My IIFYM Kickstart

If you’ve been following along you’ll know I have now committed to if it fits your macros. I’ve had some feedback on my twitter asking about how I started, so I thought I’d post the details about my first couple days with IIFYM. Note: this is my personal experience and may not necessarily be right for everyone; please keep in mind that I am a beginner at IIFYM and am learning more everyday.

I decided to try IIFYM because I have played around with my diet and nutritional habits and found the best success when I specifically focused on my protein intake and getting in enough (over 150g). As well, I have noticed that the people I follow that are doing IIFYM have been able to get results that stick – since it’s “flexible” dieting you don’t deprive yourself of treats forcing you to inevitably fail by indulging, whether it be a birthday cake that is your demise or Thanksgiving dinner, life will always throw treats your way and I’ve found deprivation doesn’t work for me; that damn pumpkin pie at holidays calls my name and ice cream in the summer time, I mean how can you not? Thus IIFYM seemed like a good fit as it would force me to up my protein game while still allowing me the flexibility my life demands.

The first step in switching to IIFYM was to find out what my macro targets should be. I used the calculator on IIFYM.com to help me out. I tried both the Mifflin-St Jeor formula and the lean mass formula to see what the numbers of each would be and decided to use the lean mass formula in the end. For my goal I selected “fat loss” and because I tend to do things balls to the wall I went for the “reckless” option. The final step was to select my nutrition plan and I went with IIFYM and the suggested protein and fat options.

Ta da, out spit my numbers! IIFYM Macros

The next step was to see if I could actually have a day of eating that would hit these target. Side note: I have been using myfitnesspal to track what I eat for a couple years, on and off, so I already had an established account with many recipes already imputed. I used myfitnesspal, picking various food combinations and seeing if they fit my macros. After about ten minutes I had two days set out. The first day was relatively healthy. I added in a lot more fat than I normally do by adding olive oil to my breakfast and used a Quest Bar and whey protein shake to hit my protein target. In the second day I wanted to see if it truly was a “flexible” way to eat and created my day around a piece of my mum’s homemade cheesecake. The formula held true and I was able to hit my targets and stay in my calorie range for the day. Check out the myfitnesspal days below (click to enlarge):
MFP1MFP2

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IIFYM

If you’ve been involved in the fitfam twitter community at all in the past couple of months you’ve probably come across the acronym IIFYM.  IIFYM or if it fits your macros is a dieting plan that focuses on macro nutrients.  I’ve been following a few accounts that have committed to IIFYM and their results are intriguing and impressive, so I’ve decided to dedicate January to trying out IIFYM.  I went on iifym.com to get my breakdown and the calculator spit out 1,658 calories per day with 166g carbs, 46g fat, and 145g protein.  My goal is to lose body fat and I did pick their “aggressive” option; I’m moving in a month and I’m determined to see some results! 

After getting my macros, I then spent about 10 minutes on myfitnesspal planning out my next two days to hit my targets.  Surprisingly, I found it easier than I originally thought.  Looking at my planned days it seems like I’m packing in a lot of food but I have to keep in mind that it is a strict plan and everything must be counted (aka no midnight cups of hot chocolate left out of tracking).  In both my planned days I have included a protein shake to help me hit my protein target.  I am really excited to see how this all works out and if you have been doing IIFYM give me a shout! I would love any advice or feedback you can offer!  

The Ups & Downs of Running

Down, up, down, up, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Today was hill repeats and I performed them over my lunch break.  I upped the hills repeats to 4 this week (as opposed to 3 the previous week).  I started with a 500m flat warm up jog and then got to it.  Performing the repeats on a steep hill that lasts over 1 km in length, I used the bottom, steeper half of the hill adding on 100m flat surface at the bottom for my workout.  I ran down the hill and then back up halfway to run down again and then up halfway again, etc.  My repeats ended up being 500m on the hill and 100m flat for a total of 600m each way.  I travelled 5.5 km in total averaging a 5:54 pace.  The whole workout took just over 30 minutes.

It was a good workout but I was very lucky that today’s temperatures were unseasonably cold as if there was humidity I would have been in trouble.  By the last repeat I was in need of water so as I add on hill repeats and my workouts get longer I’ll have to arrange to bring water with me.  When I got back to the office I recovered using Vega Vanilla Performance Protein with a cup of oat milk. I use a SmartShake bottle to mix it and it works wonderfully (can be ordered from bodybuilding.com).  

Now it’s time for me to actually eat my lunch and I’ll be having turkey with avocado on rice cakes.  I’m finding that going gluten and dairy free have helped my digestion 100% and everyday I’m finding new meals to put together.  The only problem is I now do not know if it is the dairy or gluten or both that have been giving me digestion issues and I’m too chicken to bring one back into my diet to find out; for now I’ll keep going being both gluten and dairy free.

I am still off of coffee, but have now started drinking green tea like a fiend.  I’m slowly trying to replace the green tea with decaf herbal tea but it’s taking some time.  As for my energy, I am feeling good.  I would say that most days I do not feel the need for a nap but there is still a day or two a week where when 3 o’clock hits I find myself at my desk daydreaming about taking a siesta.  Let’s hope today isn’t one of those days.

Tomorrow the plan is to hit up arms and back at lunch with my coworkers and then after work go for a 4k tempo run. Hope y’all are excelling at your fitness goals! More later.

Power and Resistance

Tonight I did day 2 of INSANITY and it called for Cardio Power & Resistance.  My bf said that he would do it with me but backed out and asked me to do it before he came over; apparently his manual labour job used up all his energy… excuses, excuses.  One of these days I’ll get him to be insane with me!

It was a good workout! Lots of legs, oh man! The warm-up caught me by surprise as the moves differed from day 1’s video.  This was something I was not expecting but I’m overall happy that the workout does get mixed up a little; keeps me on my toes and entertained.  I really enjoyed how the first time through each circuit, Shaun T took the time to explain proper form. This allowed me to get a handle on the moves and feel confident in my form.  It would have been nice to have someone there in person to critique my form but Shaun T’s reminders throughout the video sufficed.  I seem to forget about my core a lot so the constant “engage your core” cues come in very helpful and always at the right time.  

One thing I found that surprised me was the moving push-ups.  For some reason I was able to do this move continuously throughout the allotted time slots.  This surprised me as if I was asked to do regular push-ups I would struggle to pump out 10 consecutively.  

The place that I struggled with in this video was when the three tricep moves were performed back to back: tricep dips, tricep dips with a leg raised, and tricep ball push-ups.  I rocked it through the first couple but when that last tricep move came, the tricep ball push-ups, my arms were burning!  Let’s just say I may have taken child’s pose near the end.

After my workout, boy was I hungry! I had not two, not three, but four hundred grams of chicken breast!  I’m sticking to a clean eating plan thus far and I’m hoping to see results after the first week.  If you would like, you could follow my nutrition on myfitnesspal!  My username is livefitlivefree.  Don’t be afraid to toss me a friend request and critique any poor food choices.  Sometimes it’s handy sharing my food journal with the world as it keeps me accountable, even if it’s just to one or two strangers.

I was able to take before pictures but misplaced my measuring tape.  I will therefore post my stats tomorrow after I got get a new measuring tape.

That’s all for now but if there are any insanity users out there, let me know your thoughts on the workouts.  I would love to see where other people excel and struggle in their own journey!  Toss me a comment or an email (through the “contact me” tab at the top) and let’s connect!