Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gain Muscle and Lose Fat: Can You Accomplish Both Simultaneously?


Who doesn’t want to get jacked and shredded? But the age-old question always seems to be, can you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? Why not? Gain muscle and lose fat FTW! It can be done said all the old school bro-science magazines! See any of them around anymore? Nope. IIFYM has been bombarded with this question. So honestly, can you gain muscle and lost fat simultaneously? The short answer is yes and no. Ha! Wait, what? You didn’t think it was a simple yes or no answer did you? The long answer of can you gain muscle and lose fat is to be explained below in this article.

It’s indeed possible to gain muscle and lose fat, but the answer comes down to what your ultimate goal is and the results you are looking to achieve in a certain time frame. Your results will also vary depending on your body type so you need to establish blueprints that match your body to achieve the results you desire. Assuming you and I are the same height and weight, we can train and eat exactly alike using IIFYM, but our results can differ drastically. There is no one right way to achieve success since each individual is different.

What’s Your Body Type?

Below is a brief description of what body types are out there. Read each carefully to figure out which category you fit into.


Thin in appearance without much muscle mass on the frame. They find it difficult to store fat as well as gain lean muscle mass. Generally, they have extremely high metabolisms and seem to be able to eat anything they want without the fear of gaining weight. Their body fat percentage is naturally very low.


This body type is the complete opposite of the ectomorph. Endomorphs easily accumulate and store fat and are much heavier around the midsection and thighs. While they can put on muscle very easily, the same goes for body fat. Generally, this body type is associated with a “pear shape” appearance. Overall their metabolism is slow and therefore they need to pay attention to the food they eat and make a conscious effort to exercise.


A body type we all wish we would have is the mesomorph. Naturally, this body type has a more muscular appearance with a broader chest and wider shoulders. With the addition of low body fat, a tiny waist, this body type gives off an amazingly natural v-taper. It’s very easy for mesomorphs to put on muscle and keep bodyfat at bay. In general, mesomorphs are naturally strong as well. When you think of what a mesomorph would look like, think along the lines of a bodybuilder.


Gaining Muscle


Gain Muscle and Lose Fat


By a show of hands from the IIFYM readership, how many of you desire putting on more muscle mass? That was easy, I don’t see anyone with their hand down. So how do you achieve this feat? It all starts and ends with your nutrition as well as your training. There’s no magic pill unless you decide to go the route of steroids (which I don’t recommend). Sure, you can go the route of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) depending on your age and natural testosterone levels, but generally, that will only come into play as you age and your natural testosterone production is on the decline—we’ll touch on this more in a minute. Testosterone replacement therapy is also something that is done and controlled under the watchful eye of a doctor, so you simply can’t “self-diagnose” and administer.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Let’s get this out of the way since everyone wants the “quick-fix” to gain muscle and lose fat. As we (men) age, our natural testosterone production begins to decline—this generally starts to happen and is most noticeable around the age of 30. This scenario from a medical standpoint is called andropause. Simply put, it is when the testes slow down or stop producing testosterone. Those days when we were teenagers and were able to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time are gone. However, through science, it is now possible to gain muscle and lose fat thanks to TRT. While I don’t condone you simply going to your doctor and explaining that you would like to use TRT as a simple way to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously, if you truly need it due to low test then I’d say give it a try.

IIFYM blueprint

Common symptoms of a dip in testosterone levels are: insomnia, decreased muscle mass, an increase in body fat, loss of libido, fatigue or depression, and a decrease in bone density to name a few. So how is this condition taken under control? It’s quite simple, you would go to your doctor and get blood work done (generally one of the symptoms above such as insomnia, loss of libido, or fatigue will tip you off that you need to head to the doctors and figure out what’s going on).

If the results come back that you have low testosterone, they will generally recommend a form of TRT. Normal testosterone levels for men are between 400 and 1,200 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). Normally, if the number is under 400 is when they will recommend TRT.

How this is administered is generally through injections (consistent and regular) or through time-released capsules inserted under the skin at the buttocks (depending on the dose and how many, this can be once every few months). These procedures will then help reverse the negative side effects mentioned above and will leave you feeling more energized, in a better mood, have increased libido once again, may allow you to gain muscle and lose fat, and may allow you to get better sleep once again.


IIFYM is no stranger to the nutrition side of the equation. And if we were able to get a penny for everyone that asked if IIFYM has any plans that allows the individual to gain muscle and lose fat, we’d be rich. That being said, if you want more sound advice, click on the several articles on the IIFYM website as well as checking out the IIFYM programs they have available.

Starting with the Custom Macro Blueprint, where one of our knowledgeable coaches will build a body changing program

The great thing about following IIFYM is that you don’t necessarily have to deprive yourself of all the foods you enjoy. IIFYM allows you the flexibility to live life and not feel like you’re eating out of an IIFYM Tupperware container (even though I’d totally rock an IIFYM container). You have freedom! And that’s the IIFYM way of living!

If you want to look like a beast you need to eat as a beast would. Don’t take this the wrong way, though, especially if you’re using IIFYM as a dieting style. This isn’t a free ticket to hit up every buffet within a twenty-mile radius of your house. In fact, you still need to keep your IIFYM diet in check as if you were cutting, your calories and macronutrients will just be adjusted. Check your body type mentioned above to see how you should ideally set up your IIFYM nutrition program.


The Starting Point


build muscle and lose fat


If you aren’t sure where to start, IIFYM has some great nutrition plans laid out where if you follow the blueprint, you will find your goals aren’t that far out of reach. In addition, IIFYM has a great recipe book where you can find all kinds of tasty recipes that will make you think you’re cheating on your diet when you’re actually on point.

When looking to bulk you do not want to just eat everything in sight, otherwise, you will spend a lot of time cutting after your bulk—and I don’t know many people who get excited to do extra cardio to trim off added fat from a dirty bulking phase.

While you can “cheat” a little on your diet and not be as strict as when you’re truly trying to drop your body fat as low as possible, you don’t want to get too carried away. A piece of cake or some ice cream here and there won’t kill you, just pay attention to your serving size to make sure you’re within the IIFYM program you’re following.

