IIFYM Diet, Does it work?

Pulled Pork Dinner2 RR Froyo 2

Hey guys! oh my gosh, It feels like it’s been forever since I have posted! I have just been so busy with school, friends and everything else that I haven’t had any time! I have felt so bad about not posting because I promised a new post on this like a week ago… Anyways I am glad to say I am finally getting around to it! I want to share with you guys the BEST “diet” more like lifestyle..on the planet!! I have never been happier with what I am eating and I have found such a perfect balance between health and enjoying life..it’s amazing so I want all of you to be able to find that balance as well! So..

Have you ever heard of IIFYM? If not..it stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”. You can probably research into the details of this because there are many forums explaining the topic further, but basically it means you can eat ANY foods as long as they fit into your macros for the day. This includes..ice cream, cookies, cakes, pizza etc. you name it! BUT, haha yes there is a catch. I am not telling you to go out like a crazy person and eat every piece of junk food in site. As well, you try eating at least 100g of protein in junk food like chips/cookies, it’s not easy! So instead, how this diet is suggested to be used is like so.. Read More!

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries & My Current Workout Split/Eating Habits

sweet fries tuna salad Sweet potato fries & a huge avocado tuna salad for dinner!

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I have been slacking off a bit with my blog due to the fact that I am trying to get my own eating habits and workouts in check. I think I’ve finally got it figured out! So..I have been trying to gain weight for a while but I have a hard time putting it on(high metabolism!). So lately I have started to count calories again for a bit just to make sure I am getting enough each day because it’s very important to me to not under eat! I have also stopped almost any form of cardio. The only cardio I am doing is 20 minutes of steady running on the treadmill (5.0-5.5mph) one day a week. It’s working really well! I love weight training so this works well for me. My current 5 day split + cardio is:

  • Monday – Chest + Back + Abs + TVA(Planks for 1:30, 1 min, 50sec, 30sec with a small rest in-between each)
  • Tuesday – Biceps + Triceps + Shoulders + Calfs
  • Wednesday – Quadriceps + Hamstrings + TVA(Planks for 1:30, 1 min, 50sec, 30sec with a small rest in-between each)
  • Thursday – Chest + Back + Abs + Calfs
  • Friday – OFF
  • Saturday – Biceps + Triceps + Shoulders + TVA(Planks for 1:30, 1 min, 50sec, 30sec with a small rest in-between each)
  • Sunday – 20 min run(Treadmill)
My schedule seems a little weird because I have friday off then I workout saturday but that’s just because Friday always seems to be my busiest night haha. Anyways so my diet has changed, I take in about 1700-1750 calories a day at the moment but I am planning on increasing it as I increase the weight I am lifting. But so far it’s working since in a week I have measured myself multiple times on an empty stomach and I’ve gained about 0.7 pounds. That’s pretty good for a week. I am getting stronger too I have noticed. My new workouts are a lot more demanding and last anywhere from 30min-1 hour. Although I still recommend my past workouts (10-20min) for anyone! They really are great! But I am more focussed on putting on muscle mass at the moment so I am trying to steer away from my old more cardio based workouts for now. So overall I am just trying to eat more, lift more and worry less about every little detail. I feel much happier with where I am at!
P.S: ALL MY WORKOUTS ARE STILL DONE AT HOME. No gym for me 😉
Ready for my next post? I will be discussing “IIFYM” and my personal views on it as well as my current macros and a more in-depth view of my diet. Stay posted!
~Sam~

Good Morning! Breakfast Today :)

Color Breakfast

colorful breakfastHey everyone, I hope you are having a great morning, it snowed more last night and looks super pretty outside today!
I made a quick breakfast that actually ended up being really bright and colorful so I thought I’d share. Also as you can see I am trying to drink a lot more water. It’s always important because your skin, hair & overall body will really benefit from it. You should try it out for a little and tell me any improvements you see! Talk to you all later. 🙂
~Sam~

Tree

Post-Workout Snack, Should you be counting calories? & Portion Size

Post Workout
After finishing another intense 20min HIIT workout I ate this delicious snack of greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, pecans and a light drizzle of honey. It was the perfect thing to fill me up. I also wanted to share with you my goals and changes I want to make regarding my eating habits.

