They say abs are made in the kitchen, not the box. We know our Crossfit lingo now. We’ll agree and raise you a Crossfit diet for all of our avid fans of the program.
Lifting weights and exercise are a staple for healthy living, but our diet is more important than ever, especially as we age.
Your body mass composition weighs heavily on the food we fuel ourselves with. Make good choices, people.
Crossfit athletes and anyone interested in what they eat, have a read and grab some protein and veggies while you are at it.
Crossfit Athletes and the Zone Diet
Do you have to follow a specific diet as a Crossfit Athlete? Well, the short answer is yes, but the long answer is more involved.
On the Crossfit website, they recommend following the Zone diet.
The general guidelines are 40% of your calories should consist of carbohydrates, 30% fats, and 30% proteins.
Now, this needs to change from person to person depending on their level of exercise, but that is the gist.
The idea is to divide your meals into what they call zones and then blocks.
The blocks are a way of measuring your intake of all of the essential nutrients you need throughout the day.
So one carbohydrate block consists of 9 grams of carbs. One protein block is 7 grams of protein, and one fat block is 1.5 grams of fat.
They have books and online help that show you exactly how many blocks you need for each meal, depending on your sex, gender, age, activity level, and weight loss goals. Everyone’s blocks will be different.
The essential thing to remember with the Zone diet is that the food you consume must be low in GI (glycaemic index), saturated fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods that are high in these cause inflammation.
When you are working out as they do in Crossfit, the last thing you want to do is increase inflammation in your body.
Muscles will be inflamed enough without adding extra to them. Plus, foods high in sugar and saturated fats add to joint inflammation as well. That is a big no. Pain be gone!
Let’s break it down
If you’re like us, you need to know exactly what to put on your plate at every meal.
The more you can prepare for a diet, the more successful you will be. The Zone diet promotes dividing your plate into thirds.
Let’s take a look at each third and what a sample plate might look like.
Ah, protein–how we love thee.
Proteins are essential for muscle building and giving you energy for the long term.
Plus, they make you full, so you’re not looking for processed foods full of sugar and empty carbs to fill the void. Fill ⅓ of your plate with the protein of your choice. Whether it’s chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, or lentils, pick something that you enjoy.
Often, people fall off healthy eating because they don’t enjoy what they are eating. You don’t have to hate what you are eating to be healthy.
It’s all about pairing the good foods together to make your plate complete.
Guess what? Carbohydrates make up ⅔ of your plate!
Before you get super excited, we should stress that the carbs need to be healthy. C’mon!
You knew that was coming. You need to eat meat and vegetables like your mom always said. Moms always know the most when it comes to nutrition.
Add broccoli, asparagus, brown rice, sweet potatoes, or quinoa to the rest of your plate to complete the full nutrition you need in your meals. You can even add in some fruits like strawberries or blueberries.
While fruits do have sugar in them, it is natural sugar, which is ok in moderation. Is anyone else getting hungry?
Now it’s important to note that these are healthy fats. No, you cannot add a block of chocolate to your plate, but good try, though.
When it comes to fats, you want monosaturated fats. Things like olive oil, avocados, and nuts or seeds are some of the best fat choices.
Before you get excited, fats will not make up ⅓ of your plate. We already finished our plate remember?
It’s just a small amount that you add to your plate once you have the main courses on there. So you have your meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds. That is a nice-looking plate right there.
The other great thing about monosaturated fats is they have many health benefits, such as lowering your bad cholesterol or LDL. We will take it!
So What do Crossfitters eat for breakfast?
We all know how important it is to eat breakfast.
It sets our metabolism for the day so staying away from highly processed foods with sugar is a must. It will give you that high, but you will come crashing down and be left lethargic.
However, a breakfast full of nutritional choices will provide you with the energy that you need to face the day.
Reebok looked at several high-profile Crossfit athletes to see what they were eating for breakfast, and here are some examples of what they found.
Tia-Clair Toomey is an Australian weight lifter and avid Crossfit enthusiast.
For breakfast, Tia-Clair has sourdough toast with butter, scrambled eggs, a piece of salmon, and a green smoothie.
We really must be hungry because that sounded delicious. Here, you notice that she is getting in many low-fat proteins with some essential carbohydrates to start her day.
Rich Froning, who has received the title “Fittest Man on Earth” multiple times, is an American Crossfit athlete who has competed in numerous Crossfit games.
An average breakfast for Rich consists of two eggs, toast with peanut butter, oatmeal, and some milk. Again, a good balance of nutrition here with loads of protein.
Post Workout Foods
When it comes to Crossfit, the workouts are intense. You even feel the burn in the warm-up.
They combine aerobic exercises, high-intensity cardio, and strength training into their sessions, so you are burning body fat but gaining lean muscle mass.
That said, after your workouts, it’s essential to replenish your body with the proper nutrients if you want to promote weight loss.
Your after-workout snack will vary from person to person.
After a tough Crossfit session, it is recommended that you eat something that contains between 25-50 grams of protein and 50-75 grams of carbs.
Your muscles are working to repair themselves, and eating that amount will speed up recovery and decrease muscle soreness. Many people prefer a protein shake after a workout because it is a quick and easy way to get all of the nutrients in your body.
Some prefer yogurt or oatmeal instead. Others will go right for the meat.
Pick your favorite and make sure you consume it soon after to get the best results.
Benefits of the Crossfit Diet
Practicing the Crossfit diet will increase your recovery and help you steer clear of foods that increase inflammation.
To lose weight, you need to have a deficit in your calorie intake so that more calories out will lead to fat burn. Less starch and no sugar will aid in that endeavor.
If we just focus on exercise but not body nutrition, we won’t achieve a healthy lifestyle. By combining healthy food choices with Crossfit’s aerobics, high-intensity training, and strength, you will be sure to get results.
Remember, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more your body burns calories when at rest. Do nothing and still burn, burn, burn!
While there are many benefits, some studies show people had a deficit in iron levels, vitamin E, and calcium. When choosing a diet like this, it’s essential to research the foods you are consuming.
While you need to keep your calorie intake to a certain amount, you need to make sure you consume enough calories for your body type. If not, your performance during your workouts will suffer.
If you already follow a paleo diet, ensure that you get calcium from vegetables since dairy is off the table.
For people following vegan diets, make sure that you are getting enough iron since red meat is not a choice for you.
Read up on foods high in folic acid for all you ladies out there. Do your homework, people!
Crossfit Nutrition Done!
Since you are following the Crossfit diet, you know that you will be properly replenished after your hard work.
Crossfit athletes everywhere are heeding the zone diet with much success. Why not join in at your local box? We got these Crossfit terms down, ya’ll!