For this week’s blog post, we talked with Coach Matt about the progress he saw during the JR Nutrition Challenge, as well as some tips and advice for staying active and sane during quarantine.
A few weeks ago, we talked with the female nutrition challenge winner, Delila Amaitsa, who lost 5.4% body fat and over 11 pounds during the 8-week challenge. For the males, Coach Matt was the winner, losing 10 pounds and 2% body fat.
In our interview, Coach Matt talks about what kept him motivated during the nutrition challenge, participating alongside his wife Rachel, and pairing nutrition with CrossFit workouts. Plus, some advice on surviving quarantine. Here’s what he had to say.
Tell us about the progress you saw during the JR CrossFit Nutrition Challenge:
Rachel (my wife for the uneducated) and I came out of the holiday season a little more…fluffy. Not to the point that anyone could notice except us, but we were out of our comfort zones. We put a lot of work into ourselves and refused to let the holidays take some of that away. We’ve done several nutrition-type challenges before, so we knew what it would take and what we would have to do to get to the places, physically, where we wanted to be.
What were some of your strategies? Did you count calories and macros closely?
I had 2 goals: 1) get below a certain weight and 2) get below a certain BMI. I’ve done some that were strictly Paleo, and this was my first that was following macros. It took some tweaking of the numbers to get me to the correct protein levels, but once we found it, it worked great. I would always give myself a “cheat” day. But this wasn’t a day that I would just go bezerk, I just would taper off the macros and not worry about it.
What has been the hardest part about the process? How do stay motivated?
Just like going to the gym, it’s all about repetition. Keep doing it. There is absolutely nothing fun about documenting every single thing you eat. It sucks, flat out. But in doing so, you can start to see the way your body reacts (or doesn’t) to certain types of foods, and you can start to view food as fuel as it is meant to be, and not just the guilty pleasures.
How have CrossFit workouts played a role in your nutrition journey?
CrossFit has been in my life for more than 10yrs. It was the only method I was going to use, b/c as stated, I wanted to lose weight and also put on muscle. Can’t do that w/ strict cardio.
What are some of your nutrition and CrossFit goals going forward?
CrossFit goals: those haven’t really changed. I’m out of the competitive stage of my CF life. My CF goals are more life based now: be able to climb mountains, go on long hikes, ride bikes, etc. I use it to keep me in the best shape possible so I can do all the things that truly bring me joy. As for nutrition, it definitely changed my outlook on certain food groups after having seeing the fat:protein ratio that was in some of the things I ate.
As our head coach, what advice do you have for people who are struggling to stay motivated during COVID-19, both in terms of workouts and nutrition?
1. Stay sane. It’s really easy to say “oh I’ll do it later” and then 3 days later you’re working on your 3rd batch of Oreos. I know that it won’t work for everyone, but if you can get into one of those Zoom classes, even if it is just to say hi, do the warm up and mobility and then go get the WOD in, it is still a form of accountability that we can leverage on each other.
2. If you don’t have room or equipment to do any version of the WODs that get posted, just get outside. This is one of greatest times to live in CenTex. The weather is amazing, everything is turning green. Time to dust off those shoes or that bike and get out on the pavement. I rode the Hotter’n’Hell Hundred 5 years ago. After riding it, I had not been back on my road bike. Guess what you can do w/ all the free time in the world: clean of and lube up the old bike. I did exactly that and took it on a decent ride and it felt great. CrossFit isn’t ALL about how much you can lift or do, but about how much your overall fitness can improve. And you don’t need a bar or pull up rig to maintain what you’ve already built.