Food for Fuel or Aesthetics
I’m going to keep this blog post short and simple.
Food can be used in a number of ways to assist your training, based on a variety of different goals. What do you want to look like, how do you want to feel and how do you want to perform?
If you want to perform at your very best within Crossfit, you have to approach food in a slightly different way to if you were to look at food for the purpose of aesthetics.
If you do not have enough calories in, you will start to feel drained, you might look lean but that is simply a bi-product of your body being at a calorie deficit constantly. You will not make your best performance gains in this state. You may however lose body fat quickly. So if performance is not your priority and that beach look is, then you need to be in a calorie deficit (More calories out than in).
If you are chasing a PB back squat, you will likely be squatting very often, an exercise that takes a lot out of your body. Your body needs a calorie surplus to recover, to grow. In this state you will find that your body fat may remain constant or rise a little, however your performance will tend to shoot up as your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.
If you look at the top level Crossfit athletes, they are not shredded like body builders. They have enough body fat to perform when their sugar sources are drained but not so much that they are carrying excess weight.
A little too much food is better for performance.
A little too little food is better for achieving that shredded look.
The key to being happy with your performance and looks is to perfectly manage your food intake as we are all different individuals and what might work for Rich Froning might not work for me. Experiment and don’t necessarily stick to a “perfect” food plan according to the latest fitness model out there.