Friday, June 23, 2017

Meal Timing for Macros: Does It Even Contribute to Your Diet?


It doesn’t seem like too long ago, people (including myself) were so focused on meal timing as well as frequency, that it consumed our lives. We were so worried about ensuring we were taking in the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats at a certain time that it became an infatuation.

Speaking of macros, if you don’t have a clue what your macros should be for the day, you check out this quick and easy IIFYM calculator. Knowing these numbers is extremely important to your overall success.

Ultimately though, is there a point of meal timing in order to set yourself up for success? The answer is no, but with a caveat.

All the bro-science surrounding meal timing has been debunked and we should all be thankful for that if we are not an elite athlete (we will touch on this later).

Together, between all of us, we have probably heard our fair share of reasons why people are eating at certain times of day to meet the requirements of their meal timing.

*It should be noted that we at, as well as the author, would advise you to consult with your doctor before engaging in any new nutrition or exercise program, including the ones found here on

While all of them are based upon improving the quality of life and health of an individual. We do not know the current health constraints you may be living with. For that reason, please seek the advice of your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to engage in and utilize your new exercise or diet plan.

When To Consume Calories

Remember the whole “you should eat something as soon as you wake up since your body isn’t being fed while you sleep,” nonsense? The “breaking the fast” talk? For some of us, the alarm clock was like a dinner bell.

Our feet hit the floor before the alarm even went off because we were worried our hard-earned gains were being lost by sleeping too long and not feeding our muscles. Who would have thought that we would plan our lives according to maximizing our potential lean muscle gains?

People would make a sound breakfast following an IIFYM diet plan. Where they mainly focused on a quality protein source while having a side of carbohydrates with it— such as oatmeal.

Some even went as far as drinking a shake during their morning routine. Believing the liquid form of protein and amino acids would hit their system faster than a whole food source. Since it would need to be broken down into a usable form first.

What about the oatmeal you ask? Well, they’d throw their oats in the blender with their protein powder and mix it all up.


meal timing


The “don’t eat late at night” Myth

Then there was the “don’t eat food late at night or it will be stored as fat” theory. This too was later debunked. If you follow us here on IIFYM, you know that we focus on the big picture. As in, total calories consumed by the end of the day and hitting each of our macros.

Thanks to researchers, we now know that you don’t have to worry about when you eat all your macros to fit your IIFYM diet plan. Meal timing has been thrown out the window. New research is showing that a small meal such as a beverage with protein can not only help with protein synthesis during the night, but it can also help with satiation and metabolism upon waking in the morning (3).

If you aren’t sure where you’re going wrong with your IIFYM diet plan. Or you simply don’t know where to start, IIFYM coaches can help you reach your goals. We all know that you can’t out-train a poor diet plan. The great news is, you don’t need to when you find a plan that fits your lifestyle.

IIFYM has everything from a 90-day weight loss challenge, coaching, Macro Blueprints and even recipes that you can utilize. If you haven’t checked out the programs, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to see how they can take your health and fitness to the next level.

It’s About BALANCE, Not Meal Timing

What does all of this mean? This all means that if you are focused on following a balanced diet plan such as IIFYM, engage in exercise, and are looking for overall weight loss, maintenance, or improved health. There’s no reason to get bent out of shape or worried about meal timing.

If you aren’t a professional athlete or plan on partaking in marathons or long endurance activities, don’t worry about it. Meal timing is truly for those who exert their bodies to the limit. And therefore, need to focus on proper recovery from extensive bouts of exercise or competition.

Well, it’s shown that not consuming calories within the originally thought 45-minute window has no bearing on size or strength gains (2).

Something to take into consideration with all this being said is that you still shouldn’t negate the fact that you need a proper well-balanced diet, full of whole food options.

Don’t think that just because meal timing was debunked that it means you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. If this is currently you, IIFYM has many different programs available for you to utilize based on your goals. isn’t just a website, it’s a community where people go to find tons of great literature and information. Everything IIFYM related as well as everyday health and fitness topics to help you along your journey. Everyone on the site is there for a common purpose of engaging in a healthier lifestyle through the use of IIFYM techniques to make your life a little less complicated.


meal timing


The Post Workout “Window of Opportunity”

I’ll raise my hand super high in front of the entire family and say it would stress me out after a workout if I didn’t have a post workout protein source or shake ready to go with some sort of carbohydrate.

I would almost get anxiety thinking I just spent all that time in the gym for nothing if I couldn’t get in my post workout shake within that 45-minute “window of opportunity”. Due to being so focused on the notion of meal timing that I thought all hope was lost if I missed the opportunity.

I needed that protein and waxy maize (or other fast digesting carbohydrate source) to match my meal timing plan. Well, that too has been debunked by science—thank goodness. No more running around trying to gather everything you need to get in your post workout recovery shake or meal.

