30 comments / Posted by Michelle Byer









    Alright, I'm gonna hop right into it, and I am actually going to explain our intent, meaning mine and Michelle's intent with this podcast and this distribution of information at scale. This is very important to us and is really close to our hearts and I hope you can actually tell by our inflections and the passion in our voice, and spoken word, that we actually CARE and are not just regurgitating.


    The game here is how to get EVERYONE from point A to point B. Point A being life before the awareness of IIFYM, and Point B obviously being life after the awareness of IIFYM. Before you know anything about IIFYM, you know nothing about basic nutrition, and this is where we want to really facilitate a bridge to the gap between hard science and practical application of this to every single individual. This is part of the reasons why we are FREELY calculating every individual's macros for them. It takes an enormous amount of time out of our day, but we TRULY feel just getting people on their feet is where the fucking magic happens. The fact that people have tried to covet this truth, this amazing prerequisite to any diet, in regards to adherence - this being flexible dieting or IIFYM - this is us proactively giving away this information at scale. We are proud to do it and proud to be on the right side of history because this will be noted, this community; this movement of knowledge; this heightened awareness of self, this will be written in history.


    Alright, so first things first - you know nothing about IIFYM, you know nothing about macros, what is a macro, what are fats, carbs and proteins in relation to calories, calories in vs calories out is not something that - not a concept you are familiar with, which is the basic law of thermodynamics. So let's get into the absolute, absolute basics if you're just starting out - I'm SO glad you found this podcast. If you're first starting out, go to your phone, open it up, hopefully you have the availability of apps, get MyFitnessPal - download it, go through the hoops it makes you jump through, disregard everything it tells you and USE it for its calculator and its absolutely INCREDIBLE database on all foods available everywhere - EVERYWHERE. So you have the availability to find and record the nutrients of every single food made, from every single restaurant. It is absolutely incredible. So picture that - and now picture how easy this is from now on.


    Second here now is finding your macros or absolutely getting familiar with the app and tracking. Actually, disregard that - DON'T find your macros. We highly highly HIGHLY encourage you to just get used to the habitual tracking of everything that has calories that goes into your mouth and that you digest. This is extremely important for your long-term adherence. You're not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week. You're gonna hopefully adhere to some sort of schedule the first week to two weeks to three weeks, even not knowing WHAT you're supposed to eat, just getting used to tracking your food intake. This is probably the biggest hoop that people just disregard in terms of how severe THIS is. This is the big wall, in my opinion, to how many people would never consider IIFYM or this lifestyle, because they have to track everything they eat. So congratulations, consider if you're here now, you're amongst the minority in the percentage of the world who would even consider this as an option to live their life. This is CONTROL - this is just a higher level that most choose to not accept the responsibility of - that the knowledge is out there, that you can control how you look, feel, and function, and this is how you do it. And this is the first step - track your intake. Track your intake for one to two weeks. Also, track your weight. See where it goes, if it goes up, if it goes down, how much it goes down, how much it goes up. Once you've got a steady grip on your fluctuations and a habitual sense of tracking your intake, you can now reach out to either us, or go to somewhere else to find how much of how many nutrients you need to eat - that being macronutrients, micronutrients, the nuances of this lifestyle and how you actually start to manipulate how you look, how you feel, how you function according to YOU, according to your metabolism, according to absolutely YOUR lifestyle and no one else's. You must find - this is the most important part of getting from point A to point B, stressing point B being the life AFTER IIFYM and the knowledge of, the awareness of, so point B being the absolute almost disregard for tracking macronutrients because you're so adept to it. Either way, back to point A.


    So you have MyFitnessPal downloaded, you have two weeks of weigh ins, so you have two weeks of two separate weekly averages. So if you can tell your weight went down or went up or didn't move, now you have data on yourself, you have data of what either caused these fluctuations, or had a high correlation to causing these fluctuations. So take a look now from your weight now to your macros, and go into MyFitnessPal, specifically the nutrition portion, and look at the breakdown of the calories - how much fat, how many carbs, how much protein, you don't need to worry about sugar just yet - sugar is just a carb, make sure you're not considering sugar its own macronutrient here. The only macronutrients you need to focus on that will influence how you at least look for now, and where your weight is going, are your fats, carbs, and proteins. Sodium will have a good variable in and of itself that can help you store a little bit of water, but your water intake is also equally important in controlling these variables and your fluctuations in weight. But the first and foremost, most important, highly pivotal point is gathering the DATA. If you do not have the data, you do not have yourself, in a nutshell. The more data you have on yourself - your weight, your logs of feelings even, during how tracking was, how hard it was - this will all accumulate to a higher self awareness and awareness of self: not just your basic, intuitive, momentary, decision-making, but now you have actual precedence on yourself to help you navigate further. This is just another huge, huge thing that comes from just the awareness of your nutrition. Can you believe that? A higher sense of self from nutrition. I'll try to get you there, at least.


