So What's the story with Nutrition
With so much information out there on what we should and shouldn’t eat it is no surprise that people don’t know where to start. Whether it is paleo, IIFYM, Intermittent fasting, little and often, vegan, the list goes on!
So what should the average CrossFitter’s approach to nutrition be? Assuming that we are training for increases in performance along with the typical aesthetic goals of decreased body fat and increases in lean muscle mass.
On the whole the average London CrossFitter does not have the time for hours of meal preparation, so here are a few key points you should consider for your nutrition.
Firstly if your food was not at some point living. i.e running around, picked, harvested or pulled out the ground you should probably avoid it. Biologically we are pretty much the same animals we were 100,000 years ago, long before large scale food manufacturing and refined carbohydrates. If you look at the expiration date on a “food” product and it is in years rather than weeks, nine times out of ten you should stay clear.
Some of you reading this will be thinking at this point that I am preaching from the same old CrossFiter’s paleo diet hymn sheet often called the “caveman diet”. Here’s the catch though. Cavemen were weak ass bitches.
100,000 years ago human beings were eating for survival, food was scarce and they were not worried about hitting a new PR on their snatch. Because of the scarcity of food and their irregularity of eating, cavemen were tiny, weak and died young! Baring this in mind, why would any modern day, CrossFit athlete base their whole approach to nutrition on this principal?
So let’s take the best bits of both worlds. Let’s eat the good, natural foods our animal bodies are used to consuming but now let’s eat them more regularly to ensure our exercising bodies have the building blocks available to them to build new, lean muscle. Furthermore this new regular eating pattern will have the added benefit of increasing your resting metabolic rate which in turn means you will process food at a faster rate. In short, this will aid in “burning” excess body fat, even when you are not exercising!
The beauty of this approach to eating is that you get to eat more food more often, whilst still moving steadily toward your performance and aesthetic goals.
Like any approach to nutrition it is not a black and white case. With this model there must still be room for supplementation, so long as those supplements are nutrient dense and consumed at the appropriate times. For the average CrossFitter you can’t go far wrong with recommending a high quality protein supplement immediately post training along with a natural carb source. Moreover don’t forget to be a normal person! Have a cheeky burger once in a while when you are out with friends.
In a nutshell, eat natural foods, eat often, supplement when appropriate and don’t get caught up in any faddy bullshit.