Nutrition and Lifestyle
Our prescription for nutrition is simple:“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
Why do we suggest a nutrition plan?
Nutrition lays the foundation for what we do in life and in CrossFit. Whatever your reasons are for beginning CrossFit, a good diet will lay the ground work for your fitness goals. I’ve heard some people say that they exercise so they can eat whatever they want. This is skewed logic as the process of aging will ensure that you will decline in health and performance as you get older. As we age we succumb to a variety of different changes in our bodies; our bones shrink in size and density, our heart muscle becomes less efficient as arterial walls are lined with fatty deposits, testosterone is decreased, etc. A good diet will increase performance in the gym and aid in the aging process.
What should you eat?
In a nutshell, from CrossFit.com, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.
Simple enough right? Think of this as real food. Everything else is processed, or made in a lab. A good rule of thumb, is to do the majority of your shopping toward the outer edges of the supermarket. Stores will usually keep their meat, deli’s, fruits and vegetable sections on the outer sections of the market.
Another rule of thumb, is if it has a label, then it probably isn’t food. We want to avoid these items as much as possible. Most items with food labels will indicate that it has been altered in some way by a human being. I am referring to a lab, and not a slaughterhouse. These items will usually lack the essential nutrients we need to support our efforts, and have excessive calories or macro nutrients that impede performance.
There has been a growing number of folks that have dedicated themselves to eating in this manner. You will often here it as eating Paleo or Primal.
The champions (or pioneers) of these movements are:
How should you eat?
Eating should only supplement activity. The goal is to eat less, while getting adequate nutrition. The calorie restriction society is a group dedicated to telling you why you should eat this way. If you are interested in the science that supports this, please go to their site.
Dr. Barry Sears, creator of the Zone Diet, has done a great job at figuring out the ratios of macro nutrients to support this method of eating for longterm health. He recommends receiving 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat. This ratio is a great guideline for the general population. The amount of calories you consume is dependent on your size and activity levels. The CrossFit Journal has done a great job at providing a guideline for finding your size and activity level. http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf
Wrapping it all up
You don’t need a book, or spend hours reading blogs about how and what you should eat. Veggies, Meat, Fruit, Nuts and Seeds… at every meal. It’s hard to overeat when your eating this way. If you feel the need to educate yourself and learn more, here are a few books I would recommend: