I think most people who have tried Crossfit would agree it provides a fun and effective way to improve an individual’s fitness level. However, exercise is only part of the path toward a more healthy lifestyle. The choices you make when it comes to nutrition are as important if not more important than any amount of exercise. The biggest problem for me has always been information overload when it comes to eating “healthy”. There are so many competing ideas about what is healthy that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. I know I’ve felt confused over all the conflicting information out there so I want to help you get on the road to healthier eating. Start slow and take an inventory of what you currently eat. It can be eye opening to fully understand how much you currently eat in a day. Pay attention to serving sizes and write everything down including all beverages. Don’t try to overlook that one snack or justify anything. Track everything, measure your portions and a food scale would be helpful here. There are many apps that can help and I like myfitnesspal because it has a database of most foods including nutrition information. Myfitnesspal works both on a computer or cell phone and the phone version includes a bar code scanner. You can simply scan the bar code of any package and it will usually automatically load nutrition info. The goal here is to get an understanding of what you are putting in your body so you can figure out a plan. At this point, I’m not asking you to make changes to what you eat.. Instead, spend a week building data that we can use in the next step.
Understand that no two people are the same and what works for someone else might not work for you. Now that you have a better understanding of what you have been eating, we need to develop a plan and set some goals. Schedule a goal setting session with one of the coaches and get an Inbody scan. The Inbody scan will give body weight, water weight, body fat percentage, and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which will allow you to track progress using hard data. We can use the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) as a guide to help meet your goals. Think of your BMR as the number of calories you need to eat each day just to remain the same as you currently are with no added exercise. If you exercise, you can increase this number to account for the extra calories burned and there are many resources online to help you make these calculations. For example, a 200lb male might have a BMR of 2000 calories and with exercise this might go up to 2500 calories. In order to lose weight, this person would need to eat less than 2500 calories. So a simple method to lose weight is to track your food using an app and eat a set amount of calories below your BMR. No changes in the types of food that you eat at this stage, just eating less and paying attention to how much you eat. An average person can expect to lose 2 lbs a week on average and substituting more water for other types of higher calorie drinks can help here tremendously.
You’ve got some data and developed a rough plan of what you want to accomplish. Since you’re super excited and want to progress as fast as possible, you read about Paleo, Keto, Juice cleanses, fasting, and every possible diet plan you can possibly think of on social media. Remember, everything won’t work for all people so you need to devote some time to find out what will work for your specific set of circumstances. Before diving into something, consider how long you could live that lifestyle. You need to devote at least 30 days in order to see how your body will react and also figure out if you can maintain that method for a year or more. Feel free to try a juice cleanse, but realize that you can’t sustain that as a lifestyle for an extended period of time. Focus on minimally processed whole foods with no added sugar. Also, it has to be something you can enjoy doing or you might be setting yourself up for failure. Find what works for you and stick with it. Nutrition should be a top priority on your path to a healthy lifestyle and it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you stall out or are not seeing the progress you want, I’d suggest talking with a coach about our nutrition programs. All of us at CrossFit Equality want to be a part of the solution and we are here to help every step of the way