Ideally, what you want to do is calculate what your maintenance intake needs to be (TDEE) and then add 500 calories per day to that maintenance number (unless otherwise stated to fit your body type above).

Below are 2 calculators to help you figure out your numbers:

1. Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) using the IIFYM BMR Calculator

2. Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) using the IIFYM TDEE Calculator

These calculators will help you figure out your maintenance calories—your starting point. It’s impossible to tell you exactly in this article where your macros need to be since everyone has a different metabolism and way of storing and utilizing calories. It’s for this reason that cookie cutter diets don’t work. No two people are alike. If there was a one-size fit all method, everyone could get in amazing shape, but unfortunately, that’s part of this process where you need to learn and understand what works for you and your body.

If you want to check out all the IIFYM programs available, you can find them by clicking this link: Our Programs

(And no, there’s not a program to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time found in the link, I’ll save you from checking)


Due to their body type, they will require a higher than normal caloric intake to make any noticeable muscle size gains (normally anywhere from 750-1,000 calories over their IIFYM maintenance each day). A high carbohydrate and moderate protein diet are ideal for the ectomorph (something like a 50/30/20 ratio of carbs/protein/fat).


In order for endomorphs to lose weight, their diet needs to be lower in carbohydrates while higher in fats. Healthy fats will help them drop body fat while the protein will help keep their lean muscle to continue burning calories throughout the day. In general, endomorphs should follow an IIFYM diet with a ratio of 25/35/40 (carbs/protein/fat). They should also strive to lower their IIFYM caloric intake 250-500 calories per day from their maintenance in order to help shed off some of the unwanted fat and allow their body to adjust and utilize the calories versus storing them.


Mesomorphs can do extremely well with an IIFYM diet that is 500 calories per day over their IIFYM maintenance. This will allow them enough calories to stay lean, yet allow them to continually add quality muscle mass to their frame. A ratio of 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fat) seems to be ideal for mesomorphs.






Training, no matter what body type you are, should be intense in order to gain muscle and lose fat (whichever goal you are after). Hitting the working muscles hard and then giving them the proper time to rest and recover is ideal. By combining proper nutrition already mentioned in this article, it’s hard not to see progress when you put all the puzzle pieces together. If you find you’re not getting the results you desire and you know you’re putting in the effort in the gym, then go back and take a closer look at your diet. But ultimately, if you are trying to gain muscle and lose fat you are setting yourself up for failure.

Find out which body composition goal you should focus on with our Custom Macro Blueprint

It’s also recommended that you hit each muscle group twice each week in order to see hypertrophy—muscle growth. In the past “bro-science” had splits where you were hitting each muscle group once per week but science has since debunked that and has shown hitting muscles two times per week to be the most beneficial for putting on lean muscle mass.

No matter if you want to put on lean muscle mass or drop body fat, your weight training should not change. The best way to preserve muscle is the same way how to build it. The only thing that should change dependent on your goal is your nutrition and cardio. If you want to put on size, lower your cardio and have a caloric surplus. If you want to cut body fat, increase your cardio and create a caloric deficit. It honestly breaks down to being as simple as that.


Ectomorphs should also try to keep their cardio to a minimum due to the high amount of calories they burn naturally. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) seems to be best for this body type. Resistance training should revolve around compound movements using a heavy weight. The rep range should be anywhere from 5-10 reps.


HIIT is a great way for endomorphs to burn fat. They should also focus on lifting heavy, keeping their rest periods as short as possible to keep their heart rate up, and staying around 15 reps per exercise. Compound exercises are also ideal for this body type.


A mixture of cardio and weight training suits this body type best. The cardio allows them to maintain their leanness while the weight training puts on the size. Three days of cardio per week of around 30 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. Mesomorphs can use heavy weights in the gym with rep ranges between 8-12 and see results very quickly.

Losing Fat

It’s no secret that you can’t out-train a poor diet, just like you can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time efficiently while cutting (or bulking for that matter). In fact, IIFYM has been preaching this for quite some time now. Losing fat comes from hard work and dedication in the kitchen. Sure, you can increase your cardio, but what you put into your mouth will ultimately make or break your physique and progress.

This is where dialing in your macros comes into play, one of our coaches will build your ultimate guide to fat loss with a Custom Macro Blueprint

Choosing high quality, nutrient dense foods should be of utmost importance to you when it comes to hitting your goals. Complex carbohydrates, high-quality protein sources, and healthy fats should make up your diet no matter what your body type. Stay away from the simple carbohydrate sources unless you are including them in your post workout shake/nutrition.

Your body could fight you a little and not want to give up its fat stores. This is the toughest part and a part where most new exercisers throw in the towel. It could take anywhere from a couple days to several months before your body begins to make changes. Don’t give up.

So Can You Gain Muscle and Lose Fat Simultaneously?




Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for—can you truly gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? Through proper training and nutrition, it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat. Is this optimal? Heck no. Unless you are a true mesomorph (which few people are) it’s extremely difficult to efficiently gain muscle and lose fat.

To gain lean mass you need a caloric surplus. To lose body fat efficiently you need a caloric deficit. See where I’m going with this? You can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time efficiently.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. The body doesn’t work this way. The body needs fuel to build lean mass, if you’re taking in fewer calories than what is needed through TDEE to lose fat, it’s darn near impossible to maximize your muscle gaining potential.

The ultimate goal here isn’t to go from zero to one hundred real quick (as Drake says). It’s not a race. Whichever way you are swaying—bulking or cutting—you need to slowly implement things in a way that you don’t go to one extreme or the other. If you cut calories too much and increase cardio you risk losing some hard-earned muscle mass. If you try to bulk too quickly and increase your calories without maintaining a little cardio, you’ll end up looking like a blowfish. It’s about consistency. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Focus On One Composition Change

Choose the path you want to take and stick with it. Getting cut and jacked at the same time is exceptionally difficult unless you have amazing genetics or “science” comes into play. When putting on lean muscle mass it is normal to add a little bit of body fat, so don’t get discouraged. And just the opposite, when you are cutting, some individuals will tend to lose some muscle mass (whether it be true muscle or just some water retention).

