Thursday, February 23, 2017

Working to Build Muscle and Lose Fat: Why You’re Spinning Your Wheels


“I want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.”

This is a phrase that is all too common in the fitness industry. If you ask most people what their goals are when they start training, this is usually the first phrase that comes up. It’s one of the most common concepts our IIFYM coaches hear from clients as well.

Unfortunately, and ironically, this situation does not truly occur nearly as prevalent as it is said. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to focus on either the goal of gaining muscle or losing fat at a given time (pick your overall goal and begin today with the IIFYM calculator). Trying to simultaneously build muscle and lose fat usually, results in spinning your wheels.

Normally showing little to no real progress actually transpire. There are some select and rare scenarios where this feat is indeed possible, however, these are more of an exception to the rule rather than the rule itself. I’ll go into detail on those specific scenarios later, but for now, let’s take a look at it why this lofty goal is usually not recommended.

Calories In, Calories Out

To put this as simple as possible… You need to be in a caloric surplus to gain muscle and you need to be in a caloric deficit to lose fat. Every person has their own caloric set point that will allow them to maintain their weight; eating above this intake will make that person gain weight while eating below this point will make them lose weight.

Instead of going through all of the guesswork to figure out your ideal macros and caloric intake, have one of our coaches create your Custom Macro Blueprint

Using random numbers as examples with a hypothetical person, let’s say that someone needs to eat 2500 calories to maintain their current weight. Excluding rare situations, they would need to be eating more than 2500 calories if they wanted to gain muscle, whereas they would need to be eating less than 2500 calories in order to lose fat. I don’t think it takes a nuclear physicist to see that eating above and below 2500 calories simultaneously is an impossible feat.



One Process At a Time

That person could eat right at 2500 calories a day in an attempt to both build muscle and lose fat, and if they were just beginning a new training program and/or IIFYM plan after not doing so for years it’s possible they would be successfully in doing so for a little bit. Yet, over time their body would soon adapt to the training stimulus and this magical phenomenon of accomplishing both of these goals simultaneously would soon come to an end.

This miraculous process is known as newbie gains or ‘noob gains’. However, this process does not last forever.

For the vast majority of people, and especially for people who already have months of training under their belt, it is advised to not attempt to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Focusing all of your efforts on a single goal at a time instead will truly help you optimize the results since you’re doing all that you can to work towards a specific outcome. Our coaches here at have always gotten the best transformations for our clients whenever we commit to one process at a time rather than trying to both build muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Have you ever seen those 2 in 1 shower products that claim to contain both shampoo and conditioner properties? While the thought of saving extra time may excite some, I’ve always viewed it with skepticism. Since the process of shampooing and conditioning are so different, how could one product effectively do them both to their best ability? I would think that a product whose sole purpose was one or the other could do a much better job with those individual aspects since it can focus all of its efforts on that specific goal.

It seems by trying to accomplish two different processes simultaneously that require different mechanisms, you’re not reaching the full potential of either goal. A jack of all trades if you will. Since the process of shampooing and conditioning are so different, how could one product effectively do them both to their best ability?

IIFYM blueprint

I would think that a product whose sole purpose was one or the other could do a much better job with those individual aspects since it can focus all of its efforts on that specific goal.It seems by trying to accomplish two different processes simultaneously that require different mechanisms, you’re not reaching the full potential of either goal. A jack of all trades if you will.

It’s not quite a direct analogy, but the same concept sort of applies when you try to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously. While trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time may be possible for a short duration of time in select scenarios, you would have much better results towards either one of those goals if you focused completely on one of them at a given time rather than both.


jack of all trades


Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Do you think the fastest sprinter in the world got that way by training for both cross country and sprints? And vice versa? Or in a non-fitness example, did the best guitarist in the world get that way by practicing both the guitar and drums equally trying to be great at both? In both of these examples…

Most likely not. Once again these aren’t the best comparisons out there, but they prove the point that if you want to achieve the best results possible in regards to a specific goal in the shortest and most efficient time possible, then you need to solely focus on that and not try to accomplish two different things that require different approaches in order to maximize their given potential.

Eating At Maintenance

Now I will say that if someone is happy with the amount of muscle development they already have or if they are an athlete training for performance, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating at your caloric maintenance in your IIFYM plan.

The prominent take home piece of advice is simple; focus on one overarching body composition process at a time and commit fully to it.

