Archive for April, 2012

IIFYM: Freedom diet


Gone are the days when we only need to eat chicken breast and just broccoli to lose body fat unless you’re on RFL diet which again depends on the context of scenario. Thanks to this research that at equal calories and macronutrient composition of meals yields the same hormonal responses so bye-bye clean eating for good. Clean eating is a diet program based on the idea that the best way to eat is to abundantly enjoy whole foods — that is, foods as close to their natural state and you can get them. This means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed foods or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats. Many on the plan don’t count calories, but instead trust in good quality, healthy food. There’s really nothing wrong in this diet but the real problem is the false belief that it creates to avoid consumption of certain types of foods such as processed foods and other highly refined stuff.

Losing weight is easy

It is at least in the beginning but the real challenge is keeping the weight off that has been lost. If you have tried some kind of dieting of some sort, I’m pretty much sure that you can relate to what I’m talking about. All diets work but of most of the popular diets work in the beginning because first, you still have a lot of weight to lose so any minor dietary or activity or lifestyle changes(or all of the above) produces results. Secondly, most of these diets work because these diets restricts food types that contains many calories. But the question is, how long can you refrain from eating the foods that you want to eat? In reality, there are two reasons why we fail to achieve our weight/ fat loss goal:

1.) The diet fails us because it is so restrictive that’s why–

2.) The dieter fails to stick to the diet

There is a popular saying that the best diet is the one you can adhere to. This is true because if we only analyze it carefully, what builds something also maintains it so it just makes an absolute sense to choose a diet that will last for good. This is the same concept that I apply to my everyday life and it is known as the IIFYM diet(If It Fits Your Macros). The power of the psychosomatic boost of eating the foods we love while dieting is severely underrated while the propaganda of eating only healthy foods while dieting is overrated. For some reasons, most of us were brought to believed that we need to eat healthy foods to lose weight but the truth is, eating healthily has nothing to do with weight/ fat loss because it boils down to creating calorie deficit but of course, it is always optimal to aim for both. There is a big difference between eating 100% clean foods and eating 100% processed foods because there are going to be problems from both spectrums so keep in mind that there is somewhere in the middle and that is called moderation.

The problem with the clean eating only diet is the psychological boredom factor plus the wrong dogma that there are foods that should be avoided because they are fattening alone which is incorrect because fat gain is caused by chronic consumption of calorie surplus. On the other hand, basing your diet on 100% processed foods or junk foods will lead to nutrient deficiency thus, most processed foods aren’t highly satiating. The only benefit of eating such foods is to maintain the sanity of the dieter and to rid that feeling of restraint from restrictive diets while seeing results. How cool is that?

How does IIFYM works?

The only requirements of IIFYM diet is that you have to eat by numbers. Obviously, you need to track your calorie intake. Take advantage of technology. The rising popularity of smart phones made calorie tracking much easier. And also, you need to invest on a food scale preferably the digital kind(for convenience and better accuracy) but the analog kind will work just fine too. The next step is to set your fitness goal whether it’s to gain weight, lose weight or even to maintain it in order for you to determine if how many calories you need to consume to meet that specific goal. And finally, the last step is to determine your macronutrient proportion. Losing, gaining or maintaining weight strongly depends on the amount of total calories but the body composition relies on macronutrient proportion.

In setting up the macro proportion(IIFYM part), you must first establish your protein needs. The “ideal” protein intake is highly controversial but for satiety purposes, aiming for 0.8-1.5 grams/ lb. of target body weight or existing LBM(if you know it) seems to be optimal. Once you set your protein intake, you must set your fat intake. To get your fat intake in grams, aim for your target body weight divided by 2.0-2.5 and the quotient will be your fat intake in grams and the rest of the calories may come from carbohydrates or whichever food you prefer IIFYM duh!

For example, let’s say I need 2,000 calories a day just to maintain my body weight/ body composition at 132 lbs. My diet would look something like this:

2,000 calorie IIFYM diet


132 grams x (4kcal/g) = 528 calories


132 divided by 2.5 = 52.8(or 59 grams) x(9kcal/g) = 475 calories

Now, let’s add the protein and fat calories

528 + 475 = 1,003

Now, my goal calories for the day which is 2,000 – 1,003 = 997 calories as my remaining calorie budget which can be taken from whichever food that I want. Personally, I like eating my remaining calories from carbohydrates because I like them.