People were looking at the “window of opportunity” as a make or break aspect of the equation. When in actuality, it wasn’t truly necessary. What’s more important is your overall nutrition for the day versus meal timing and your post workout nutrition.

breastfeeding calories

It’s like I say to all my clients who ask if a certain food or supplement will make them fat. No, that ONE piece is not going to make you fat, it’s the cumulation of everything else you eat throughout the day that could potentially cause you to gain weight.

The same principle applies with post workout meal timing. Nowadays, we’ve come to realize that the 45-minute window we once thought we had is now much wider.

How does the expansion of the “window of opportunity” affect strength and muscle size? Well, it’s shown that not consuming calories within the originally thought 45-minute window has no bearing on size or strength gains (2).

The Death of Meal Timing

See a reoccurring theme, my IIFYM friends? Meal timing is dead. Gone. Good riddance.

Stop worrying about specific meal timing and start focusing on your total calories and macronutrients for the day. Ensuring you’re hitting those numbers—regardless if you follow the IIFYM diet or not.

Everyone was so worried about what to eat post workout, when in fact the inverse is what we should be focusing on. In that, it’s what we consume BEFORE we engaged in exercise.

To maintain your energy levels, you want to ensure your body has enough glycogen stored to allow you the ability to push yourself hard in the gym without failing and tapping out early.

If you are used to exercising in the morning before eating breakfast, your focus should be on your last meal before bed. You should make sure you are taking in carbohydrates during that meal to ensure your glycogen stores are full for your morning workout.

…the post workout or event nutrition (meal timing) isn’t as important as we once thought. It’s positively more crucial to refuel and feed your body within a 24-hour period.

In the case where you eat prior to your workout (let’s assume resistance training). Your post workout meal timing truly shouldn’t be a concern at all since the body would still be breaking down and utilizing the nutrients you fed it before your workout.

In fact, research is showing that when protein is consumed prior to training, the amino acids are still available long after the training session ends (1).

Therefore, eating again post workout would be redundant. Not only that, but the chances of depleting your glycogen stores from a resistance training workout when compared to an endurance workout aren’t that great. You’ll burn through glycogen more so when engaging in long bouts of endurance training than you would lifting weights.


meal timing for athletes


What About Meal Timing For Elite Athletes?

If you are an elite athlete or compete in fitness or bodybuilding, meal timing might be ideal for you based off of your extensive bouts of training. On any given day, you could be exercising for over two hours (in one or multiple bouts).

For these individuals, foodstuffs such as electrolytes, protein, and carbohydrates can truly make a difference. Not only in the overall physique of the individual but also their performance.

Prepping for an event such as a marathon or any type of endurance race can involve carb-loading as well as replenishment afterward due to the demands that the body was asked to be put through.

Even then, the post workout or event nutrition (meal timing) isn’t as important as we once thought. It’s positively more crucial to refuel and feed your body within a 24-hour period.

Due to this being the cardinal rule for ideal performance, knowing your ideal macros will give you an edge.

Provide yourself with the ideal intake, have one of our coaches build your Custom Macro Blueprint.

Or in the case of a bodybuilder, depleting the body and then adding carbs back in to fill up the muscle can mean the difference between being first and last place on stage.

Maybe you’re a wrestler or tennis player and have multiple matches during a given day and need to plan recovery meals between to replenish energy stores. So, for these types of individuals, I would recommend meal timing. But, for the majority of us, we don’t fit into these categories.

Meal Timing For Health Reasons

I don’t want to neglect the fact that there are people out there, such as diabetics, who need to eat and focus on meal timing. If they take insulin, obviously, most work their insulin around their certain meal timing.

You don’t want to take a dose of insulin for no reason and then not eat anything, completely throwing your levels out of whack. So, there are instances where people will spend time thinking about and focusing on their meal timing due to health constraints.


meal timing macros


Hitting Your Numbers Is More Important Than WHEN You Hit Those Numbers

If you look at a dieting technique such as intermittent fasting, you would quickly notice that not all of those individuals are eating at “certain” times of the day (well, kinda).

Yes, they have a window they feed during, such as an eight-hour timeframe. Yet, it’s not likely they change their workouts around it to squeeze them in during their feeding window.

There’s evidence that fasting isn’t a bad protocol when it comes to your health, and that for many, it may beneficial (4).

Years back people would have been stoned to death (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration) if they said they were not only going to train in a fasted state. Yet, also won’t have a post workout meal for several hours later.

Yet, it should be noted that those following an intermittent fasting nutrition plan are drinking zero calorie beverages such as water or even black coffee during their fasted state. Many people even incorporate IIFYM into their intermittent fasting nutrition plan.

The take home message is whether you are following an IIFYM blueprint or not. Meal timing truly means nothing to people who we consider “normal” non-competitive athletes and work the 9-5 lifestyle.

Don’t get yourself so worked up over when you are eating. It’s best to focus on hitting your diet plan calories and macros each day. With this strategy, you’ll see the results you were looking for.