Don’t get frustrated. Stick to the plan and the results will come. So let’s put this inefficient style of training and dieting to rest. It doesn’t make sense to attempt to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Prioritize your goals and focus on one aspect at a time.

If you need help finding the right tools to reach your goals, IIFYM can help. The coaches at IIFYM can set you up with an amazing nutrition plan.

The post Gain Muscle and Lose Fat: Can You Accomplish Both Simultaneously? appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Monday, October 17, 2016

Vegans, What You May be Overlooking In Your Diet


You’re vegan, huh? No meat at all. Wow.

Interesting… so, how do you know if you get enough protein?

Here it is — the standard almost scripted inquiry that vegans likely encounter, day in and day out around water coolers across the country.

Non-vegans learn of their preferences on animal consumption, and this tired but well-meaning interview process begins. Cue the eye-roll.

Typically, the question is followed up with a reasonable response in the form of an assurance such as, Lots of beans. or Soy.

Seeds, nuts, quinoa, and a variety of protein powders such as hemp, rice, and pea, are all other ideal options which vegans reach for to supplement their protein intake.

Which certainly answers the question, “What do you eat for protein?”. However, it doesn’t answer the question, “How do you know if you are getting enough protein?”


Crunching Numbers


IIFYM Vegans


There is only one way to know if you are getting enough protein (or carbs or fats, for that matter) and the answer is actually consistent for everyone, not just for vegans.

The only way to know if you are getting enough protein is:

1. To know how much you need.


2. To track it.

Let’s start with number two. Tracking is pretty easy to figure out.

Especially for those vegans who primarily get their protein source out of a package. Turn the package around, scan the nutritional data and voilĂ , the amount of protein per serving is right there in black and white.

If you’re struggling to dial in your macro intake, let us help you build your Custom Macro Blueprint

Go low-tech and jot it down on a piece of paper or go high-tech and punch it into an app. Done.

But number one, on the other hand, could be a bit more of a complicated question to answer.

The short answer is it depends on many factors.

The long answer is:

It depends on…

– Gender
– Age
– Height and Weight
– Activity Level
– Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle, or maintain your current body makeup

Figuring out the answer to ‘it depends on’ can have you arousing brain neurons that have been asleep since 11th-grade math class.

(“Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?”)

What’s more, the answers to these questions change over time as new circumstances arise.

This only further complicates an already complicated conundrum.

IIFYM blueprint

If right about now you’re wishing that someone has come up with a nifty calculator in the same vein as those mortgage-rate number cruncher things, you’re down to two wishes.

There is such a thing, and the best part is- it’s free.

As a bonus, you’ll find out your carb and fat requirements as well.

Which brings up another point.

Vegans tend to get too many carbs and too much fat to meet their optimal fuel requirements. This is where IIFYM coaches can step in and guide you through the process.


Zeroing in on the Basics


Ironically, when viewing things from a sheer macronutrient perspective, the vegan diet closely resembles the stats on the Standard American Diet (you know, pizza, burgers, nuggets, lattes, etc.), which accounts for far too much carb and fat intake and not nearly enough protein.

The quality of food may be on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but when comparing apples to apples, or in this case macronutrient to macronutrient, they are essentially the same.

You may be eating well but if you’re not seeing the body composition changes you desire, let one of our coaches build your Custom Macro Blueprint

So organic, non-GMO, animal cruelty-free, high-fiber, additive-free, chemical-free, all-natural, local, homegrown, leafy-green, fresh, high in micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, etc… these are all concepts which point to the utmost standards in the human consumption of food and which are typically valued by followers of the vegan diet if lifestyle.

Which is a good thing…No, it’s a great thing.

However, all of these considerations more often than not, overlook the most fundamental consideration which our bodies require. They miss the mark in determining the correct amount of macronutrients (which refers to the basic nutrients: proteins, fats, and carbs) required for an individual person.

Each person needs a particular amount of these macronutrients in order to function properly.






Consider this: a standard gas powered vehicle needs fuel to drive. While there are several different levels of quality of gasoline to choose from at the fill-up station, there is no getting around it, the device needs fuel.

And, it also needs oil.

And water.

It may not need as much oil or water as it does, compared to fuel, but it just won’t function without all three being available.

Further, let’s say the fuel, oil and water are provided, just in the wrong amounts. Well, it may certainly roll on down the road, but it isn’t functioning properly and certainly not optimally. The damage is likely being done to the vehicle.

Same with us. We need all three macros in certain amounts.


IIFYM and Vegans


The vegan diet and If It Fits Your Macros [IIFYM] not only complement each other, it is actually critical for vegans to work IIF YM into their lifestyle if they are looking to achieve peak performance.

“Am I going to have to track stuff?”, you ask.

Well, yes.

There is some effort involved. You’ll have to pay attention and be aware.

But for vegans, this should really be a non-issue. As a rule, vegans tend to have the admirable quality of going through life with their eyes open.

Here are some points to consider:

-Each person has a specific target of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) to meet in order to achieve optimal health. [1]
-IIFYM provides an easy-to-use and free tool in the form of a calculator which determines individual macronutrient needs (based on age, gender, height, weight, activity levels and physical goals).

Many vegans are challenged with the prospect of sufficient protein supplementation in their regular diet.

– Many vegans account for an overabundance of fats and carbs in their regular diet.
– Combining the vegan lifestyle together with the IIFYM tracking method serves as a convenient solution for vegans to meet the challenge of fulfilling their daily macronutrient needs.

Are you ready to get started?

Click here to use the IIFYM calculator and to find out your individual macronutrient requirements.


Bonus Tracks


Enjoy the following recipes that were developed for vegans who are looking to increase their protein consumption on a regular basis.

They are lightening quick to put together and were designed to be made in bulk and stored in the fridge or freezer in order to be on hand for quick access to fully prepared nutritionally correct nourishment. They were also created with versatility, frugality, and portability in mind.On-the-go fit foodies, rejoice.




