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  • Writer's pictureStacey Marino

Josh: Eating and Training Like an Athlete.

Josh was already very strong and fit, but was looking to change up his nutrition to help support his training and goals.

Things really took a turn when he signed up for my Reset Challenge in January. With the challenge, I had him eating more than he was used to. I had a meal plan version and a macro version of the challenge, and he taught himself how to count macros just by following the meal plans.

After the challenge was over, he started working with me one on one to continue seeing progress. His goal is athletic performance. So I customize his macros weekly to help him achieve that goal. He has a better understanding of how to properly fuel his body, and how to time meals around his training so he recovers well – as you can only get better and stronger from the workouts you recover from. Read that again, it’s important.

Seeing better body composition was just a byproduct of his initial goal of improved athletic performance. His muscle mass increased by 2 pounds so far. Body fat went down by 3.8%. Body weight went down by 5 pounds. Remember, his goal was athletic performance, this was just a positive “side effect” of working towards that goal.

So now, he has the best of both worlds, aesthetics and performance, and we’re just getting started

Most people start training or nutrition coaching with the goal of better body composition. In return, they do see better performance as well. Same goes when chasing better performance, you see better body composition in the process. You just need to know how to train and eat to fuel and recover from that training. And no, the answer is not to train more and eat less.

Josh, what are you doing differently with your nutrition?

Tracking my macro and micronutrients has brought so much consistency to my daily food intake.  It has really caused me to look at protein, carbs, and fats differently and has helped me understand how much meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, and fats I should be eating on a daily basis.  

The quality of all the foods I’m now eating is making me feel full much more quickly and I have not found myself having the food cravings that I used to have, especially at night.

What physical changes surprised you the most?

I’m seeing some abs, I feel much leaner and more defined which is all pretty cool.  Taking the weekly photos and seeing how my body has changed physically week to week has definitely been motivating for me to stay the course.  

How do you stay on track and committed?

I’ve found meal prepping and cooking in bulk to be very beneficial for me.  When I cook or make something, I try to make enough for several days.  If, for example, I’m cooking chicken, asparagus and sweet potatoes for dinner, I’ll try to make enough of each to last me several days, and have them ready for me to eat at any time.  

Any advice for someone who wants to start out? 

I would highly recommend anyone interested in starting out to go for it!  Since working with Coach Stacey, my nutrition has had a great impact on so many aspects of my daily life.  I have had much more energy and focus both during a CrossFit WOD and throughout the day. 

I find myself to be more productive, I’ve been sleeping better and I’m recovering from my workouts much more quickly as well. When starting the nutrition challenge in January, I kept my goals to be CrossFit performance based and thought of my nutrition as a tool to help me reach those CrossFit goals. 

I definitely wanted to look and feel better, but had no expectations on how it would change me physically, especially when Coach Stacey put me on 3000 calories a day.  (Josh is currently at 3,600 calories a day!) That frame of mind has and continues to work really well for me and I would recommend anyone starting out to keep that same mentality.

Also, I found the first couple of weeks to be challenging because I was learning how to properly track my macros and trying to figure out a new eating routine that best worked for me.  I think anyone starting out could expect some of those challenges early on, but it does get easier over time and it is well worth it!

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