The post Meal Timing for Macros: Does It Even Contribute to Your Diet? appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stop Villainizing Sugar for Widespread Weight Gain


If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then donuts may as well be a one-way ticket to the Grim Reaper. Let’s face it, after determining your daily intake through the IIFYM calculator, you may as well not even think about enjoying candy with some of those available macros, right? Well, not so much… Despite how bad of a rap sugar consumption gets from mainstream media, the scientific community and their well-supported research show quite a different story.

Before you vow to never tempt your taste buds with the sweet taste of that evil substance. Or, lock your kids away in an organic garden.

Below are some considerations and legitimate scientific research to shed light into what professionals in the nutritional science community are saying about sugar. We’ll also cover how sugar intake can and should be approached by using IIFYM for those looking to balance their performance goals with the enjoyment of daily life.

Before delving any further into the topic. It should be noted that throughout this article, “sugar” is used in reference to added sugar in prepared foods. It should also be noted that all carbohydrates, no matter how “healthy” eventually break down into the monosaccharide, glucose (which is sugar), before being used and stored by the body so technically all carbohydrates are eventually converted into sugars.

Dextrose (glucose), sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), and galactose (sugar in milk), and a synthetically derived form of sugar- high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are common “sugars”. These types are the topic of conversation when health effects on sugar consumption are discussed.


For anyone that has been following my articles here on The topic of thermodynamics in relation to weight loss and muscle growth has come up more than once, and for good reason.

In an industry of misleading marketing, the idea of certain foods, workouts or supplements being magic bullets has inundated magazines, websites and locker rooms across the country.

No single aspect of training and nutrition will affect weight change more significantly than thermodynamics will- that is. The average balance of energy consumed compared to energy expended.

If you’re looking to lose fat, for example, myself, as well as the IIFYM coaching staff, can all assure you that cutting out any one nutrient or food ingredient isn’t the answer to better health or physique (legitimate allergies aside).




The answer for long term body composition changes lies in following a balanced, consistently tracked diet in which total daily calorie intake is gradually adjusted to create a sufficient caloric deficit for continued weight loss.

Restricting yourself to certain foods, or swearing away any one ingredient will just make the dieting process more difficult without any further benefit. All the more reason to look into a Custom Macro Blueprint so you can drop the diet restriction while on a fat loss plan.

One coach’s word may not necessarily convince the masses, but having legitimate, scientific research to further back those principles can be a bit more persuasive. Over the past decade or so, scientists have spent considerable time and resources in researching the possible health effects sugar intake can have on humans.

During that research, some interesting findings have been had which can shed light onto the not-so-villainous nature of sugar intake, and the benefit of IIFYM.

What the Research Says

A 2007 study explored the effects of high glycemic vs. low glycemic based diets among 34 individuals, with all other dietary factors including dietary reference intakes of macronutrients and micronutrient, met, as well as a daily multivitamin. The study reflected no significant difference in body weight, body fat, and resting metabolic rate across a yearlong intervention (1).

Another study investigated the difference in weight loss among individuals consuming a high or low glycemic focused diet, that were able to following a structured energy restricted diet (planned weight loss program) by consuming 1,000 calories of their plan with foods they freely chose, compared to those within the study that followed a meal plan without individual food selection available.

There aren’t good or bad foods, but simply some foods that offer a higher nutrient profile, which should be added into a balanced diet for long-term health and proper performance.

The results showed no significant difference in weight loss for those freely consuming higher glycemic foods than those following a strict meal plan of low glycemic foods. Once again, food choice is shown to have far less effect on weight loss than total energy balance.

The one common factor, energy balance in both studies was accounted for and controlled regardless of the carb sources consumed (2). Sound a bit like successful IIFYM dieting to anyone?

Quantity, Not Calorie Source

A separate, research review on countless past sugar studies also supports the conclusion that the excess calories, not the source of calories, is the main determinant of weight management (3). This said it’s much more reasonable to conclude that removing sugar from a diet doesn’t promote weight loss directly, but instead can help improve weight loss efforts by reducing excess calories.


simple sugars


Removing those 3 daily cans of soda from your diet and experiencing sudden weight loss isn’t from removing an evil liquid, but from reducing your caloric intake by roughly 2,940 calories per week (roughly 140 calories of sugar per soda can).

However, if a can of soda was a big craving of yours, and accounted for through an IIFYM approach to your daily caloric intake goals, it’s not going to harm your weight loss efforts (4).

breastfeeding calories

This not only supports that sugar intake itself is unlikely to disrupt weight loss efforts but also supports the idea of IIFYM dieting.

There aren’t good or bad foods, but simply some foods that offer a higher nutrient profile, which should be added into a balanced diet for long-term health and proper performance.

“IIFYM allows individuals to apply scientific research to the challenges and enjoyment of everyday life”

Macro Make Up Does Matter

Sugar intake would only affect weight change if it were substituted for other macronutrients, namely protein.

Someone eating adequate protein, and consuming sugar in moderation within their total daily carbohydrate intake will make vastly different progress in body composition than someone not eating enough protein, but eating larger amounts of carbohydrates through added sugars.