The Real Deal Hummus

12 servings
¾ cup per serving
Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 3-4 cups water
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 12 scoops pea protein powder
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 6 cloves garlic (medium)
  • Salt to taste

For garnish:

  • 6 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
  • 6 kalamata olives
  • lemon zest
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • almond feta cheese
  • 6 cucumbers (large)


How to Instructions:

1. Gather together all of the ingredients (mise en place).

2. In a high-powered blender (like a Vita-Mix or Blend-Tec), or a food processor, combine all the ingredients in the order listed, except for the garnish ingredients.

3. Pulse three to five times to combine initially.

4. Then blend at the lowest setting for about thirty seconds.

5. Gradually bring the speed up to the highest setting and blend for about thirty seconds.

6. Add some extra water, a little at a time to improve consistency.

7. If it happens to get too runny, it could be thickened with a small amount of glucomannan or tapioca starch. Just be careful not to overdo it or it will get slimy.

8. Serve in an interesting dish for a house party appetizer or it could be separated into individual servings to store in the fridge or freezer for grab and go meals.

9. Garnish with the crumbled almond feta cheese, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the kalamata olives on top.

10.Finish by artfully placing thick lemon zest strips on top of the olives and by sprinkling with crushed red pepper flakes, if you enjoy a little heat.

11. Add any vegetable of your choice

12. Enjoy.

Note: This hummus will stay fresh in the fridge for at least a week. In the freezer, it would last at least two months.

Estimated Stats:
21g Carbs
10g Fat
20g Protein
259 Calories per serving

Estimated Cost:
$1.20 per serving




Savory Meatless Protein Bites

12 servings
6 bites per serving
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes


Dried Flavor Blend:

  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 TBSP coffee
  • ½ packet dried roasted seaweed
  • 1TBSP black peppercorns
  • 1 TBSP dried toasted onion

Meal Flavor Blend:

  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 20 scoops pea protein
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 4 TBSP peanut butter powder
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose seasoning
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chili Powder
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder

Moist Flavor Blend:

  • 4 (4 oz.) cans mushroom pieces (drained, reserve liquid)
  • 4 TBSP liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (any flavor)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp horseradish 1 Teaspoon


  • 1 ½ cup reserved mushroom liquid
  • Water as needed
  • avocado oil spray

How to Instructions

1. Gather all Ingredients (mise en place).

2. Set the oven to 450.

3. Pulse the Dried Flavor Blend ingredients in a food processor  two to three times until coarse (not to a fine powder).

4. In a large mixing bowl toss together Meal Flavor Blend and the coarsely chopped Dried Flavor Blend ingredients until well combined.

5.  Mix the Moist Flavor Blend ingredients in a food processor one to two times until coarsely chopped.

6. Fold the Moist Flavor Blend ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.

7. Add reserved mushroom liquid a little at a time and additional water if necessary to achieve a cookie dough consistency.

8. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out a one-ounce portion (which is around two tablespoons) and roll into a ball.

9. Arrange the protein bites on a cookie sheet that has been set on a wire rack. Make sure the bites do not touch.

10. Spritz the protein bites with avocado oil.

11. Bake for 10 minutes.

12. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and flip the protein bites over to the opposite side.

13. Spritz with avocado oil and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe stats:

18.4g Carbs
10g Fat
32.2g Protein
262.2 Calories

Estimated cost per serving: $1.39

Notes: To freeze, place the cookie sheet in the freezer, leaving the pieces arranged. Once they are frozen solid, toss in a plastic freezer bag or vacuum seal and return to freezer.

These bites should last in the refrigerator for at least a week and in the freezer for at least two months.



[1] Prentice, Andrew M. Macronutrients as sources of food energy. Public Health Nutrition, 8(7A), 932-939



About the Author


Heather Martinez is a creative. Drawing on skills developed as a formally trained artist, she has the keen ability to pare down concepts to the fundamental structure. She has a particular knack for honing in on fresh, creative solutions in all things which enhance the quality of life.

When she isn’t counting macros, she can either be found tearing up the kitchen ‘Swedish Chef’ style, on the stage at the local community theatre, agonizing over prepositions and adjectives during marathon writing sessions, or out riding her classic Windsor Oxford down country lanes at sunset with her handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback, Major.

The post Vegans, What You May be Overlooking In Your Diet appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why Clean Eating Fails


Clean eating is becoming an increasingly popular trend in today’s society. However, many who eat clean are often confused by the lack of progress. The purpose of this article is to expand upon the concept of clean eating and to create a dietary approach that’s more efficient and sustainable long-term.


Clean eating – What is it?

If you ask ten people, who would consider themselves clean eaters what the term “clean” means, you will get some different answers. The answers may include responses such as no processed food, low-fat, low sugar, low calorie, low glycemic index, only foods our ancestors ate and a variety of other answers.

However, as you start to question their definition of “clean” more specifically, the definition often starts to fall apart.

For example, many protein bars are high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat foods made from things like dairy and grains. However, these are processed foods. Is this clean?

What about popcorn? A standard serving of plain popcorn has similar fiber and protein contents to a potato with a lower glycemic index. Is popcorn a clean food?

What about high-calorie baked goods made for those following a “Paleo” diet? Theoretically, these stem from ingredients our ancestors ate (although I doubt they were baking bread and cookies with them in their caves), but the calorie and fat contents are often high. Are these clean?

As you can probably see by now, this line of questioning eventually results in a minuscule list of foods that are acceptable to eat. Moreover, that small list differs from person to person.


eating clean with IIFYM


Flaws of the clean eating approach:

In addition to not having a concrete definition, the concept of clean eating suffers from a number of flaws.

“Healthy” and “Clean” differ depending upon an individual’s goals

If you ask most people if a potato is a healthy or clean food, they would say “yes.” However, that may not be the case for people with diabetes due to the carbohydrate content or an individual with renal failure due to the potassium content.

Our coaches can work with any personal restrictions, let us help you build your Custom Macro Blueprint

What about milk? Most would say milk is a clean or healthy food. However, what about those who are lactose intolerant or those consuming whole milk (which is high in calories) while attempting to lose weight?