However for people who are trying to make major visual changes to their physique, then you are compromising your overall results if you try to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

Spinning Your Wheels = No Results = No Motivation

I’ve known a lot of people that have attempted the task of trying to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously; they experience a little success in doing it at first and then think it’s something that can always be done. In result, they just end up spinning their wheels most of the year without truly gaining much muscle or losing much fat. It can really be discouraging to many people because they are working hard in the gym and feel like they’re eating right, yet the visible results are not reflecting that.


binge eating


Break The Cycle

This is kind of similar to the situations of people who always seem to be dieting year round; they eat incredibly strict during most of the week then binge so bad on the weekend that it basically negates everything they did in the days before. They end up suffering from all of the negative consequences of dieting, but none of the great ones. It’s a vicious cycle. Years go by and no progress is really being made despite still working hard in the gym and ‘trying’ to diet most of the time.

It’s no surprise people lose motivation and fall off altogether whenever this happens. Our coaches at IIFYM always set up our clients for optimal success by giving them an IIFYM plan that has a clear goal in mind and is specifically designed to make that happen as efficiently as possible.

Build Muscle and Lose Fat? How?

In this article, I’ve mentioned a few times about some of the rare situations where you actually can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. But what exactly ARE these specific circumstances, though?

It’s time to break this insanity and jump start fat loss! Let one of our coaches build your ultimate diet approach with a Custom Macro Blueprint

As previously mentioned, if someone is new to beginning a workout program and/or IIFYM plan after not engaging in exercise for either years or their whole life, then it is definitely possible that they can indeed build muscle and lose fat at the same time for a little bit.

Newbie Gains

This miraculous process is known as newbie gains or ‘noob gains’. However, this process does not last forever. The exact duration that this can occur may vary for people based on their exercise background and other confounding factors, but regardless it isn’t something you should always expect to happen.

Using my own previous experience and IIFYM clients who I have worked with as examples, I would say on average this period where you can both build muscle and lose fat could last anywhere from ~1-4 months. If someone has literally never gone to the gym in their entire life or played many sports growing up in combination with starting up an IIFYM plan, then their ‘noob gaining’ period will be extended compared to someone who used to work out, but just hasn’t in a few years or so.


sports injury


Coming Off An Injury

Besides people who haven’t regularly exercised in years, our coaches have noticed that the only other situation where someone can build muscle and lose fat at the same time is when someone is forced to take extended time off from the gym.

‘Newbie Gains’ have a short half-life, it’s time to have a professional build you a Custom Macro Blueprint so you can create lasting change in your physique

Whether this is due to injury, surgery, illness, etc. even if they were a consistent exerciser in the past. When they first get back into the gym, and especially if they are eating a balanced diet whether it’s IIFYM or not, it’s not uncommon at all to experience another period of ‘noob gains’ for a little while where they can both build muscle and lose fat, though it usually won’t last nearly as long as it did the first time when they were truly brand new to training.

…And That’s It

These are basically the only times (excluding performance enhancing drugs) where you can both build muscle and lose fat at the same time, so unless you fall into one of the above categories, you would achieve much better results if you focused your efforts on one or the other at a given time.

In Conclusion…

Hopefully, now you can understand why working to build muscle and lose fat at the same time isn’t the most efficient path to achieving the results you desire. The biggest take home piece of advice is simple; focus on one thing at a time and commit fully to it. If you are trying to gain muscle, consistently eat in a caloric surplus for an extended period of time until you are happy with the amount of muscle you have put on, then cut.

If you are trying to lose fat, consistently eat in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time until you are happy with the amount of fat you have lost, then build. By concentrating on one thing at a time you can optimize the results for that specific goal, then set your sights on optimizing the results of the other goal after that. This in combination with a solid IIFYM plan will lead to the best overall results in the long term and the most noticeable visual changes.


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Perfect Macro Split: Is There A Superior Macro Breakdown?


If you are on a mission to shed the excess body fat you’ve gained over the last few years, one question you might be asking yourself is what macro split you should be using.

You already may know quite well that you plan to use the IIFYM approach (if not, start with their IIFYM calculator to get your macros) as part of your diet set-up, but beyond that, you are wondering how much of a difference it’s going to make how many grams of proteins, carbs, and fats you eat.

The fact is, your macro split can make a difference. While it’s not the main determining factor that goes into whether or not you’ll lose weight on your IIFYM approach – calorie intake is – it does come in secondary.

Let’s take a look at a few of the key reasons why your macro split matters and then talk about whether there is a perfect macro split to use while following your IIFYM plan.

Muscle Retention

The first reason you must pay attention to your macro split ratio is because this factor can determine the level of lean muscle mass retention you have while on your IIFYM diet plan.

Note that any time you move into a state of being in a calorie deficit, you are going to be at risk for lean muscle mass loss. This is because since you are taking in less energy than your body needs to sustain itself, there is always that chance that it will turn to lean tissues as a fuel source.

