Powerlifter Stefi Cohen set three new world records earlier this year, taking her total up to a staggering 25. It was a feat that involved her dropping 10 pounds (4.5kg) pretty much overnight, in order to be able to compete in a lower weight class — a drastic process she said she doesn't recommend or endorse to anybody outside of the sport. When she's not in competition, however, Cohen's diet is pretty consistent — and she makes sure it accommodates favourites like beer and ice cream.
In a recent interview with BarBend, Cohen broke down her nutrition regimen, explaining that she's cutting and "pretty lean right now" at 130 pounds, so eating 1,800 calories a day, compared to the 2,500 calories she eats each day when she's in a strength cycle.
Macro-wise, Cohen eats 130 grams protein, 180 grams carbs, and 50 to 60 grams of fat. Some athletes eat more carbs on days they train to give them more energy, but Cohen keeps her intake level throughout the week. And she tends to eat the same thing every day. Here's what an average day's meals look like:
- Breakfast is high fat and low carb: Eggs, chicken thighs, bacon.
- Lunch: Ground beef or steak, chicken breast, rice or sweet potatoes, vegetables.
- Snack: Yogurt, fruit.
- Dinner: Beef or chicken, vegetables, sweet potatoes.
When it comes to vegetables, Cohen prefers lower-fibre options like mushrooms and spinach, as she finds fibre too filling (one of the reasons it's good for weight loss, but not if you're eating lots of calories while training). She also like probiotics such as kimchi, as they help the body break down and absorb foods more efficiently.
Perhaps most surprisingly, Cohen enjoys a beer with dinner every night. "If you fit it into your calories in the day, yeah you can," she says. "Obviously I would never advise that someone add three or four drinks a day, because I guess that's not good for you, but yeah, you can fit in a glass of wine or a can of beer a day."
Cohen is also a sucker for junk food, and will often make space in her daily calorie intake for sweet treats, finding that a well-timed sugar rush can help in her training. "Sometimes I order a McFlurry, sometimes I order an ice cream cone, or I have some Oreos with milk... it gets wild sometimes," she says. "It can help your performance, if you eat it at the right time, you know, you can have a can of regular Coke half an hour before you train, get 40 grams of sugar straight into the zone, ready to go."
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