What about ice cream? Most would say “no”; however, for someone with a high metabolic rate trying to gain weight eating exclusively high fiber carbohydrate sources could make consuming enough calories painful and lead to GI distress. Therefore, fitting in foods like ice cream may be advantageous.

An adequate diet ultimately depends on upon an individual’s situation, preferences, and goals.


Clean Eating is typically a Rigid Dieting Practice

People who eat clean have a very black and white approach to dieting typically. There is usually some list of foods (depending upon their definition of healthy or clean) that are good and a list of foods that are bad.

However, the strict dietary practice that involves elimination of foods and food groups have been shown to be less successful. Rigid dieting is associated with overeating and eating disorders while more flexible approaches to dieting have been associated with a lower BMI [1, 2]. Moreover, a recent study found that thinking in black and white when it comes to foods impedes the ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight long-term [3].

Therefore, for a dietary approach to be successful long-term, it needs to be more flexible than viewing foods as “good” or “bad.”

Focus on Food Source, Not Calorie Content

Those who follow a clean eating approach base the success of their diets on their ability to consume clean foods while avoiding non-clean foods. Such an approach occurs without regard to calorie content.

Many foods that are typically considered clean are high in calories. For example, nuts contain upwards of 200 calories per 1oz serving. Compare that to 1oz sweet potato (approximately 25 calories) or 1oz blueberries (approximately 15 calories) and it is clear that calorie content of clean foods may differ greatly.

Similarly, a highly frequented restaurant recently began advertising that all of their foods would be clean by year’s end; however, many of the muffins, cookies, scones, sandwiches, paninis and even salads on their menu are 400-500 calories or more each.


Ultimately, body weight change comes from the balance between the number of calories consumed and the number of calories expended. With many foods commonly viewed as clean containing a large number of calories, it’s not surprising that many wonder why they aren’t losing weight and progressing towards their goals when following a clean eating approach.

Energy balance (not the food source) determines body weight change. Therefore, examining the calorie content of a diet is vital.



IIFYM (if it fits your macros) is a more flexible approach to dieting that is becoming increasingly popular. It focuses more around the “how much” an individual is eating than the “what.”


What most people associate IIFYM with

It is a common misconception that IIFYM means eating as much “crap” as you can fit in, while still hitting your numbers.

This misconception is perpetuated by IIFYMers posting pictures of some the fun and creative foods they eat throughout the day such as pizza, pop tarts (often thought as the unofficial food of IIFYM), ice cream, “flex bowls,” and many other tasty treats.

Based on what the general public observes of IIFYM, it perceived that IIFYM = eat pure crap (and maybe take a multi or drink a protein shake).

However, this could not be further from the truth.


clean eating iifym


What IIFYM is

While many advocates of IIFYM do eat foods that clean eaters would not consider clean, what many do not realize is that those “bad” foods only make up (or at least should only make up) a small portion of an individual’s daily intake.

Most people that follow IIFYM eat primarily a variety of nutrient-dense food from all food groups. Their diets are typically full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy, all foods that typically are considered clean by many clean eaters.

Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods should be the focus on any sustainable nutrition approach. This consumption prevents vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Many who follow IIFYM also track fiber to ensure adequate intake.

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However, one major difference is that those who follow IIFYM do not have any food or food group restrictions. They will fit in other foods that they want in addition to the nutrient-dense whole food they are eating.  The flexible dieting approach is about moderation, rather than an all or none strategy.

It’s best that 80-90 percent of food consumed be nutrient-dense foods while the other 10-20 percent are discretionary macros to do what an individual wants, so long as they are hitting their macros each day. By staying within their daily macronutrient numbers each day those who follow IIFYM can eat the foods they enjoy in moderation (even if they are not typically considered clean) and still make progress towards their goals.


My Experience with Clean Eating and IIFYM


clean eating and IIFYM


If you are still with me, you are probably wondering why you should listen to my recommendation to modify your clean eating approach using IIFYM.

It turns out that clean eating was a huge failure for me, but a more flexible IIFYM approach has been a massive success.

Nearly 15 years ago as I was getting into the sport of natural bodybuilding, I followed what would be considered a clean eating approach. There were certain foods that I ate and a large number of foods I thought I could not eat if I wanted to be a successful bodybuilder.

I used a clean eating approach heading into my first competition in 2004 where I took last in my teen class and next to last in novice. After putting everything I had into contest prep only to not place as high as I had hoped, this crushed my spirit. I then spoke with the judges following the show, and the consensus was that I needed more size to be more competitive.

After this, I started to “bulk” using a clean eating approach. Foods I viewed as clean included things such as chicken breast, tuna, protein bars, protein powder, oatmeal, potatoes, nuts, different kinds of nut butter, veggies, low-fat/fat-free dairy, and occasionally some whole grain bread or cereal. I ate large quantities (5000+ calories/day) of these few foods for 2 years.

After 2 years, my weight shot up from 145lbs to 210lbs, and it wasn’t pretty. I couldn’t figure out why I gained so much body fat since I was only eating a handful of clean foods.

 IIFYM and Flexible Dieting came into play

At this point, I did my research and began to learn about macronutrients, flexible dieting, and IIFYM. I realized that I had gained weight because my caloric intake was too high regardless of the food sources I was eating. More importantly, I learned that I could eat a greater variety of foods. Moreover, that increasing my food variety could improve my health, improve my relationship with food and provide a more flexible and ultimately sustainable approach for me long-term.

Approximately a decade later I still use an IIFYM approach and have achieved more than I could have ever imagined in the sport of natural bodybuilding, even winning a professional natural bodybuilding contest this past spring.

Contest placing aside, IIFYM has given me a much healthier and more sustainable relationship with food than clean eating. I have no doubt it will do the same for you as you begin to increase flexibility in your dietary approach through IIFYM.


Take Home Points


Clean eating has no set definition. What’s considered a clean or healthy food differs from person to person based upon their situation, preferences, and goals.

A common flaw of a clean eating approach is that there is often no regard for calories or macronutrients. Clean eating strategies are often strict dietary approaches that are not sustainable long-term.