If daily protein is sufficient, fat intake is adequate for optimal performance and hormone health, and total carbohydrate intake is appropriate for your current metabolic rate and weight loss goals. Then using IIFYM and having more or less simple sugars in your diet won’t derail your efforts.

Sweet Benefits to Sugar Consumption


sugar benefits


Metabolic Capacity and Muscle Growth

When not dieting for fat loss, individuals should be focusing on improving performance in the gym through greater aerobic performance, strength, and/or larger muscle size- dependent on each person’s particular goals.

In order to do that, and also to ensure the future dieting phases are achieved as healthy and efficiently as possible, it’s important to gradually increase total food intake. This will support better recovery, better performance, and a greater metabolic capacity by allowing the body to adapt to and effectively use greater food intakes.

When doing this, many individuals avoid IIFYM and handicap themselves by trying to stick solely to “health foods.” By limiting sugar intake to a bare minimum, and eating only high fiber, high volume foods.

However if low-fiber, more sugary carb sources are ingested, individuals can maximize this glycogen replenishment and ensure optimal performance in subsequent bouts of exercise (8).

These individuals leave themselves bloated and unable to comfortably train at full capacity. At that point, they decide to stop increasing food intake and proceed through the rest of their growth season with a less than ideal offseason intake.

IIFYM can allow those individuals to reap the benefit of covering their bases through various fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats. Then utilize “fun” foods to supplement their daily food intake.

Leading to more comfortably reaching a higher intake that can more effectively help them maximize their efforts. By allowing themselves to enjoy some sugar-containing foods in their diet. They can improve digestion, train harder, feel better, and set themselves up for an even more efficient dieting phase in the future.

Intra-workout Performance

For those looking to maximize strength output and performance during exercise. Fast-digesting carbohydrates during workouts (in the form of carb powders), can help reduce fatigue and improve strength output during training sessions (5).

If you were to limit your sugar intake, at least having some sugars during your training sessions could be beneficial. By helping to maintain blood sugar levels during exercise.

Consuming a carb powder such as pure dextrose, a sports drink like Gatorade, or a similar carbohydrate supplement provides the body with readily absorbed glucose. Preventing that “bonked” feeling athletes often feel when training for extended periods of time without nutrients.



Post-Workout Glycogen Replenishment

Sugary foods can also be beneficial for consuming immediately after vigorous exercise as they support greater muscle glycogen restoration. They can help kick-starting recovery in the hours just after exercise. Although it isn’t necessary to pound sugar and a protein shake just after resistance training. It’s beneficial when focusing on replenishing glycogen before subsequent training sessions.

If you’re currently in a dieting phase when carbohydrate intake is low or an athlete that trains multiple times within a 24-hour time window. Such as multi-event competitions like Cross Fit often requires having some fast digesting carbohydrates at the cessation of a vigorous workout (1-1.5 hours).

Which can help significantly increase the rate of muscle glycogen replenishment before the upcoming training event.

This is due to two factors in particular; the first being that weight training itself promotes greater availability of a receptor within muscle tissue that takes up glucose for glycogen storage, GLUT-4.6.

breastfeeding calories

The second contributing factor is that of the rate-limiting enzyme for glycogen storage, glycogen synthase, being greatly heightened just after resistance training (7).

If an athlete is consuming high-fiber, slower digesting carbohydrate sources, these benefits are hindered. However if low-fiber, more sugary carb sources are ingested, individuals can maximize this glycogen replenishment and ensure optimal performance in subsequent bouts of exercise (8).


All science rhetoric aside momentarily, it’s just as important to keep in mind the simple enjoyment of treating yourself to the foods you like. As much as eating for health and performance is important, so too is enjoying life.

One of the most beneficial aspects behind IIFYM dieting is to stay on track with our health and physique goals. While still being able to periodically have the foods, we enjoy most.

The main aspect many “fitness professionals” leave out when promoting their 30-day challenge, or bashing IIFYM is the inability for the large majority of people to adhere to such restrictive diets over the course of their lifetime. Forever forsaking sweets, and sticking to bland foods may help with weight loss initially.

Yet, you are sure to create poor long-term relationships with food, and greater urges to binge eat on tempting foods. Learning to eat strategically with an adequate balance of nutrients, and occasional sweet treats can go a long way in promoting long-term body composition goals.

What about insulin spikes causing fat storage?

Ask people why they avoid sugar, and most respond with fears of spiking insulin. As hard as it may be to accept, insulin production itself doesn’t cause fat storage. Insulin will only promote fat storage if excess energy (calories) is consistently consumed- not simply from consuming sugars.

Instead, insulin first signals muscle and liver cells to store consumed sugar as glycogen to later be used as a readily available energy source.
Since muscle glycogen is quickly used as energy during exercise, and to a degree during daily activity and brain function.

fat loss

This storage doesn’t attribute to body fat. When too much energy is consumed compared to what the body’s metabolism and training routine can accommodate for, those glycogen stores become full- and any “leftover energy” is then signaled to be stored within fat cells.