While in a perfect world, we would have all the necessary energy come from body fat stores, the world is rarely ever perfect so we don’t often see this happening entirely.

If you are not eating the right macro split – more importantly, the right amount of protein – your chances of experiencing lean muscle mass will go up considerably.

If your protein is too low, your body may start to utilizing some of the incoming protein as an energy source, which now means there’s not enough left over for supporting your lean muscle mass tissue.


muscle retention


The Strategy to Ensure Preservation

By raising your protein intake however and using a macro split that tends to favor protein over carbs and fats, you ensure that even if some of that protein is utilized for energy, you’ll still have more than enough left over to help maintain lean muscle mass tissue.

Figuring out a proper caloric intake and ideal protein consumption takes some guesswork, have one of our coaches calculate it for you and provide you with a complete approach with a Custom Macro Blueprint

The end result is that you do lose overall body fat weight, rather than muscle mass tissue. If you use an IIFYM approach that takes protein too low, you may lose weight but you may end up looking like a smaller, but a thicker version of your current self. It’s not a pretty picture and not one you want to find yourself in.

When you get a custom designed program by us, we’ll ensure you get the perfect amount of protein to preserve your hard-earned muscle tissue.

Energy Level

The second reason you’ll want to be considering your macro split when on an IIFYM fat loss plan is because it will also influence your energy level. If you aren’t getting the proper level of carbohydrates in on your diet plan, you may find that you struggle to put in an optimal performance at the gym. Your workouts will suffer, your strength will go down, and you’ll find yourself getting more and more frustrated with the program.

Carbohydrates are essential for an intense workout and the more intense workouts you do, the more carbs you’re going to need.

Protein has what’s referred to as a higher ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning your body will expend more energy breaking down protein than it would if you had eaten carbohydrates or dietary fats[1].

In this regard, that goes to show you that there is no perfect macro split for weight loss for everyone. Rather, there is a perfect macro split for you. You need to take a look at your entire lifestyle and what you plan to do while on the IIFYM approach, and determine how you will divide your macros from there.

Some people also tend to run better off dietary fats as a fuel source and may find that when they aren’t as active, they actually feel better having a higher fat, lower carb intake. Others may find the opposite. It all boils down to learning your body and how the various macros impact it and then using that information to create you own perfect macro split.


balanced macros


Health Promotion

The third reason to consider a macro split and figure out a perfect ratio to use is for health consideration benefits. For example, if you cut out most of the carbohydrates out of your diet plan, you’ll have a hard time meeting your intake needs for dietary fiber as well as key antioxidants that can help with disease prevention.

Getting enough dietary fiber in your IIFYM approach is critical for stabilizing your blood glucose levels, keeping your hunger in check, and maintaining regular bowel movements. Those who go on low-carb, high-fat fat diet plans often find this really messes with their digestive systems and they end up experiencing constipation.

breastfeeding calories

By thinking about your macro split and making sure that you get it right for you, you can avoid this.

Likewise, low-fat diets also have their issues too. Fat is an essential nutrient that you must be taking in as you go about your approach and if you cut it too low, your hormone levels can suffer and you may find that your appetite levels get out of control.

Those who use a high-carb, low-fat approach when following an IIFYM diet may struggle to stick to their desired calorie intake because of this hunger issue. Fat is a satisfying nutrient so by getting enough into your meal plan, you can put the breaks on hunger.

Our programs ensure that everyone gets enough fat that hunger is a non-issue most of the time. Check out our nutritional coaching for more info.

TEF Considerations

Finally, the last reason why you need to consider your macro split on your IIFYM diet plan is because certain macros do tend to give you a slight advantage when it comes to fat loss. Primarily, protein.

Protein has what’s referred to as a higher ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning your body will expend more energy breaking down protein than it would if you had eaten carbohydrates or dietary fats[1]. This means you net fewer calories overall, thus it could help tilt the scales in terms of weight loss in your favor.

The leaner you get, the less likely your body is willing to give up those fat stores, as now it views that fat as essential for survival.

Those who consume an IIFYM diet plan with a higher protein macro ratio will typically find that they can eat a few more calories because of it. Or, if they keep their calorie level constant, they’ll lose weight a little faster thanks to the extra metabolic boost they are getting from consuming that protein.

So for all of these reasons, as you can see, you do need to find the right macro split for your weight loss program. It is something that cannot go overlooked as you set up your program design but at the same time, there is definitely not one approach that is perfect for everyone.

Let’s now talk about what the perfect macro split for weight loss is for you.