    The next part that you need to focus on, is how MUCH you need to eat. So once you've got your macros from us, focus on sustainably hitting - so we say hitting, we mean completing the required amount that we give you or someone else does - so find your macros and now practice - this will easily take as much time to create a lifestyle around - tracking your macros, getting as CLOSE as you can - +/- 5 grams for carbs and protein, +/- 1-2 grams for fats - as close as you can to the numbers we give you, practice this and see how your body changes, see how your body reacts. Again with your weekly weight averages, compare these and now you can get into the other nuances which will affect, of course, your goals and how you get there whether you want to lose fat, or gain muscle. If you want to lose fat while maintaining as much muscle as possible, this is the BEST and pretty much the only place to start. And now that I'm looking around at the years that we've been doing this, This is the best prerequisite of any form of control of your performance, your looks, especially looks matter if you're into anything nowadays haha just kidding, but if you're, say, a natural bodybuilder or something of the sort, you need to be an expert on yourself, an expert on what your body needs in regards to your nutrition to LOOK the best, and this will also help with how you feel. So how you feel is another topic in and of itself that I'll cover in depth, but right now this is the perfect place to start. I think we covered the basic one to two week, maybe even three weeks, of what you need to do and what you need to focus on. So take this chunk of info and digest it. And please reach out to us for individual variables that you have - goals, especially when you're to the point you need your macros. Please reach out to us - iifymapparelcoaching@gmail.com - it is free, and we will respond to you for free, in a timely manner for free.


    This is for the world.


    Step 2:

    Ryan: What's going on guys, my name is Ryan and I am back with the second step of how you actually implement IIFYM into your life! But first, I have Michelle here today, and I'm very excited about that. Say something, Michelle


    Michelle: well I'm excited it's my first time doing this, so we'll see how it goes!


    R: Alright, so with reference to what we have been talking about in our previous - picking up your phone and downloading the app -MyFitnessPal - just getting used to tracking your intake, all the calories that you actually consume every hour of the day. So with that in mind, you have 1 to 2 to 3 weeks of this. So before you can listen to this, before you can go on to this next step, please have some experience with tracking your intake with MyFitnessPal. What other prerequisites do you have to this, Michelle, the second step?


    M: I would say during that time, when you're tracking your intake, also be paying attention to your weekly averages and progress, so that after this you can more accurately determine how your macros actually need to be, specifically. Because if you know that you're at maintenance, or you're in a deficit, or you're in a surplus, you'll be able to tell by looking at your data on yourself.


    R: Yeah, 100%.


    M: Seeing how your weight progresses depending on what your intake has been.


    R: So even if you're detail-oriented, if your weight is increasing, how much is it increasing - How much per week, how much per two weeks? If it's decreasing, how much is it decreasing? If you're maintaining, are you truly maintaining over the course 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 weeks, or is it such a low deficit or surplus that you think you're at maintenance? Be very aware that DATA on yourself is the ultimate variable here in terms of experience and getting from our referential Point A to Point B - Point A being life before the awareness of IIFYM and Point B being life after the awareness.

    So getting to the SECOND STEP - you already have data on yourself and now you can find your macros. This is where you either reach out to us, like we mentioned, and now we are going on to the second step of ASSUMING you have been told your macros. If you want to know more about the formulas around finding your macros, that's in and of itself a podcast. (To Michelle) Hit me with those formulas, I know you've got some on hand.


    M: Well there's a couple of different popular ones, like the Katch-McCardle, but the one that's currently seen as the most accurate would be the Mifflin-St. Jeor, because it actually takes into consideration your activity level, age, height, weight, all of these factors and


    R: All finding your TDEE - your total daily energy expenditure which is what you base your maintenance intake on, and then move from there with your activity, which this formula takes into consideration, which is why we like it. With all that said, these formulas are JUST formulas for still a basic outline to the individual, and this is where the constant monitoring of your singular individual data comes into the utmost importance - nothing else matters, no one else's macros matter, even at your same body, height, weight, level of activity, you may still have a different level of overall expenditure - where your heart rate is, everything matters, there's too many variables to rely on anything but YOUR data, which is something we want to make extremely clear - so you don't stray off and eat what your buddy's eating, or anything of the sort - even cardio.


    M: And this is why regardless of who you have calculate your macros for you, you can't just take that as the iron word - you take that, and then now you consistently track your intake at THAT LEVEL, and then you'll be able to find if this actually IS accurate, and it's not to blame on the formula because like we just we said, it is still so highly individual, so you have to continue to collect that on yourself after you've been told the numbers that you should be hitting. And then also be honest with yourself about what factors may have affected any weight during that time, so you can't just be looking at the numbers you're hitting but also paying attention to sleep, stress, things of that nature because they will play roles in your weight fluctuations as well. So looking at the whole picture, making sure that you're being honest about all of the factors taken in, seeing if your adherence actually has been as consistent as you're supposed to be. This is a huge step because you can't just think "oh I'm not making progress with these macros" if you're only REALLY adhering about 60% of the time.


