CrossFit is a popular high intensity workout that is effective, efficient and burns a crazy number of calories. When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, losing weight and sculpting lean muscle, a high intensity gym regimen is only one bit of the equation. As you know, a balanced diet is just as important, if not more so, than a solid workout routine. Given how intense a regular CrossFit workout is, this means that an essential component of a good diet is protein. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar and also provides enough energy and fuel for the entire workout. Cross Fitters need to aim for approximately one gram of protein per kilogram of weight – this means that an average woman who weighs 130 pounds should be eating at least 65 grams of protein per day, and a man who weighs 200 pounds should consume about 100 grams of protein. Beyond protein, there are other foods that should be incorporated into nutrition for Cross Fitters. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of ultimate nutrition for Cross Fitters to help you meal plan and enjoy a great workout with a balanced diet.
If you are doing CrossFit workouts often, then you need to keep your protein intake at around 30 percent of your daily calories. A half cup of lentils can add a whopping nine grams of protein to your meal, and they also provide a lot of fiber. Lentils are extremely versatile and can be used in salads, chili, soups and much more.
As important as it is to feed your body before you hit the gym, a post-workout treat is also necessary to fuel and optimize recovery by replenishing glycogen and protein for tissue repair. A fruit smoothie combined with a protein that’s easy to absorb like whey is the perfect combination of protein and carbs.
Coconut oil is known for its incredible qualities when it is part of a beauty routine, but it is also an excellent fuel source for workouts. Coconut oil is very easy to absorb, which means it provides increased energy faster than any other fat. You can either eat a spoonful before a workout or add it into a smoothie for increased energy and endurance.
Nuts and seeds are a wonderful snack when part of any diet plan, but they’re especially great for Cross Fitters because they are very calorie dense and packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Nut butters like peanut butter and almond butter are also a wonderful addition because they provide a good amount of protein and they taste really good.
Sweet potatoes are a complex carb and they slowly release fuel, which means they will easily sustain you through a high intensity workout. Sweet potatoes also help to balance blood sugar levels, are rich in vitamin B6 and antioxidants like vitamin C. There are so many wonderful recipes to indulge in utilizing sweet potatoes, or you could just roast them and eat them on their own!
Eggs are packed with protein, B vitamins and good fats – they are a superfood for Cross Fitters. Starting your day off with a few eggs will get your protein count up for the day and give you a good boost early in the day.
Brown rice is better than white rice, and it is also easily digested so it won’t make you feel bloated. You can meal prep a big batch over the weekend and pair it with different entrees and sauces as a side dish.
Oatmeal makes a wonderful pre or post-workout treat because it delivers a punch of carbohydrates to your body without unnecessary sugars. It’s great for muscle recovery as well, and really easy to prepare!
Ultimately, a good diet for Cross Fitters is one that meets your caloric needs, is balanced in a way that is sustainable long term and is full of essential vitamins and minerals that will help your body function and stay healthy. Some popular diet plans that are often associated with Cross Fit include the Paleo Diet, which is high in protein and low in carbs, the Zone Diet, which splits up calories into specific measurements, the Primal Diet, which also focuses on high protein and low carbs, and various others. The best diet plan is one that you can stick to and be consistent with. The worst thing you can do is commit to something that is not sustainable and will make you unhappy. For more information about weight loss programs, diet plans and guidance on how to kickstart a healthier lifestyle, please contact us.