Ultimately, it’s eating too much (caloric surplus) that causes the extra fat gain, not the insulin spike.

In terms of increasing diabetes risk, this would again only occur in an environment where excess energy consumption is achieved on a constant basis over a somewhat extended period.

A 2005 study helped to explain this realization when a group of low-GI, high-GI or high fat based dieters all lost nearly the same amount of weight and improved insulin sensitivity.

In practical terms, whether a diet is restrictive and only focused on low-GI “health” foods. Or includes some high-GI “fun” foods as part of an IIFYM dieting approach. Both fat loss and improved insulin sensitivity can be achieved with nearly identical results (9).

Insulin and Diabetes Risk

In terms of increasing diabetes risk, this would again only occur in an environment where excess energy consumption is achieved on a constant basis over a somewhat extended period.

For Type 2 Diabetes to occur, it is largely due to a culmination of lifestyle factors, and not simply sugar consumption. Body fat level, total energy balance, exercise, and genetic predispositions are some major factors that play into the risk of diabetes.

For anyone considering following IIFYM but concerned with Type 2 Diabetes risk. Avoiding sugar on nutrition labels isn’t necessarily the answer. Instead, there are other lifestyle practices that will vastly reduce the chance of occurrence. Shown to greatly benefit insulin sensitivity (ability for the body to use a given amount of insulin effectively), thus helping prevent diabetes:

• Regular exercise in the form of both resistance training and aerobic activity. Moderate to vigorous exercise has been shown to greatly improve insulin sensitivity (10,11).

• Maintain a healthy body weight. Insulin sensitivity is shown to improve as body composition improves (muscle to fat ratio) while being overweight tends to reduce the ability for the body to properly use insulin.




• When body fat levels begin to get too high, performing brief diets, often termed “mini cuts,” can help regain proper insulin sensitivity. Showing that periodic diets are not only good for improving appearance but improving the efficiency of the body’s hormones (12).

• When possible, have your major carbohydrate containing meals before and after training sessions. Doing so takes advantage of a heightened insulin sensitivity and greater storage of carbohydrate as glycogen rather than body fat.

In terms of increasing diabetes risk, this would again only occur in an environment where excess energy consumption is achieved on a constant basis over a somewhat extended period.

Whether a person consumes excessive amounts of organic oats through a meal plan or packaged oatmeal pies with IIFYM. They can both create extreme, chronic rises in insulin and eventually lead to increased diabetes risk.

“Properly incorporated IIFYM strategies not only support physique goals, but also long-term health”

But sugar causes inflammation, right?

As we wrap up our discussion on sugar, and its often-over-exaggerated role in fat gain. It’s important to briefly touch on the correlation between sugar intake and increased inflammation.

Although there does seem to be a possible link between increased sugar intake and increased inflammation. It should be noted that this link is often shown in individuals whom regularly consume a higher than the reasonable daily amount.

Many research populations also neglect other lifestyle factors important for keeping inflammation within a healthy range.

Of the studies currently published researching the connection. A great majority are on a sample population not documented to be correctly performing many, or any, of the related lifestyle habits shown to minimize inflammation (13,14).

• Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, which contain many anti-oxidants and phytonutrients essential for reducing inflammation.

• Regularly consuming Omega-3 fatty acids through sources like fatty fish and fish oil supplements. Maintaining a proper intake of Omega-3 fats within the diet, and limiting excess Omega-6 fatty acids has been strongly supported by research to reduce inflammation (15,16).

• Performing regular exercise. Along with increasing insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate storage efficiency. Regular resistance training is also shown to provide long-term anti-inflammatory benefits. Although resistance training does create a short term, inflammatory response as muscle tissue recovers from the exercise session. It’s actual short lived, and still has extended lasting anti-inflammatory effects (17).




Let’s Not Forget

Although IIFYM minded coaches such as ours discourage the fear of sugar consumption. We never dismiss the importance of a varied, nutrient filled diet.

Although somewhat speculative, it would seem reasonable to believe the results of many sugar & inflammation studies would be less drastic if factors like those mentioned above were accounted for while focusing on nutrient dense foods was also implemented in each individual diet.

Sugar in reasonable amounts doesn’t seem to create any long-term negative health or body composition effects. However, it would be asinine to say sugar can be safely consumed in unlimited amounts.

We can all agree that too much fat can contribute to heart disease and too much protein can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Although excess consumption can create issues, no reasonable person would deny their importance in a healthy, performance-supporting diet.

Just as protein and fat should be consumed within reason, sugar should be avoided in excessive amounts in order to maintain proper inflammatory responses, energy balance, and allow for sufficient intake of more nutrient-dense foods within daily intake goals.

So how much sugar can I eat?

After hearing that total energy balance is the prominent factor in weight change, IIFYM extremists will take that and run with it- eating as many cookies and ice cream cones as they can fit into their daily macro goals.

However, that strategy is just as detrimental to long-term progress, and possibly more so to health, than avoiding sugar altogether.