    R: This is where I believe the BIG GAP that we are here to try to bridge, is the general public and them not being able to or willing to do the things that are necessary - which is CONSISTENTLY doing something that will make their lives better. And this is our ultimate conundrum here, is IF people will do this for themselves, once we give them all the information. The answer is always going to be NO. But there's still those one or two people that are on the fence that REALLG need help, and that's why the fuck we are here. Those are the only people that matter to us, the people that are looking for the right information that will get them AT LEAST, at least on the right path to finding THEIR individual balance. So after these 1 to 2 to 3 weeks of consistently tracking your intake, and then after getting your macros from us - we give you a set of macros - now you continue to be as consistent as you were, and track these macros. Try to get within +/- 5 grams of carbs and protein, and +/- 1 or 2 grams of fat, so something around there. Overall, even if you’re not consistent with these, the overall weekly consistency of what you're doing - nothing you can do in a day will reverse or get you somewhere you want to be or don’t be. The weeks and months of consistency is what’s gonna overall impact your life. So hopefully the second step was ABUNDANTLY clear that this is where you start to figure out your individual needs in terms of calories - fats, carbs, protein - individually, and how much expenditure you can adhere to over time. This includes weightlifting, this includes cardio - so if you DO NOT like cardio, start to fit this in and regulate your cardio to where you want it to be for the rest of your life - or at least in this phase of eating - you want to lose or gain weight. So all these factors considered, always monitor consistency.


    M: I’ve had a lot of people when they’re wondering about why they are not losing weight, you know - they’re sticking to a certain diet plan, they’ll say “I do cardio roughly one to two times a week, depending, sometimes I have more time for cardio, sometimes I have less.” THAT’S one of the biggest flaws you can make - because if your cardio isn’t consistent, and you think that just by doing SOME cardio each week you’re being consistent  - this is STILL a numbers game where you still have to track how many calories you burned per session, how many sessions consistently.


    R: This is ultimately, the turtle wins the race here - and the turtle is making slow, minuscule, tiny, short steps that accumulate because you can adhere to tiny, short steps. So it’s a great game to run because it’s an ultimate gateway to better self-awareness and if you can’t lie yourself and tell yourself you’ve been consistent, I think you can implement this somewhere else in your life. That’s another reason why we are here, speaking so vocally on this. There’s a lot of good that can come from JUST the prerequisites of starting this lifestyle. Couldn’t say it any better.


    M: Even as we’re saying this, and we’re giving you things that you CAN do, really YOU’RE the only person that’s gonna make that happen, so you have to jump the gun and decide whether or not you really want this for yourself, and how badly you want to do it, you have to make the CHOICE to change. Like my dad, for example, always was overweight, at least in my childhood and so on, and he always KNEW that and he always knew he needed to make a change, but he never actively made a change. And once he DECIDED that he wanted to change, not just PASSIVELY saying “yeah I need to,” he started to track his intake and then he lost 70 pounds just by being CONSISTENT. There were no drastic, aggressive cuts.




    M: Yeah, he still ate all my mom’s homemade Japanese cooking, all that stuff - he just was mindful, tracked everything to a T, weighed his food, all of it. And you know if you want something THAT bad, then you do it.


    R: And the habits that you make during, will ABSOLUTELY influence the way you see food and the way you actually eat for the rest of your life, no matter - you can’t erase the knowledge that you know. You can’t erase the responsibility that you now have because of the knowledge. And this is where we want to trick people into doing the right thing, and making the right choices, and taking responsibility for THEMSELVES, and have fun and do it optimally. This is, again, the best prerequisite to any form of adherence toward any diet there is. This is the ultimate -


    M: It doesn’t segregate itself from any form of eating or any food allergies or anything like that - you can be vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, doesn’t matter - you can eat whatever it is that you can adhere to with your limitations, and whatever you prefer, whatever your food preferences are, that doesn’t matter! Because you’re still tracking the very basic, just core macros, and then the foods that you eat are up to you!


    R: And this is where we stop because this is coming into our third step here. We’ll save that for another time.



    Step 3&4:


    Ryan: Alright, we’re back! Let’s go and move on to Step 3, and this is probably my favorite, because it’s obviously closer to where we’re trying to get everyone on a standard. BUT before we do that, we’re going to recap Step 1 & Step 2. Step 1 - actually getting used to tracking what you’re eating, regardless of what macros or calories you were seemingly consuming without knowing, NOW you know and you’ve moved on to Step 2. So you have AT LEAST a month of tracking your intake, you have a month of experience. So that’s huge, ESPECIALLY in terms of setting habitual practices - you know it takes 2 weeks of anything consistent to INGRAIN in you. So now, you’ve gotten your macros from us, and you have CONSISTENTLY hit those for another one to two weeks, and along with that, you’re like, Michelle said, you’re tracking your weight. So moving on to Step 3.


    Michelle: So now, it’s a matter of what food you are eating. So maybe prior to knowing about IIFYM/flexible dieting, you were eating “clean” so clean eating, what is it? Nobody really knows, because you can’t


    R: Clean eating is a term that has NO objective meaning. It is a term that has been thrown around for a long time, marketers included have utilized this just like the “organic” craze and everything of the sort. So if you’re now moving on to ADHERENCE - the adherence portion of your nutrition - this is going to be your backbone, and we would like you to start off on the RIGHT PATH, ESPECIALLY for you newcomer IIFYMers, this is very important for you to understand. You hear it thrown around, the 80/20 rule - that is a basic guideline for a sustainable way to consume the right balance of micro- and macro- nutrients - fiber included. So 80 being nutrient-rich food, not necessarily high dense cupcakes and stuff like that, because they have no micronutrient value, besides 1 or 2 fiber. But, I think Michelle can expand.