I found that I worry about counting calories and eating the exact amount waayyy to much and it kind of limits my creativity in the kitchen. So by following guidance from an awesome fitness inspiration “Zuzana” as well as bodybuilders Heather Frey, alfonso and Fern Assard I have concluded that counting calories is really not the way to go. Now don’t all of you go and freak out on me! I am obviously not saying we shouldn’t be conscious of what we are eating. I just think that instead of counting numbers we should be counting on our bodies to tell us what and when to eat. If you feel hungry, don’t starve yourself! Eat food! Just make sure to choose a healthy source and eat ONLY until you feel satisfied. By doing this your meals will be smaller and more frequent.

If you are still worried about portion size, some great rules to follow are:
-1 serving of whole grains(may increase for male, this is just for me): 1 cupped handful: ex. oats, pasta or 1 slice bread.
-fruit-about 1 cup chopped or 1 piece of fruit(apple/banana/orange)
-green leafy vegetables, 1-2 cups(for someone smaller like myself 1 is enough but feel free to eat more if it’s not!) examples: kale, spinach, romaine etc.
-vegetables-1 cup examples: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomato etc.
-Protein-size/thickness of the palm of your hand, not including fingers! (ex. chicken, fish, beef, flank steak, eggs etc.)
-Greek Yogurt & Cottage cheese-1/2-3/4 cup
-oils-2tsp or 1/2 tbsp (this is a tricky one because if you are making a salad of some kind and don’t have much other fat in your meal then you could up this to 1 tbsp, just be mindful of it since it is a lot of fat although very important)
-nuts/seeds-1 small handful

A good meal example might be a salad with an olive oil based dressing, 1 cup leafy greens, 1 cup assorted veggies or 1/2 cup chopped fruit and 1/2 cup veggies if you want a sweeter salad + 1 serving of lean protein.
Or
1 serving of whole wheat pasta with vegetables and lean protein.

I still think that knowing roughly how many calories you take in is important so maybe for a week or so, get used to seeing how many calories are in your food and finding a close estimate as to what amount works for you then once you get used to seeing the portion size, you can easily just estimate! I know that I could probably tell you all the calories I ate today roughly without even looking anything up just because of past research.

Also! Another change I want to make with my eating habits is to remove processed foods. I know I am pretty good about this but I still have things like fat-free italian dressing and sugar-free syrup etc. which I know is bad although I only eat them in moderation I have decided to start making more homemade dressings and use real honey although it has more calories, because after all it is natural.

Anyways, that’s about all for now! Let me know what your goals are for the future 🙂

The Outline of How I Eat-Finally! What Works.

***Before Reading This, Please Take Into Account That I Wrote This When I First Started My Blog, Since Then My Knowledge of Nutrition And Fitness Has Changed Drastically!( Please read my newer post on IIFYM to find out more). :)***

 

So as some of you may know, I hate the term “diet” because what diet means to me is a food version of the old “get rich, quick” scheme,  you see all these programs that say “3 weeks” or “2 months to the perfect body!” or “abs in minutes!”  and we all know how well that works out..Once you complete your 3 month plan then where do you go? Obviously you would guess that people would just continue to follow the same rules on their own. Right? But that’s hardly ever the case. Once people reach these goals they think “Hey I finished! and they begin to fall back into their old routine feeling that the have accomplished what they needed to. You need to think long-term, lifestyle changes! As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to eating healthy and fitness as a lifestyle, you can still set goals, just make sure they are attainable! For example “my goal is to lose/gain 2 pounds every 2 weeks”. Then after reaching that goal. Make another one! Always, Always have a goal! 

  Mistake 1: Now we go into how you can make a lifestyle change properly. It’s not going to happen overnight and remember everything needs time. No program, way of eating, etc. is going to change you instantly, so give every eating style a chance before ditching it! Many people make the mistake of sticking to a plan for a short period of time and then quickly discarding it because they don’t immediately become some greek god in the first week!

