This is an article I wrote nearly 2 years ago. I’m re-sharing it here to help show the path I first started out on back in April of 2015. As you can probably infer, this was a life changing experience for me as I’ve gone from student to teacher!
I’ve been a self proclaimed nutrition nerd since I first started Crossfit in 2009. I have LONG history of “dieting” and internal struggles with what I truly believed eating “healthy” means. I’ve been through The Zone, low carb Paleo, HCG, Carb Backloading, back to paleo, all of it. Many people in the CrossFit world preach that paleo is the only way to go. I have believed this in the past, but am proud to say that my understanding of nutrition has expanded and I’ve accepted that there is a better way to fuel MY body. Paleo is too extreme for me. I have learned that I don’t want my daily food choices to be classified as “bad” or “good”. I LOVE food. I want to enjoy my food. I’ve been searching for what I think we all want, I want to eat food I like eating, work hard in the gym and be comfortable in my own skin. Is that so much to ask???
Around some time in April of 2015, I decided to make a change. I decided that I needed to swallow my pride and hire a coach. I was at the end of my rope and didn’t know what else to do. I was so unhappy with my body, energy levels and mood. I wanted to be more and was ready to take whatever steps I needed to in order to make that happen. I did my research; a lot of it. I managed to find my way to Jason and to say we “hit it off” would be an understatement.
Jason listened to my goals and my history with food. I can remember telling him that I had absolutely no interest in eating for athletic performance. My issue was that I was so ashamed of how my body looked, especially as a CrossFit coach and I wanted was to feel better about myself. At this point I wasn’t really working out either. I would coach my classes, back squat or deadlift every now and then and feel sorry for myself most of the time. Jason assured me he could help me. He gave me my initial plan which looked like below (going from memory):
Daily Intake: 165g of protein, 175g of carbs, 90g of fat
*He also gave me specific plans for pre and post workout, as well as supplementation.
I followed this plan as close as I could for 1 week. I lost almost 2lbs instantly. Did I mention this breaks down into almost 2100 calories a day? PLUS I was eating more carbs than I had ever eaten before. Most females struggling with body fat are trying to consume 1000-1200 cals a day on a low carb diet. Most notably, my energy shifted 100%. 7 days after following my plan from Jason, I was ready to get back to training and would be joining the Competitive CrossFit track. I’ve LOVED every minute being back on that Competitive track training with amazing athletes again. This would not have happened if I didn’t change the way I was fueling my body.
Since that initial week, Jason and I have checked- in once a week for the past 2.5 years. The more fat I’m able to drop, the more food he allows into my program. The goal is never “dieting”. The intention is to give me as much food as possible while still keeping me on track to reach my goals. Read that again. I’m eating MORE food and MORE carbs and still losing body fat. This is the part where you are probably confused and wondering if this plan will work for you. It will. I have more thoughts which are best shared in bullet point form. These are also the most common questions I get asked about my experience.
- I would not classify myself as “paleo”. I eat quality meats when I can but I also eat dairy to help me reach my daily protein goals. I also eat bread and enjoy a sandwich often. I also love cereal and tapioca pudding. White rice is probably my most favorite food.
- I work out 4-5 times per week- not because I have to, but because I love it.
- I frequent Chipotle often. I’ve found that if I go to the same location enough times, they will remember me and have no problem making my burrito bowl exactly the way I like it. I know my bowl has 8 oz of white rice, 4 oz of steak, 1 oz cheese and 3 oz of corn.
- My daily carb intake has increased from 175g daily to 280g daily while my scale weight has dropped from 163 to 144 during the past 8 months.
- As of Sunday January 17th 2016, I have lost a total of 17lbs and nearly 8% body fat.
- If you want to see EXACTLY what I’ve been eating for 111 straight days, feel free to check out MyFitnessPal profile.
- Invest in a kitchen food scale. You’ll need to teach yourself “what is what”. For example 4 oz of chicken is roughly 25g of protein, 8 oz of white rice is roughly 45g of carbs, ect… you’ll need to learn how to build your meals around your allotted macro plan provided by your coach.
- The very same day I hit my first goal of 150lbs (13lbs down) and I got my very first muscle-up. I had been doing CrossFit for 8 years without ever doing a Muscle up. The following week (or 2) I also took my first steps of a handstand walk!
- I no longer fit into any of my clothes. Shopping for new clothes in smaller sizes is fun.
- YES this will WORK for you if you put in the WORK.