    M: So IIFYM sometimes gets a bad rap, being called the “Pop Tart Diet,” things like that, since it is “If It Fits Your Macros,” some people take it to the extreme and say “Okay, how much of everything can I fit into my macros? How much of the ‘junk food,’ of the things that I used to see as ‘cheat meals,’ how much of that can I fit into my daily intake?”  - not prioritizing what you’re eating, in terms of how it is beneficial to your BODY, when you really should be focusing on that.


    R: Getting the nutrients your body needs to actually PERFORM, which leads us into our number 4 step, but we’ll backtrack for a second. Past the 80/20 rule, what would you recommend NEW people to IIFYM, if they, say they like everything, or say, the opposite spectrum - they have SPECIFIC needs and say they’re allergic, or they’re eating a specific diet that their heritage or religion needs you to follow, or you’re vegan, you’re pescatarian, any of these things - any variation of diet like this, meaning diet I here use as the type of foods you consume. The type of foods you consume are SECOND to how long you can adhere to them. So this is all a matter of what you can be consistent with. So this is where you find your TOP TEN or TOP TWENTY foods you love and consistently can make and consume that are nutrient-rich. Then, the other 20% is the fun foods, or the foods you allot with friends, or family, to keep you in social situations and of course, sane. So there’s a BALANCE of all this that you need to really digest.


    M: A lot of people start out on the wrong foot, because they don’t think about balance first, that usually comes second and we are wanting to avoid the first part where you’re stuffing your face with as much of certain foods, and developing a bad relationship with food that way.


    R: So this is so heavily tied to Step 4, I’m actually just willing to go straight into Step 4 right here - you will not have to worry so much about WHAT types of foods you’re eating, if you move on quickly to Step 4 as TRAINING becomes the first and PRIMARY focus, and then the diet itself becomes secondary to FUELING the performance and the progressive aspect of training or any goals you have in the gym, or pretty much anything progressively overloading on any type of level - whether you’re an endurance athlete, or just a gym rat. So this is where you bypass the first critical steps most slip into, which is eating a bunch of shit, which does not help.


    M: Eating for performance also just changes your mindset with your diet too. It almost enforces a positive relationship with your diet because you’re seeing your food as what you NEED opposed to just what you’re constantly craving or wanting. So you’re actually FUELING your body, not just feeding it.


    R: So basically try to progressively get better at whatever you’re doing physically, and use food as the tool to do this. And you cannot use food as the tool to do this if you do not know the first step, second step, third step. So fourth step is hopefully to get you from second step to fourth step as quick as you can, past the third step - of what type of foods you can eat. We want you to REALLY get quickly past the third step of deciding what I should eat. So move on to WHY you should eat. So use this question as you progress throughout every single day - ask WHY am I eating, always ask yourself this. If it’s for any other reason like boredom? Let’s stray away. So if you can focus on training first, that is a huge, HUGE leap that many have NO IDEA how to get to, because the first, second, and third step are so ambiguous in terms of people even getting on that path. So I hope this was of some benefit to you guys, and on to the FIFTH step. Let’s see if we can knock this out at a later date.


    Step 5:


    Ryan: We’re back. But we’re gonna backtrack. So of course, we like to refer back to Step 1, 2, 3, & 4 to get around to step 5. So Step 1 was going into your phone and getting into MyFitnessPal, getting 1, 2, 3 weeks of tracking in of just normal intake, not necessarily worrying about macros just yet. And then Step 2, would be to FIND your macros, reach out to us, we give you some macros, you take another 1, 2, 3, weeks to hit those macros as close as you can CONSISTENTLY, with all other variables in mind. Then Step 3 would be to start to think about what foods you want to sustainably hit these new macros and this new set of data that you need to record on yourself. And then Step 4 would be to now worry about training to influence how you look more than the diet would.


    Michelle: Eating to train.


    R: And skimming right over Step 3 as fast as you can to Step 4. So Step 2 being finding your macros, and Step 4 being worrying about training and eating for performance, which would lead us straight into, coming right back around to nutrition after Step 4, is worrying about your performance, and then you come right back around to nutrition, again, but you come at it with a different lens. And this is extremely important to overall adherence long term, to why you’re even dieting, why you’re even in the gym. This is, people call it, you have to “live in the grey area.” So living in the grey area, would be not having a specific phase of dieting that you have to be in constantly, you don’t have to be cutting or bulking - where’s the in-between? And that would be the grey area that you want to strive to be able to maintain - that is the ultimate goal, after whatever your short-term goals are with your physique, at least. So, Step 5. You can talk about meal timing now, to enhance your performance, which will enhance what you wanna do with your physique.


    M: Right, so meal timing isn’t gonna directly affect your physical appearance, other than the pump you might get from the carbs, BUT over time with prioritizing your meal timing to affect your performance, you perform better - that means you have a better output in the gym, that means you increase your calorie expenditure and you’re hopefully connecting with your muscles more which means you’re getting more out of the lifting - better strength and hypertrophy gains, which lead to the physical appearance.


