Crabs in a Bucket

crabs in a bucket

You’re on a mission to whip yourself into the best shape of your life.

  • You’ve dialed in your nutrition.
  • You’re crushing those early morning workouts.
  • You’re making serious steps forward towards your health and fitness goals.

But the minute you bust out the tupperware filled with grilled chicken and broccoli, suddenly everyone’s got something to say like a bunch of crabs in a bucket…

It’s like we’re living in a world where society’s got this messed-up double standard when it comes to health and fitness. Eating unhealthy gets a standing ovation but eating healthy and with discipline gets a side-eye?

You know what I’m talking about…

  • Those times when you pass on the office doughnuts…
  • Those times when you ask for the lettuce instead of the bun…
  • Those times when you ask for no sauce (seriously f#*k your sauce, I’m powered by results not that s#*t)
  • No thank you, I’ll pass on the butter.



If you want to get leaner, you should not combine high carbs and high fats in a meal.

You can and should alternate meals like this:
Breakfast – protein + fats (steak and eggs)
Lunch – protein + fats (chicken, avocado, and veg in extra virgin olive oil)
Dinner – protein + carbs (chicken, rice, broccoli)

I don’t think I say this to you guys enough. That’s a nutrition staple in my life and it’s just such a thing for me that I probably don’t even think about saying it enough to you.

***So I’m saying it to you now in this time out***

Here’s some examples:

  • You can have a chicken and sourdough bread (but no butter – high fat)
  • You want that pretzel at CAMP? Sorry ask for no butter…
  • You want pasta tonight? Better find yourself some sauce options that aren’t high fat like cheese, Alfredo sauce, etc..

Now, if you want to combine high fat and high carb in a meal that is considered a REFEED meal (typically referred to as a cheat meal). We’ll reframe this thinking in my next blog…

So how many cheat meals should you have per week?
I’d advocate the 80-20 principle.

Let’s break that down:
If you eat 3 times per day (snacks count as meals!) x 7 days that’s 21 meals per week.
20% of that is 4 meals per week where you can have all the pasta and double burgers you want.

If you eat like that and don’t get results, you’ll probably have to eat more like 90-10 and 2 meals would be cheat/refeed.

Ok, I’m done. Back to crabs in a bucket…

It’s like the whole world’s turned upside down…

So I just want to let you know, you’re not alone.

I know you’re putting in the work.

I know you’re making the sacrifices and you’re just trying to live your life and level up your health and fitness and all you get in return is a chorus of naysayers trying to drag you back down to their level.

You know what I’m talking about right?
I’m talking about those crabs in a bucket.
crabs in a bucket

So what exactly is crabs in a bucket?

It’s a metaphor used to illustrate a phenomenon where individuals, especially within a group or community, will try to hinder the progress or success of others who are striving to improve themselves or achieve their goals.

The analogy comes from the observation that when crabs are placed in a bucket, if one crab tries to climb out to escape, the other crabs will grab onto it and pull it back down, preventing it from escaping.

Similarly (and unfortunately) in human social dynamics, individuals may encounter resistance or negativity from others when they attempt to better themselves, pursue their dreams, or break away from the status quo.

This resistance can manifest in various ways, including discouraging comments, skepticism, passive-aggressive behaviour, or even active attempts to sabotage one’s efforts.

WTF right?

The crabs in the bucket analogy is often used to highlight the prevalence of envy, competition, and a scarcity mindset within certain social circles or communities.

Instead of supporting each other’s growth and success, some individuals may feel threatened by the progress of others, fearing that their own position or status will be diminished if someone else succeeds. As a result, they may unconsciously or consciously act to keep others from rising above a certain level.

We’ll I’m giving a side-eye to those individuals who choose to numb themselves.
Who hide in the shadow of their awareness.
Not wanting to face their reality.
And don’t want their reality threatened by the reality of YOUR inevitable change.

It’s time to block out the noise.
Stay true to your path.
And rise above cause haters gonna hate.

And no matter what they say (or do), you got to believe in yourself and connect with like-minded individuals working towards similar goals because a rising tide lifts all boats (and yes even the crabs stuck to the bottom).

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS

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