Nutrition Spotlight: Joe

Coach Joe is PUSH511's September nutrition spotlight!

You might think that coaches have it all figured out when it comes to their own nutrition and fitness. While they do have a high level of knowledge when it comes to staying fit and eating well, it doesn't mean that they don't need the same accountability that we all do. We all need a little help sometimes when it comes to these things!

Coach Joe saw amazing results after he participated in our last nutrition and the best part is that he's continued his progress since then. If you're interested in working one-on-one with a nutrition coach or doing PUSH511's Mastering Macros Challenge, read on:

"I am Joe Caraccio and I work as a Digital Product Manager for Citibank. I also moonlight as a CrossFit Coach. Prior to my current job, I was an Army Officer for 8+ years.

"I have joined four nutrition challenges since I joined/worked at PUSH511 and have had different reasons for joining each challenge. Throughout my post-Army career, I have found that I am easily able to maintain a solid fitness routine, but I often lose sight of my nutrition. A couple of [PUSH511's] challenges I used to recalibrate and refocus my nutrition. As I’ve gradually gotten more knowledgeable/more consistent with my nutrition, I’ve used some of the challenges to fine-tune some aspects to meet more specific overall fitness goals.

"In two of the challenges I lost upwards of 20 lbs and between 7-10% body fat. In the latest challenge, my biggest achievement was the ability to successfully implement macro counting/food tracking into my routine. I am now on 240+ days straight of tracking my food. Good, bad, or ugly, it all gets tracked :)"

We asked Joe what he learned from participating in nutrition challenges with PUSH511 that he wasn't already doing on his own:

"I could write a dissertation on all of the things I was not doing well prior to focusing on my nutrition, but I’ll try to focus on a couple of key things:

  1. "Not eating enough on a daily basis and then overdoing it later to compensate. I find that when I’m working or otherwise engaged throughout the day, I forget to eat. Then, once I do eat, I realize how hungry I am and eat way too much at one time. I’ve gotten way better at grazing throughout the day to help maintain my metabolism and avoid overeating in one sitting. I was especially bad at this during the weekends when I knew I would be going out or something. I’d avoid eating knowing I was taking on the alcohol and food calories later, but this would cause me to overdo it instead of being more mindful.
  2. "Not getting enough protein. Once I started counting my macros, I realized on a day-to-day basis, even when I thought I was eating well, I was not getting nearly enough protein to support my fitness goals. For this last challenge, when I started macro counting I finally achieved a big goal of mine which was to lose weight while increasing muscle mass. In the past challenges I have been very successful losing weight but it came with a small cost of also losing some muscle mass, however, since macro counting (8+ months) during this last round I am down 40+ pounds but have gained almost 1 pound of muscle in the process."

Aside from the physical reward of losing body fat, Joe has seen an array of benefits in his daily life since consistently dialing his nutrition in:

"Overall, I just feel a lot better. With two kids now, it helps with the energy to get up and go and keep up with them throughout the day. Two kids, a pup, two jobs + a heavy focus on fitness are a lot to squeeze in a 24-hour day so fueling myself well has really made my life a lot easier on a day-to-day basis."

And the best part is that with counting macros, you can make your daily meals and snacks as fancy or simple as you want. With two kids, easy is best for Joe, but that doesn't mean meals and snacks have to taste boring:

"I keep everything very, very simple and am not a picky eater so you probably won’t get anything fun or cool here lol. I have three protein shakes a day in between meals. One to two RXBARs a day. Some combination of eggs, yogurt, turkey, chicken, and veggies for breakfast/lunch. For dinner, we’ll prep some fun meals throughout the week. Two nights a week of HelloFresh (usually a chicken, ground turkey, or lean pork dish), chicken sausage, stuffed peppers, or breakfast for dinner (eggs + turkey bacon) are frequents. Usually, one night a week to go/order out. Lately, my daily treat to myself if I’m on top of my macros is to make chocolate milk the base of my last shake of the day and to me, it feels like a legit milkshake."

Joe's bit of advice for anyone struggling with their fitness or nutrition:

"I can talk X’s and O’s on macro counting or fitness programming all day, but my real only advice I’d offer on both fitness and nutrition is that it should be fun :) Life is already way too hard. If you aren’t finding joy in your fitness or nutrition routine and either of them feels like a chore, change something and don’t wait. It is the single best thing you can do for yourself on a day-to-day basis, so enjoy it!"

The best part of working with a nutrition coach is that nothing is black and white. Your coach will work with you to build a plan and routine that serves you, your goals, and your schedule. Counting macros can also help you make sure you are eating enough for your goals and lifestyle while still offering flexibility so you can incorporate the all of foods you love.

If you are interested in learning to count macros for the first time or would like to get back on a consistent macro counting routine, join our Mastering Macros Challenge kicking off on October 2nd!

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