    R: Yeah, the end goal. We’re coming around to - you want to always come around to - the awareness of what you really want: your actual goals. So if your actual goals are to look a certain way, realize WHAT it actually is to look that way - is it more muscle? If it is more muscle, forget “tone” - it is either lose, or gain muscle. So when you want to gain muscle, you need to come back around to focusing on your training and specifically, progressive training - how you’re progressing, what terms and what means you are progressing by, what tools you’re using, and how CONSISTENT you are with these tools. So this is all very important, and another STEP in the overall balance and how you find it, and the tools to get there. So we are extremely hopeful this hits home for someone, and our delivery is palatable for you guys. So THANK YOU, if you got this far, this is our FASTEST step, I think. How long has it been, a couple minutes? Alright.



    Read more

  • Q&A

    24 comments / Posted by Ryan Schroers

    This is Coach Ryan here, transcribing some of the questions we received, that we feel can be of value to all of you! We will be updating this regularly as questions come in!  
    Some of these are just questions flat out asking for macros...which we would nt normally include, but we feel this gives plenty reference for how different each individual's set of macros will be, depending on their goals. These are to not show what exactly YOU should eat, but just as a reference to how we approach individual variables. 





    I am currently 4 weeks out of a bikini completion.
    My bf% was last measured at 15%
    I weight 98-99lbs
    Height 4'11.5"
    Lifting heavy 6x a week
    Cardio 6x weekly 1-2 30 hiit sessions
    I want to know what a good reverse diet macro would be to start off after prep!
    Appreciate your company and all the awesome material you put out there! 💪🏽


    Really glad you reached out and sincerely good luck at your show!!!! Keep us updated on how you are, as you start to reverse. We would love to help as that is always a troublesome area for competitors! 
    Saying that, any set of macros i could give you this deep into prep would be highly general as contest prep is a whole different animal when it comes to how your body adapts to the deficit over time.  You will have a new* maintenance calories based on your overall composition post show BUT for our clients we HIGHLY recommend going back to what your maintenance once was before the diet -200 calories.  
     So nearly what you were eating in regards to macronutrient breakdown before you started contest prep. This will allow your metabolism to recover as quickly as possible (which studies show as early as 2 weeks). Another awesome note, is even though you will be gaining back weight and of course fat, you WILL store it differently each time you come out of a diet and especially a contest prep.  And depending on your training intensity (How much total volume) your body will also be able to utilize any extra calories to repair and rebuild, let alone regulate hormones more effectively, which will help in overall distribution!  


    my info:
    5" 4-1/2' inches
    26 years old
    This mornings weight 146.6pds
    I take a probiotic, multi and fish oil from Legion and biotin every morning - any other supps you recommend ?
    I drink almost a gallon of water a day
    I currently go to the gym 5 days a week 1x week cardio session (MISS) - mostly hypertrophy training squatting 1x a week and deadlifting 1x a week since i need to take a step back squatting so much and doing lower back training to heal for now -
    I want to grow my booty lol and also get my core strength and lower back stronger what excercises do you guys recommend?

    I follow the IIFYM lifestyle and i am looking to drop to 135pds very slowly ..
    What should my macros be?
    What could be my maintenance macros once at 135pds ..
    How often should i be switching my macros ?
    What is the most accurate way to figure out my macros on my own?

    Thank you so so much !!!

    A: Based on the general information given we can comfortably start you off at roughly:

    (~1810 calories)
    And keep cardio as is for now!!

    For tracking food intake, I recommend using MyFitnessPal or any other food-tracking app! The ultimate goal is to stay within +/-5g for carbs and protein, and +/-2g for fats! As you track your macros, you do not need to pay attention to the total calories as that will stay relatively the same as long as you are hitting your macros! 
    It looks like you're taking the most essential supps - the only other supplement I would recommend, but isn't absolutely necessary, is creatine! (see our Blog on Creatine!)
    For adjusting your macros and cardio, we would recommend using the free weekly Check in log in the accountability section of our site - you can log your weekly progress and best determine how to make changes each week. If your weekly weight average doesn't decrease at the rate you want it to, or at all, after one week, then you can adjust either macros, cardio, or both. You can take away macros from fats or carbs or both - whatever your personal eating preference is! Macro adjustments should be considered weekly - but may not be needed every week, depending on the progress you are making. This is why progress pictures are important too!
    To determine your maintenance macros at your goal weight, you would have to experiment, particularly after dieting for some time - finding the accurate macros, regardless of calculation, does require some trial and error to see how your body responds. Overall, progressive training volume is going to be the variable to success in regards to eating more and achieving your physique, over time. 


    Q: How do you calculate drinking alcohol into your macros?

    A: Great question! Alcohol is its own macro - 7 calories/gram. Hard to attach "nutrient" onto that, as alcohol carries no nutritional value, in regards to short or long term health. If you scan the alcohol into MFP, it should come up with the amount of calories in a serving! You can track those calories as carbs or fats, and adjust the rest of the day accordingly! For example, if I have a glass of red wine, it'll be most likely 120 calories for a 4 oz serving. If I have one glass, I can track it as 30g of carbs or as 13g fat, or a mixture of the two!


