General Nutrition Info
Good nutrition can be a confusing topic. The food and fitness industry is flooded with a ridiculous amount of different “diets,” each of them claiming to get you insane muscle tone and lose all that stubborn belly fat. There are also a ton of myths and lies surrounding a lot of these so-called diets because of one thing – MONEY! They suck people into their programs with their fancy buzz words and then ask you to pay an absurd amount of money for food replacements that are touted to be better than whole foods. In actuality, nutrition is simple and you don’t need any fancy pills or potions to lose weight or reach your fitness goals.
We consider nutrition the most important piece of the puzzle when pursuing the fittest you! Dialing in your nutrition has a huge impact on your fitness, body composition, or overall wellness. If you’re new to CrossFit, chances are that weight loss will occur for the first few weeks but often stalls out as time goes on. Whether you have 5 or 50 pounds to lose, meeting with one of our nutrition coaches can help you get on the right track!
We’ve outlined a few eating regimens below that we use along with pros and cons to each so that you can get an idea of where you are, and what might be the best fit for you. We believe the following regimens are healthy, safe and most importantly, sustainable for increasing overall wellness long-term!
The Elimination Diet
Simply put, this diet eliminates the eight food categories linked to various issues including such as bloating, shortness of breath or wheezing during exercise, diarrhea, constipation, migraines, trouble sleeping, joint pain or aches, acne, eczema just to name a few. The idea is to eliminate these food categories (gluten, dairy, soy, refined/added sugars, corn, peanuts, alcohol, eggs, and any food that is packaged that has a shelf life of more than a few days) listed for 3-5 weeks. Then, you will add in one of these foods at a time, noting how they make you feel. This is a simple way to understand how certain foods make you feel and which you should eliminate from your eating permanently.
– Weight loss and increased feeling of wellness.
– Many people often DO NOT even have any of these nasty symptoms and find that eliminating one or many of these foods helps with their fitness and health goals!
– This is not a great starting point for someone who has not made the first step to eliminating things like pop, sugar, fast food, etc (the obvious ones). We recommend eliminating these junk foods all together. After you’ve made that step, this would be a good option.
Paleo or Whole 30 Program
Many of you may already be familiar with this style of eating because it is a popular one amongst the CrossFit community. We have also done the gym wide “Paleo Challenge” or “Whole 30 Challenge” at CrossFit 406. You maybe be asking, what is the difference between the Elimination Diet and The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet was created by Dr. Loren Cordain. His focus is simple, eat real food. Red meats, poultry, fish, wild game, tons of vegetables, some fruits, and nuts/seeds. You know, the way humans were forced to eat before processed/packaged food that started the rise of obesity, diabetes and heart disease along with a host of other issues. Dr. Cordain encourages people to get their carbohydrates from fresh vegetables and other low glycemic carbs that don’t spike blood sugar levels. Dr. Cordain’s goal with The Paleo Diet is creating a diet that is sustainable over a lifetime, not just a 30 or 60 day program.
Whole30’s parent company, Whole9, “piggy-backed” this idea. Their program and books are popular with many CrossFit gyms as more of a 30-day program or reset. This is a black and white eating program more focused on food freedom and resetting your relationship with food then simply losing weight. At the end of a Whole30, many revert back to a slightly less restrictive and more sustainable Paleo program.
– Great for anyone who has never “dieted.” Weight loss, increased energy, and better sleep are not uncommon after adhering to this diet! Many even find relief from inflammatory disease processes.
– This is what we would consider the “baseline” diet for most program, plus or minus a few things.
– Difficulty with navigating eating when you’re not at home (or when your mom makes her “famous ___” and invites you over for dinner.)
– Cravings! This program truly reveals our dependence on processed foods.
Paleo + Performance:
A common diet for competitive athletes worldwide. As mentioned above, we typically use the Paleo diet as the baseline diet BUT we add a few things in for those who are competing or working out multiple times a day for the additional protein, fat and carbs needed. Common additions include protein shakes, some dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt,) rice (a gluten-free grain,) and more potatoes and starchy vegetables. Simply adding in whole milk is a great addition for those looking to gain strength and increase muscle mass (such as GOMAD – gallon of milk a day or Squats and Milk/Deadlifts and Milk are a few old-school ways to add on muscle.)
– Strength gains, increased muscle mass and performance. Those who workout multiple times a day will find this beneficial.
– Elimination is not a focus, however most athletes have already honed in their food choices by this point.
– Not for those who have yet to try a Paleo-type diet. Those who follow this plan should already be at an ideal body weight and extremely lean!
– Added body fat with GOMAD-style programs – Overconsumption of high-fat dairy products can cause an increase in body fat.
Individualized Macronutrient Programs:
This program allows each individual to follow and track what they put into their body to use as fuel by tracking of macronutrients consumed each day. Our body needs three macronutrients for fuel: carbs, protein, and fat, and this is an individualized program that gives you exact numbers for daily recommended allowances of each for optimal health. The premise of “macro” programs is a basic energy conversion – calorie output needs to be greater than calorie input for weight loss and equal for maintenance. For those looking to increase mass, calorie input needs to be greater than calorie output for gains.
– Focus is not on elimination.
– Individualized to each person.
– Takes careful planning and preparation.
– Requires commitment to track your foods in a journal or app.