Yes, college students can eat healthy, too!

Now that he has fine-tuned his nutrition, this already super-fit athlete is one to watch….

Will Dressor proves that even a bachelor balancing school, work, and social life can find a way to fuel his body properly.

 I was very excited and proud of my accomplishments through the 6 week nutrition challenge. I lost 4% of my body fat to get down to 15.2% while adding 1.65 lbs. of muscle. I also improved my max thruster by 30lbs to 195 lbs. and added 7 burpees to the 3 min of box over burpees.
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This surpassed all of the goals I had coming into the challenge. I had no idea that in just 6 weeks I could feel better than I ever have before.
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My eating wasn’t terrible before the challenge I ate mostly paleo, but not very strict and I had never tracked the macronutrients I was consuming. I quickly found out that I was way undereating and my balance of carbs, proteins and fats was way out of whack. I was able to hit my numbers consistently throughout the challenge with a 40-30-30 balance of carbs, protein and fat. I felt the difference right away. I was able to recover so much faster from workouts and didn’t feel a crippling soreness I was used to. I used to get so sore I was forced to skip workouts.
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Now that I am improving my diet I am getting the most out of my workouts. After over a year into crossfit and Olympic weightlifting I finally felt like I was improving. During the challenge I hit a new PR in the snatch for the first time in over a year and squatted 300 lbs. for the first time. 
     The best thing about this challenge for me was it wasn’t a “diet” where I had to really limit what I ate or stay away from anything that tastes good. I actually ate more than I ever have and flexible eating allows me to fit in some of my favorite treats. I am a sophomore in college so this is my first year grocery shopping and cooking on my own. This challenge came at the perfect time because it pushed me to learn how to shop for groceries most effectively and how to prepare food I would actually want to eat. Of course there was a learning curve as I burned a batch of sweet potatoes, bought way too much produce than I could eat and almost consumed some medium rare chicken which I guess isn’t a thing (insert sarcasm here). But I kept trying and learning every day. Google and youtube became great resources for me along with experimentation of different combinations. My fitness pal became very easy for me. It had all of my favorite foods so I could add in what I ate very quickly. It may seem annoying to some but if you think about it, it maybe takes up 3 minutes of your entire day. To me it’s worth it to make sure I am eating the proper amount of everything. 
     I found some really cost effective and time friendly ways of preparing food that worked for me. I started each week by cooking about 3-4 pounds of chicken in a crockpot. Simply add water to just above the chicken and mix in your favorite seasonings, I liked to use a Cajun seasoning. I would also pan fry 93/7 ground beef and store it all in the fridge. This was enough protein for my dinners for the week. Mix those proteins in with sweet potatoes and some veggies, add in some buffalo or bbq sauce. This is a very simple and tasty meal I ate for most of my dinners. Cooking as much food as I could at the beginning of the week really helped me out. One of my favorite breakfasts is flapjacked protein pancakes.

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You can find this mix at the big hollow food co-op down town. Pair with eggs, cream cheese, bacon, any of your favorites! You can really get creative to fit in all your macros. Food doesn’t have to be plain I noticed many condiments like bbq sauce, ranch, mustard, etc. don’t have much macros and can make a meal much better. 
     I am still learning more things to cook and how to prepare different foods. My goal during the challenge was to reach my macros eating the most real food with the least processed “junk foods”. Eating this way is doable for even a college kid who has a low budget and is an inexperienced cook. I look forward to expanding my eating options and training hard. This really opened my eyes to the fact that you can’t out train a poor diet. I truly feel that the sky is the limit for me as far as strength and conditioning in crossfit now that I am figuring out nutrition. This challenge gave me a lot of confidence overall. I feel like I can now successfully keep learning how to be an “adult”. It may be kind of silly but I actually figured out how to shop and cook for myself in a healthy and positive way. It allowed me to feel so much better and stronger. I have more energy and am ready to attack whatever goal I think of next. I plan to sustain a similar way of eating for the rest of my life.
send YOUR Nutrition Challenge experience to nicolebleak@gmail.com
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