    Q: Female

    Age: 42
    Height: 5'6
    Current weight:  149ish. 
    Activity level: at work, sedentary (1 of 5 activity level)
    Cardio: I do 1 hour 7 days a week of cardio stair master on level 9 and 10
    Training routine: 30 minutes of weight training alternate leg and arm days and 1 hour of cardio.  Saturdays I will do 45 minutes of weight training. I would love to lose some weight without feeling the diet feels. I have tracked on my fitness pal but I end up being consumed by the numbers and being hard on myself. Do u think I need to do more weight training? 

    A: Based on your information, here are your starting macros:

    (~1910 calories)

    For tracking food intake, I recommend using MyFitnessPal or any other food-tracking app - which it seems you already do! The ultimate goal is to stay within +/-5g for carbs and protein, and +/-2g for fats! As you track your macros, you do not need to pay attention to the total calories or the ratios, as they will stay relatively the same as long as you are hitting your macros!

    We recommend heavily tapering down cardio, and decreasing as needed from week to week based on your progress. I would say initially cut down to 15-20 mins of cardio for each session, then cut down the number of sessions as you progress! If you have the time, I would also add in one more day of lifting! If you don't, I would recommend increasing the training volume and intensity in your lifting sessions to increase your calorie expenditure! You can do so by adding in sets, reps, decreasing rest periods, or turning some of the exercises into supersets! Each training session should typically last for 45-60 mins each session. The progressive weight lifted over time will be the ultimate variable in terms of you achieving your goal physique and body fat %.

    Q: Is it worth upgrading MFP so that I have more control over the app and can better control my macros in grams and have more details available to me? I only use the free version right now but it seems very limiting on my ability to track my macros in grams and such like that. It's $50 a year, so that's only about $5 a month, I was just wondering if you guys personally use the premium version and if the yearly fee is worth it? 

    A:  We personally use the free version. We manually set my calorie goal and then don't pay much attention to the macro goals that the app sets for us. BUT, saying this, we always try and get our mind off food in general, so paying for an app that heightens our focus food would be counter productive. It's all about preference and what it will take for YOU to adhere to this long term. 

    Q: What foods would you recommend me have more of, and foods and food groups to eat less of to help me maintain weight and help lose without starving my muscles and feeding my body properly?

    A: There are no magic foods that will have benefits in terms of weight loss - the overall intake is what matters most. I recommend practicing an 80/20 or 90/10 rule - 80-90% of your intake coming from nutrient-dense foods like lean protein, vegetables, and the like, and the remainder of your intake coming from more "fun," less nutrient-dense foods like candy or cookies, etc. This will allow you to have balance in your diet, helping you reach your goals and keeping your health in check through getting your micros as well!


     Q: And to go along with those macros what would you suggest calorie-wise? Also are the micros important? Specifically wondering what approximate sugar and sodium would go along with those. 


    A: Those Macros actually end up to be around 2100 calories!

