bone related diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis.
🔹Because the body hits the ground with 2-3x it’s body weight during running, the most predominate site of injury for runners is the knees. To prevent injury make sure to wear appropriate shoes, stretch before & after the run, stay hydrated & nourished, and focus on proper form.
🔹Basic form tips: Torso should be straight up, not leaning forward. Relax the shoulders away from the ears. Lead with the hips (Don’t let the hips lean back- especially on an incline). Keep the knees low (Don’t let them come up too high toward the torso- this will minimize the impact on the knees when the feet land). Arms should move forward & back- don’t let them cross the midline of the body.