Nutrition can be one of the most confusing, frustrating and often intimidating subjects to tackle. This is probably one of the reasons why there is a multi-billion dollar industry surrounding fad diets, quick fixes, bizarre supplements, and manufactured “food substances” is that they are all designed to give the illusion that you are following a sound nutrition program. Everybody is different, but understanding the basics of what happens when you eat food can help you navigate the world of nutrition.
Everything you eat triggers a hormonal response in the body. Your body determines whether to use the food immediately as energy or if it should be stored for the short or long term in the body. Long term storage is our bodies’ fat tissue. If our goal is to have enough energy for everyday life and CrossFit, then we need to eat enough food to fuel our bodies and not collect extra long term storage.
The CrossFit “prescription” for nutrition is to:
Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar and keep intake levels to that which support exercise but not body fat
Adjusting the quality of food you consume can take some time, but sticking to whole, unprocessed foods is your best option for success. Busy schedules, work commitments, and social gatherings are often the biggest obstacles when trying to “eat healthy” so planning ahead can make all the difference. Pick a day of the week (weekends are usually good for most) when you can prep your food for the week. Do all the grocery shopping, wash and cut the vegetables, decide dinner menus and cook as much ahead of time as possible. Grilling a bunch of chicken or steak and chopping it up for the week makes it easy to throw on salads or just in its own container with some salsa or sauce next to it. Slow cookers can also help a ton by combining your meats and vegetables into one pot and cooking while you’re away at work or running errands. The most important thing is that you spend the time when you have it so that you can be successful throughout the week when time is no longer a luxury you have.
Finding exactly what quantity is needed for you can take some adjustments, but the best thing you can do is to start tracking what you eat. Whether with a notepad and pencil, or using an app on your phone (MyFitnessPal is a good one), by tracking your food you can see how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you consume each day.
At I Will CrossFit we offer nutrition coaching so that our athletes have a more clear understanding of what foods and how much food will best fuel them for CrossFit or any activity they want to take part in. If you’d like more info, click on the Nutrition tab of our Services menu on the website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org