Although sugar consumption in moderation is unlikely to cause any negative effects, balance is still vitally important. This is always encouraged when our coaches create Macro Blueprints for our clients!

How much is too much? Keeping a daily fiber intake goal can be a great strategy for limiting sugar intake to a reasonable level. Also, ensuring that enough nutrient-dense foods are consumed.

Following the below, USDA provided fiber and sugar intake goals can go a long way in keeping intake balanced and healthy.

Don’t Forget the Fiber

Fiber has been shown to provide numerous health benefits include disease prevention, nutrient absorption, digestion, healthy blood sugar maintenance, and improving satiety which is especially helpful when dieting (18).

Just as too much fiber can cause issues like those discussed earlier in this article, so too does too insufficient fiber have drawbacks.




The USDA suggests most individuals consume 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed in their diet (i.e. 39 grams for a daily intake of 2,8000 calories).

Consuming this fiber recommendation through a variety of sources promotes sufficient micronutrient intake, given foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of fiber, and also contain substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants important for long-term health, and optimal physical performance.

Sugar Recommendations

The American Heart Association and USDA recommend that men consume no more than 150 calories (38 grams) and females consume no more than 100 calories (25g) of added sugars per day in order to greatly reduce any potential health risks. For reference, some common foods and their accompanying sugar content are listed below.

Sugar Content in Common Foods

Food Type/Brand Quantity/Volume Sugar Content (grams)
Maple Syrup 1 Tablespoon 14
Full Calorie Soda 1 Can 39
Twix Candy Bar 1 Package 28
Glazed Donut 1 Donut 11

So, as you can see by just these few examples. Healthy individual sticking strictly to these suggestions could theoretically still enjoy a can of soda or donut a few times each week through IIFYM and still be within a reasonable intake.

Although the intake suggestion can be a safe recommendation to follow. It would stand to reason that trained athletes following IIFYM can likely consume higher amounts through intra- and post-workout carbohydrate intake without creating any health issues.

Since those sugars are more likely stored as glycogen than body fat. Plus, an otherwise nutrient dense diet is likely to reduce the risk of negative health effects from higher sugar consumption.

“Using IIFYM to periodically enjoy sugary foods can be part of a healthy, life-long nutritional strategy”

Sweet News

This article isn’t to encourage people to use IIFYM as a free-for-all but does explain that like most happenings in life. It’s okay to enjoy sugar in moderation. Taking anything to a restrictive or gluttonous extreme seldom turns out well for people in the long run.

Yet, making a point to educate ourselves on the facts behind our concerns. While learning how to properly apply those facts to our daily lives can go a long way progressing as efficiently as possible while making room to enjoy life. Now, where are those donuts I bought?


The post Stop Villainizing Sugar for Widespread Weight Gain appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Simple And Exact TDEE Calculator (And The Way To Use It)

To estimate macro aims and your daily nutrient, merely fill the data on my calculator out below! Or you could be overestimating how much you eat or underestimating your activity-level also. Check these amazing change stories out of from those who employed counting macros to attain their goals if you want some inspiration and get started with variable dieting or IIFYM nowadays. As an example, if each of a quick you will find oneself relaxing more frequently than you are in your toes, you should remember that while in the calculator for results. Smart TDEE calculator makes it possible to estimate your TDEE according to your activity-level, top, weight, era, and gender.

When it comes for the action multiplier I'm-not entirely certain which to go by since Iam largely sedentary through the entire week (relaxing on computer), but I do about 3 hours of whole workout moment throughout the week. A fast computation of the daily calorie intake might help preserve your toplevel being trained at by you. To sum up: this calculator is reliable for normal weight as well as children and fat adults.

I'm 13 years-old about 39 lbs (that is what my doctor explained LOL) as well as the BMR calculator suggests that my Fat Requirements are up-to 1334 a day. If i try this might it be feasible to achieve weight, particularly that I am an ectomorph (it is a Genuine sturggle:(). Likewise I truly want to achieve some muscle without any Equipment (Merely simple workouts including pushups pull ups etc etc.). Automatically, the outcomes are for sustaining weight possibly should you be looking to reduce weight or gain muscle obtain or lose.

I quit exercising (weights/managing) back March, and so I tried employing a mixture of scooby and IIFYM TDEEs for inactive/passive (which includes surely been the correct activity level since mid-December!). If you're equally 180lbs but one-of you is at 15% body fat as the different is 35%, you'll get various TDEE. You could nonetheless make up for that should you enhance pastime, but itis still accurate that using the same activity stage a smaller person (and older, since on-average older individuals have less muscles, while you are able to correct for that in the event that you work at keeping it) will have lower TDEEs. Right ... ask you to enter in since it has nothing to do with the methods it uses to calculate TDEE that material.

Every person differs, you should observe your weight reduction throughout your slice and regulate elements like activity-level or goal weight loss to meet up your requirements. Your calculator has a great track record with what it tells you, and so I might go of delivering great results. Our explanation uses the best formulas and exhibits your ranking in ways that's easyto read and meaningful. Or can the fat burned as a result the method of muscle progress compensate for your elevated fat due to the escalation in muscles.

