We live in a society that in no way sharp or form sets us up for success when it comes to sticking to a diet.
And since it is the most important part of the puzzle to being healthy and fit it definitely deserves the most attention from our athletes and coaches across the board.
In CrossFit’s Fitness in 100 words it covers nutrition and its basic tenants.
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”
Yet even with this amazingly simple definition on nutrition people get confused with all of the information that is out there about nutrition.
Below is a pyramid explaining why the definition is so important and some other topics that tend to come up when attempting to understand the whole picture of nutrition.
Number 1 it addresses food quality
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.”
This is the toughest part for everyone but it is the most important. Our body needs specific nutrients to thrive and these foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that are paramount to a healthy body and mind.
Many programs (weight watchers, if it fits your macros, etc.) put calories and macros before food quality. However the issue with this approach is our body needs micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and if we just get our calories, proteins, carbs, and fats from nutrient poor sources we are never truly going to thrive…we may get lean but our health will still be compromised.
Step 1-Get the right foods on your plate!
Number 2 Macros & Calories-Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats
“Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat”
After food quality we want to start getting the right amount of food in our body that will get/keep us lean and increase our performance inside and outside the gym.
Here are 3 ways that we use here at CrossFit Saved.
1-2 Palms Protein
2 Handfuls Vegetables
1 Handful Fruit or 1 Handful Starch
1 Thumb Oil or 1 Fist of Nuts
ZONE DIET & MACROS
With these next 2, the Zone Diet and Macros, things start to get a little complicated at first but once you get the hang of it it is pretty easy to follow and stick to!
Here are two great articles to check out if you are interested in either because to write up about both are articles themselves!
Number 3-Food Timing
How many meals should I have? What time should I have breakfast? How long should I go between meals?
These are all questions that I get asked very often. And while they are important questions there is no need to address them until you have dialed in your food quality and your macros/calories.
There is no one size fits all here but if there were some rules that would be great to follow… here they are.
- Try to eat within an hour of waking. You have a lot on your plate and it is great to get a healthy meal in your to keep you energized for the day.
- Keep your denser carbs around your workouts (the meals before and after your workout)
- Eat when you’re hungry. You don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going, you aren’t a car.
Supplements comes in lastly because it really is just an add on. We want to get the majority of our micronutrients (vitamins/minerals) and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) from real food.
For those who are looking to eke out that last few percent’s in performance and optimal health supplements can give you that added boost. But always remember high quality food is always number 1 and should form our base rather than supplements doing that!
Nutrition is an interesting thing and it takes a lot of vigilance on the part of the individual to stay on top of it…
With this as your foundation you will be right on track!
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