Finding Your Perfect Macro Split Ratio

When it comes to figuring out your ideal macro split ratio, there are a few factors that you need to take into account. By doing so, you can best structure your IIFYM plan. If you still are struggling with these and need help, you’ll want to consult one of our coaches who can take all of this into account for you.

Let’s look at the main points of consideration.

How Much Weight You Have To Lose

The first thing you’ll want to consider is how much weight you have to lose. If you’re someone who is exceptionally lean, to begin with, and only has 10-12% body fat if you are a male or 15-20% body fat if you are a female, you are going to be getting down into stubborn body fat stores here. This means that you are about to attempt and push your body to the limits as far as getting fibrous is concerned and are going to face a great fight along the way.

Find out your ideal caloric intake and macro breakdown, let us build your Custom Macro Blueprint

The leaner you get, the less likely your body is willing to give up those fat stores, as now it views that fat as essential for survival.

The lower your body fat is while dieting, the higher your risk of losing lean muscle mass will be because of this so for you, a higher protein macro split may be preferable.

If on the other hand, you have 50+ pounds to lose, chances are, your body isn’t going to be that concerned about losing some fat and won’t be experiencing nearly the same threat to losing lean muscle mass.

Those who are already quite lean will want to ensure their protein intake is around the 1-1.15 grams/lb. of their desired weight range.


insulin sensitivity


Your Insulin Sensitivity Levels

The next thing to take into account is your insulin sensitivity levels. This is something that you, unfortunately, can’t measure, but you can get a pretty solid guess as to where you stand.

Ask yourself, if you were to indulge in a carb-heavy meal – say a plate of pasta with some garlic bread, how would you feel after? Would you feel energized and ready to tackle an intense workout or would you feel more like it’s time for a nap on the couch?

 Have us create a diet approach that is sustainable and allows you to balance your nutrition with your  Custom Macro Blueprint

If you were the former, chances are you have sufficient insulin sensitivity and your body knows how to handle carbohydrates exceptionally well. On the flip side, if you were the latter, you may have reduced insulin sensitivity and may not do so well eating a high carb diet.

Another thing to look at is your current body weight. Those who are leaner tend to have better insulin sensitivity rates while those who have quite a bit of weight to lose tend to have lower insulin sensitivity levels.

Best Method For This Obstacle

Once you have better determined where you stand, you can then use this information to figure out your best macro split for weight loss on your If IIFYM approach.

If you are someone with normal insulin sensitivity, you can put a few more calories towards carbohydrates, while if you are someone who has poor insulin sensitivity, you’ll be better off keeping your carbohydrate intake lower and putting more calories towards dietary fat.

For you, you’ll want to ensure that you keep your insulin levels as stable as possible while using the IIFYM approach, so any carbohydrates you do consume should be the higher fiber, complex carbohydrate variety. Focus on vegetables as your primary source.


Exercise program


Your Planned Exercise Program

The next factor that will go into helping you figure out your perfect macro split is the exercise program you plan to do. As we noted above, the more intense exercise you are going to perform, the more carbohydrates you are going to need to support those workout sessions.

As such, your macro split for your IIFYM needs to be considerably higher in carbs, lending more energy to that workout period.

If you are someone who is engaging in intense weight lifting as well, chances are you will be depleting your muscle glycogen levels quite readily also, which in turn means you’ll need to be restoring them through the carbohydrates you eat.

It’s not unusual for someone who exercises hard 4-5 times per week to have double the carbohydrate intake as someone who doesn’t exercise at all while following the IIFYM approach, so this is one good example of how the right macro split is never a one-size-fits-all phenomenon.

This is also a good reason to consider hiring one of our coaches to help you figure out the right macro split for you. In doing so, you’ll take the guesswork out of the equation.

Your Natural Food Cravings

Finally, the last factor that will come into play when figuring out your perfect macro split on your IIFYM diet plan is your natural food cravings and preferences. If you are someone who loves to eat your carbs and can’t go a day on a low-carb diet without breaking it, don’t force your carb intake too low on your split set-up.

No matter how ‘beneficial’ it may be to do so, if you don’t stick with the diet plan, you won’t see results – period. You do need to assess your natural preferences and try and stay as close to those as possible.

One of the key benefits of the IIFYM approach is that you can enjoy the foods you want to eat in moderation and still reach your goals. But, if you’ve used a macro split that excludes those foods by default, you aren’t going to be reaping this benefit.

So there you have the answer to the question, ‘is there a perfect macro split for weight loss?’ The answer is yes, but it’s highly individual and this is why hiring one of our coaches to help get you started is the best approach if you want to see maximum results.