IIFYM should not mean eating pure crap. Most that follow an IIFYM approach primarily eat a variety of nutrient-dense food while fitting in other foods (typically not thought of as clean) in moderation.

Moving from clean eating to IIFYM can result in a more efficient approach because of the caloric intake being a vital part of it. Ultimately, energy balance (not the food source) determines body weight change. Also, IIFYM can provide a more flexible and sustainable approach long-term that can improve an individual’s relationship with food.

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  1. Stewart, T.M., D.A. Williamson, and M.A. White, Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite, 2002. 38(1): p. 39-44.
  2. Smith, C.F., et al., Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes. Appetite, 1999. 32(3): p. 295-305.
  3. Palascha, A., E. van Kleef, and H.C. van Trijp, How does thinking in Black and White terms relate to eating behavior and weight regain? J Health Psychol, 2015. 20(5): p. 638-48.


About the Author


Peter Fitschen has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science from the University of Illinois as well as a BS in Biochemistry and MS in Biology with a Physiology Concentration from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and also a professional natural bodybuilder who has competed in natural bodybuilding since 2004.  Peter works as a physique consultant through his company, Fitbody, and Physique LLC.

Contact Info:
Instagram: @fitbodyphysique

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Carb-Cycling Advantages and Disadvantages


Similar to IIFYM, carb-cycling is a hot topic in the fitness industry these days. From followers of IIFYM to people who follow strict meal plans, it seems that carb-cycling as a nutritional strategy has spread its way into most sub-groups of dieters. It’s a pretty simple concept as the name says it all. Carb-cycling involves changing your macro distributions around, mainly fat and carbs, for various periods of time. Technically, the definition of carb-cycling could be extended quite wide as there are many forms. For example, someone could have a few high carb days a week followed by low and moderate carbs for the rest of the week, while another person could have high carbs for a full week followed by a week of low carbs. These are both considered forms of carb-cycling. For the purpose of this article, everything will be focused on the carb-cycling strategy of 2-3 high carb days a week and the rest of the days as low/moderate carbs.


What Exactly is Carb-Cycling?

A typical carb-cycling protocol involves switching up the macro distribution with a mix of high/moderate/low carb days incorporated throughout the week. Usually it will involve three high carb days, two moderate carb days and two low carb days, but that’s not a universal rule. The specific macro ratio of those days just depends on whatever the individual decides to follow. Carb-cycling can be implemented into any form of dieting, from IIFYM and flexible dieting to rigid meal plans. The sources don’t necessarily have to change as one would normally do with IIFYM though, although they can. The only variables that have to change are the amounts of each macro, primarily carbohydrates and fat.

There are a lot of proposed benefits to carb-cycling. Some claim that it leads to more calories burned or increased weight loss at the end of the week. Some say that extra carbs timed around exercise helps performance so cycling carbs is good for said reason. Let’s take a look at what’s legitimate and what’s not.




The Benefits of Carb-Cycling

In theory, it makes sense as to why carb-cycling could be an effective nutritional method. There are benefits that both increased carbs and increased fat can provide and carb-cycling aims to take advantage of each macro. Timing carbohydrate intake around exercise is frequently recommended for the performance benefits that it provides.

Research has shown that roughly 1-2g CHO/kg taken 3-4 hours before physical activity can improve performance, and it has also shown that ingesting a combination of protein and carbs before exercise can increase muscle protein synthesis (1). The effects carbohydrates can have post-exercise are even better. Taking in ample carbs right after a workout has been shown to stimulate glycogen re-synthesis at a greater rate and to further increase muscle protein synthesis (1).

This essentially means that your body is fueling up for its next workout and utilizing protein more efficiently. If your diet was consistently low in carbs, it’s unlikely you would have enough of them to spread out between pre and post workout to reap the max benefits. It’s easy to see why ingesting a greater carbohydrate intake before and after exercise is a popular strategy to increase performance.


However, even though sufficient carbs timed around workouts can have positive effects, what about the days that you’re not working out and therefore not having the same amount of calories burned? If you’re not training on a given day, then why have the extra carbs for performance benefits that will just be rendered futile? It seems like it would make sense to have less carbs on the days that you’re not training and more carbs on the days that you are training. Or maybe moderate carbs on your lighter workout days, and higher carbs timed around your more intense workouts.

The Effects of Differing Macro Ratios

One study took 40 individuals on the same number of calories and divided them into a low carb and a low fat group with varying macro ratios (2). The low carb group reported to have reduced glucose/insulin concentration and insulin sensitivity in comparison to the lower fat group. The low carb group even experienced greater weight loss by a factor of 10%, indicating a greater number of calories burned. Another study reported similar findings with the low carb diet’s beneficial effects on body composition and insulin/glucose levels (3). Diets higher in fat have also been linked to greater testosterone concentrations when compared to lower fat diets(4). High test levels leaves more room for potential muscle growth so this is obviously a good thing. Although the data on higher fat intake is certainly positive, whether its benefits outweigh the pros of higher carbs is still up to debate.

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All of the research comparing various macro distributions isn’t exactly consistent across the boards either. Another study assigned 411 overweight individuals to four different diets with varying macro ratios and had them track their food for two years to determine if there was a difference in calories burned or fat loss (5). Caloric intake was the same for all groups. It was found that the specific macro ratios had no significant effect on weight loss or calories burned, illustrating the point that overall caloric intake over macro distribution is the most important factor when determining weight balance and the amount of calories burned.

Although, it’s important to note that this study was conducted over a two year period, whereas the other two previously referenced studies that gave favor to low carb diets were only performed over 12 weeks and 16 weeks. A two year study utilizing a greater number of people holds more merit in my book than studies done in a few months with less people.


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The Mental Advantage

These are just the potential physical benefits associated with each macro, but is there any type of mental advantage to carb-cycling? Well, that’s  going to depend on the person. Some people love the feeling of having a high carb day and get really excited whenever those days arrive. That excitement could help increase adherence since it gives them something to look forward to multiple times throughout the week. Not only for the aspect of being able to eat more delicious carbs that day, but also because the extra carbs should help fuel that day’s workout and allow them to really push themselves.

