Types of Nutrition
So in this week’s installment of the nutrition series, I will introduce the most common versions of nutrition used. Each has its purpose and has proven to be effective. I will help you guys when it comes to deciding which model to follow. I will go into more detail on each at a later time. This is simply an introduction. No matter which you use, the goal is still overall health, fitness, and performance in the gym.
This is exactly what it sounds like. This means you have basic consciousness of what you are eating and tend to stick to foods such as meat, veggies, fruits, and whole grains. You typically don’t measure foods, but it is a great idea to aim for some sort of balance between your protein, carbohydrates, and fats. By balance, I simply mean to eat some of each in every meal. Most people that follow this are not super strict and often plan out specific times/ days for cheat meals. There is nothing wrong with this nutrition practice and it’s easy to maintain long term. The key to success is to not let a cheat meal turn into a cheat weekend or cheat week. It can be a nasty black hole.
Paleo is quite common in CrossFit gyms. I am big fan of using paleo as cleanse to reset your body for 4-8 weeks. It works best in our gym nutrition challenges. Paleo is the practice of cutting out grains, legumes, and dairy. This means that you can have meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts, and seeds only. Cool thing about this is that you can eat nearly as much as you want, as long as its paleo approved foods. Paleo is naturally a very low carbohydrate diet. This means that you will go through a period of tough cravings. Push through it and you will reach a point of ketosis, where your body switches to using fat as your primary energy source. This means that you will burn fat. Paleo is a very effective nutrition model but very difficult to do super long term. This is my top recommendation for cleanses and nutrition challenges.
This is a more long term version of the paleo model. You will eat exactly as described above, yet you may use healthy carbs during pre or post workout only. You will not reach the point of ketosis as mentioned above, yet it is a very clean nutrition practice that also fuels performance very well. The key is to eat a carb dense meal about 2 hours or so pre workout and then stick to strict paleo the rest of the day. These carbs will come from safe starches, which are sweet potato, whole grains, or quinoa. This is an excellent choice for those that want top performance in the gym while also working hard on an athletic body composition.
Macro for Athletes
There are multiple versions of macronutrient diets based on your activity level. These types of nutrition require the most attention and work. These are calculated methods of establishing numbers of protein, carbs, and fats to fit your body type and activity level. You will first have to establish your baseline numbers through body measurements. Then breakdown the numbers needed per day and per meal. This can be time consuming at first but after a little practice it becomes much easier. These models are meant to be long term and allow the most wiggle room in what you eat. You are less limited in food choices, as long as they fit into your allotted numbers. Since these take the most work, I recommend a starting period with one of the previous nutrition models and progress to this one. I can assist in establishing your number, although I will not do it until you prove that you’re ready for it.
So there you have it. These are the most effective models for nutrition. I do not and will never push some fad diet garbage. These are scientifically proven methods and each have their place based on you and your goals. Feel free to talk to me anytime about them. We will get into them more in our upcoming nutrition challenge.
Look out next week for part 3 of the nutrition series on understanding what macronutrients are and what they do.