Which CrossFit diet is right for you?
Your diet is a key component of your CrossFit journey. You work hard to crush your WODs. Make sure you support that effort by giving your body the fuel it needs to build strong, lean muscles. The ideal CrossFit diet consists of protein-rich meat, good fats, and fresh veggies. CrossFit nutrition guidelines call for a 30, 30, 40 ratio – 30% protein, 30% fats, and 40% carbs. Most CrossFitters find the easiest way to achieve this balance is by following either The Zone Diet or The Paleo Diet. Let’s take a closer look at each to help you determine the right CrossFit diet for your training and lifestyle.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Diet
The Paleo Diet is a high-protein, high-fiber diet that consists primarily of meat, fish, tubers, and leafy greens. It is based on the premise that by restricting our diet to foods that our prehistoric ancestors ate, we can become leaner and healthier.
When you’re following a Paleo diet with CrossFit calories aren’t the enemy. The Paleo Diet doesn’t dictate how many calories you can consume. Instead, it concentrates on making sure that the calories that make up your diet are in line with ancient eating habits. That means cutting out processed foods, grains, and dairy products, because pre-historic Cavemen were hunter-gatherers, not farmers.
When following the Paleo diet, you are restricted to eating these naturally occurring foods:
- Grass-fed meat
- Free-range birds
- Wild-caught fish
- Tubers – sweet potatoes and yams
- Natural oils – olive, coconut, almond oil, etc.
Pros: No calorie counting and completely gluten-free.
Cons: Substitutions are difficult. The Paleo Diet excludes lentils, beans, and quinoa, which are the standard substitutions for meat and fish protein sources. That means that vegetarians and vegans will find this diet difficult to follow.
The Zone Diet
If you have a hard time sticking to diets because you get hungry between meals, the Zone Diet is probably the right CrossFit diet for you. It calls for frequent small meals that are balanced to keep your levels of key hormones (Insulin, Eicosanoids, and Glucagon) on an even keel. That generally means three meals and two or three snacks no more than five hours apart.
You will need to monitor the number of calories you intake on the Zone Diet. Food choices are not as strictly regulated as with the Paleo Diet, but you should avoid sugar, bread, and other refined carbs that upset glucose levels.
Each meal on the Zone Diet consists of a measured amount of the following:
- 30% low-fat protein – egg whites and lean, natural meats like skinless turkey, chicken, or fish
- 30% healthy fats – nuts and nut butters (cashew, almond, etc.)
- 40% non-refined carbs – mainly low-glycemic veggies and fruits
Pros: Because the Zone Diet doesn’t ban specific foods, it can easily be adjusted to fit any dietary restrictions you may have. This low-glycemic CrossFit diet is ideally suited for anyone with diabetes or hypoglycemic concerns.
Cons: The Zone Diet requires careful monitoring of your exact portions of food types. That means you’re going to have to do a lot of weighing and measuring until you get familiar with portion sizes.
It’s important to remember that with CrossFit weight loss is not the primary goal. However, most CrossFitters find that combining rigorous WODs with either of these diets is a good way to shed some unwanted pounds.
Following a CrossFit diet isn’t about depriving yourself or reaching a magic weight. It’s about making the lifestyle choice to become as healthy and fit as possible.
We can’t guarantee you will lose a certain number of inches from your waistline with a CrossFit diet. We aren’t going to promise that your weight will reach some magic number. But if you keep powering through your WODs and stick to a sensible CrossFit diet like those listed above, you will find yourself with a firm, fit body. You’ll become much healthier and enjoy a tighter, stronger, and more beautifully toned physique.
Are you ready to enjoy the exciting, high intensity workout that will get you fitter than you ever thought possible? Come join us for a CrossFit workout in the Box. Sign up online for your free week trial at CrossFit Oakland Park, email us, or call us now at 1-954-770-7617 to discover what CrossFit is all about.
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