CrossFit Masters Champion
Nutrition Challenge Veteran
Best-dressed athlete in the gym……
Jill Rettinger proves that even the leanest, strongest athletes can find ways to improve their diet. Read about her experience below…
This is the 3rd Nutrition Challenge that I have participated in and it was, BY FAR, the most successful for me. I went into this challenge not needing to lose a lot of weight, but I wanted to feel better and feel/look more lean. I was more concerned about body composition. I started with a weight of 149# and a body fat of 14%. Six weeks later I am now 143# and 10.9% body fat. In addition, I lost a few inches around my waist. So for me, this was a successful challenge.
I was curious how this would affect my gym performance. As a whole, it has improved. I have had a few poor WOD’s where I just felt awful and out of whack, but there are some factors that I need to take into consideration. I am doing a pretty strenuous squat program that I started mid-way through the challenge which has been pretty taxing on my body and I am still trying to tweak my diet in terms of how many carbs I need to be eating to achieve my best athletic performance.
During the challenge, I found myself undereating carbs by 60-70 grams/day and I think this has affected my strength a bit.
Overall, I have felt great mentally, psychologically, and physically.
In the past, I have dabbled with the Zone and Paleo, but the Flex Diet has been the easiest for me to follow. I loved having daily numbers that I had to attain and for the most part, I was pretty strict with these numbers. I won’t lie…chocolate cake made an appearance for a few days, but I tried to just not overdo it.
With the Zone, I never worried about calories and I got into the habit of eating too many nuts and nut butters and I didn’t like having to weigh everything. And, everyone would tell me to eat more protein. I thought I was eating enough, but I soon learned that I was not even close. My Fitness Pal became my best friend. What a great resource tool to track your daily numbers. I have never been good, in the past, at logging my daily food intake, but I committed to doing this for this challenge. Plus, I would get the little encouragement prompts that told me that I had successfully logged X amount of days in a row. This was enough to keep my plugging along.
One thing that I found helpful was inputting all of the food that I was going to be eating for that day, first thing in the morning. This way, I knew if I could add anything else fun to fill out my calories. This balanced me out, rather than only having 100 calories left at the end of the day for dinner.
I’m a creature of habit and ended up eating many of the same things day after day. I had a few recipes in my rotation, but preparation was the key for me. I kept my refrigerator full at work with healthy choices for lunch/snacks and always had to have 1 or 2 protein drinks/day. My husband doesn’t eat this way. So, I would make him dinner each night and I would have to adjust mine a little. We always had some kind of protein, but instead of having a lot of potatoes, rice, carbs, I would substitute a lot with spaghetti squash and veggies. I learned to really love veggies. Add a little salsa, hummus, or guacamole and they are all delish.
I believe that the Flex Diet is a totally sustainable way of eating. I am still following this and plan to keep doing so. After the challenge, of course I congratulated myself with 2 yummy donuts (my weakness…get over it)
but I have gone right back to logging and watching what I eat. I encourage everyone to try this way of life if they are looking to get results.
Thanks for sharing, Jill!
We want to hear about your experience, too!