Mat Fraser is a five-time Fittest Man on Earth®, having stood atop the podium of the CrossFit Games every year from 2016 to 2020. In retirement, he’s stayed busy. The CrossFit G.O.A.T started a supplements company called Podium with the Buttery Bros, a podcast with Josh Bridges and Sevan Mattossian, and his own YouTube channel.
The June 3, 2021 episode released on his YouTube channel gave an inside look at all the food Fraser ate during a training day at the peak of his CrossFit career. Check out the full video that covers all of the foods Fraser ate while he reigned as champion:
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Fraser had flashbacks of hot, hard training days while looking at a full day’s worth of food from that era.
Fraser’s opinion when it comes to eating first thing in the morning is really anybody’s guess:
I hate eating breakfast. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Despite his disdain for “real food” for breakfast, Fraser’s body needed calories to burn. So he started his day with yogurt, granola, fruit, and a cup of coffee. The sweetness of the fruit helped him get the food down, and that meal was enough to “prime him” for his first training session of the day.
Give or take an hour after meal one, following his first training session for the day, Fraser would crush meal two. It consisted of:
- Bagel with cream cheese
- Bacon (specifically the black forest bacon from Trader Joe’s)
If Fraser had the option to skip breakfast altogether, it seems like he would have jumped at the chance.
I hate feeling full first thing in the morning. If I could take in all my calories after 8pm…
…which he almost did. As the day progressed, Fraser’s meals scaled in size.
The midday meal was a sandwich consisting of turkey, sprouts, fresh mozzarella, and avocado between two slices of sourdough bread. That was paired with apple slices.
As far as snacking during training sessions went, Fraser would keep a shaker bottle with Gatorade and a protein shake (50 grams of protein) on hand to sip on during training. He also crushed simple sugars, such as Mott’s fruit snacks and Snickers bars, to stay energized. During his interview with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, he admitted that he had eaten enough Snickers for a lifetime.
For context, Fraser was eating a fun-sized Snickers bar approximately every 10 minutes during a “Zone 2” training session (read: intense conditioning/cardio), which would last between an hour to an hour and a half. During competition days, he would crush king-size Snickers bars but “ditch the wrapper, so no one knew what [he] was eating.” When questioned, he would lie that it was a protein bar rather than a huge candy bar.
Fraser has previously told BarBend that he does not “really track anything specifically” regarding calories or macros. Instead, he would consume “a ballpark number” of calories. Obviously, this approach worked for Fraser.
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This meal was deemed “dinner,” and Fraser would consume it around 7:00 p.m. each day after training. It was a huge plate that consisted of:
Fraser’s partner, Sammy Moniz, called this meal “a chore” to get down. However, that was, for the most part, intentional by Fraser, who “tried to eat as few bites as [he] could until [he] was done with training for the day.”
In the later evening hours, Fraser ate what might be considered comfort foods or, as Moniz phrased it, “reverting back to middle school.” We’re talking chocolate chips cookies, chicken fingers with honey mustard, protein bars, frosted mini wheat cereal with whole milk, and chocolate truffles.
While relaxing and watching TV, Fraser would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a banana — similar to what he would eat mid-competition at the Games. During competition days, Fraser kept his menu pretty much the same but made subtle changes to the number of carbs he was consuming. An example of this was switching to hoagie bread instead of sourdough for his sandwich for meal three.
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Adjustments During Competition
Fraser enjoyed the feeling of being hungry during competition as it helped him “feel sharp.” However, that was not conducive to proper recovery. So even when he actively did not want to eat anything, particularly sweet and salty Snickers bars, he would. He made some additional adjustments before the Games and when he was between events or days during the Games.
The first was cutting dairy a month and a half before the competition. That includes swapping to dairy-free cream cheese and yogurt and swapping whole milk for almond milk in his cereal. The rationale for this was to remove as many foods as possible that could cause inflammation — dairy was a huge culprit. He also cut gluten.
Early Days of CrossFit
When Fraser first started competing in CrossFit competition, he weighed 169 pounds. While going to school and to save money, his meals primarily consisted of Chinese food and dollar pizza slices from a pair of food trucks, CostCo racks of ribs, Ben & Jerry’s pints of ice cream, and Hungry Man® TV dinners that he warmed up in a microwave.
After winning an East Coast Championship in 2012 at a ballooned weight of 203 pounds, Fraser “struck gold” when the head of Paleo Power Meals started sending him catering-sized platters of healthier foods like spaghetti squash bolognese and cobb salad.
Ben Bergeron and Ice Cream
Around 2014, Fraser began working with Ben Bergeron, who wanted Fraser to eat lean meats and vegetables. Fraser’s ego played the contrarian to Bergeron’s advice, and to prove that he could “out-train a bad diet,” Fraser ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream every single day. The ice cream makers actually sent Fraser a care package of their products because of how much ice cream he consumed.
Following his second runner-up finish at the Games to four-time Fittest Man on Earth® Rich Froning, Fraser overcorrected his eating habits to a fault. However, it gave him a sense of how to continue iterating his diet to get to what ultimately proved successful for him to the tune of the most individual Games titles ever.
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Diet In Retirement
Now that Fraser is no longer training the same way he was for the highest level of competition in the functional fitness space, his diet looks nothing like what it did in terms of volume. By his own admission, if he tried to eat now what he ate during his years of training, he would be “in the fetal position” in pain.
These days, his daily intake is half, at most, of what it was during Games training. Additionally, all of the sugary treats — truffles, gummies, Snickers, etc. — have been axed from his diet.
For a more detailed breakdown of what Fraser’s training diet consisted of with specific calorie and macronutrient breakdowns, a downloadable e-book is available for $9.99 on shop.feedingthefrasers.com.
Feature image: @mathewfras on Instagram