Mistake 2: If we look at foods, just because something says gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free..etc. doesn’t mean it’s healthy!! Actually more often than not, the foods that don’t have these sayings on them will actually be better for you! For example, Jiff “Reduced Fat” creamy peanut butter has 6g fat per tbsp, 1g saturated, 1g fibre, 3.5g protein,7.5g carbs and 2g sugar. Regular all natural peanut butter has 8g fat, 2g saturated, 1g fibre, 5g protein, 3g carbs and 1g sugar

Okay so other than Jiff having less fat, they aren’t all that different right? Wrong! Natural as you can see has more protein, less sugar and less carbs than the Jiff. So where are all those extra carbs in Jiff coming from? Hmm..let’s see..

ProdAdminImage.ashx

Jiff Ingredients:

PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, MOLASSES, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, NIACINAMIDE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, ZINC OXIDE, COPPER SULFATE, FOLIC ACID, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE.

Yumm! Who doesn’t love some corn syrup solids in the morning? Doesn’t look quite as appetizing does it?

Now check out natural peanut butter’s ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts.

Point prosmuckers_natural_pbven 😉 Would you rather have a heap of random ingredients on your toast in the morning or would you rather have ACTUAL PEANUT BUTTER?

Alright so now you know not to go for low-fat/low-carb options etc. just because they look better on the outside. But full-fat options of many things are actually really great! As long as you look for healthy fats. I eat full-fat meats, dairy products, peanut butter, coconut milk etc. and get my other healthy fats from coconut oil(yes it’s saturated but there is a good type of saturated fat!), olive oil, avocados, nuts etc.

Those are just 2 mistakes I have for now but I will be posting a ton more that I have learned from!

Now onto the ultimate outline I almost guarantee will help you meet any fitness goals you want if you follow it:

This is the way I eat and I have seen so much improvement in my fitness and body since changing my eating habits.

whole-grains1#1) Eliminate Grains, This includes quinoa & rice etc. I know this is killing some of you to read but I swear by it now. Our bodies are not meant to eat these and I personally found that my muscles were much more defined after removing these. Although I love breads, pasta & oatmeal, I find that I don’t miss them all too much because there are so many substitutes out there! (Look at some of my most recent recipes for ideas!). Plus you get to eat a ton more vegetables & fruit which is really great for you! So replace your carbs with fruits & veggies such as bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, peaches, berries, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beats, spaghetti/butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas..etc!

#2) Eleminate all refined sugars, Even sweeteners I go easy on now, the only one I will still use is stevia and very rarely a sprinkle of splenda just as a topping for something. Instead replace them with pure maple syrup or honey!

#3) RAISE THAT FAT INTAKE-Still keep a reasonable calorie intake but change the percentages to lower the amount of carbs. Now that you cut out grains, there will be less need for high amounts of carbs. Instead raise your fat to be about 70% or so of your daily intake to help replace the cutting of carbs! This was one of the best things I did because automatically my muscles began to feel stronger, I have more energy, I am eating way better tasting foods than all that low-fat crap, including BUTTER yes I dare say the word(although it is vegan!), peanut butter, almond butter, whole eggs, full-fat meats such as pulled pork, sausages, bacon(yup!), full fat coconut milk, dark chocolate, avocados, coconut etc. Don’t be scared to raise your fat levels. As long as carbs are low and you are at a healthy calorie intake then FATS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT, They will actually help with weight loss rather than making you put on weight! 

#4) Make sure you are getting enough protein! If you are increasing fats, make sure you are still getting enough protein at about 1g per pound of bodyweight.

#5)Don’t go to crazy with fruit, now that you are mainly eating fruits and veggies you may feel the need to eat all you want but make sure to keep vegetable intake higher and limit fruit to about 2 servings per day for best results! The sugars are natural but still quite high in fruit!

#6)Have a cheat meal once a week, lastly this is most important, we are all human and there comes a type when you realize, there really is no substitute for a plate full of soft warm garlic bread… So once a week take a meal off and go out with friends or just eat at home but eat whatever you’d like! Something you’ve been craving. This won’t affect your results and will keep future cravings at bay. My last cheat meal was when I went out to eat and ordered a huge bowl of shrimp pasta and ate about 1 whole mini loaf of warm italian bread with butter plus a bowl of starter salad. Now that’s how you cheat.

