The Best Diet for CrossFit
Being fit is a primary dream of almost everyone. Some pursue this desire to the extreme. Nowadays, high-intensity training and CrossFit exercise are no news. Many people are enrolling in these excessively fat burning workouts. However, you need to have a proper diet plan in order to make these diets effective. Here we list the components of a the best diet for CrossFit that will help you in your training.
Don’t limit the calories
It is not the number of calories that are important but the type of calories that really matter. Restricting your calories will only dampen your performance resulting in a body composition that isn’t desirable. Remember you need to furnish your body with the required nutrients in order to make your body excel at the exercise being demanded of it. To lose weight you will need to cut down calories. Nutrition trumps energy expenditure every time. But if working out hard, you’ll need those calories. Especially the carbs to perform and the protein to rebuild muscle.
Real food Fuels CrossFit
The best diet for CrossFit is going to be different for every person. But your ideal diet is going to include real foods. The first thing you need to let go off is high calorie processed food that doesn’t do much for your body. They may be palatable but that doesn’t mean you get to eat unrestricted amounts. These foods are often linked to cravings and we all know it’s best to stay away from them. The best diet for CrossFit should include naturally grown whole foods that are full of nutrition rather than processed goods.
Ideal Portions of Macronutrients
Another important part of the entire diet is to ensure that you take in the right amounts of proteins, fat, and carbs. For the best diet, you need to increase your intake of proteins and moderate your carbs while minimizing fats. This combo will help you ensure that you get the right calories from the right sources. It can be a little difficult to adapt to at first. However, you need to understand that you need nutrients for the growth of your body so you must give prime importance to proteins. However, you still need the energy to carry out the intensive exercise which is why you still need small portions of carbs and fat. You need carbohydrates to train hard. Many make the mistake of cutting out carbs in order to slim down. This is counterproductive while on CrossFit.
Understand your body
Your body is a complex machine with a variety of signals that help you understand what it needs and when it needs it. For instance feeling sluggish, worn out and lazy is often sign of inadequate energy signaling you to increase your carbs. Low proteins often show up when you tire fast after a workout and you are unable to gain weight even after excessive training. Along with all this, you need your fluid intake as well.
The Micro Nutrients Matter Too
Along with all the major groups don’t forget to furnish your body with the essential minerals and vitamins. If you are really serious there are some supplements that can help. We wrote a bulk supplements review that might help. The best way to do so is to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet which will help you store up on important micronutrients. This will ensure that the body has all its important components to work at their optimum so as to boost performance. And make the diet effective.
All in all, there are a number of factors that come into play when choosing a diet. For CrossFit, you need to adapt your intake to your body. No two people are the same which is why you need to listen to your body. And that is why it is hard to make a diet plan for everyone who is doing CrossFit. Some are working more intensely and more often than others. But if you employ the concepts above you will ensure maximum productivity!
Prepare Your Foods In Advance
It all comes to preparing your food in advanced and going out of your way to buy healthy food. Lean meats, fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. There are a million and one diets out there you need to find what works for you. It’s always a challenge switching to a healthy diet but it is so rewarding. Consider checking out the zone diet as that will help you with portion control. Paleo is good but sometimes challenging because of lack of diversity and all the food you need to cut out.
But I Want Someone To Tell Me Exactly What to Eat
My advice is for you to not really focus on your weight, focus on your strength and getting better in the gym. If you still have a bunch of fat that needs to fall off, you can operate on a calorie deficit and continue to gain strength.
The simplest things you can do for yourself is to make sure you are eating protein and to cut out anything with added fructose (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose). You will be amazed how clean your eating has to be to accomplish the second. Even if you don’t buy into fructose being bad, the change will force you into eating much healthier foods.
Play To Your Genetics
Despite the hype, not everyone can look like a model and not everyone is capable of going to the games. Genetics/disease is not an excuse to give up, but it plays a huge role in what one can reasonably expect. Just be the best you that you can be.
The only supplements that I think are generally well supported are Omega3 and possibly vitamin d, unless you have a very specific, and confirmed, deficiency. You have to be careful what you read about supplements, the industry is largely unregulated in the US, and the science is even crappier than nutrition and performance science, which are not known for their high standards.
Crossfit as a primary source of training
Nutrition, conditioning, gymnastics, and weightlifting are all interrelated in that you can’t really do one without the other. That is, if you’re going to do Crossfit as a primary source of training. I also think that you need to eat to perform. Diet lays the foundation to athletic development, in most cases. There are cases of guys and girls that can eat like pigs and still perform at a high level. But, you’re probably not Rich Froning.
Having a great space, whether it be a box or a garage gym, is critical. I honestly think your answer lies somewhere in the middle. I really don’t think there is a clear cut path in the assumptions you provided. You want all the foundations that I mentioned earlier (nutrition, conditioning, gymnastics, and weightlifting) if you’re a Crossfitter. So, I’d recommend trying to get by with a less expensive nutrition plan and join a CF box. Don’t throw diet to the side, but start making changes to improve diet. That will move your health and performance markers into the fitness arena and that is ultimately where we all want to be, more fit than sick.
The Diet That Has Worked For Me While Doing CrossFit
Everyone is different. Some people tolerate more carbs or more fat. Some people tolerate dairy more than others. The list goes on and on…
The only really general advice, which you’ve probably heard is
- Meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.
- Stick to the outer isle of the grocery store.
- If it has a food label, it is probably not food.
- Don’t drink calories.
Which is a decent starting place. Gets rid of all processed/refined foods, which does most of the heavy lifting. Some have simply tried the no rice diet and and seen their CrossFit performance increase.
I tend towards high fat / low carb because it also improves blood lipids and other measures of health. It is also shown to be slightly better at losing weight, at-least at the 6 month mark. It was roughly equal to high carb at a year. When we say low, it usually means less than 20%.
I also use the 80/20 rule. Which works for a lot of things. I’m pretty strict about my diet 80% of the time, and I don’t feel so bad if I cheat a bit for the last 20%. Like I treat myself regularly to pancakes, maple syrup and a tall glass of milk every saturday. It is something I look forward to eat week.
The rest of the time I have practically no added sugar to my diet, including sugar substitutes. If I want something sweet, I can have fruit. I buy a bag/bundle each of apples, pears, bananas and a random fruit each week. I can have as much fruit as I want. I don’t think the science supports limiting fruit consumption, but it is an easy way to limit calories. Limiting fruit consumption was a big misconception I had until a few months ago and a nutritionist showed me research to the contrary.
In short, try to keep it simple. It is not a purity test. People vary widely in how they respond to different diets. Just do your best, and slowly work towards your goals. Hit the big stuff the majority of the time, but don’t obsess over relatively minor details.
Think about your food as something to repair you and to prepare you. Tomorrow’s workout started yesterday.