Ben Bergeron is a bit of a celebrity in the CrossFit space. He’s the owner of CrossFit New England, but he’s more known for training elite athletes like CrossFit Games champion Katrin Davidsdotter and running the programming over at CompTrain.
On a recent podcast, he broke down a typical day of eating for someone that might seem to be eating healthy.
How familiar does this look?
- Breakfast – 2 cups of Kashi cereal with skim milk and iced mocha coffee from Starbucks
- Mid-morning Snack – Fat-free yogurt
- Lunch – Turkey on whole wheat plus a smoothie from Panera Bread
- Afternoon Snack – Nutri-grain Bar
- Dinner – Burrito bowl with chicken, lettuce, beans, rice, cheese, and sour cream plus chips and salsa
As an outsider looking in, that’s fairly healthy right? There eating whole wheat, opting for fat-free yogurt, etc.
That’s a total of 2,720 calories with a grand total of 392 grams of carbohydrates. You’re also likely short of protein and pretty far over on sugar. To put this in perspective, Katrin (CrossFit Games champion and athlete that works out 2-3x per day) is eating in the mid-200s for carbohydrates.
Let’s see how we can drastically improve the day with a few small changes.
With a Few Small Tweaks…
The changes don’t have to be drastic.
- Breakfast – Veggie omelette with cheese plus black coffee from Starbucks
- Mid-morning Snack – Deli turkey and almonds
- Lunch – Cobb salad plus unsweetened iced tea from Panera
- Afternoon Snack – Beef Jerky
- Dinner – Chipotle Salad Bowl
How different could this be? We still get to go to Starbucks, Panera, and Chipotle. We still get two snacks throughout the day. What difference could this possibly make?
Well, you’ve cut 875 calories and 330 grams of carbohydrates.
What Does All of This Mean?
Does that mean you should be eating exactly like the second example? No! The point is that with a few small tweaks, we took a day that’s way out of control with carbohydrates to something that’s borderline ketogenic without sacrificing Chipotle, Panera, or Starbucks.
Often times, we get stuck thinking we have to make this huge shift to see any gains, but in reality, we’ll get better results from making a few small tweaks here and there pushing us in the right direction.