I’ve never been a big fan of the extreme ways boxers will try to cut weight before a competition – starve themselves out for a week before their fight, sleep, eat and breath in their sauna suite and sit for hours at a time in a steam room or sauna – Ummm, no thank you!
So I have spent my entire boxing career trying to discover the ultimate eating plan that would keep me lean and strong and keep my energy level high so I could perform my very best, without ever having to put on a plastic bag and skip.
Last year at nationals I was chatting with a female boxer from Alberta and was asking her how she went about making her weight class, “do you have to sweat it out?”
“I just eat clean,” was her response. Eat clean! What a novel idea. Right away I was buying books, reading blogs and applying my newfound knowledge to my diet. Did it work? You bet. I was now eating 5-6 meals a day and the weight was easy to shed when diet was mixed with my more intense boxing workouts. But as time when on and my body adapted to this new style of eating I soon found that it was getting harder and harder to loose the weight before fights. I didn’t want to cut out meals, as the whole point of eating clean is to eat often so your metabolism would always be revved.
I also wasn’t, nor did I ever get a lean as I really wanted to be. We’re talking totally ripped, count my 6 pack, 8% body fat lean. How do others do it? How do these body builders and fitness models do it? So, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I hired a personal trainer (figure pro, body builder) to help me achieve my ideal fitness level. For the first week she made me write down everything I put into my mouth. At the end of the week she looked at my diet (Oatmeal w/honey & banana; an apple w/pb; chicken w/salad, no dressing; apple; fish with steamed veggies) and exclaimed, “There’s a lot we need to fix here!”
Yes really. Turns out I was consuming WAY to many carbohydrates and not enough protein with every meal (I need at least 30 – 35g) and instead of fueling my body with protein after a workout I was starving it. I was also eating foods that were really high on the Glycemic index at the wrong times. And at the end of it all I really wasn’t eating enough, even though I was eating 5 times a day (apparently an apple doesn’t count as a meal).
We decided that things like fruit and dairy should be enjoyed in moderation and my diet needed to consist of protein from meat and fibrous carbs from vegetables. We cut my 50g oatmeal breakfast down to a 15g oatmeal breakfast and added 1 ½ c of egg whites and 1 peace of fruit (melon, grape fruit, orange or apple – something low on the Glycemic index). I also needed to start eating small amounts of starchy carbs (pasta, rice, oatmeal, potatoes, yams) with my first and third (and every other day, fifth) meals.
My most favorite part of my new diet was I got to have a tablespoon of nut butter with every meal (theoretically I had to have an essential fatty acid with every meal and nut butter is one of those – I also have nuts or macadamia nut oil instead)! Now I LOVE nut butter, but had basically cut it out of my diet because I would always binge on it. But knowing now that I get to have some at every meal the temptation to eat a whole jar is no longer there. I also get one really good cheat day a week where I can have it all! I usually only splurge on dinner, ordering an appy, main and dessert and some wine, but it keeps me in check. I’ve been on my new eating plan for just under a week now and I’m already starting to see definition (more so then before) and loosing weight.
The great part is because I’m eating when I should be my energy levels are really good, so I can do my two workouts a day. For a sample of my daily food intake see below:
Breakfast: ¼ c slow cook oatmeal ½ c strawberries 1 tbls Macadamia nut oil 1 ½ c egg whites
Meal 2: 130g Chicken breast 2 c red peppers 1tbs Nut butter
Lunch: 130g Chicken breast ¼ cooked brown rice noodles 2 c steamed veggies 1 tbs PB mixed with 1 tbs Low sodium soy sauce
Meal 4: 1 can tuna 1 apple 10 g nuts
Dinner: 130g fish 2 cups salad 1 tbs Macadamia nut oil 1 tbs apple vinegar
Meal 6: 1 tbs nut butter 1 apple