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David Goggins Diet: Food List and Meal Plan

The former US Navy, David Goggins introduced a healthy eating lifestyle with regular exercise known as David Goggins Diet. It helped David Goggins lose over 100 pounds in just 3 months to qualify for Navy training. But weight loss is not the only benefit of this diet as it can help digestion and mental clarity. If you want to have a healthy meal plan and lose extra weight, you should learn about his diet and lifestyle.

David Goggins Diet: Food List and Meal Plan
  • David Goggins is a retired US Navy Seal and current fitness coach promoting the David Goggins Diet.
  • David Goggins Diet includes doing regular exercise and consuming nutritious foods with high levels of healthy protein and fat and moderate carbohydrates.
  • Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods with healthy fats are allowed on this diet.
  • Following the David Goggins Diet can improve your digestion, eliminate toxins, lose weight, and boost mental function.

Who Is David Goggins?

Born in 1975, David Goggins is a former US Navy SEAL and also an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, and author of two memoirs (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds and Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within).

He's been recognized with honors like the VFW Americanism Award for his military service and induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame.

After the military, Goggins became a fitness expert and is famous for pushing himself and others to their limits. Goggins has finished difficult physical challenges like ultra-marathons, Ironman triathlons, and 100-mile bike races.

You will be surprised to know that David Goggins was overweight and had a very unhealthy lifestyle before joining the Navy and he reached his ideal weight in just three months.

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The Before and After of David Goggins

Before joining Navy Seals, David’s eating habits comprised high-calorie and high-carbohydrate foods, as a result, he was overweight and out of shape.

To join the Navy Seals, he needed to lose over 100 pounds to qualify for the Navy training. So he changed his diet, started to eat more healthily, and went from nearly 300 pounds to 190 pounds in just three months by starting a plant-based diet.

These changes show that David's new eating routine, combined with exercise, worked well for him. So, gradually others started to follow this routine, known as the David Goggins Diet.

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What Is David Goggins Diet?

David Goggins Diet is a kind of Keto Diet that focuses on eating healthy and nutritious foods along with regular and daily exercise.

He avoids processed foods and eats mainly whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. His diet works by consuming fewer calories than he burns to create a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Goggins recommends eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day, which prevents feeling hungry and boosts the metabolism.

You can have a variety of foods in this diet to provide moderate carbohydrates and high healthy fats and protein.

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Foods to Eat

On David Goggins Diet, you can consume the following foods:

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits (apples, berries, oranges), Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards), and other low-carbohydrate veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Lean Proteins: Chicken breast, Turkey, Fish (salmon, tuna, tilapia), Eggs, and Plant-based proteins (lentils, beans, tofu)
  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, Quinoa, Whole wheat bread/pasta, and Oats
  • Foods with Healthy Fats: Nuts (almonds, walnuts), Seeds (chia, flax), Avocados, Olive oil or avocado oil

However, processed and refined foods are not allowed in this diet.

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Foods to Avoid

David Goggins Diet excludes:

  • Processed Foods: Fast foods, Processed meats (hot dogs, sausages), Packaged snacks (chips, crackers), Sweets (candy, cookies, cakes)
  • Refined Carbs: White bread, White rice, Pastries, Sugary cereals
  • Unhealthy Fats: Fried foods, Foods high in saturated fat, Butter, Margarine
  • Sugary Beverages: Sodas, Fruit juices, Sweetened teas/coffees
  • Alcohol

The main reason for excluding these foods is that they contain high calories and carbohydrates, which are against the goal of this diet, i.e., reducing the calorie intake.

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How Many Calories Are in David Goggins Diet?

David Goggins consumes around 750-1000 calories daily by eating small and frequent meals throughout the day.

But it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist to make sure this diet and calorie range is suitable for you.

Consuming these numbers of daily calories that come from healthy foods combined with regular exercise can provide many benefits to your body.

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The Benefits of David Goggins Diet

David Goggins Diet can help:

  • Improve Digestion and Eliminate Toxins
  • Boost Energy Levels and Promote Weight Loss
  • Enhance Mental Clarity

Improving Digestion and Eliminate Toxins

David Goggins Diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods that are nutrient-rich and easy to digest. It includes drinking plenty of water to help digestion. By eliminating processed foods and toxins, the diet helps your body's natural detoxification processes through urination and bowel movements [1] [2].