The post The Perfect Macro Split: Is There A Superior Macro Breakdown? appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Why Does IIFYM Give So Many Calories?


For those of you new to IIFYM and tracking macronutrients in general (for those who don’t have macros, go to our IIFYM calculator), this could be a question you find yourself asking. One of the most common remarks people first make when receiving plans from our website is something along the lines of “Wow! I can really eat that much?” Or, “Are these my diet macros?”

Yes. Yes, you can and they are! Not only is it something you ‘are able’ do, but it’s more like something you ‘should’ do. In my years of experience, I’ve found that most people who are dieting are likely under-eating and not taking in as many calories or macronutrients as they probably should be.This is due to a variety of reasons. The biggest reason is that most people who start a diet in an attempt to lose weight usually begin with an impatient mentality where they want to lose as much weight as they can as quickly as possible.

Ditch the Impatient Mentality

This causes people to adopt the mindset of consuming fewer calories is better, as they think it will allow to them to lose weight faster and achieve their goal in a shorter duration. This is true to an extent but as most of these people find out later, even though they may lose a lot of weight initially, it’s not something that is sustainable and they’re quick to gain most of the weight back as soon as they stop dieting on super low calories.

IIFYM blueprint

Although, the consumers aren’t to be blamed for having this thought process; unfortunately, it’s all too common for many fitness ads or popular yet unqualified trainers to make outlandish claims such as you can lose 10 lbs. in a week or 20 lbs. a month with this *insert product here*. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Great results that will actually stay just
take time and they cannot be rushed.


iifym long term diet approach


Set Your Sights Long Term

Back to the original question that the article title presented- why does IIFYM give so many calories?Our plans at are designed to set you up for long-term success, not just immediate results. Anyone can starve themselves and lose a lot of weight initially. The goal of IIFYM, however, is to provide you with a balanced distribution of macronutrients that will prioritize your overall health and drive your performance in the gym regardless if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.

Excessive workouts but not enough calories or the right distribution of macronutrients (protein in particular) to properly repair your muscles is a recipe for muscle loss

If you are trying to lose weight, though, it is ALWAYS more ideal to start off with as high of calories and macronutrients as you possibly can while still being in a deficit. The exact amount of calories and macronutrients can be hard to pinpoint, but it is far better to overshoot it rather than undershoot it.

Instead of playing the guessing game with your ideal macronutrient breakdown, let us create your Custom Macro Blueprint

If you undershoot the starting macronutrients, you’re just limiting how low you can ultimately drop them over time. If you overshoot them, though, the worst case scenario you can experience is that you might gain a pound or two the first couple weeks or just maintain weight. Obviously, that is going against the goal of weight loss, but what’s an extra two weeks if it’ll greatly help out your results in the long

Even if this does happen, this initial process is still very important in setting up your caloric capacity and metabolism for long term success. Plus whenever weight loss plateaus or progress stalls, you have much more room to drop down your macronutrients which will just allow you to lose more weight when all is said and done. Slow and steady wins the race.


cardio exercises for fat loss


Fuel Your Daily Activities

If you regularly go to the gym or engage in physical activity in any way, it is important to prepare for your exercise with adequate calories and macronutrients even in a weight loss phase. Excessive workouts but not enough calories or the right distribution of macronutrients (protein in particular) to properly repair your muscles is a recipe for muscle loss, overall feelings of soreness and a lack of
energy on a daily basis.

You’re helping your metabolism get back to a healthier place which is essential for numerous aspects

It’s pretty common for people on fad diets who are eating a very low amount of calories to combine that with endless hours of cardio in an attempt to double their weight loss efforts. Their heart’s in the right place, but unfortunately, the more extreme approach doesn’t always mean the better, especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition. If you’re exercising like crazy then that just means you need even more calories and macronutrients in your diet to make up for the extra calories that you are burning through exercise.

Is Cardio Really Needed Weight Loss?

Just to clear things up in case anyone is reading this who is not aware, cardio is absolutely NOT needed in order to lose weight. Cardio can be great for overall health and cardiovascular reasons, but to say it’s a requirement for weight loss is not accurate at all. Like anything, it can be bad in excess depending on your goal so don’t overdo the cardio from the beginning if you’re trying to be in it for the long haul.

Kickstart Your Metabolism

For people who have been dieting on super low calories in combination with excessive cardio for a long time, they may find themselves in a situation where no matter what they do or how low they drop their macronutrients, they just CANNOT lose any more weight. They’ve effectively run themselves into a wall.

