Monday, January 5, 2015

IIFYM- If It Fits Your Mental Stability

Rant time.

This whole IIFYM "diet" is a scam. Why? Because EVERYTHING has macros. Surprised? Don't be- a lot of people don't realize EVERY SINGLE HUMAN is on a macro diet. Some people just don't choose to count them or "fit" them into anything.

What are macros? Calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. That's right, you guessed it, EVERY SINGLE FOOD ON THIS PLANET has a macro count. All foods also have a micro count (fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc).

If you have been following my blog for awhile or decided to go on a stalker rampage and read every single post in one evening (hats off to you, i'm sure you were entertained), then you have probably read my clean eating v macro debate.

Clean eating is also a scam but that's in another post so search in the little handy search bar above to find it.

I think the macro approach to eating is GREAT because it gives you a goal to hit. I think the macro approach to eating is AWFUL because it gives you a goal to hit. In short, if you plug your height and weight, activity level, and goal into a generic online calc, it will spit out that you need, for example, 1700 calories, 206 carbs, 115 protein, 46 fat, and 23-29 fiber. Why is this bad? Nutrient dense food (aka lean protein, rice, oatmeal, green veggies, etc) fill you up a lot faster because they are filled with nutrients with lower calories, relatively speaking. Calorie dense foods (such as processed foods, baked goods, etc) will give you a quick feeling of satisfaction but are not good for your overall health.

My point, I'm getting there: if you eat 1700 calories of nutrient dense foods, it will look drastically different than eating 1700 calories of calorie dense foods. A lot of people who follow the IIFYM approach will eat nutrient dense foods until they hit their goals and then if they have extra macros to fill, they will fill those with calorie dense foods. This is not bad in moderation but if you follow IIFYM, you're almost forced to log EVERY SINGLE THING that goes into your mouth. Why? Because how else will you know how many cups of cereal you can have right before bed if you don't log everything. This sets a lot of people for obsession with counting calories and numbers.

For my meal plans, I believe in a carb cycling approach (it's what I do as well), because it keeps your body guessing and allows for fat loss with muscle preservation. But guess what- there are still macros attached to those foods. There are macros attached to the foods you're eating right now whether you count them or not.

If IIFYM has worked for you, then great, keep doing it. I personally have noticed an immense difference in my body composition when following carb cycling and my clients also see amazing results.

Also, as mentioned above, processed and junk foods are NOT BAD in moderation. I have a blog post on here somewhere about poptarts post workout if you're bulking. I am in no way trying to contradict myself. Again, all I am stating is that there are macros attached to all foods whether you choose to count them or not. Follow whatever style works for you, macros, clean eating, paleo, vegetarian, GF, carb cycling, shoving your face with unicorn meat, WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU. Just don't do something because it's the "current fad" without doing some research first.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Different Kinds of Cardio

I seemed to have sparked a national debate when I posted that I am doing steady state cardio right now to tighten up for my honeymoon. To prevent any unnecessary cardio queen hernias, I decided to write a blog post describing the two basic different types of the nasty c-word and when each type is best suited for your goals. Enjoy.

LISS- Low Intensity Steady State
This is what Josh and I are currently doing. Why?!?!?!?!? LISS (we do 45 minutes 4-5 times a week) is best for competitive bodybuilders who primary concern is building as much muscle as possible #GAINZ
Many, and I mean many, bodybuilders will simply walk on the highest incline on the treadmill at a moderate speed for their cardio duration to avoid any possible muscle loss. Your target heart rate should be around 135 bpm (beats per minute) aka the holy grail of the fat burning zone (bpm will vary by person, should be 65% of max heart rate). If you need help calculating what yours should be, here's a great calc:
The holy grail zone occurs when you work your #HotBod at 65% of max heart rate. Science time: your body is working hard enough to burn fat but not too #BeastMode that it switches to sugar for energy. People often associate distance runners with steady state and having a very very very thin body type but they often forget that these distance runners are running for much longer than 45 minutes a few times per week.

HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT cardio combines short bursts of energy and then recovery periods. A typical HIIT workout is 20-30 seconds of sprints and 1-2 minutes of recovery and that cycle is repeated for 25-35 minutes. This will spike your heart rate WAY past the fat burning zone mentioned above and will top the scale at your maximum heart rate. It will then come back down to a recovery rate and then go right back up when you start your next sprint.
You will burn a boat load of calories doing HIIT if done properly- it is hard AF. It's also way less boring that LISS. HIIT is best for those who have a lot of fat to burn as you will burn calories for up to 48 hours post-HIIT demolition due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). If you would like to learn more about EPOC, there are lots and lots and lots and lots of articles- pretty interesting stuff!

PLEASE keep in mind, nobody ever got fat doing sprints. You WILL burn fat in the different types of cardio and any cardio is better than no cardio- keep that heart healthy! Right now I am trying to keep my glutes as full as possible while shrinking this waist- thank you LISS!