Jul 29th, 2008
The CrossFit diet
The simple prescription is this:
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load.
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
What Should I Eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That’s about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability. Research quot;hyperinsulinism” on the Internet. There’s a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and consequently severely blunts the insulin response.
Caloric Restriction and Longevity
Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake. â€œCaloric Restrictionâ€ is another fruitful area for Internet search. The CrossFit prescription is consistent with this research.
The CrossFit prescription allows a reduced caloric intake and yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity.
There are countless people at CrossFit Oakland who have made the Zone a lifestyle! Look around you, ask questions and when your ready to take the leap talk to us, and we can help you get started!
Here’s an excerpt from “Getting off the Crack” by Nicole Carroll
That said, at ten blocks per day, I found the first three weeks of the Zone to be
some of the hardest days of my life.
Day 1: The 3pm tuna sandwich put me over the edge. I had been hanging on by a thread all morning. I ate the two ounces of tuna, one piece of toast, one tablespoon of Mayonnaise, and lettuce that was supposed to be a satisfying lunchâ€¦twenty minutes later my stomach was grumbling and I was FREAKING STARVING! To this day I will not eat tuna sandwiches. The hunger was the worst. I could not believe I would survive on such a small amount of food. I was living meal to miserably small, unsatisfying, two-block meal. At some point each day for the first
week I ended up on the couch crying. Maybe some part of me really thought I was going to die.
Day 2: CrossFit Santa Cruz: I told the Glassmans I was starving. They said, â€œYouâ€™re not hungry. Itâ€™s just a craving for the insulin response.â€ I argued, â€œNo. I really am hungry; my stomach is grumbling twenty minutes after eating. I think I need more foodâ€¦DONâ€™T TELL ME Iâ€™M NOT HUNGRY!â€ To which Greg responded, â€œEat two blocks of low-GI [glycemic index] veggies at your meals and then tell me youâ€™re honestly hungry.â€
I tried it. It helped. Broccoli became a truly beautiful thing in my life. Meals held me over longer. But socially I was useless. Every ounce of energy I had was going into just sticking with it. People would ask the daily nicety â€œHow are you?â€ and all I wanted to say was, â€œI am on this stupid diet and itâ€™s killing me.â€ And so it went for many days.
Day 13, CrossFit Santa Cruz: Fat Fran. I was using 65 pounds for the thrusters and it felt like 165. It sucked. Everything sucked. I would cry on warm-up runs, in the bathroom after workouts, if someone looked at me weird. I cried A LOT. I was also craving fat like it was ice cream. More than anything I wanted to sit down with a jar of almond butter and a spoon. I was clearly too lean. I was at 111lbs. from 115 and ripped. My performance times were down by minutes and I was an emotional wreck. Because I was somewhat lean to begin with Greg originally suggested I start the diet at 2 or 3x fat. I ignored him, thinking less fat would be better. I was stubborn, stupid and fat phobic. Now I was paying the price.
Day 14: I began to add more fat into my diet.
Day 21: I was eating five times the fat allotted in the standard Zone prescription, up from the original 15 grams to 75 grams per day. Once I made that change, it got much easier because the benefits came quickly. With the â€œcrackâ€ cravings quelled and little thought of wanting more food, I was now chasing results.
How did I make it to this point? What kept me going through the first brutal weeks? Most likely it was a combination of stubbornness, anger and curiosity. I was pissed that this moderate way of eating was kicking my ass. I thought it should not be this hard and that I should not give into my own weak will. Furthermore, around day 3, I was told that I was complaining too much to get a cheat day. Then I became doubly pissed. I decided I would show her, and do the freaking diet even if it killed me. Finally, I was intrigued. Clearly this was powerful stuff. I started to feel more confident that if I got over the hump and dialed it in properly, it would have a profound affect on me.
And indeed it did. I had never experienced so directly and consistently the practice of not giving up when it gets hard. Every time I entered my kitchen I had the opportunity to fail. It would have been so easy. But I didnâ€™t, and I cannot describe emphatically enough the rewardsâ€”both physical and mentalâ€” that getting through that has brought to my life.
I went from not believing I could survive on the Zone to not believing how much I could thrive on it. In just 4 weeks.
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