How carbs are actually beneficial.
Usually the first response that someone’s mind jumps to is “that looks so good, but I would get fat if I ate this”, because that’s the way society has programmed is to think. Now, I’m not saying this is the healthiest meal that one can shove down his/her gullet, but it can certainly be healthy when eaten for a certain purpose.
What purpose could be healthy when including a massive pancake? Well let’s dive into a few parameters that need to be thought out and discussed.
First, if you’re eating this meal as a reward for yourself after weeks or months of being very diligent with a certain diet prescription from your coach, then it can be mentally healthy if you don’t allow it to create a downward death spiral of binge eating whatever you want, whenever you want. In this case, counting your macros for this particular meal is nonessential to your success. This can be attacked from several different angles. You can split the meal in half or thirds so that you don’t overeat, yet still treat yourself. Also, if you do still want this meal to fit your macros (assuming you’re still working toward your end goal in mind) be intentional to leave a little room in the bank for the consumption of the whole meal. This is the route I generally take when it comes to a meal that may not be the healthiest, yet I don’t want to just completely fall off the wagon. Regardless, you need to assess your intentions and plan accordingly for the highest chance of success.
Second, if you are celebrating a hard earned, well fought victory from a day/weekend of competition then dive in! It’s ONE meal, you will not get fat from one meal just like you won’t get shredded from one restricted meal/cleanse or fasted day. Besides, your body probably needs it. Which makes a good Segway to the final thought I want to focus on.
Third, recovery is of dire need after heavy bouts of high intensity training. CrossFit is very glycolytic by nature, therefore requiring restoration of the CNS and muscle glycogen as a result. This makes the meal pictured above pretty desirable for a post workout meal. Consuming a large number of carbs in this time window for the purpose of recovery will not have the same negative effects on your body as eating this meal when you are well rested and sedentary. Stop looking at carbs in a negative light if you’re a moderately to high level competitive athlete. If you’re looking to optimize health and care nothing about competition, then a later post will be more to your liking.
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