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Inside David Goggins' Dietary Choices: Discipline to Daily Meals


When you think of David Goggins, the first things that might come to mind are his reputation as an ultra-endurance athlete and a retired US Navy Seal. But beyond his impressive physical feats and military accolades, there's another aspect of his life that's equally intriguing: his diet.

"Don't stop when you're tired. Stop when you're done." - David Goggins

David Goggins' diet is a testament to his commitment to excellence. It's not just about fueling his body for the grueling physical challenges he undertakes but also about ensuring optimal health, longevity, and mental clarity.

David Goggins' Physical Profile

  • Body Mass: Approximately 86 kg or around 190 lbs
  • Stature: Roughly 6 feet 2 inches tall
  • Years Lived: Close to 48 years


  • Torso: About 44 inches across
  • Midsection: Approximately 32 inches
  • Upper Arm: Nearly 17 inches in circumference

The Foundations of Goggins' Diet

One of the cornerstones of David Goggins' diet is the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet shifts the body's metabolism from burning carbohydrates to burning fats. It's a diet that's gained traction among many athletes, especially those at made4fighters, who swear by its benefits for both cardio and stamina, as well as weight lifting exercises.

Key Components of the Ketogenic Diet:

The Ketogenic Diet is characterized by several key components that contribute to its effectiveness and popularity.

At its core, the diet emphasizes a high fat intake, accounting for about 70-80% of daily caloric consumption, with primary sources being avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and nuts. 

The diet also advocates for the avoidance of sugary foods, including candies, sodas, and high-sugar desserts. 

David Goggins results
  • Protein intake is moderate and is sourced from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. 

  • Carbohydrates are significantly limited, making up only about 5-10% of daily caloric intake, with a focus on non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. 

  • Hydration is paramount, especially since the body experiences increased water loss in ketosis.

Maintaining electrolyte balance becomes crucial, prompting the intake of essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. 

Some people incorporate supplements like MCT oil, exogenous ketones, or specific vitamins to further support their ketogenic journey.

Note: David also incorporates intermittent fasting into his routine. This eating pattern cycles between periods of eating and fasting, further enhancing the benefits of the ketogenic diet. It's not just about when you eat, but what you eat.

And for Goggins, every meal is a calculated choice.

The 40/40/20 Rule

While the ketogenic diet is high in fats, it's essential to understand the distribution of macronutrients. David follows the 40/40/20 rule: 40% protein, 40% fats, and 20% carbohydrates. 

This ensures that while he's getting the benefits of the keto diet, he's also fueling his body with the right amount of protein and carbs necessary for his ultra-endurance activities.

"It's not about following a diet blindly. It's about understanding what your body needs and adjusting accordingly." 

Adjusting Macronutrients

While the 40/40/20 rule is a guideline, David listens to his body. On days when he's focusing more on weight lifting exercises, he might up his protein intake. If he's gearing up for an ultra-endurance event, he might tweak his carbohydrate intake slightly, ensuring he has the energy reserves for prolonged physical exertion.

Supplements and the Goggins Diet

While whole foods are always the best source of nutrients, supplements can play a role in ensuring an athlete's diet is well-rounded. 

MCT oil, for instance, is a staple. It provides a quick source of energy, especially useful for those on a ketogenic diet.

Grass-fed unsalted butter is another favorite. Not only does it add flavor to meals like the bulletproof coffee, but it's also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits.

The Role of Cheat Days

Even someone as disciplined as David Goggins understands the importance of balance.

Occasional cheat days or meals can play a psychological role, providing a break from the rigidity of a strict diet. 

However, it's essential to approach these with mindfulness. A cheat meal is an opportunity to enjoy, but it's also crucial to understand its place within a broader nutritional strategy.

Mental Clarity and the Goggins Diet

Beyond physical prowess, diet plays a significant role in mental health and clarity. The brain, like any other organ, requires fuel, and the type of fuel you provide can significantly impact its performance. For David Goggins, the ketogenic diet isn't just about physical endurance; it's about mental endurance too.