If you feel drained from restrictive diet, let one of our coaches build a proper approach with your Custom Macro Blueprint

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation like this, I’ve personally experienced with myself and many clients that sometimes adding in MORE calories compared to what you were eating can actually help you lose some more weight. There can be a variety of reasons for this, but it’s something that can really only occur if someone has been dieting in a caloric deficit for a very long time or has been doing
way too much cardio in combination with too low of calories for awhile.


boost metabolism


Healthy Metabolism, Healthy Mechanisms

A big reason why the aforementioned situation can occur is because by adding more calories back in your system after depriving it for so long, you’re helping your metabolism get back to a healthier place which is quite important for many aspects. When your metabolism is healthy due to having a proper caloric intake more aligned with your actual bodily needs, overall energy will be greatly improved and lean muscle mass can either be gained or retained better which will lead to a better body composition over time. Our coaches at use your specific variables to provide you with the proper daily caloric intake and distribution of macronutrients that you need to optimize your health, metabolism and
your fitness goals.

Adherence Is King

Perhaps the most important reason of why IIFYM gives so many calories though is the adherence factor. The best diet is the one you can adhere to after all. It wouldn’t even matter how optimal the diet was if it was so low in calories or restricting from food groups that you couldn’t even follow the plan most of the time then all of that optimization goes out the window.

Having the correct macro/caloric breakdown helps with adherence massively, have one of our coaches make your Custom Macro Blueprint

If starting off your calories in a higher place allows you to actually stick to your diet and not feel miserable in the process, even if the progress comes with a lot slower result, I feel as though that’s a minute price to pay. All great things take time so I don’t see why your health or your goal physique should be viewed as anything different.

IIFYM Is A Lifestyle

IIFYM shouldn’t be viewed as an actual diet, but more of a lifestyle change. The term ‘diet’ usually instills in people’s minds that it’s going to be very bland, difficult and deprive you of all your favorite foods that you enjoy. IIFYM is none of that (well, it can be difficult depending on if you’ve been cutting for awhile).

When following IIFYM, the only thing that truly matters is hitting your macronutrients at the end of the day; the food sources they are coming from is pretty much irrelevant in regards to weight. You should still try to fill up most of your macronutrients with nutrient dense food sources for overall health reasons and to help your performance in the gym, but regardless the total calories and macronutrient numbers will be the most significant factors that determine if you’re losing fat or gaining muscle.


balancing macros with iifym


Moderation and Balance

This allows you the flexibility and freedom to eat ANY food that you want which should greatly help in adhering to your plan. Many popular diets eliminate certain foods; they warn people that these foods are ‘bad’ for you and cannot be consumed if you want to stay on track
of your goals. Anything can be bad in excess so that’s why it’s all about moderation and balance. If you’re eating a balanced diet with a variety of healthy macronutrients and micronutrients, having some more refined and process food here and there will absolutely not deter you from your goals in any way or prevent you from losing weight.

Eat More Macronutrients, Lose Weight

Since you can eat whatever you want and because IIFYM plans give you a lot of calories to work with initially, a lot of people don’t even feel like they’re on a diet. Granted this isn’t the case for everyone, but I know many people who are trying to lose weight on an IIFYM plan that actually had a hard time even reaching their required macronutrients, let alone going over on them. Struggling to eat enough and STILL losing weight? That basically goes against the framework of any ‘diet’ you’ve ever heard of I’m sure! Usually, it’s the exact opposite and people are trying to find ways how to not go over on calories.

For people who have been tracking macronutrients for a long time and have lost a significant amount of weight in a caloric deficit, it is likely hunger will start becoming more of an issue over time as your calories are getting lower, though. That part is indeed normal.

However for people brand new to tracking macronutrients just beginning their weight loss journey, the initial amount of calories and macronutrients should be very comfortable for them to work in their daily life and not feel like they’re hungry all the time. Our coaches at always give you a proper caloric intake and a healthy balance of macronutrients to start off with so you shouldn’t at all feel deprived when first beginning a plan.

The Real Reason IIFYM Gives So Many Macronutrients and Calories

So, why does IIFYM give you so many calories? Because we want to see you succeed. We want you to be healthy, to be happy, enjoy life and not feel like you have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods or calories in general. Losing weight may not always be easy, but it doesn’t have to be as awful as the majority of mainstream fad diets make it out to be. While tracking macronutrients may take some practice initially to get the hang of, it’s something that literally anyone and everyone can do with enough time and patience. The concept of being flexible with your food
sources can be applied year round. It’s a lifestyle after all; not a diet.


The post Why Does IIFYM Give So Many Calories? appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When Is It Time To Fire Your Personal Trainer


If you’ve been following along with the IIFYM approach to shed fat, build muscle, and achieve a better body, chances are, you’ve been working hard in the gym as well. You likely have hired a personal trainer and have been going at it at least three times per week in an effort to reach your goals.