Also, even though it’s not cheating on your diet, those high carb days could make some people ‘feel’ as though they’re having a break in their diet. In actuality they’re staying perfectly on track with their goals, so it’s a win-win scenario. This just depends on the individual though. Some people may not see the benefit and therefore it wouldn’t help them stay on track anymore than the usual approach would, but to others it could provide a nice mental edge that assists with adherence.


The Effects of Leptin and Cortisol

Another important factor to consider with carb-cycling is its effects on various hormones such as leptin and cortisol, both of which can play a significant role in weight loss. Let’s take a look at leptin first.




What is leptin first of all? Leptin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling fat cell size and regulating hunger levels. The less fat you have, the less leptin you have. The opposite also holds true. When leptin levels are above a certain threshold, they are released from fat cells which helps suppress your appetite and signals your body that it is full. At the beginning of a diet when people are holding more fat, leptin concentration is sufficient enough that this usually isn’t an issue.

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Yet, as one loses more and more fat, leptin concentration is also decreasing which means your body has a harder time telling when it’s full and therefore is always hungry. When your leptin levels fall below that certain threshold that tells your body everything is good to go, your body essentially enters starvation mode and will constantly remind you how hungry it is.

Clearly, this is not a good thing when calories are getting lower and you’re already hungry as is. This is where a lot of people can struggle to adhere to their diets since they’re hungry ALL the time.It doesn’t have to be all bad though. Even in a period of caloric deficit there are some strategies that can be utilized to control leptin levels to an extent.


Research has shown that meals high in carbohydrates can positively affect leptin concentration in comparison to meals higher in fat(6).


One study tested 10 females in 3 day periods of carbohydrate overfeeding and fat overfeeding. It was shown that plasma leptin concentrations increased as much as 28% in the carbohydrate overfeeding period when compared to the fat overfeeding(7). While this information is certainly relevant, it only covers the scenario of people having multiple high carb days in a row. What about the carb-cycling strategy of alternating daily between high/mid/low carb days?

Another study was done that tested the effects of  plasma leptin concentration on 22 individuals after a single meal high in fat and again after a meal high in carbs. The calories were the same for each and measurements were recorded 9 hours afterwards.  It turns out leptin levels were indeed higher in the high carb meal compared to the high fat meal(8). This supports the notion that carbohydrate overfeeding can have a positive effect on leptin concentration regardless of whether it comes from a single meal, single day or period of multiple days.

Yet, it’s important to note that there isn’t an immediate spike in leptin levels after a high carb meal but the effects are more delayed. If you are truly trying to optimize all the benefits that increased leptin can give you then I would recommend getting a lot of the carbs earlier in the day as opposed to later.




Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands, it’s been nicknamed the ‘stress hormone’ since it is directly related to stress levels. High cortisol is equal to high stress. Chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to increased abdominal fat and decreased muscle mass… Clearly features we want to avoid. Cortisol is actually an important hormone that is required for optimal health function, the issue is when it gets too high for too long negative effects start coming in. Fortunately, there are some ways in which we can help lower it that involves focusing on certain macros.


There is mixed research on carbohydrate feeding being linked to cortisol levels. Some studies have shown increased cortisol levels after a high carb meal where other studies haven’t reported any noticeable correlation between the two(9).


The divided results don’t give a lot of support to carbs having much to do with the hormone, nothing that can be 100% confirmed at least. Research done on fat intake and cortisol is certainly more promising and consistent across the boards though as multiple studies have shown cortisol levels to significantly decrease when measured after a meal high in fat (9). This  definitely merits the benefits of a high fat diet on cortisol levels over a high carb diet. If you have a problem with consistently high cortisol levels, then a diet higher in fat could be a solid solution to help offset that.


Breaking Down the Research

To sum it up in simple terms; high leptin levels are good and high cortisol levels are bad. In breaking down the research it seems that high carbs can increase leptin with no real effect on cortisol, and high fat can decrease cortisol with no real effect on leptin… Irony at is finest.

Of course the body just had to make things as complex as possible such as it does with everything else. This essentially makes it a toss-up in choosing between high carbs and high fat in a weight loss phase, as it’s very hard to simultaneously increase leptin while decreasing cortisol when your body fat % is low and you only have so little calories to work with. This is exactly where carb-cycling comes into play since it aims to reap the benefits of both a high carb and high fat diet. Based on the above research, it seems that carb-cycling could be an excellent strategy to favorably control leptin and cortisol levels when calories are getting lower. ‘Seems’ is the key word here. Until there’s a study conducted in this exact fashion which can confirm this, it just remains an educated hypothesis.


Is Carb-Cycling Actually Effective or Not?

You may be more confused than ever now after the conflicting data that I’ve presented you with. Despite there being some mixed research out there, the vast majority suggests that specific macro ratios do not have an effect on weight loss or calories burned. At the end of the day, overall caloric intake will be the most significant factor.

Unfortunately to my knowledge, there haven’t been any studies to this date that have directly compared the effects of carb-cycling while keeping the same caloric intake throughout the week so this is what we mainly have to go by. Based on the research that is available though, I’m inclined to believe that the two methods would lead to the same amount of weight loss/gain over time assuming caloric intake was the same at the end of the day or week.

For example, let’s take someone who eats 1,400 grams of carbs a week. Assuming their overall caloric intake is the same at the end of the week, it technically doesn’t matter how they split up those carbs when it comes to weight loss or calories burned. They could split it evenly into 200 grams per day, or they could have 300 grams on three days, 150 grams on two days and 100 grams on the last two days. From the standpoint of weight fluctuation and the number of calories burned, these macro distributions wouldn’t matter at all.

For this reason, to someone who strictly cares about weight loss with no focus on performance, then carb-cycling may be largely unnecessary and complicate a simple process that doesn’t need to be complicated. There are a lot of other factors that can affect variables such as performance and body composition, but weight loss is purely a matter of eating less calories than the number of calories burned.



Despite the Research Presented

Even though macro ratios don’t have an effect on the number of calories burned or weight balance, I do think there are some individuals who could still see benefits from carb-cycling though. If someone is only working out three times a week, carb-cycling could be a great method to incorporate to really optimize those workouts.