The Brain on Ketones

When the body is in ketosis, it produces ketones, an alternative fuel source to glucose. These ketones are a preferred source of energy for the brain. Many, including David, report heightened levels of focus, clarity, and cognitive function when their diet is rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.

The Role of Nutrition in Recovery

Physical training, especially at the level of an ultra-endurance athlete like David Goggins, takes a toll on the body. Recovery is just as crucial as the training itself. 

Here, nutrition plays a pivotal role. Protein, for instance, aids in muscle repair. Healthy fats can reduce inflammation, and certain micronutrients, like magnesium, can aid in muscle relaxation and sleep.

David's choice of foods like avocado, full-fat plain yogurt, and steamed vegetables isn't random. Each has a role in ensuring his body recovers, ready to tackle the next challenge.

Top Books by David Goggins

  1. Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds (Published in 2018)

  2. Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within (Published in 2022)

Biography - David Goggins

David Goggins' Navy Training Meal Routine

Time Meal Food
10.30am Breakfast Oatmeal with Protein e.g. Nuts. Or a banana
2:30pm Pre-Workout Fruits, Nuts
6:00pm Dinner Fish or Chicken, Vegetable or Salad with steamed rice
7:00pm Post-Workout Protein Shake

Please be aware that this diet plan was specific to David Goggins while he was training to lose weight for Navy enrollment. It may not be accurate currently.

Finding Balance in Discipline

While David Goggins' diet is a testament to his discipline, it's also a testament to his understanding of balance. Life isn't just about strict regimens and pushing limits. It's also about enjoying the journey.

Occasional indulgences, like a piece of dark chocolate or a favorite dish, have their place. They serve as a reminder that while discipline is crucial, so is living life to its fullest.

In conclusion, David Goggins' approach to diet is much like his approach to life. It's about understanding, discipline, and commitment. But it's also about balance, enjoyment, and savoring every moment, every meal. Whether you're an athlete or someone looking to make healthier choices, there's a lot to learn from the dietary discipline of David Goggins.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Goggins eat junk food?

David Goggins is renowned for his dedication to his dietary regimen. While he occasionally indulges in a pizza, he recognizes the significance of nourishing his body with premium nutrients. 

How much does David Goggins weigh?

David Goggins' weight has fluctuated over the years, especially considering his various physical challenges and training regimens. He has been open about his weight loss journey, where he lost over 100 pounds in a short period. Currently, he maintains a weight that supports his endurance activities, estimated to be around 190-200 pounds.

Can you lose 100 pounds in 3 months?

Losing 100 pounds in 3 months is a significant and rapid weight loss. While it might be possible under extreme circumstances, it's not recommended for most individuals. Rapid weight loss can lead to various health issues and might not be sustainable in the long run. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any drastic weight loss regimen.

How many hours does David Goggins sleep?

David Goggins has mentioned in interviews and his book that he often operates on minimal sleep, sometimes as little as 4-5 hours a night. However, this is tailored to his unique lifestyle and might not be suitable for everyone.

Does David Goggins lift weights every day?

David Goggins has a diverse training regimen that includes running, swimming, and weight lifting. While he incorporates weight lifting into his routine, it's unlikely he lifts weights every single day, allowing time for recovery and other forms of exercise.

Does David Goggins have health issues?

David has faced various physical challenges due to his intense training and activities. He's had issues like stress fractures and other injuries. However, he's also known for his incredible mental fortitude in pushing through pain and discomfort.

Does David Goggins take rest days?

While David Goggins is known for his extreme discipline and rigorous training regimen, he understands the importance of recovery. He likely incorporates rest or active recovery days into his routine to allow his body to heal and recover.

Why is David Goggins so tough?

David Goggins' toughness can be attributed to his life experiences, his time as a Navy SEAL, and his personal challenges. He has cultivated a mindset of resilience, discipline, and pushing beyond limits, which has contributed to his reputation as one of the toughest individuals around.

Is David Goggins a Navy SEAL?

Yes, David Goggins is a retired US Navy SEAL. He served in Iraq and has been through multiple SEAL training programs. His time as a Navy SEAL has significantly influenced his mindset and approach to life's challenges.