How to Eat for Your Goals

 

This post was written by Coach K

 

Usually when people are looking at improving their diet, they’re doing it for one or more of the following reasons:


Health: to feel better; improve general health; get rid of/prevent a disease/illness

Aesthetics: to look better; lose fat and/or build muscle

Performance: to move better; have optimal energy for activity; get stronger, faster or better at a specific sport


You’ve probably heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” This is 100% true. With anything in life, you have to know what your goals are and take action accordingly. In the case for physical goals, you have to eat accordingly. So let’s dig a little deeper to break down each goal and how to go about eating accordingly.

 

HEALTH

As Americans I think we’ve made it pretty damn clear that what we put into our bodies has A LOT – if not everything – to do with how healthy we are. Don’t believe me? Go watch SuperSize Me, or Hungry For Change, or any related documentary about how messed up our current food and health situation is. Taking a conscious and mindful approach to your nutrition is crucial if you want to improve your health.


How to eat for health? Emphasize eating whole foods – organic if possible; foods rich in micronutrients; foods that are minimally processed (read: little to no packaging, an ingredient list that doesn’t look like a chemistry book). AKA: Meats, seafood, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit, etc.


Pro tips:

  • Learn how to make healthy food taste good! Better health is literally at your fingertips. Look up some healthy recipes or get creative and have some fun in the kitchen. Even if you don’t want to get fancy – spices, herbs and seasonings go a long way.

 

  • Find healthy substitutions for the shitty food you love. Example: Instead of loading up on carbs from pasta, try some spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. It’s all the rage these days and all the cool kids are doing it.

 

  • Take pride in what food sources you’re supporting. Show support with your dollars and think about where your food is coming from – is it coming from a factory or is it coming from the Earth? Every time you spend money at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and so on, you’re supporting that business. I guarantee you’d feel a lot better about supporting a small local farm. When you shop at farmers markets or buy local or organic food from the grocery store, you’re supporting those farmers and giving them the means and incentive to keep doing what they’re doing – doing what they’re passionate about – which also just happens to be better for your health. It’s a win-win.

 

AESTHETICS

Whether people want to admit it or not, generally everybody wants to look good and like what they see in the mirror. I won’t undermine the importance of self-love regardless of what you look like, but I will say that being at a healthy body fat percentage and/or having some muscular definition can go a long way in improving overall confidence. Confidence in your appearance can give you confidence in all other areas of life, thus improving general quality of life.


How to eat for aesthetics? Emphasize portion control; be mindful and have control over how much you’re eating.


Pro tips:

  • Focus on what you’re getting, not what you’re “missing out” on. Psychologically we tend to want what we can’t have. If you’re focusing on the things you “can’t” have, you’re just going to want it more. Instead of focusing on the fact that you probably can’t eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every night and have visible abs, focus on the fact that you’re taking action to be healthier, look better, feel better, etc. Focus on the fact that you can eat so many fresh, colorful and vibrant foods right from the Earth and that you’ll be better for it in the long run.

 

  • Take advantage of volume. The amount of carbs in one single pop tart is the equivalent to the carbs in 3 cups of berries. Veggies and whole foods will help you feel more full and satiated than their processed counterparts. In other words, these foods will give your aesthetics more bang for its buck.

 

  • Stop comparing yourself to photos on Instagram. I know first hand that this is a complete mind f*ck and will wreak havoc on your mental state. You will immediately think you’re not good enough or will never look as good as them. But these people have mastered the angles, the lighting, their posing, photoshop, etc. Also, most of these people suck in real life.

 

  • Love yourself first, for whatever shape you’re currently in. Once you truly love yourself inside, then you can focus on how you’d like to improve your external appearance.

 

PERFORMANCE

There’s somewhat of a misconception around performance. Some people like to think that performance is solely based on training. Let’s not get confused here, obviously training hard is an absolute must for improving performance – but performing well has a lot more to do with what you’re eating than most people think. It’s imperative that you fuel yourself properly for the training you’re doing and what you want to get out of it.


How to eat for performance? Fuel your body with enough energy (calories) to support your specific training, activity or sport; place emphasis on nutrient timing.


Pro Tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of carbs. Eat the majority of your daily carbs around training times, particularly pre/intra/post workout.

 

  • Consume enough protein. Everybody’s protein requirements will vary, but generally a good rule of thumb is: 1g per lb of lean body mass or 2g per kilo of body weight.

 

  • Having a shake consisting of protein + simple carbs intra/directly post workout is pretty powerful for performance and recovery.

 

Putting It All Together


There are some people that like to prioritize one goal over the other, like the bodybuilders could give two shits about their overall health or how much they squat – they just want to look like a living musculoskeletal anatomy diagram, or the hardcore powerlifters who lift thousands of pounds but their bellies are bigger than Santa Claus. However, naturally as CrossFitters, we want it all: We want to be healthy, look good and perform well. When we want to balance health, aesthetics and performance, here’s the recipe:


Eat whole foods most of the time, practice good portion control most of the time and emphasize nutrient timing most of the time. 80-90% is the goal. The other 10-20% is called balance… AKA, life.


If you have no idea how you go about putting this into practice – we can help! Reach out to a coach to inquire about our nutrition services or schedule a free 10 minute consultation with Coach K!  You can also learn more by checking out our website http://cigarcitycrossfit.com/services/nutrition-planning


And, remember to join us for our Nutrition Seminar on April 1st from 10am - 12pm.  We’ll deep dive into the topics discussed and more. We’re still not so good at this business thing, so we’re making the Seminar FREE.  Take advantage of us.


RSVP now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1148264618616316/

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