The Most Straightforward Nutrition Plan I Can Give You

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One of the more common questions I get in the gym is “what should I eat?”. This is a pretty broad question, but for most of us, the answer is pretty simple. 

 

Too many people are focused on their post workout protein shakes and supplements before they actually have their food dialed in. Work on simplifying and cleaning up your food first, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching performance and body composition goals.

 

First of all, we have to understand that eating for three or four CrossFit workouts a week is a bit different than eating as a performance based pro athlete. Our major goal here is to reduce body fat and fuel our workouts.

 

I side with Ben Bergeron’s food advice for most people. He has 3 simple rules and I’m going break them down so we all understand how to approach nutrition without feeling overwhelmed.

 

 

EAT REAL FOOD

Call it “paleo” or whatever you want but the most important aspect of nutrition is food quality. If you don’t have high quality food in your diet it doesn’t matter how much you eat, what supplements you take, or how dialed your “macros” are. Stay on the outside edges of the grocery store and get fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, and nuts and seeds. If you shop well and keep quality foods in your house, you won’t be tempted to eat other poor quality options. Make an effort to get local and seasonal fruits and veggies, and quality proteins like wild fish and grassfed beef or wild game. 

 

p.s. If any of you are wondering where to get good quality meat, we have the owners of Yellowstone Grassfed Beef right here in the gym - a great source for healthy and quality protein.

 

NOT TOO MUCH

This is a tough one for most people, myself included. What is too much food and too little? Obviously this varies based on the individual, but there is a basic rule of thumb that everyone can start with, and adjust down the road. Split your plate into thirds and fill one of them with a good protein source like a piece of wild salmon or steak. The next part is full of vegetables, and the final third can be fats like avocado. Use this strategy for 3 meals per day and don't snack unless immediately post workout. 

 

This can be slowly adjusted as the individual loses body fat and becomes more tolerant to carbohydrates. We can slightly reduce fats and begin adding in carbs like bananas, rice, or oatmeal near the workouts, but this should only be done once that person reaches the desired body fat range.

 

MOSTLY PLANTS

This ties into the first rule about food quality a little bit, but its extremely important that most of what we eat is plant based food. The argument on things like grains and dairy are all over the board, but you’ll never convince me that they are healthier alternatives than plants. For someone trying to gain mass and has an extremely high workload those might be good options, but for CrossFit we value conditioning more than anything. Conditioning is basically how well we are able to turn stored energy (food) into movement, both in and out of the gym. Plants and quality proteins are going to be used best in our bodies for this until a certain body fat range is reached, and then we begin to add more complex carbs as the individual can tolerate more. 

 

ONE LAST PIECE OF ADVICE

Nutrition is a major aspect of what we do, no matter what your goals are. Nutrition and hard work are the foundation of fitness and improved health. We want to fight off aging and disease and so regular exercise combined with excellent food is how you do that. However, when the holidays approach and you get with your families, allow yourself to indulge a little. We all work very hard and its important to have a ‘mental break’ from the grind. Just make sure to get back on track once those days go by.

 

 

 

It's Here... Don't Fight It. 

Improve Your Gym Experience During Cold Weather


Cold weather is here, and as we know that can make things harder on on to keep on track at the gym. Excuses pile up quickly, and its easy to find a reason to hit the snooze button or spend the morning in a comfortable bed reading or watching movies. Here's a few ways to keep the weather from derailing your progress.

 

 

Layer Up

Wear tons of layers to the gym. Hoodies, long sleeves, tees, sweatpants and shorts. This will help keep your body temp from cooling too much outside and making those first few moments of the day feel like hell. Piling into your car wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt is not a good idea. The gym can be chilly, especially in the mornings, so as you slowly warm up you can take layers off progressively so that you're always at a comfortable temp. Put the layers back on before you leave (even if you're still hot)

 

Get here early

Take an extra 5 minutes out of your day to get here. If that means getting up earlier, or premaking a snack to bring the night before, do it. That 5 minutes can be spent on the bike, rower, doing mobility work, or practicing skills. All of this can not only serve as a great way to improve your fitness, but to help increase your core temperature to extend your warm up period, which is important when its 5 degrees outside.

Think of it this way:

If you spent 5 minutes before class doing a 1,000m row to add to your warm up, and you came to the gym 3 days a week all month, that adds up to 12,000m of extra rowing during the month. That kind of volume will help with recovery, aerobic base, and body composition.

 

 

Consciously Hydrate

When the heat goes away its easier to forget that we are still needing lots of fluids.  Just because its not 95 degrees doesn't change the fact that our bodies need water to function properly. Body temperature regulation, recovering from workouts, immune system function, and muscle growth depend on us staying fully hydrated. No, IPA's don't count.