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Boosting Energy Levels and Promote Weight Loss

David Goggins Diet is based on eating nutritious foods and at least 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity. Exercise helps boost your metabolism to burn more calories and as a result, combining a nutritious diet with frequent exercise allows for healthy and sustainable weight loss [3] [4].

Enhancing Mental Clarity

David Goggins Diet can help boost brain function, as it’s high in protein and moderate in carbohydrates, which has proved to enhance mental clarity and focus.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and  E, and flavonoids that protect brain cells from oxidative damage. For example, blueberries and leafy greens are excellent sources of these protective antioxidants [5].

Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and beans provide the amino acids needed to create neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that regulate mood and focus [6].

Low-fat dairy like Greek yogurt and milk contain vitamin B12, crucial for red blood cells and myelin sheath formation around neurons for efficient cognitive function [7].

Along with these benefits, there may be risks and side effects you should consider before starting this diet.

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Risks or Side Effects of David Goggins Diet

In some cases, especially if you have an underlying disease like diabetes, this diet can cause the following side effects.

  • Keto Flu: Since David Goggins Diet is described as a high-protein and low-carb (keto) approach, those starting it can experience symptoms known as the keto flu. These can include fatigue, headaches, nausea, and sleep difficulties as the body adapts to using fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. However, these symptoms are usually temporary [8].
  • Dehydration: The exercise routines recommended alongside the Goggins Diet can lead to excessive sweating and fluid loss, increasing the risk of dehydration if proper hydration is not maintained by drinking enough water and electrolytes. So it’s important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance [9].
  • Overtraining or Injury: Pushing too hard with extreme workout regimens without adequate rest and recovery can result in overtraining syndrome or injuries like muscle strains, joint pain, etc. Your exercise routine should align with your body’s condition and needs [10].

So, if you have decided to follow this diet, you can use the following sample 3-day meal plan to get started.

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ِDavid Goggins Diet Sample 3-Day Meal Plan

Here is a sample 3-day meal plan for David Goggins Diet. You can modify it based on your body's needs and health goals but you should watch how many calories you're taking and stick to the foods allowed in the diet.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with 1 cup of spinach and ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • Lunch: 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of quinoa salad with mixed vegetables (½ cup of bell peppers, ½ cup of cucumbers, ½ cup of carrots)
  • Dinner: 4 oz. baked salmon, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, 1 cup of brown rice
  • Snacks: 1 cup of Greek yogurt with ½ cup of mixed berries, ¼ cup of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios)
  • Food supplements: 1 multivitamin (if needed), 1000 mg omega-3 fish oil supplement

Day 2

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal topped with half of a banana and a drizzle of honey, 1 hard-boiled eggs
  • Lunch: Turkey and avocado wrap with 1 whole grain tortilla, Mixed green salad with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and lemon dressing
  • Dinner: 3 oz. stir-fried tofu with mixed vegetables (1 cup of broccoli, ½ cup of bell peppers, ½ cup of snap peas) in a light soy sauce, 1 cup of quinoa
  • Snacks: 1 apple sliced with 1 tbsp of almond butter, 1 cup of carrot sticks with ¼ cup of hummus
  • Food supplements: 1000 IU Vitamin D (if needed, especially if sunlight exposure is limited), 200 mg magnesium supplement (to support muscle function and recovery)

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made with 1 cup of spinach, 1 banana, ½ cup of berries, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 slice of whole grain toast with 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • Lunch: 1 serving of lentil soup with vegetables, 3 whole grain crackers
  • Dinner: 2 oz. grilled lean steak, 1 medium roasted sweet potato
  • Snacks: 1 cup of cottage cheese with ½ cup of pineapple chunks, ½ cup of edamame (steamed soybeans)
  • Food supplements: 1 scoop of protein powder (for post-workout recovery), 5 grams of BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) supplement (optional, to support muscle recovery and endurance)

The following table shows the calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat you can get from this meal plan.

DayCalories (kcal)Protein (g)Carbohydrates (g)Fat (g)
1 970 100 50 80
2 940 80 55 86
3 950 84 54 84

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David Goggins Diet is a kind of ketogenic diet for weight loss with a focus on healthy and nutritious foods and daily exercise.

This diet is popular and used by many people but since there is not enough academic research on David Goggins Diet, it’s better to consult a nutritionist or healthcare professional to ensure it is safe for you and aligns with your needs and health status.

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