crossfit nutrition

Carb confusion

Friday, 19 May 2017

Note: This is not a scientific article about nutrition. It is just a little reminder about the fact that there are carbs and there are carbs, and that you are actually totally free to decide for yourself what and how much you can/want to eat.

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Lauren Fisher, a CrossFit Games athlete, posted a picture of her amazing abs on Instagram this week, with information about her nutrition. That information included the fact that she eats 400g of carbs a day.

I started working with @jennilyn33 about 3 months ago right before the Open started and I haven’t looked back. 🙌 ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m eating more food than I’ve ever had while consistently weighing in at 135lbs every morning about 61.5kg. Originally, I wanted to get up to 140lbs but my body doesn’t like to store food very much. 😂 She has helped me with the timing of my food and also made me realize how important it is to give your body enough nutrients to feel recovered for the volume of training we do day in and day out. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ You’re probably wondering what my Macros are and I wouldn’t recommend them for you because everyone is completely different… ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ But for training days, I take in: 190g Protein 400g Carbs 88g Fat ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ SO much food! But I feel the best I’ve felt in awhile and I’m never hungry anymore 🙈 ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #JackedByJen #Progenex #Macros #AllTheFood

A post shared by Lauren Fisher (@laurenfisher) on

People went totally crazy over this – both on Instagram and Facebook – to think that you could have 400g of carbs a day and look like this! Every woman’s ultimate dream is to eat unlimited amount of cake and to have a six pack. If Lauren Fisher can do it, so can I!!!

Reading all the comments it quickly becomes clear that most people don’t know much about nutrition and training. There are questions like “How much cardio do you do, Lauren?” or comments like “I need to change my macros!” or “We could have a sick pasta party together!” (And there are always one or two losers who state that they do not like women with abs. Geezus. Get off the Instagram account of a professional athlete if that’s the case!)

Now, back to Lauren’s carbs – before ya’ll run off to that ‘sick pasta party’ – when CrossFit athletes talk about carbs, most of them do not talk about pasta. Or bread. Or pizza. Or cake. Or muffins. Or ice cream.

They talk about plain boiled rice, sweet potatoes and oats. And fruit and veg.

Still excited about 400g of carbs?

When CrossFit athletes talk about training, they do not mean an hour of cardio every day. They don’t even mean an hour of cardio PLUS an hour of weights a day.

They mean 4-5 hours of HARD conditioning and HEAVY lifting. Harder and heavier than normal mere mortals, me included, can even imagine training can be.

And the only way you can actually consume 400g of carbs a day is to add something like dextrose powder to multiple post-workout shakes during the day.

Still excited about 400g of carbs? ;)

I absolutely love Instagram, but people, people, people, do NOT compare yourself to anyone else based on what you see or read there. There’s the one extreme of eating an incredibly low calorie diet to look ‘long and lean’ and then there’s the other extreme of being into CrossFit (or weights in general) and wanting to look and eat like CrossFit athletes. These people train, sleep and eat. That’s all they do.

You can have a totally enjoyable life and a body you feel comfortable living in even when you don’t eat 400g of carbs a day.

And don’t eat pizza because ‘Lauren Fisher eats 400g of carbs a day so pizza must be good for you’, eat pizza just because pizza tastes amazing and normal people eat pizza and if you don’t eat or even like pizza then I don’t know what kind of a person you are.

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  • MrsB Saturday, 20 May 2017 at 18:50

    Her fats are actually not very high for 400g of carbs so the carbs are not coming from cake or ice cream for sure. 8 cups of plain boiled rice is 400g, by the way :) I just had to Google ;)

  • Mir. Saturday, 20 May 2017 at 05:10

    Oh, please. There’s a whole movement of vegans who eat 80% carbs, 10% fat, 10% protein and stay super super lean because of the carbs! Carbs are pure fuel! Only when carbs are combined with fat, it will be storage. I was hoping to read some real reminder of what are carbs – from tomatoes to oatmeal. Which is what training people so often forget in their protein mission and only recognize a carb when they see pizza or other shit where’s actually carb+fat combination.

    • MrsB Saturday, 20 May 2017 at 18:48

      That’s exactly what I mentioned, that carbs are “plain boiled rice, sweet potatoes and oats. And fruit and veg.” People are quick to shout that carbs are bad because for them carbs = pizza and I wanted to point out that whereas pizza is great (as a treat) and has carbs indeed, there are so many other healthy foods that are also carbs!

      Also, I never thought about the whole carbs + fat thing being what makes you store fat. I need to look into it more now as I’m curious to know more.

  • Anna @AnnaTheApple Friday, 19 May 2017 at 16:31

    Ahh Instagram…
    Yeah I fully agree. The idea of hearing about someone else’s diet (and such a particular and precise aspect of it) and then immediately copying or questioning it is bizarre to me. A person’s nutrition is such an individual thing because, like you said, it depends what they’re actually doing and what they want to achieve. A marathoner’s diet is going to be vastly different to a ballet dancer’s diet but they both probably still have “omg amazing bodies,” but you can’t just copy their diet and hope you turn into them.
    Also, I imagine she’s taken some time to get to 400g of carbs – increasing her exercise and increasing her carb intake slowly and systematically to train her body to use it well etc.
    Another also… 400g carb sounds amazing at first (yassss all the cake, all the ice cream) but actually if the fat’s not that high that’s gonna be some rather boring cereal consumption going on there ;-)