I want to talk to you for a minute about nutrition which is the foundation of Crossfit, yet the most overlooked piece. Many people feel their workouts can counterbalance their poor dietary choices. Unless you are an elite athlete like Rich Froning, this is probably not the case…..not even close. The rest of us, we need to be smart about our caloric intake.
Nutrition can be broken down into an entire scientific process and crafted into an actual food prescription for you. If you feel that is something you need to achieve your goals, I highly recommend it and we have resources to support that. Most of us just want some basic principles to keep checks and balances on how we fuel our bodies. Think of your body as an input/output machine. What we put in we must burn, if we do not, it stays in storage for later use. I won’t be discussing food allergies or intolerances in this article but they are important factors in dietary choices.
All too often I hear, “I eat clean”, “paleo”, “mostly clean”, “I track most of what I eat”, etc. But too little avail, people are not finding the results they want. See if some of these high level principles to your nutritional intake are missing from your repertoire.
- When shopping at the grocery story, stay on the outside perimeter.
Literally this is about eating real food. In the center aisles you find crap, processed with crap, all micronutrients pulled out, and mixed with more crap. It’s not even real food! On the outside perimeter you find; fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, its real food, and it’s delicious!
- If it has an expiration of over two weeks and it is not a seed, don’t eat it.
It sounds harder than it is. It’s not! If it’s not real food; take that crap out of your life and find healthier alternatives. Real food tastes great!
- Learn how to eat complete meals.
This requires a basic understanding of macro-nutrients. Macros are divided into three categories Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. The zone diet suggest that you eat at each meal, 40% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein, 30% Fat, which is not a bad protocol to start with. Proteins are meats such as, chicken, fish, beef. Carbohydrates are fruits and vegetables. Fats are your nuts, seeds, and oils. What Barry Sears states is that when your body eats in this way it finally feels full, mostly due to the fact it has gotten each of the macros in proper percentage. Often when the body is hungry it is due to an imbalance and is only “hungry” for the macro that it is missing.
- Cut out the three white devils.
The three white devils are: sugar, salt, and flour. They are slowly killing you, adding on the pounds and you never see them coming, but they are hiding everywhere. Read the labels. Avoid them at all costs, if you are looking to slim down, and be healthy.
- Cut out the alcohol
Or at least heavily reduce the consumption, so many calories that just slap themselves right on your midsection, it’s their favorite place to live. In general, stop drinking calories.
- Start Tracking what you are eating
You will be surprised as to what is going in, and how that is affecting you. When you track, you can see where things are imbalanced and make corrections. I have done both careful tracking and eyeball tracking. Careful tracking helped me to know how much I needed to eat to maintain and how to reduce to lean out, when that became my goal.
This is your body, take the time to learn it. What upsets it? What is adding on the weight? What do you need to cut out of your diet? Much of it becomes intuitive when you write it down and look at it, but it takes an honest look at yourself and the decision to make better choices. Following the principles above will do wonders. When I wanted to make my first change, I decided to start with lunch and gave up all the junk from that meal in favor of salads. I lost 10 pounds in a month, by one small change. Small changes add up to big changes. Be patient and see it through. I am here to help.