5 Ways Proper Nutrition Can Take Your Training to the Next Level (BONUS: Sample Eating Plan)
At eighteen I was at my highest weight, 220 pounds and clinically obese for my age and body composition. There were things I wanted to do, but couldn’t because my weight held me back. So I decided to do what I could. I started getting up every morning to run on the treadmill but quickly realized exercise was only part of the solution. I got interested in nutrition and how food affected the body. Over the course of a few years, I continued to add knowledge to my journey and lost over 90lbs. From my own experience, I’ve seen five ways proper nutrition can take your training to the next level.
Sustained Energy = Better WOD
Most people don’t eat enough throughout the day. When I learned to eat small protein and nutrient-dense meals throughout the day I felt how eating those small meals more often kept my blood sugar level and gave me sustained energy to “get it all done” without feeling sluggish. What was an even greater discovery was how it helped me in my workout. I was able to keep the same pace in a 24 min WOD as I was in a 10 min WOD because my body burned the very best fuel I could give it.
Better Sleep = More Consistency
Feeding your body the proper foods on a regular basis helps you get the proper, deep and restorative sleep you need. It also helps your body require less sleep which is a huge aid in getting up early. When you sleep well you wake rested which helps you stay consistent in showing up to the gym. The more you show up, the better you get. The proper nutrition only aids in better sleep because you’re not having to “sleep off” junk.
The difference between the changed and the unchanged is not just knowledge, but the application of knowledge
Focused Mind = Better Technique
When you’re not feeding your body sugar-laden, heavy fried, or empty calorie foods and drinks, your mind will be clearer and your thinking will be sharp. When you have a focused mind you will be able to concentrate on technique and form in the gym instead of just “getting through it.” When you’re doing a move with the right technique and form, you feel it. When your clean is clean and your snatch is pretty that boost of confidence goes a long way to help you get the most out of your workout.
Quicker Recovery = Faster to Excel
Crossfit workouts are tough. They are designed to push us to our max. If we don’t refuel what we lose during our workouts we will only stunt the growth of our fitness journey. Not just the right foods to eat, but knowing when to eat them and why gives you powerful knowledge to take you to the next level.
Weight Loss = Less of me to move around
Losing weight is really the icing on the cake compared to all the other benefits of proper nutrition. Losing 90lbs will change your life, but losing 5,10 or 15lbs will dramatically change your ability in the gym. You will be faster, lighter, and there will be less of you to pull, push or kip through the workout. Plus, when you feel good about how you look, there is nothing that can steal that confidence.
The difference between the changed and the unchanged is not just knowledge, but the application of knowledge. Most people know they should eat better but often we’re not sure where to start. Take the sample meal plan below and follow it for 1-2 weeks and see if doesn’t dramatically improve your ability in the gym.
If you’re serious about taking your nutrition knowledge to the next level, want to lose a certain amount of weight, or need tools for a lifetime of food freedom, send Anna an email email@example.com for more information on customized meal plan packages.
BONUS MEAL PLAN
MEAL 1 (Eat as soon as you’re able. Especially if you workout in the morning.)
Meal idea for something quick: drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar (Think Thin, OneBar, Epic or Quest is better than not eating.)
1 cup egg whites
1 serving of healthy carb (choose half serving if you want to lose weight.)
1 serving veggies
Meal idea: egg white and veggie hash: sauté your favorite veggies and cook in eggs. 1piece of sprouted grain toast, or serving of oats with cinnamon.)
Supplements: super greens, fish oil, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, BCAA’s (optional)
MEAL 2 (morning snack)
1 scoop protein or 6 oz. greek yogurt
(I like to mix 1 cup of egg whites with one scoop of high quality protein power like TruTein or Terra’s Whey. I mix in 5grams of BCAAs and down it.)
Or Quest, OneBar, Epic, or Think Thin bar
MEAL 3 (lunch)
3-4 oz lean meat (6-8 oz for men)
1-2 cups veggies
Choose 1 serving of healthy fat (1/4-1/2 avocado, olive oil, 1 oz cheese)
Or 1 serving of healthy carb, (rice, corn tortilla, apple) but not both.
Meal idea – Huge salad with lots of raw veggies & meat, little low cal dressing, squeeze of lemon or 1 Tablespoon olive oil and vinegar.
MEAL 4 (Afternoon snack)
2-3 oz lean meat or 1-2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup veggies
8-10 almonds (count them out)
Meal idea – Can of tuna with carrots and sliced cucumbers.
MEAL 5 (Dinner)
3-4 oz lean meat (6-8 oz for men)
1-2 cups veggies
Meal idea – EASY: cook 1lb ground turkey, add bagged shredded carrots, cabbage and any other veggies you like for egg roll in a bowl. Top with a little coconut aminos.
MEAL 6 (OPTIONAL ONLY IF HUNGRY)
1 scoop protein or 1/2 cup greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
*Or try the Ooey Gooey Chocolate Protein Mug Cake. This is something that helps me combat my desire for dessert.
I mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 Tablespoons Cocoa powder, 2 T. Almond milk, 3 T. Egg whites with one scoop of protein powder. Whisk & put in a mug. Microwave for 30-50 seconds (start low - you want it to look gooey in the middle - it's super disgusting if dry!) Sometimes I top with a T. nut butter.