To make your IIFYM diet even more flexible, even the protein and fats calories can be taken from virtually anything. Personally, I would limit the fast food intake though because not only that most fast foods are caloric dense, you can mostly spend my fats and carbohydrates budget in one sitting otherwise, there’s really nothing wrong on eating fast foods IIFYM. I have a habit of posting everything that I eat on my Facebook so that people would see that I can eat anything that I want while staying lean.

Share and enjoy.

Zumba: What’s the verdict?


You don’t have to be a dancer to have a dancer’s body.

~Zumba TV commercial

Well, yeah exactly. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to do Zumba to have a dancer’s body LOL! What’s the logic behind that? Now, let me explain. Zumba is a type of an aerobic activity just like low intensity jogging, biking, swimming or what have you. Aerobic exercise causes oxidation to occur in your muscles, requiring your body to burn fat. Low to moderate-intensity exercise burns more fat from energy substrates standpoint during the workout than vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise. However, the more calories you burn during a workout, the more fat you will lose overall and the quicker you will shed pounds. Take note though that the amount of the calories you burned during exercise is only a part of the big picture. What matters more is the total amount of calories burned at the end of the day or week if weight loss is the goal. But, remember that we are simply talking about the output part here of the energy balance.


To burn fat, you must achieve a state of caloric deficit through decreasing your calorie intake or through increasing your energy expenditure or both. When you consume fewer calories than you burn, your body will have to draw on stored fat for energy. Doing both might be optimal since you want to lose weight/ fat the healthy way. Since that we are talking about what is optimal, ideally speaking, if one chooses to do Zumba classes to lose weight, they should also incorporate some resistance training program to prevent or minimize muscle loss. Remember that your goal is to have a dancer’s body(the lean and toned look), not to be skinny fat. I bet that those models in the Zumba TV commercial were doing/ have done some resistance training of some sort that’s why they look like that or they’re simply genetic freaks.


The number of calories a workout burns depends on your weight as well as the length and intensity of the workout. The longer and the more vigorous the workout, the more calories it will burn. Meaning to say that the longer you do a Zumba dance class, the more calories you will burn because obviously, you are basically moving more.


Yeah, I know that it’s that matters to you and in fact, you may even say that you know X and Y who have done Zumba classes and they’ve seen results. Of course, everything and anything will yield results. Make a former sedentary person do something is a lot better than not doing anything at all! A lot of times, these people whom you’re talking about who have seen results were also watching their calorie intake and they’re not just doing Zumba classes.


There’s really nothing wrong nor special about doing Zumba. That is not what I was trying to imply in this post. My point is if you are seeking for that dancer’s body just like the ones in the Zumba TV commercial, you need to do it the optimal way as I have described above. Does Zumba works for weight loss? Absolutely! Just make sure that you create a calorie deficit. The best thing about Zumba is probably it’s concept of having fun(if you like dancing) while doing some aerobic exercise at the same time. Fitness is not a switch. Successful long-term weight management heavily relies on lifestyle changes such as choosing a diet that you can stick to as well as choosing an activity and exercise that you can adhere to.

Why TF did Starbucks become a fashion statement?


Seriously, I mean why?? If you’re reading this blog, you may think that I am just someone who is bitter or a Starbucks hater. Well, don’t get me wrong. I love coffee; in fact, I even wrote a blog about it which includes Starbucks coffee. In my honest observation, to some folks who were hanging around in Starbucks caf├ęs, these people somewhat created a perception that they belong to cool kids category just because they can effing afford a luxury coffee.

In fact, some of my friends on Facebook even tweets and posts in their status message that they went to Starbucks as if there’s a big deal that “they are in Starbucks.” It’s probably like wearing a signature clothes or owning a designer bag but come on, we effing go to Starbucks to effing enjoy their coffee! I don’t mind other people’s business but how the heck did our society created this distorted perception that we gotta own expensive things to be more acceptable in the society? I could somewhat understand from a fitness perspective because I am a fitness enthusiast and getting fit is also a fashion statement.

I occasionally stop by to some local Starbucks to grab some coffee despite of their expensive coffee because I like their coffee and as a coffee enthusiast myself, I can distinguish the difference between a cheap coffee and a quality coffee. Some people probably hangs around in Starbucks because of free wifi or simply because they also love coffee but it’s an undeniable fact that some folks were really just hanging in Starbucks just because they consider it as an inclusion to their fashion statement.