Mixed martial artist Maycee Barber—who’s currently ranked number 10 in the UFC women’s flyweight rankings—knows first-hand that you can’t enter a ring only-half fueled for a fight. Not giving your body the fuel it needs is a major weakness in MMA, and it’s one she works closely with her trainers to make sure she avoids.
“After I got signed with UFC, they did all these metabolic tests to create a meal plan for me, which they partnered with meal delivery service Trifecta to do,” Barber says. Based on her results, she says she avoids soy and dairy, and eats a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and lots of fibrous veggies. Her unique MMA fighter diet has helped her achieve some major victories—and deal out some pretty impressive moves in the ring:
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“I’ve gotten really into the science behind what’s best to eat because it’s so important [for my job],” Barber says. “I’ve done meal plans in the past where I haven’t felt good at all, I felt sick and tired all the time, but eating this way makes me feel energized and also keeps my immune system strong,” she says. Here, she explains what an average day of eating—and working out—looks like for her.
Keep reading to see what UFC star Maycee Barber eats in a typical day to stay in fighting condition.
Workout schedule: 9:30-10:30 a.m.: wrestling; 1:30-2:30 p.m.: team practice; 3-4 p.m.: recovery period and cryotherapy; 6-7 p.m.: padwork (where you practice form and speed by hitting soft pads on someone’s hands); 8 p.m.: light run or hot tub (depending on the day’s training intensity)
“All of my meals are some sort of combination of protein and vegetables—including breakfast,” says Barber. “I really love eggs, so that’s something I have a lot in the mornings, often with a side of broccoli, or another high-fiber vegetable. I like to have coffee, but I wait until after my morning workout to have it. Throughout the day, I make sure to stay hydrated, too. Hydration is really important. I drink water before, during, and after all my workouts.”
“There’s a poke spot close to me that I love, so I got there a lot for lunch,” she says. “I do a build-your-own-bowl, adding ahi tuna and lots and lots of greens. I also add in cilantro, cucumber, and red onion. The sauce I like to put on top is lime juice-based. I love this lunch because it’s super healthy, really delicious, and gives me the stamina I need to push through my next workout.”
“Dinner is…yep, more protein and veggies! One of my go-to dinners is salmon and vegetables,” she says. “It has protein, healthy fats, and of course lots of fiber—everything I know my body needs to feel good. I don’t actually love the taste of salmon, but I do love the way it makes me feel. As you can see, I eat a lot of fish and vegetables; that’s pretty much the core of my diet. I just try to find ways to keep it mix it up and keep it interesting.”
Want to see more Food Diaries? Here’s what Olympic gymnast Simone Biles eats every day and here’s actress Jenna Dewan’s meal plan.
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