Think of the following as a “starting point of discussion” for nutrition to fuel your workouts. Not the end-all, be-all, and not specifically tailored to your personal needs, but a general guideline which we believe will work for the wide majority of the DCCF community. If you want a nutrition plan written strictly for performance, let us know and we can get you hooked up, but that’s another story…
So, realistically, we all want to allow for a random party-splurge, an accidental intermittent fast, a weekend competition with three workouts in one day, or even a weekend of laziness. Most people get into trouble in miscalculating their energy needs over weeks and months, and they don’t see their average amount of carbs creeping up (or down!), or they have no clue what types of food they should be consuming.
Calculate Your Macronutrients
An easy recipe for success is to lock in your protein and fat intake, and then moderate your daily carb intake based on whether you’re working out really hard that day, or just doing a light workout, or just resting.
So, set your protein at ~1g per lb of bodyweight, set fat at 75g for females and 100g for males, then calculate carbs. If you’re attending a Derby City class that day and really crushing the strength portion and busting your ass during the WOD, then shoot for 2g of carbs per lb of bodyweight. If you’re going light or taking it kinda easy or maybe hitting a yoga class instead, then shoot for 1.25g per lb of bodyweight. If you’re just resting at home or mobilizing, then shoot for .75g per lb of bodyweight.
Cycling your carbs based on your day’s activity is a great way to see quick results, and this method is an easy way to determine how much to eat. That being said, there are definitely more fine-tuned ways to adjust your macronutrient intake based on high-/low-training days versus rest days, but for now, we’re just giving you an easy outline to get started.
Take Away or Add Carbs in “Waves”
If your goal is to lose weight, cut 25-50g carbs per day and stay at that number for a couple weeks to see how you adjust. If you adjust well, then cut another 25-50g per day and stay at that new number for a couple more weeks, etc… don’t try to cut 150-200g per day and expect your body to handle it well. You’ll likely end up binging, getting super moody, or something worse.
Alternatively, if you’re trying to bulk up, then do the same thing but in reverse. Add 25-50g of carbs per day and stay at that number for a couple weeks to adjust to the new food intake, then increase again, etc…
Types of Foods
Aim to get your protein from lean sources like chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, or grass-fed beef. Aim to get your fats from those same protein sources and from nuts, avocados, coconut, eggs, grass-fed butter, or olive oil. Carbs are trickier… Watch out for hidden carbs/sugars in anything that comes in a box or can or tub, even those vanilla-flavored Greek yogurts you’ve been having for breakfast. Quit it. Try to stay away from grains and sugars, while being careful about overdoing fruit.
Your typical breakfast and lunch should consist of protein, veggies and fat. Knock out a small pre-workout meal about 90min prior to working out consisting of slow-digesting carbs (oatmeal, quinoa, beans) and protein and no fat. If you workout in the morning, then skip this meal. Post-workout, a meal of fast-digesting carbs (white rice, sweet potatoes) and protein and no fat would be best. Dinner would be carbs, protein and some fat. And lastly, consume any missing macros (especially carbs) pre-bed. If you don’t workout that day or are going light (yoga, like mentioned above), then skip the pre- and post-workout meals.