Nutrition

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.

– Greg Glassman

The food we eat has a direct and immediate effect on how we perform, whether it be our workout or any other task we face on a daily basis. Eat foods that “support exercise not body fat”. The idea is to eat foods that were intended for our bodies and avoid as much as possible foods that weren’t. Foods that are high-glycymic (a food’s propensity to elevate or spike insulin levels) should be avoided. Don’t know which foods are high on the glycemic index? Read this 2 page article from the CrossFit Journal.

In CrossFit we teach 2 different nutritional approaches. The first is the Zone Diet, and the second is the Paleo or Caveman Diet.

Here is a simplified version of the Zone Diet that was published in the CrossFit Journal that you can download as a PDF article. The Zone Diet is a diet that focuses on balancing hormones in our bodies that are released by the food we eat. It uses a 40% Carbs, 30% Protein, 30% Fat model and helps to balance the macro-nutrients that we consume.

The Paleo Diet, or Caveman Diet, requires that we eat lean meats, nuts and seeds, vegetables and some fruit, little starch, and NO sugar. While the Zone Diet requires accurate weighing and measuring of food, the Paleo Diet does not require WAM(weighing and measuring). The idea is to eat plenty of the above mentioned food throughout the day. We have seen similar results from people who have used both diets. They lose body fat, get stronger and faster, and feel better throughout the day.

The Ground Rules

  • All the lean meats, fish, and seafood you can eat.
  • All the vegetables and fruit you can eat (if weight loss is your goal, reduce your fruit intake).
  • No cereals or grains (wheat, oats, barley,rye, rice, corn, quinoa).
  • No legumes (peanuts, soy, lentils, peas, beans).
  • No dairy products.
  • No processed foods.

The Seven Keys of the Paleo diet

  • Eat a relatively high amount of animal protein compared to that in the typical American diet.
  • Eat fewer carbohydrates than most modern diets recommend, but eat lots of good carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, not from grains or refined sugars.
  • Eat a large amount of fiber from non-starchy fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a moderate amount of fat, with more good (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats than bad (saturated) fats, and nearly equal amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fats.
  • Eat foods with a high potassium content and low sodium content.
  • Eat a diet with a net alkaline load.
  • Eat foods rich in plant phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Dr. Loren Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet) indicates that these are the seven keys to optimize health, minimize the risk of chronic disease, and cause excess weight to melt away. This is the way we’re genetically programmed to eat.

For most people, the battle to eat healthy foods and avoid harmful ones is ongoing and never-ending. The need to educate yourself and those around you about how to eat healthy is vital.

More Good Reads