But, when is it time to part ways with your personal trainer? How can you really know if they are helping you in the manner they should be? Too many people make the mistake of getting in the ‘comfort zone’ and never questioning whether their trainer is doing all they could be for them.

It’s time to question it. Let’s look at some of the clear signs that it may be time to fire your personal trainer and find a new one to help you with your workouts as you use the IIFYM program.

Personal Trainer Check Point #1: Are You Seeing Results?

The first and probably the most obvious sign that you want to look for is the results you are seeing. Now, whether or not you are following an IIFYM approach will have a huge influence on your results, so you must always keep that in mind.

But, assuming you are following the program just fine, you should be seeing changes taking place in your body every two weeks or so. If you have gone for a month of regular training without so much as seeing a change in the scale or in the mirror, it’s time to ask some questions.

Of course, your trainer can only do so much for you – you have, to be honest with yourself about whether you are putting in the effort, but if you know in your heart you are, your trainer may very well be the problem.

If they have not prescribed you a workout that is built to get you results, you may be spinning your wheels for months before making any progress.

At the same time, don’t be unrealistic in your expectations. Change doesn’t happen overnight so don’t jump ship on your personal trainer if you don’t see success after the first week. Give it that two-week time frame and then evaluate.


personal trainer exercises



Personal Trainer Check Point #2: Are Your Workouts Constantly Changing?

Another good question to ask about your personal train is whether your workouts are constantly changing. If you are starting to feel psychologically bored with your workouts because you are doing the same thing day in and day out, this is a good sign that your body is bored as well.

A bored body never responds properly to training as if you want to see the change in your body, change with your workouts is required.

Some personal trainers, unfortunately, get caught up in the thinking that their job is simply to just show up, make sure that you execute the exercises properly and then count reps.

personal trainer

This is not the case. A good personal trainer knows that if you are to succeed with your workout and IIFYM diet plan, you need to be challenging your body every step of the way. This means dynamic workouts that are constantly incorporating new exercises into the mix. If your personal trainer is not being creative and adding new exercises regularly, that’s a sure-fire sign they are not training you to their full capacity. It’s time to consider looking elsewhere.

Alternatively, you can also check out our own personal training program where our experienced and diligent exercise director creates and adapts a program based on your changing needs. It’s the convenient approach for those who want to get fit quickly.

Personal Trainer Check Point #3: Is Your Trainer Engaged?

A great personal trainer is not one who’s constantly checking their iPhone, running late for your sessions, or chatting up other gym goers or trainers while you are working.

Instead, they are focusing on you and what you’re doing, always ensuring that they are maximizing your training sessions. If your trainer seems to be relatively distracted and is only partially engaged, you aren’t getting what you are paying for with them.

This is your time and your workout trainer needs to realize this. If they are not paying attention to you, why you are you investing time and money with them?

Good trainers put their phones away and are there on time or early for your training sessions. They know that you are their top priority during this time and don’t let anything come in the way of that.


personal trainer schedule


Personal Trainer Check Point #4: Are Your Sessions Relatively Easy To Schedule?

Another consideration you’ll want to keep in mind is how easy it is to book a session with your trainer. While some trainers differ in demand and thus run busy schedules, others are only working part-time and are available at certain points during the day.

If these times rarely match up with the times that you can exercise – or the times that you prefer to exercise, this can become a real headache over time.

And while an overly booked trainer, because they are just so excellent is exceptional, if they don’t have time to see you often, they aren’t going to be doing you much welfare for you.

Ideally, you want to find a personal trainer who can see you at least two times a week if not three or four times depending on your financial capacity. If your trainer cannot commit to this, chances are, you won’t be making all that much progress.

An exceptional personal trainer knows that sometimes desires can change over time, so they should be checking in with you frequently to see how you are doing and what’s changing.

While there are exceptions to this rule – if you are someone who is well-versed in working out and can pretty much self-direct yourself, one session per week may be enough. Yet, most people will require multiple sessions per w

It’s an excellent idea to always inquire about your trainer’s schedule ahead of time before booking in with them so you get a definite idea of what you’re up against schedule wise before even starting.

Beyond that, be sure to book your sessions early for the weeks ahead. This way, you get first pickings. Plus, it will help you stay committed for the long-haul if you aren’t just going week by week.

If you find that you have such a hectic schedule that planning any sessions with a trainer is challenging, you might want to check out our program where you can get your very own workouts created for you by our exercise director.

Personal Trainer Check Point #5: Are They In Tune With Your Desires?

