Most people have a love/hate relationship with food. Food is easy to love. Especially good tasty food. But the hate comes in when we see the results of eating and/or drinking the stuff that tastes the best.
Some people exercise so they can "eat what they want". Just recently I asked a very busy Saturday morning class why they do CrossFit, and a couple of people answered with that exact statement. And there is some truth to it. If we exercise hard enough, through CrossFit, we will hit that metabolic burn and be able to trim fat, and keep it off.
BUT, are we performing at our optimal level, and are we as healthy as we want to be? Only you can answer that, because it is subjective, and completely up to you.
About ten years ago, I learned the easiest, and what I consider the BEST, approach to food. Especially if you are just starting out your CrossFit journey and are confused as to what "diet" you should be on.
First of all, let's throw the word "diet" out the window. We are NOT going to cut calories and starve ourselves. In fact, we are going to do just the opposite. We also aren't going to eat grapefruit and cabbage soup or whatever other fad is going on at the moment. We are simply going to use common sense and listen to our grandmother. Yes, I said it, our grandmother. More on that later...
At CrossFit Conquest, we have a couple programs for food. We have a basic guide, and we also have a coached program called FUEL. There are many success stories as far as weight loss and getting ripped at Conquest, and 99.9% came from the FUEL program. In this edition of Box Talk, I simply want to give everyone a starting point of how to eat, and how to make it easy. Then, if you want more, we graduate to programs such as FUEL (a very proven nutrition system that works).
Ok, back to simplicity. There are only three things the human body can consume for food; protein, carbohydrates, and fat. I want you to eat all of them, all the time, and every time. The trick is to eat them TOGETHER! Never one without the others (there are a few exceptions, but for simplicity purposes, let's just stick to this rule).
Why? I will tell you! We need to keep your blood sugar in your body level. Or at least as level as we can. Most people eat an excess of carbs on a daily basis. This leads to high levels of blood sugar, which leads to all kinds of bad things. A fancy word for this is hyperglycemia, and it leads to all kinds of nasty things, most common being heart disease.
But let's not get bummed out. We will still eat carbs, and lots of them! But we will also eat protein with them, and fat. There are enzymes in protein that help keep the carbs in check. I won't bore you with the science, but to sum it up...carbs give you energy, protein gives you muscles, and fat lubricates your joints. Eat all three, every time! There's a lot more science that goes into why we need to do this, and if you want to know, ask me in the box. I will be happy to share.
So, for those starting out, and for those that get lost with food and get frustrated, here is a sample day of eating. We want to eat 5 times per day, three meals and two snacks. Always.
Breakfast: 3-4 eggs with a handful of spinach, cup of oatmeal, scoop of peanut butter.
Snack: Greek Yogurt
Lunch: Garden salad with chicken or fish, piece of fruit, sprinkled with almonds, dressing allowed.
Snack: Protein shake, banana, scoop of peanut butter
Dinner: Steak, sweet potato with butter, broccoli
DONE! EASY! BUENO! YAY! Oh, and drink water ALL THE TIME!
Notice there is a protein in every meal, a carb, a fat, and a handful of greens in the meals. This is a solid plan. And easy. And basically, you just substitute the meat with other meat for variety and so on and so on.
Remember the grandmother statement? Think about it. Our grandmothers fed us from the butcher, from the garden, and from the cow. Protein, carbs, and fat. They knew what was best. This got lost when food was put into cans and boxes and offered at much cheaper prices. But if you think back to earlier times, food was hearty and healthy. And that is a wise thing to remember.
Protein, Carbs, and Fat my friends. They are your friends. Start here. You will see immediate results. For more specific nutrition counseling for faster weight loss and increased performance, feel free to ask me about Conquest FUEL.
I hope this was helpful! Till next time, eat smart, eat often, drink water all day, and wod hard!