What does the October Open mean for your Nutrition?

I was thrilled the date for the October open finally came out, because l’ve been talking about it with many of my coaching clients for weeks.  What does something in October have to do with nutrition in August?  Just like your training goals evolve, so should your nutrition plans change to support those goals.  For example, eating in a 500 calorie deficit and trying to PR your deadlift don’t really mesh up, neither do crushing every Open workout WHILE trying to lose those “last 10lbs” either.  It’s common to have a performance goal that doesn’t quite sync with the nutrition we’re giving our body.  Let’s not have your performance goals for The Open butt heads with the type and amount of fuel you’re giving your body!

Where Crossfitter’s are concerned, The Open is basically our “competitive season” or the time of the year when we want to have our best physical performances happen in the gym.  If you have a performance goal for the open, then congratulations- you are officially in “Pre-Season” training!  Step one is identifying an area you’d like to improve before October.  If you’re serious about it- then you’ve probably made a plan or are working with a coach to create a plan to tailor extra work or even daily WOD’s to get the most out of them in helping you progress toward your goal.  But what about the nutrition piece?  This is where things tend to get cloudy and uncomfortable.

So many people I talk to come from a place of always being “on a diet.”  Our body is not meant to be in a constant state of caloric deficit- especially not when we’re expecting optimal physical performance from it.  So, preseason AND in-season are NOT the times to be attempting weight loss WHILE demanding peak physical performance from your body.  Now is when you are slowly working caloric intake UP to where you need it to feel & perform your best. For most, this means slowly increasing carb intake (to a MINIMUM of 40% of overall calories), while keeping fats and protein moderate (roughly btwn 25-30% of overall calories from each).  As you get closer to October, that increase in carbohydrates will continue (as this is the prime macro used to fuel AND recover from workouts), while protein and fats may drop slightly in order to allow for the added carbs in the diet.  If a physical performance goal is not on your agenda for The Open and you’re much more into cheering on your friends & the Friday night social scene, then by all means…get on with your weight loss endeavors, and just have fun during those Open WOD’s!  

Once The Open is over, you’ll have time to reflect, mindfully create a new goal, and again adjust your nutrition plan to meet this new need.  Just as our physical goals should have specific timelines attached, our nutrition should also follow suit.  We should not ALWYAS be in a constant state of dieting, or ultra performance.  There is a time and place for each, and when toggled appropriately we can successfully have times of the year where our training and nutrition effectively support both performance AND body composition goals- just not simultaneously.

If you have a specific performance or body comp goal heading into the fall, and are unsure of the best nutrition plan to follow- drop me a note!  I may be across the country, but I’m only an email away!!  😉

-Janelle (Healthy By Habit)