    But i wouldn't worry about tracking calories if you are already tracking macronutrients.
    1 gram of carb= 4 calories
    1 gram of protein = 4 calories 
    1 gram of fat = 9 calories
    so basically if you are tracking Macros, you are tracking calories by default!
    Micros Definitely play a part of your overall health long term and immediately in regards to water retention/other subtle variances, but sodium is not something you need to worry about tracking long term. Nothing will come of a high sodium intake if potassium is not being neglected over the course of several weeks/months.  Other micros can be accounted for with a good "greens" product, multi vitamin each day, fish/krill oil product, etc ! Hope this helps!
    Q:   How much cardio should i do daily/weekly to lose stomach fat but without losing too much of my muscle? What if I cut off more carbs than what you recommend? For example, I would eat more protein but fewer carbs (vegetables). Would there be any negative effects in my journey of gaining muscle? 
    A:  Unfortunately it's not possible to spot reduce fat. By lifting intensely, consistently and progressively, your body will recomp and you may end up being leaner in your stomach area, but that is highly genetic. If instead of gaining muscle, you prefer to solely focus on losing fat, then you would need to adjust your macros accordingly and add in some cardio. I would recommend starting off with minimal cardio and gradually increasing as needed, based off of your weekly progress.  In regards to Protein and Carb ratios...Carbs are a necessity when aiming to grow - protein is important, but eating excess protein and fewer carbs is not proven to improve muscle gain. If your goal was solely to lose fat, carbs could be cut, but swapping carbs for protein will not positively affect your progress of gaining muscle. 
    Q:  Hey! I've doing great with my new macros I was just curious in how would I incorporate cheat meals/days into my diet.  Or do you not recommend
    A: Thats a Great question!  In regards to having cheat meals id say look at the foods you are most looking forward to "cheating with" and try to incorporate them into your everyday diet (in moderation and proportions that will fit your macros and not leave you hungry for the day). The more you can sustainably do this and the less you think about cheating, the easier this will all be long term! Let me know if that helps or makes sense!  
    "Refeeds" however occur when you are in a deficit of calories and you need to restore glycogen for either mental or physical sustainability. But these are very controlled and are only usually an increase in carbs alone. 
    Q:  What type of situation would I need to refeed?  What's y'all a take on reverse dieting and body recomposition?
    A: the type of situation would be deep into a cutting phase when you mentally need it after several months of dieting! 
    In regards to "reverse dieting", the phrase in and of itself has no direct or specific meaning! It's just the term labeled for any protocol post cutting phase. Usually used after a contest preparation.  In regards to this term and body composition, the BIG variable to both of these is training intensity and increased volume of weight lifted over time. The more you lift, the smarter you lift, the better your body will look and store fat!
    Q: How do I know what my macros should be on rest days? 
    A: This is up to your individual preference. If you prefer to have high carb days and low carb days throughout the week, we recommend having your high carb days on the days where you train most intensely, and having lower carb days on rest days. If you prefer to have one set of macros to stick to everyday, you can do this by calculating your macros based off of your average overall activity level. It makes tracking simpler when your macros are the same everyday!
    Q: Is it okay to weigh my food with measuring cups and spoons? I don't have a food scale.
    A: Yes you can weigh your food with cups and spoons, but the measurements will not be as accurate as they would be with a food scale. However, if you do not have a good scale, it simply becomes a matter of being consistent in your method of measuring. As long as you track and measure your food the same way each time, you will have high precision therefore, better tracking.
    Q: I wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Is it okay for me to get up and have something like a handful of fruit or nuts? Or does that totally ruin my progress if I get up to eat?
    A: Regardless of what food it is that you eat when you get up, if you are eating more than your daily intake allows, you will not make as much progress because you are not being fully honest about your intake when tracking. If you are waking up hungry in the middle of the night, I would recommend eating later in the evening before bed. The time that you eat does not have an effect on your body composition. Staying in bed and going back to sleep is important, because if you choose to get up and completely take yourself out of sleep, it will completely disrupt your circadian rhythm. Bad quality sleep does affect weigh ins, as your body will not be as efficient in digesting if it is not sleeping enough. Sleep itself is most likely the issue, so try taking small doses of melatonin or natural remedies that aid in sleep, and see how that affects your nighttime hunger - do you wake up in the middle of the night? Or sleep straight through?
    Q: Should I weigh my food cooked or uncooked?
    A: It is always recommended to weigh your food cooked for the best accuracy, but like measuring tools, using the same method every time is the most important factor. MyFitnessPal has both versions of the food in its global database, so you can track your food either way - just keep it consistent!

    Read more

  • CREATINE...Absolutely essential or Useless???

    43 comments / Posted by Ryan Schroers

    CREATINE... Absolutely Essential of Downright Useless???


    This was an article written by Brendyn Smith (aka @ThebarbellBiochemist) who is a Biochemistry Student doing incredible Biosynthesis Research at MSU. 

        "Creatine is a compound found naturally in foods such as meat and fish, but not in amounts that would yield the effects that higher doses would elicit. That’s where supplemental creatine comes in. Creatine works by helping the body create a very important molecule in the liver called phosphocreatine or PCr. When muscles contract, they utilize the energy stored in the phosphate bonds in ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate). When this happens, ATP is no longer adenosine TRIphosphate (3 phosphate groups), rather it becomes adenosine DIphosphate (two phosphate groups). Phosphate groups hold high energy bonds that release a ton of energy when the bonds are broken (like in muscle contraction). Getting back to PCr, once this molecule is synthesized by the liver it is shuttled to muscle via the bloodstream. When phosphocreatine arrives at the muscle, it “releases” the phosphate group (removed by creatine kinase) and attaches that same phosphate group back on to ADP to make ATP. Essentially, creatine acts as a phosphate shuttle. If PCr levels are elevated via creatine supplementation, that means that more ADP can become ATP. The muscle now has more available energy, hence the reason creatine is sold as a “strength booster”. I hope this clears up any misconceptions people had about creatine! The phosphocreatine-ATP energy system is an elemental part of exercise and strength performance."

    Read more


    10 comments / Posted by Ryan Schroers

    Nootropics: History, Usage, and Subtypes

    by Brendyn Smith 


  • ​Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student at Michigan State University
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology Minor
  • Undergraduate Researcher at MSU
  • National Science Foundation REU Intern Summer 2016
    • ​Working on large scale biosynthesis of pharmaceutically relevant amino acids.


    Today’s competitive and fast-paced world leaves many of us looking for something that gives us the extra edge when tackling life’s demanding tasks.  Be it academics, entrepreneurship, a 9-5, athletics, or just life in general, most of us are looking to get ahead as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  With the recent insights that modern science and medicine have granted us, high-achieving individuals now have the privilege of exploring interesting ways to hack their neurobiology and cognitive productivity with various compounds known as “nootropics.”


    Although ancient ayurvedic and mind-altering medicine has been documented for a few hundred years, the term “nootropic” was first used by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in 1972 upon his synthesis and discovery of piracetam (the pioneer compound in the world of nootropics).  Below is Dr. Giurgea’s original criteria for defining nootropics:


    • The substance should enhance memory and ability to learn.
    • The substance should help the brain function under disruptive conditions, such as hypoxia (low oxygen) and electroconvulsive shock.
    • The substance should protect the brain from chemical and physical assaults, such as anti-cholinergic drugs and barbiturates.
    • The substance should increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms in cortical and sub cortical regions of the brain.
    • The substance should lack a generalized sedative or stimulatory effect. It should possess few-no side effects and be virtually non toxic.