The proportions on diet macros are computed from the quantity of calories each gram provides, not by the grams themselves. By not recalculating, you could find yourself not providing the human body to strength your workouts with enough gasoline, and you will As the body pulls upon muscle in the place of fat for vitality really begin plateauing early. TDEE of 2100 calories with Inactive, 8 hours rest & no other exercise makes no sense.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Meditation: An Underrated Tool For Dieting Success


So you have now calculated your macro numbers from the macro calculator here on IIFYM and you have begun following all the necessary steps to your new weight-loss plan. However, you’re beyond stressed at work and it’s taking a toll on your motivation to follow through will all of your hard work and research.

IIFYM knows that life can be challenging and stressful, but the main goal is that you find success with what you’re doing. Meditation and mindfulness can be a great tool add to your tool belt along with all the wonderful IIFYM fitness programs we have to offer.

The Mind and Body

The human body was designed to move and endure the challenges of everyday life. The more you work on your body, the more the body will give back to you in the form of strength, stamina, and endurance.

The human mind is similar: the more work and focus you put in maintaining the health and wellness of the mind, the more benefits you will see in return. In order to tap into what the mind can really do, you need to do the opposite of what you would do with the body: Quiet the mind and eliminate excess thought.

The world we live in is very fast paced. We are constantly being stimulated by social media, digital devices, and computer screens. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can give you mental focus and stamina to keep up with your body.

Meditation has been widely practiced among the yoga community for thousands of years and lately is has started to make its way into other areas of health and wellness. Many corporate and educational settings have used meditation as a tool to promote mental and emotional wellness.




What are the benefits of meditation


#1 Reduces Stress

When the body is under threat, it releases adrenaline that increases your heart rate and cortisol which increases your blood sugar. Your body uses adrenaline to increase blood flow to your heart to increase your energy supplies and the added cortisol increases the glucose in your blood stream to help with tissue repair. [1]

Both of these phenomena are great for the body to experience if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation because when the threat goes away the hormone level will return to normal.

Like if you are being chased by a bear. However, if your bear is a metaphor for work pressure and problems at home, then your stressor never goes away. You are constantly being chased by a bear and your hormones never return to normal.

Effects of Stress on the Body

Being under constant stress can cause a whole host of health problems, including weight gain, memory problems, headaches, digestive problems and increases in anxiety and depression. Which is why meditation can be so helpful in reducing your stress levels.

Dr. Herbert Benson, professor, author, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute coined the term Relaxation Response, which uses meditation to encourage your body to switch out of fight or flight and into rest and digest mode.

Meditation encourages the brain to release chemicals that tell your body to slow down and increase more blood flow to the brain, allowing the body to relax and relieve stress. [5]

#2 Weight-loss

Stress can be incredibly counterproductive to our weight-loss goals. Increased levels of cortisol have been shown to cause higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar; both of these can lead to craving high-calorie foods.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Eating can be a stress reliever because the chemicals released while eating fatty and sugary foods can combat the symptoms of stress. [1]

Therefore, that could conclude that those who have less stress also have fewer cravings for junk food. Because meditation can lower stress levels in the body, it can certainly become one of your tools for weight-loss.




Weight Loss and Mindfulness

Eric Loucks is leading a study about mindfulness and weight loss at Brown University. He found that people who practice mindfulness tended to have less body fat. Loucks thinks that is because we are hardwired from the early days of man to eat as much as we can while it’s available.

This is due to us not knowing when our next meal will come, Loucks believes we haven’t yet evolved out of that human trait. So, when we are in the presence of fats, sugars, and salts, we might not know when to stop, especially when we are under stress.

Our mind and body will crave more of these items because it thinks they we require more nutrients. However, those who are more mindful are more aware of why they are eating. Whether they are truly hungry or they can stop, helping them recognize if they need more (macro) nutrients.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Increase your Awareness

Meditation teaches us mindfulness so we can become those people who can decide if they really need that cupcake or our bodies are actually just asking us for something else. People who practice meditation can also practice mindful eating.

IIFYM blueprint

This is where you notice how you feel before, during, and after eating to determine if you are full, satisfied, and properly can digest the food you have eaten. Practicing meditation can increase your awareness of how you feel in your own body and allow you to not only lose weight because of decreased stress levels but be more mindful of what you are eating, which can also help you lose weight.

#3 Focus

Whether you’re challenging yourself to 30 days or 90 days with IIFYM it is important to have a constant focus on your goals. Meditation is a mindful relaxation technique that allows you to release your thoughts and worries from your mind.

So as you go through your fitness journey with IIFYM you don’t have to worry about all of the issues you have had in the past or worry about if this program is going to work because you know it will work and you can use meditation to help you just enjoy the process.

Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

When we hold onto the conditions that stress us out, it can prevent us from seeing the real solution, thus making us even more stressed out causing further difficulties. This can cause the mind to become clouded with unnecessary thoughts and problems.

