eat clean

IIFYM vs. Eating Clean for competition diet

Hi guys! Hope you are having a great weekend!

I wanted to contribute to the great debate on competition diets.

If you have been involved in the fitness industry, you are probably familiar with two of the main meal plan styles when it comes to body building and competition prep: IIFYM and Eating clean (aka traditional body building diet). IIFYM stands for “If it fits your mouth macros.” Meaning that you calculate how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you should have in a day and can eat whatever you want as long as the numbers add up at the end of the day. “Eating clean” can mean many different things but for the purpose of this post I will use it to mean a “traditional body building diet” of whole, unprocessed foods with an emphasis on high protein.

For my last few competitions, I did more of an IIFYM style of eating. I tried to eat healthy, unprocessed foods whenever possible but I would often turn to protein bars and other processed foods when I was in a time crunch.

This time around I have actually been sticking pretty closely to my meal plan and ONLY eating whole, unprocessed food.

Since I cut out the processed food I noticed huge changes in  my body. First of all, I feel better. I have more energy and feel like my body is just running better if that makes sense. Secondly, I feel like it is easier to lean out this time around. I have always been pretty lean, but I noticed that in my last prep, I was looking a lot softer than in my first competition. This time I am looking more cut and defined. Although the numbers on the scale have been going up, my body fat has stayed the same, which means I have gained muscle. With IIFYM my weight and body fat were slowly creeping up.

Check out these two progress pics:

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Today (June 1) Back Pose on “Traditional Eat Clean” diet

Back pose April 2014 IFFYM

Back pose April 2014 IFFYM

Check out the definition in my glutes and hamstrings in my recent “eat clean” photo. I think that my skin tone even looks better now. Even though I have been training hard, I am positive that my diet has made a huge difference.

Its interesting because when I started this journey I wanted to believe IIFYM. IIFYM makes dieting a little easier because you can be more flexible about your food choices. And, after all, 20 grams of protein from a chicken should be the same thing as 20 grams of protein from a protein bar, right?

Well, now I don’t think so. I think that this may be the result of many factors including the thermogenic effect of food (how many calories it takes your body to process your meal), producers not being entirely accurate on their nutrition labels and the possible the effect of food additives and/or lack of nutrients on metabolism.

IIFYM may work for some, and it may help you reach your goals if you are not worried about minor physique details (i.e. fitness competition). There are also many ways to do IIFYM and I think taking and “eat clean” approach to IIFYM would be great (like eating all whole, unprocessed food to meet your macro requirements.) However, I now know that a liberal IIFYM diet does not give me my best results. I need to be a little more strict about my eating to look my best.

I am excited to see how my body will transform in these next few weeks as I prep for my 4th contest.

Have you all experimented with your diet? What did you find worked best for you?

 

 

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Meal Prep: Breakfast ideas

Hi guys!

Its a beautiful weekend, but I’m inside meal preppin’. For those of you in the bodybuilding/fitness world, most of you are familiar with “meal prep” that is, making your meals in advance since you have to eat 5-6 times a day.

Meal prep is a great way to make sure you have healthy eats readily available throughout the week, but I haven’t always been such a big meal prep fan. I made a post not too long ago about “prep-less meal prep.” Basically buying as much pre-prepared healthy food as possible to cut down on my preparation time. That worked well for me for the last two preps because l am always short on time, and the little free time I do have, I don’t want to spend in the kitchen. I wish I liked cooking but I just don’t.

The problem with buying things mostly pre-made is that it gets expensive really quickly. For example, at whole foods, I would buy a 4 pack of plain, pre-cooked chicken breasts for $14.99, while a package of chicken breasts un-cooked costs about $6.00. I also noticed that I have been leaning on convenience foods a lot more lately. Unless I have the foresight to pack myself a few salads for my day I rarely eat the amount of vegetables I should.

I am starting slowly into my competition prep plan this time, and although I did the work-outs last week I did not really follow my meal plan. This week I am trying to start things right by prepping my breakfasts.

Many of my days start at 5:00 am so in the interest of sleep I try to push my wake-up time back as much as possible. Having a healthy breakfast ready to go will help me get some more sleep in and prevent my from relying on less healthy convenience foods.

Since oatmeal and egg whites are on my meal plan for breakfasts here is how I made them more convenient:

Mini Egg White Omlettes:

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1.5 cups of egg whites

1.5 cups Cut up veggies (I used peppers, onions, and tomatoes)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 & spray muffin tin with oil

2. Put cut up veggies into muffin tin

3. Beat egg whites until fluffy (I cheated and used a food processor)

4. Pour eggs over veggies in muffin tins

5. Bake for 20 min.

 

 

Baked Oatmeal “Muffins”

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2 cups Old fashioned oats

1/2 cup flavored flax oil (I used Barleans blackberry)

1/2 cup Truvia or other sweetener

2/3 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

2/3 cup of blueberries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 and put cupcake papers in muffin pan

2. Mix dry ingredients

3. Add wet ingredients (including blueberries)

4. Spoon into cupcake papers

5. Bake for 30 min.

 

Now that I am done meal prepping I am excited to eat healthy this week. I have a couple questions for you, though:

1. Any ideas on how to make you grilled chicken breasts taste better/ be less dry?

2. Do you think the Iso bag/ 6 pack bags are worth the money? I currently have a cheap-o cooler and am considering an upgrade.

 

Have a great week!