For example, they could time three high carb days around the three workouts where they will need the extra carbs for performance benefits, then consume low and moderate carbs on the other four days. The number of calories burned at the end of the week would be the same, but there are some potential benefits that could be seen with timing a lot of their weekly carbohydrate intake around their workouts.

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A similar strategy of carb-cycling could even be done with someone who is working out 5 days a week. They could plan their high carb days around their most intense workouts or around a lagging body part, moderate carb days around their less intense work outs, then finally low carbs on their two off days when extra carbs won’t be needed as much. Theoretically, it makes sense that this could be an effective strategy to optimize workouts with adequate carbohydrate intake strategically timed while still having the potential to see the benefits that a higher fat diet can provide. It’s like it’s the best of both worlds… In theory, that is. While it does seem like it would make sense, as previously stated there are unfortunately no studies directly done on this that can confirm it yet.


In Conclusion

Ultimately, everything comes down to adherence. Whether or not carb-cycling will truly be effective depends on your personal preferences and if you can actually stay consistent with it. Some people like to keep things simple and maintain a steady intake throughout the week. Changing up the macro ratio in their IIFYM plan on a daily basis might be too stressful for some or too much of a hassle to keep up with as it could be easy to mix up certain days up if they live a hectic lifestyle. For these people, I would recommend a steady carb intake throughout the week as that will more than likely allow them to stay on track more. On the flip side, there are other people who get bored eating the same foods and same amounts every day.

If switching up the food sources weren’t enough for them already with IIFYM, then switching up the macro distributions multiple times throughout the week might further help prevent things from getting stale. I know some people who really look forward to planning out their high carb days, so being able to do that a few times a week could be exciting and something to look forward to, increasing adherence. However, it is a double-edged sword at the end of the day because then that means there’s a couple days where they have to grind out on lower carbs. Maybe not an issue for some, but for other people it can be.

Why to Consider It…

Another important to factor to consider with carb-cycling is that because the macro ratios are varying so greatly throughout the week, the sources can as well. If someone was consistently low in fat, then there would be a lot of foods that would be hard for them to fit in like peanut butter, red meats, etc. Likewise, if someone else was consistently low in carbs, then they would have a hard time fitting in foods like bread, pasta, etc. By switching up the macro distribution on a day-to-day basis, you’re also allowing yourself the chance to eat foods you couldn’t normally eat as well. Obviously this has no real effect on anything performance related, but it could actually be a really big factor in making people adhere to their diet.

At the end of the day, the best diet is the one you can stick to. Whether you choose to cycle carbs vs. keeping a steady intake throughout the week, the most important things are consistency and adherence. Stay consistent in tracking your numbers with whatever method you prefer, and the results will come with time.



1. Kerksick, Chad, Travis Harvey, Jeff Stout, Bill Campbell, Colin Wilborn, Richard Kreider, Doug Kalman, Tim Ziegenfuss, Hector Lopez, Jamie Landis, John L. Ivy, and Jose Antonio. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Nutrient Timing.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. BioMed Central, 3 Oct. 2008. Web.

2. Volek, JS, SD Phinney, CE Forsythe, EE Quann, RJ Wood, MJ Puglisi, WJ Kraemer, DM Bibus, ML Fernandez, and RD Feinman. “Carbohydrate Restriction Has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet.” US National Library of Medicine. PubMed, 12 Dec. 2008. Web.

3. Gower, BA, and AM Goss. “A Lower-carbohydrate, Higher-fat Diet Reduces Abdominal and Intermuscular Fat and Increases Insulin Sensitivity in Adults at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.” US National Library of Medicine. PubMed, 3 Dec. 2014. Web.

4. Dorgan, JF, JT Tudd, C. Longcope, C. Brown, A. Schatzkin, BA Clevidence, WS Campbell, PP Nair, C. Franz, L. Kahle, and PR Taylor. “Effects of Dietary Fat and Fiber on Plasma and Urine Androgens and Estrogens in Men: A Controlled Feeding Study.” The American Society for Clinical Nutrition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec. 1996. Web.

5. Sacks, FM, GA Bray, VJ Carey, SR Smith, DH Ryan, SD Anton, K. McManus, CM Champagne, LM Bishop, N. Laranjo, MS Leboff, JC Rood, L. De Jonge, FL Greenway, CM Loria, E. Obarzanek, and DA Williamson. “Comparison of Weight-loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates.” US National Library of Medicine. PubMed, 26 Feb. 2009. Web.

6. Izadi, Vajiheh, Sahar Saraf-Bank, and Leila Azadbakht. “Dietery Intakes and Leptin Concentration.” US National Library of Medicine. NCBI, 10 Sept. 2014. Web.

7. Dirlewanger, M., V. Di Vetta, E. Guenat, P. Battilana, G. Seematter, P. Schneiter, E. Jequier, and L. Tappy. “Effects of Short-term Carbohydrate or Fat Overfeeding on Energy Expenditure and Plasma Leptin Concentrations in Healthy Female Subjects.” US National Library of Medicine. PubMed, 24 Nov. 2000. Web.

8. Romon, M., P. Lebel, C. Velly, N. Marecaux, JC Fruchart, and J. Dallongeville. “Leptin Response to Carbohydrate or Fat Meal and Association with Subsequent Satiety and Energy Intake.” US National Library of Medicine. PubMed, 27 Nov. 1997. Web.

9. Alleman, Rick J., Jr., and Richard Bloomer J. “Hormonal Response to Lipid and Carbohydrate Meals During the Acute Postprandial Period.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. BioMed Central, 11 Nov. 2011. Web.


About the Author

Corbin Pierson is an IFPA Professional Bodybuilder, a Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN) and an ACE Personal Trainer. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Exercise Science. He works as a nutritionist and contest prep coach through Team Pierson Fitness. Corbin has been competing in natural bodybuilding contests since 2010 and has been a follower of IIFYM for about 5 years, he recently won his pro card while utilizing IIFYM and flexible dieting.


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