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Noah Sager

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How to Plan Food Around Training

January 18, 2017

Nutrition can often confuse athletes. On one hand, you know you need to eat enough to support the high-volume training you're doing. On the other hand, you don't like the idea of throwing up or being sluggish in the metcon because of what you ate. Allow me to try and simplify this a bit. 

 

PLAN AHEAD
You need to make a plan. Children wander through the day and basically eat for survival. You're usually happy that they're eating something in general. As we get older we begin to eat for other reasons (celebration, sadness, psychological hunger, etc.). Assuming you're an adult with greater aspirations than "hope this works out,"  you need a plan.

 

"Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it."  -Dave Ramsey

 

The people I know who have had the most success with this stuff are the ones who plan out nearly their entire day before they even sit down for breakfast.

 

ZONE vs. MACROS
Most of the athletes I work with prescribe to the 40/30/30 daily macronutrient breakdown (40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fat). This is the "Zone Diet" prescription. But when you're following more of a flexible diet (i.e., IIFYM), you are simply trying to hit those percentages by the end of the day, rather than each meal. That allows a bit of flexibility meal-to-meal. 

 

SAVE SOME FATS FOR LATER
I recommend a 50/25/25 split (or at least lower fat) before workouts or between sessions, and even lower immediately post workout. The reason for this is that fats slow digestion. That is why if you eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, you're full for a longer period of time. Great for satiation, not so great if you're trying to hit a workout at full speed. Try lowering your fat intake around training sessions. Most athletes report that they feel much more energetic throughout the sessions and "feel their food" less. Additionally, fats are hormonally neutral. That means that if you load up in one meal, you won't have a large insulin spike or drop as a result.

 

EXAMPLE OF A 2,000-CALORIE DIET STRUCTURED AROUND A LONG TRAINING DAY:

Breakfast:

Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookie - 1 full (2 servings)
Fairlife 2% Milk - 1 cup
480 calories—51% carbs, 25% protein, 24% fat
*Snickerdoodle (360 calories). It's the best one anyway. 

 

 

 

Session 1:
Rowing intervals
Gymnastics 

 

 

 

Post-Workout:
Premier Protein Shake - 1 (11 oz)
Coconut Water - 11 oz
Fit Aid - 1 can
265 calories—45% carbs, 45% protein, 10% fat
Daily nutrition so far: 745 calories—49% carbs, 32% protein, 19% fat

 

 

 

Lunch
White Rice - 4 oz
Chicken - 4 oz
Salsa - 2 oz
Cheese - 1 oz
520 calories—35% carbs, 33% protein, 32% fat
Daily nutrition so far: 1,265 calories—43% carbs, 32% protein, 25% fat

 

Session 2:
Barbell Conditioning
Strength
Metcon

 

 

 

Post-Workout:
Premier Protein Shake - 1 (11 oz) 
Coconut Water - 11 oz
Fit Aid - 1 can
265 calories—45% carbs, 45% protein, 10% fat
Daily nutrition so far: 1,530 calories—44% carbs, 34% protein, 22% fat

 

 

Dinner:
Top Serloin - 4 oz
Butter - 1 pat (1/3")
Sweet Potato Fries - 4 oz
499 calories—24% carbs, 27% protein, 49% fat
End of day nutrition: 2,029 calories—38% carbs, 33% protein, 29% fat

 

 

That's an A+ day in my books! Obviously, you would adjust based on food preference, caloric target, etc. This is simply an example of how someone might schedule their meals around a two-session G4B training day.

 

I hope this helps! Feel free to comment questions or other topics you would like to see discussed in the G4B blog.

 

Good luck and happy training!
Coach Steven Willis

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