Firecracker+Shrimp+Bowties+(2).JPG.jpgbreaddddddd

I hope this helps some of you guys out! Remember, this really is an outline and you can always tailor it to meat your specific needs. My “diet” is a pretty close spin-off of Paleo but I can’t consider myself 100% since I still love to eat peanut butter, occasionally beans and some dairy! Make it your own and go with it. Goodluck!

What did you think of these tips? Let me know in the comments below!

***EDIT*** As some of you may have noticed, my diet has changed quite a bit! I will be posting a new outline sometime soon to share with you how I have gained lean muscle and finally fallen into an easy program that works and guess what…doesn’t involve calorie counting. Stay tuned for more! haha.***

 

Pre & Post Workout Snack Ideas

 

Pre-Workout Snack

Cottage Cheese & strawberries on brown rice cake with splenda sprinkled on top.
Post-workout cookie

Post-Workout Cookie with Almond Butter and a sprinkling of splenda.Post-Workout Snack

Cheese, pickles and veggie crackers! (recommend topping with a drop of mustard each!)

Hey everyone! So lately I have ramped up my workouts and am focussing more on my fitness overall. I thought I would share with you some simple snacks you can eat before/after your workout to really get the most out of it! These are all tasty quick treats you can enjoy. Read More!

5 Fast and Simple Ways to Burn More Calories & Stay in Shape

gfgdfgdfg

These tips are quick, simple and you can do most of them just about anywhere, everyday! Get ready to rev your metabolism.

1. FIDGET! This is literally a form of exercise classified under the name Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis(NEAT) I don’t care where you are, what your doing..just move in some way! Tap your foot or your fingers, wiggle your toes,move up and down on the balls of your feet. move around in your chair, pace if standing and waiting, don’t sit still!  Just doing these small movements can burn anywhere from 200-350 calories extra every day just by fidgeting!

2.Eat Breakfast. I know this sounds like it is the opposite of what you should be doing but believe me! Your body has been fasting all night and needs calories to sort of wake it up again. By eating a healthy balanced breakfast in the morning you are revving your body’s metabolism and giving it the energy it needs to start the day! On the other hand, if you do not eat breakfast, your metabolism will begin to slow down resulting in less calories burned plus your are more likely to eat more at lunch!

3. Have good posture. Sit up straight during the day! You ab muscles will thank-you! By sitting up straight your are working your core throughout the day. For an additional muscle boost, flex your ab muscles whenever possible. Just by flexing and holding, you are giving your abs a mini workout! This can help with definition.

4. Chew sugar-free gum. Personally I am already a gum addict so this is no problem for me haha but gum is known to burn a small amount of calories per day if chewed regularly as well as help to depress hunger. Also, did you know gum is recommended to help you relax during a test or to help your memorize information? This is because more blood is pumped to your heart to support the chewing action. Lastly! Gum can help to define your jaw if chewed often and overall it just tastes great :).

5. Drink Green-Tea. Green Tea has many healthy benefits, one being an increase in metabolism. Thus, your body burns more calories if you drink it on a regular basis.

 

So there you go! 5 simple quick steps you can do everyday to improve your health. Just don’t forget the essentials of proper eating habits and exercise are important if you are really looking to shape up!

 

5 Simple Tips That Will Keep You In Shape!

5 Simple Tips to Keep You In Shape!

Tip #1:-Low-fat isn’t always healthy! When companies lower the fat in food or completely take it out they usually replace it with  loads of sugar! For instance, greek yogurt is super healthy when eaten plain but of course no one likes it so they choose the flavoured kinds thinking it’s healthy..Nope, a small container may have 14g of sugar! Not good! So choose plain 0% greek yogurt and add your own flavours by blending with real fruit, thawing frozen fruit and placing on top or by mixing in any flavoured extract you enjoy with a little splenda or stevia! Yum! 🙂 Want More? Keep Reading!