When you follow a regular relaxation exercise, you can allow your blood pressure to drop, your mind to quiet and the cluster of thought to dismiss. That will allow you to think more clearly.


mind meditation


Change your Brain

A study by Sara Lazar Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, showed that meditation literally changes your brain. She looked at long-term meditators and a group of people that had never meditated before.

What she found was that meditators had increased gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. This happens because when you meditate you’re focusing on the present moment, on your breath, and not on your cognition.

You are only focusing on what you’re doing not thinking ahead to what will happen next or what this practice will do for you. The frontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with decision-making and memory, had more gray matter. Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

How Long Will it Take?

During a second study, she found that people had a difference in brain volume even after only 8 weeks of practicing. So, it doesn’t take long to see the results of meditation.

From personal experience and those of my students, you will see them after a short 30-minute session, but if you keep with the practice based on the data Sarah LazarPh.D. found, you’ll see more results after 8 weeks and even more through the remainder of your life. [7]

#4 Decreased Anxiety and Depression

Meditation can help relieve anxiety and depression because it teaches us how to let go of what is troubling us. Anxiety is the mind worrying about the future and depression is the mind worrying about the past.

Meditation teaches us to live in the present moment and connects with ourselves on a deeper level. People can improve their symptoms of anxiety and depression through practicing meditation and mindfulness.


According to Dr. Chopra, anxiety can be a habit formed by the mind that is causing you to react to every stressful thing that happens to you. [3] Anxiety is initiating the fight and flight response in the body that causes you to become on edge and alert even when you don’t need to be.

Mediation can help correct that response by relaxing the body and easing the mind. Over time, the habit will be corrected and you will notice a decrease in your anxiety or you will learn to better deal with what triggers your anxiety.


meditation for depression



Depression is similar; meditation will teach us to let go of the entities that are troubling us about the past so we can be at ease. Psychologists from the University of Exeter published a study about meditation and how it can improve depression.

It showed that patients who meditate for 30 minutes at home showed a significant reduction in symptoms over the course of the 8 sessions. For people who were looking to get off their anti-depression medication, it was also helpful in preventing a relapse.

Professor Mark Williams is also the author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. A leader during this study said that “One of the key features of depression is that it hijacks your attention”[5]. Meditation helps focus the mind and keep your attention on what’s happening in the present, instead of remembering the bad things that have happened to you in the past.

#5 Sleep

IIFYM knows how important sleep is to the fat-loss process. It is crucial for the body to heal and recover especially after an IIFYM workout. Meditation has been shown to decrease stress, promote weight loss, help with anxiety and depression.

All of those things that can reduce insomnia and promote better sleep. As your health begins to improve, so will your sleep. People who suffer from insomnia generally have a lot on their minds right before retiring.

IIFYM blueprint

The can’t sleep to turn off your mind but meditation can help you do just that. From what you have read above, you already know that meditation is designed to quiet the mind and promote relaxation.

Well, the more you practice it you will notice it outside of your practice, especially when it comes to the quality of your sleep. When our minds are quiet and calm, we sleep better but don’t just take my word for it.

Facts about Meditation and Sleep

JAMA Internal Medicine did a 6-week study, with about 49 middle-aged people, a few years ago. The study had them meeting weekly for 2 hours to learn mindfulness through seated meditation and other mindful practices.

The participants had to practice 5 to 20 minutes of mindfulness and meditation daily. At the end of the study, they found that just after 6 weeks of practice, participants of meditation and mindfulness improved their sleep. [2]




How to Meditate?

Step 1: Find a comfortable seat (can be in a chair or on the floor). Have a nice straight tall spine. Sitting on a cushion or blanket to elevate your hips above your knees can make this easier.

Step 2: Take 3-5 nice deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Step 3: Close the eyes and begin to breathe in through the nose and out through the nose.

Step 4: Begin to notice your breath. In the beginning, it is easier to follow your breath when you count it. There are two ways of doing this.
A) You can inhale to count anywhere from 4 to 8. Then exhale for the same count.
B) You can inhale and exhale. Inhale and Exhale. All the way to 10. Then start over.

Step 5: Begin to relax the body. Relax the shoulders, legs, hands, feet, and face. Anywhere there is tension in the body, try to relax it. Still, maintain a tall spine so you leave room for your lungs to expand.

Step 6: If you notice that your mind keeps wondering, don’t worry; just come back to focusing on the breath. Over time this will get easier and easier to do, but keep in mind that every day will be different.

IIFYM recommends you practice meditating for 5 minutes if it’s your first session and work your way up to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Add this to your regimen to see all the wonderful changes you can make to your mind and body.

However, if you’re up for a real challenge, a daily practice of meditation is always recommended for best results. So, give meditation a try and start noticing the benefits it has to offer! Don’t let stress kill your progress!


The post Meditation: An Underrated Tool For Dieting Success appeared first on IIFYM.

from Articles & Interviews – IIFYM