There’s a billion-dollar fitness industry that churns out advice on everything from your workout routine to your daily nutrition, but with so much information to draw from, how do you know what’s best for you? A good place to start would be to look at the diet and calories of an athlete like Mat Fraser, one of the competition-proven world’s ‘fittest men’.
Mat Fraser eats between 5,000 and 7,000 calories in a single day, based on his body weight and the amount of exercise that he does. The higher end of the caloric consumption is reserved for competition periods.
Just to maintain his weight and size, Fraser is eating more than twice the calories that an average man could be expected to eat, nevermind when he’s in his training periods and just a thousand shy of a 5-figure number. Why does he need so much, and where does he get it from?
The Importance of Calories
If you’re one of the few people lucky enough to never have to worry about your weight and can just recklessly consume whatever takes their fancy, then you’ll never have given a second thought about your daily calorie count.
The amount of energy that your body has access to is essentially determined by the calories that you consume, in fact, that’s exactly a calorie is, it’s a unit that measures energy. Adjusting your intake up or down will make you gain or lose weight respectively.
There’s a science to determining the correct amount of calories that you should be eating in order to maintain your weight. The process consists of determining your Basal Metabolic Rate, your metabolism, then multiplying the two together.
Plenty of webpages, doctors, fitness experts, and nutritionists will have their own ways to calculate the number, so don’t expect there to be a concrete answer on the correct amount of calories.
What does this mean for someone of Mat Fraser’s build, though?
Well, Fraser is almost 200lbs of muscle. Not only is that a lot of weight, but that’s the kind of machinery that your body is going to have a hard time running without enough fuel.
Fraser’s Approach to Nutrition
With calories being as important as they are, and with there being so much informational material and instruction on how to get the most out of them, you might expect that it would be the first consideration when planning a diet. Not for Fraser, however.
Although there is some thought given to ensuring that he meets the required amount of calories to maintain his size and continue building strength, Fraser’s main concern is the quality of the food that he eats.
By Fraser’s own account, he only eats foods that could be considered “natural”. Meat, vegetables, rice, and fruit are some examples of what he considers a staple in his diet, especially the rice, which he has with almost every single meal.
Still, even with only the healthiest, highest quality, and natural foods at your disposal, the thought of eating 7000 calories worth of meat and vegetables is a hard one to digest for the non-athlete.
Fraser didn’t always make up that caloric intake with clean eating, however. He was apparently quite a fan of ice cream, to the extent that he could readily consume an entire pint of it in a single session.
It’s been a while since he engaged in those kinds of eating habits, however, and now sticks to his cleaner diet, completely swearing off sugar and junk food for the increased stability that it gives his energy levels throughout the course of the day.
Following a Similar Diet
If you’ve got any plans to follow a diet similar to Fraser’s, you should definitely remember that the reason for the huge amount of calories are the reasons that he has to eat so much.
Beyond having a physique that is completely packed with muscle, the kind of exercises and training that a CrossFit athlete has to perform are some of the most intense, demanding, and rigorous exercises.
There’s a lot of weight-lifting and explosive movements that burn through the body’s energy to build more muscle. So don’t think that just because you’re managing to put away a pint of ice-cream in a single night that you’ll wake up looking like Fraser!