    * I personally would classify both stimulants and anxiolytic (anxiety reducing or sedative substances) as nootropics, contrary to Giurgea’s final criterion.  I would also classify an ingredient that has brain repairing/protecting properties to be a nootropic as well.


    Since the 70’s, modern science has allowed biologists, chemists, and biochemists to unveil the plethora of natural and synthetic ingredients that have favorable efficacy on the central nervous system and the mind.


    This blog isn’t meant to go into the breadth of scientific topics relating to nootropics, rather it is an introductory post to help people understand a bit more on the subject.  Later posts will likely cover more precise and focused topics on various ingredients and how they work.  The rest of this blog will cover what nootropics are and are not, as well as some ingredients classified by subtype to give people content to explore.


    What nootropics ARE NOT:

    • The limitless pill from the movie Limitless
    • A cure for poor work ethic
    • A studying replacement
    • A replacement for sleep deprivation
    • Free of any and all side effects


    What nootropics ARE:

    • An aid to help you maximize productivity and mental acuity
    • Can help improve motivation, memory, and learning
    • Relevant for people from all different backgrounds and careers
    • Naturally derived or synthetic
    • Generally safe and well tolerated


    With that I’ll leave a little analogy to help people understand how nootropics can be used.  Think of nootropics as a turbocharger on a car engine.  Your mind is the engine and nootropics are the turbocharger.  A turbocharger in a car doesn’t work unless the engine is already working.  Likewise, the turbocharger may not even kick into full gear until it reaches an optimum RPM.  Keep you RPM’s too low (have low work ethic) or too high (run yourself into the ground), and the turbos won’t work at optimum levels.  Find that sweet “RPM” spot in your life and use nootropics to bring yourself to a higher level.


    To finish this post, I’ll leave you all with a pseudo-comprehensive list of common natural and synthetic nootropics out on the market today.  Below is by no means a full list.  I encourage the use of examine.com and Reddit forums (for general advice) to narrow down your research and learn more about certain ingredients.  Understand that the following ingredients work via different mechanisms and have different biological effects. Some may repair brain cells, others may act on neurotransmitter receptors, and another might be a wakefulness promoting agent.  Please keep in mind that stacking, or taking ingredients in conjunction with another, may have undesirable side effects.  Do proper research before taking any of the following ingredients.  That being said, all of these ingredients are generally safe when taken as suggested.


    Naturally Derived/Occurring:


    • Ashwagandha
    • Bacopa Monnieri
    • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
    • Rhodiola Rosea
    • L-Theanine
    • Pyritinol (similar to Vitamin B6)
    • 5-HTP
    • Huperzine A
    • Galantamine
    • Ginkgo Biloba
    • Curcumin
    • Mucuna Pruriens
    • Alpha-GPC
    • Creatine
    • Skullcap
    • ALCAR
    • Phosphatidylserine
    • Tyrosine


    Synthetic or Pharmaceutical (may require prescription):

  • Modafinil
  • Armodafinil
  • Bromantan
  • Adrafinil
  • Metaprot
  • PRL-8-53
  • Selank
  • Semax
  • Racetams (see https://examine.com/supplements/racetam/)
  • Noopept
  • Phenibut
  • Sunifram
  • Unifram
  • Sulbutiamine
  • IDRA-21
  • Centrophenoxine
  • CDP-Choline
  • *Disclaimer: I or IIFYM do not condone the use of pharmaceuticals without a prescription.

Read more


    10 comments / Posted by Ryan Schroers

    *Why I stay PED Free*
    I've touched on this numerous times over the past couple years but I'd love to delve a little deeper this time as it reveals a bit more about my 'why' and how I've stayed consistent.
    It's actually quite simply now that I think about it... Seems the deeper I go in this thought the simpler it gets. I stay *Anabolic* Drug Free for one reason:
    It's not about me.
    All of this..my physique, my journey, my consistency in the gym over a decade, my consistent nutrition over the years...it's not for or about me. It's about the future generations of this planet. It's specifically about my future kin. When my son or daughter or nephew or niece asks me how I did this..how I looked the way I did in all these SicPics...I won't have to lie and tell them it was perfect nutrition and dedication. I can say that honestly. That's all that matters to me. It's about the progression of a new breed of people that search for knowledge over time..instead of instant gratification. Soon (relatively speaking) Skinny Natural bodybuilders such as myself will not be the minority.
    The fitness industry itself is built upon The marketability of Freaks..yes. But what Natural bodybuilder wants to be seen as the obvious Natural...the goal is to always look like a fucking alien and More and More Natural freaks are being bread. The only controversy now is because of the lack of knowledge on what is possible naturally. There will become a time when the industries customers catch on to what is possible without PEDs. Maybe then @dougmillerpro will get the credit he deserves LOL.
    Side note... I lay zero judgement towards those who have indulged. Bodybuilding aside there are certain genres of life, different sports, age ranges that call for the use of PEDs to which I have no qualms.

    Read more