It’s important that any good personal trainer takes some time before you begin working together to really come to understand your goals and desires.

Are they checking in with you on how you are enjoying the workouts? And when you give them feedback stating you don’t particularly enjoy one certain type of exercise, are they coming up with alternatives?

Excellent personal trainers want to make sure that you are enjoying the workout sessions because chances are, you’ll put in more effort and thus get satisfying results. On top of that, the more you enjoy them, the more likely you are to rebook with them into the future.

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Trainers should know your goal set inside out so that each workout they prescribe for you is one that will move you in the right direction. If all your trainer knows about you is that you want to ‘lose weight’, this is going to help them program a properly designed plan.

Of course, it’s up to you to share your preferences and desires with them, but they should be asking you – and asking you regularly. An exceptional personal trainer knows that sometimes desires can change over time, so they should be checking in with you frequently to see how you are doing and what’s changing.

If there is no back and forth dialog between you and the trainer and your sessions are entirely just about exercising, this could be a sign it’s time to hunt for a new personal trainer.


Track veggies macros


Personal Trainer Check Point #6: Is Your Trainer Nutritionally Informed?

While not a firm requirement, it’s always a good thing if your personal trainer is nutritionally informed. Do they understand the concepts of the IIFYM approach? Are they able to help you out with IIFYM when you have questions or are struggling?

What you always need to keep in mind is that diet and activity go hand-in-hand for the weight loss and body transformation equation. You truly can’t have one but not the other, so your trainer should be focusing on doing everything they can do to make sure that you take a well-rounded approach to it all. This means addressing both diet and exercise.

If your trainer has no clue what sort of diet you are following and hasn’t even heard of the IIFYM approach, they’re really only addressing half the formula here.

how much of a ‘psych up’ energy does the personal trainer give off while you work with them? Are they helping pump you up to go for that last rep on your PR set? Or are they simply standing back, counting your reps?

While it’s true you can find a nutritionist to help with the nutrition side of your program, it’s far better if this is all coming from one person. That way, they know the in’s and out’s of both programs and there isn’t going to be that disconnect.

When your trainer knows and understands nutrition, they can give you more specific nutrition advice pertaining to the IIFYM plan based on the workouts that you are doing.

Some days you may need to add more calories and carbs to your plan so if your trainer has a good understanding of this, they can help you do so.

Our exercise programming offerings all account for this, so check them out if you need more assistance in this area.

Personal Trainer Check Point #7: Are You Having Fun?

Next question: are you having fun? This goes hand in hand with your trainer knowing and understanding your desires. If you aren’t having fun during your workouts, something needs to change.

While it’s true, there may be particular exercises that you don’t really enjoy but do them anyway because you know they are so effective, for the most part, you should be excited about getting your workout in.

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If your personal training is creating sessions that are dull and boring, how likely do you think it is that you will stay the course? The drop off rate with exercise is almost as much as it is with diet, so you must be doing all you can to help prevent this.

The great news is on the diet side of your program, the IIFYM approach makes it easy to adhere to the plan and stay excited about it, so if you find an excellent personal trainer who creates fun and interesting workouts for you, you should have no problem with this issue.


personal trainer guidance


Personal Trainer Check Point #8: Do They Inspire You?

It’s also important that your personal trainer inspires you to better yourself. While you can, of course, get a mentor for this, if you find that you personal trainer is rather lazy and unfit looking, how well are they really motivating you during your sessions?

And to that end, how much of a ‘psych up’ energy does the personal trainer give off while you work with them? Are they helping pump you up to go for that last rep on your PR set? Or are they simply standing back, counting your reps?

Ideally, you want a personal trainer who is high energy and is there to help push and motivate you. This is what will land you the best result over time.

Personal Trainer Check Point #9: Have Your Goals Changed?

Finally, the last question to ask yourself is whether your goals have changed. Sometimes, the sole reason you need to find a new personal trainer is just because you are now working towards a totally new goal that the current trainer you are seeing isn’t so experienced in.

When this is the case, don’t feel bad. There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s just that you are not the right fit for each other any longer. Explain this to your personal trainer and chances are, they will understand.

For instance, if previously you were using the IIFYM approach and were working towards the goal of weight loss but now you plan to run a marathon event, you may be seeking out more of a running coach rather than a workout trainer.

This is a specific goal and unless your trainer has completed marathons before, chances are, they won’t give you the best care that you could be getting elsewhere.

So there you have all the different reasons you might consider firing your personal trainer. Constantly be evaluating your situation for these. If any do start to present themselves, start your search and see if there isn’t a better fit out there for you.

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