Whaddup my little fitties?!
Today, I wanted to share my experience since I follow a strict bro diet and why I prefer that method for prep vs IIFYM.
Before we get to the good stuff, you probably want to check out my last post with guests Brit Brinkman and Tara Balduf. They shared their story of using an IIFYM approach.
Again, let me re-emphasize that what works for me doesn’t mean you will have success with it. It doesn’t mean my way is perfect. It doesn’t mean IIFYM is bad. It’s just what works for ME.
Can you achieve the look you want with either method? Hells yes!
My nutrition for competition prep is 16 weeks of clean foods, low sodium and zero cheat meals. What do I mean by clean foods? Chicken, steak, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, oats, sweet potato, almonds, oils, protein powders, eggs, etc. = BRO DIET. It’s the standard diet that people think of when they hear the term “bodybuilding.”
Although some people who use a bro diet are allowed to use mustard, hot sauce, skinny coffee syrups, water drops, etc I do not throughout my entire prep. I don’t even eat peanut butter until the day before stage. Supah clean, folks.
10 Reasons Why I LOVE My Bro Diet:
SPEEDY DIGESTION – The foods that Keith puts on my meal plan are chosen strategically. Yes, green beans and brussel sprouts are healthy, but they digest slow, so I don’t even consume those. I love that all of my food digests efficiently and my body turns into a metabolism machine!
LOW SODIUM – Since I don’t use any packaged foods (besides plain oats) I never have to worry about hidden sodium. Did you know that even sugar free coffee syrups often have sodium?! It’s crazy. It’s sneaky. It also makes it hard to suck water off before hitting the stage. We also choose supplements that are low or no sodium. (Mind you, it’s not good to get super low because that can cause hyponatremia, but it is safe to just cut it back)
BLOOD SUGAR – My food for each meal is planned to cause my body to have a certain insulin response. These little peaks during the day have a different effect than if I macro hoarded and ate all of my carbs before bed. I feel that macro timing is just as important as counts.
LESS ARTIFICIAL – I find that when I do follow an IIFYM plan, I start eating more artificial sweetener and packaged foods. Granted, you can’t eat perfectly all the time, but I do feel my best when I am eating whole foods. I also have had an itching issue with an ingredient I can pinpoint (started during pregnancy) and it comes back when I stop following my bro diet. Sneaky devil ingredients…
MICRONUTRIENTS – The foods that I eat are loaded with micronutrients that I might not be getting if I was eating sugar free jello as my snack. I love that I get loaded up on iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, etc and don’t have to read labels to make sure I’m getting it all.
ABSORPTION – I’ve read articles stating that artificial sweeteners can actually block nutrient absorption since they don’t get digested and simple pass through the body. I’m not sure if that’s 100% true, but either way, if I eat clean foods, I know my body is absorbing them.
RECOVERY – I find that I recover quickly and have virtually zero soreness when I eat whole foods. They fuel my body so perfectly. I sleep like an angel. I wake up with energy. I also don’t have energy crashes like I used to.
I’M STUPID – I don’t have the time or expertise to count my macros all day. I love that my diet is virtually effortless and I don’t have to calculate every meal. It’s all planned, I just have to cook it up and eat it. I easily get overwhelmed with the variety of options I could have on IIFYM and stress way too much about counting.
SELF CONTROL/CRAVINGS – I would not be able to control portions with an IFFYM diet. #ALLTHEPANCAKES #ALLCAPS. When I have access to sweet foods, I want more of them and honestly my cravings increase and I will binge.
I SHINE – I’m not kidding, my skin becomes flawless when I eat super clean bro diet. The healthy fats and nutrients make my skin smooth and healthy. I rarely wear makeup these days! I also shine on stage meaning I achieve the look I want so I follow the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Do I still get crabby that I can’t have my cake and eat it too? Of course! I want to make cauli oats, protein pancakes and smash on some Quest bars!
But try to be as creative as I can while sticking to my meal plan (see my bro waffle). I can’t live without coffee so instead of creamer I procaffeinate instead of using sugar free syrups.
☕️⏱ cawfee time! ⏱☕️ Want to know how I procaffeinate (protein + caffeinate) while on a strict nutrition plan? 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 My nutrition plan from Keith does not allow these, but I am totally okay with it! 🚫 Milk 🚫 Sugar free syrups 🚫 Milk substitutes (almond milk, etc) Here’s how I make my own latte but stay right on track! Go to the nearest Starbs, get an iced Americano (black espresso with water) and mix it with your whey isolate. I don’t even miss lattes! #NoCarbs #AllTheProtein #Procaffeinate #StarbsLife
I use a lot of Mrs. Dash seasonings for flavor and after about six months of prep, I am still not sick of any of my food. Here’s an easy tuna salad that I whipped up the other day but kept it 100% prep friendly!
The verdict is in… I ate Nemo and didn’t gag! 🐟 R E C I P E below! 👇🏼 ………… For those who don’t know me, I HATE seafood. It grosses me out to the point that if someone orders it at a restaurant and I smell it, I can’t eat my food. 😷 but I am willing to try new things and love trying to make food fit my prep (strict bro diet) so I won this time! ………… 4 oz low sodium white albacore 3 oz cucumber chopped 3 oz tomato chopped 1 green onion chopped 1 T ACV 3 romaine leaves Dried mustard to taste Dried dill to taste Mrs Dash jalapeño to taste ……………. Mix everything in a bowl then spread into the lettuce leaves. If you prep allows condiments like mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, etc you can get more creative. E N J O Y! #lunch #brodiet #keto #protein #tuna #cleaneats #tunasalad #bikinicompetitor #whatfitgirlseat #carbcycling #lowcarb A photo posted by Kayla🔅Variety By Vashti🔅 (@kaylavashti) on
I truly feel that the bro diet is the best option for me during prep even though other people might feel too restricted.
During off-season, I use an IIFYM approach to try and keep my macros somewhat on point but enjoy foods I love. The first few weeks are definitely a bit strange and I do have to re-learn how to enjoy “cheat” foods without feeling guilty, but I know that it just takes time and practice just like anything else in life.
Do you! You should be able to ROCK your prep and not be a f*cking miserable troll. 😉