Nutrition Plans – Eating to match your goals, 29-07-2015

Over the next few months we will be trying to put more of an emphasis on healthy eating and eating to match your CrossFit goals. There are many different ideologies out there concerning nutrition, whether it's Paleo, counting calories counting macro-nutrients or a point system. We will be advising you on what we believe is the most sustainable and effective for long term results and health.

How do your goals effect how you should eat?

This question causes a lot of confusion regarding nutrition, weight loss and CrossFit training. Depending on our specific goals our body will require specific macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) in different quantities.

PROTEIN

No matter what our goals may be, protein intake is going to be vital for recovery and repair of muscles after training. Protein intake will vary, very little from one goal to the next. As an approx guide we want to aim for a protein intake of approx 1g per pound of body weight or approx 35% of our total calorie intake. These numbers should be fairly similar and this is the one target that we must meet every day.

Protein is vital for maintaining and increasing healthy levels of metabolic tissue ie lean muscle. This is important because lean muscle levels dictate your metabolic rate ie: the more lean muscle you have the more calories your body will burn, the more food you can eat – yay! Also the flip side is true, if we do not eat enough protein while training and trying to lose fat then we will suffer a loss of lean muscle ultimately slowing our metabolism and reducing the amount of food our body can eat without gaining weight.

CARBOHYDRATES

Training for specific goals will really affect what type and how many carbohydrates you should eat. If your primary goal is fat loss then you will want to moderate carbohydrate intake and give extra care to the sources of carbohydrates that you consume ie: more starch based than sugar based. carbohydrates are essential for any CrossFitter regardless of goal, this is due to the large amount of metabolic conditioning contained within CrossFit. The primary fuel source used in metabolic conditioning is carbohydrates and as such we need to eat enough carbohydrates to effectively fuel workouts to the appropriate level of intensity and to also replenish these fuel sources after workouts.

How much we need will vary depending on training frequency, intensity and ultimately whether your goal lies with improved performance or fat loss. Recommended intakes are hard to pin point but what we suggest is starting with a generous carbohydrate intake and reducing amounts if we are not seeing the results we need. The reason behind this is because even if we aren't successful in losing weight we will reap the benefits of improved performance. However if we start too low and get it wrong the likelihood is, we will not lose weight and also we will slow down our metabolism, suffer a drop in performance and generally be tired run down and susceptible to illness. We are recommending approx 35% of your total calorie intake.

FATS

Fats are essential for almost all chemical and hormonal processes within the body, cutting them out of the diet completely is simply madness. This will not only contribute to weight loss but also an entire host of other issues such as unstable blood sugar levels leading to diabetes along with a break down in many of the body's natural systems. The key is to eat the right amount of good quality healthy fats, sourced from grass fed meat, wild fish and plant sources such as coconut oil and avocados. We are recommending a fat intake of 30% of your total calorie intake.

If our primary goal is fat loss then the first determining factor we need to look at is how much we should eat. We can look at this from a calorie point of view or a macro-nutrient point of view. I like to use both as this offers more flexibility and is less open to error or abuse. For calories I like to work from a window or a range that we aim to be within and ultimately stress very little about this number. I'm more concerned with macro-nutrients as these are less open to interpretation and ultimately makes sure that people consume enough of each macro-nutrient. These numbers are a little more precise and have less room for flexibility. Weight loss can be simplified to calories in verses calories out ie: to lose weight we must consume less calories than we burn (this can be discussed in more detail another day). So if a male burns 2500 calories a day we must consume less calories than this to lose fat, again this concept has been open to much abuse over the years. We need to be very careful and very clever in how we modify our food in-take to create a calorie deficit that will ultimately lead to a HEATHLY sustainable weight loss. A calorie deficit of 1000 would be too aggressive and cause a shut down of the metabolism and many of the body's healthy processes causing a loss of muscle tissue and energy levels. On the flip side a calorie deficit of 250 may work long term but results may be too slow to maintain motivation levels, so we are opting for an approx 500 calorie per day deficit.

Attached are 2 sample nutrition protocols, one male and one female, targeted at weight loss based on average numbers and factoring in that many of you will be exercising. The calorie intake will be 2000 - 2400 and 1400 - 1600 for male and females respectively. As mentioned previously the exact number isn't too important as long as we stay within this range. Our macro-nutrient targets are a little more specific and the one target that we must hit every single day is protein intake which will be 192g for males and 131g for females. Carbohydrate and fat intake can be a little more flexible as long as we are within 10-15g per day of carbohydrates and 5-10g with fat. This is what will cause the slight fluctuation with calorie intake on a given day.

Attached is a simple and generic eating plan for weight loss. These can be tweaked and tailored to your individual tastes and food preferences but it must comply with the same goals.

A final note on nutrition would be, FOOD QUALITY MATTERS, regardless of your goal. We are not saying that you need to eat organic everything but opt for the best quality you can afford and have access too, especially when it comes to meat, eggs and dairy products as this drastically effects the nutritional content of those foods. Example: 100g of free range organic chicken will contain more protein and healthier fat levels than bulk bought chicken imported from other countries. Try and eat a wide variety of different meats, fruits and veg.

Supplements are not a replacement for food but they can be very useful in our busy and active lifestyles. Although expensive, supplements can be a cost effective way of bulking out our protein intake and meeting our targets which we would not otherwise meet. It's a good way of consuming essential nutrients and minerals that our diets may lack.

Recommended supplements

Whey protein, fish oil, multi vitamin, minerals zinc and magnesium; We will now be selling supplements on a pre order basis from the gym: Further information on products and prices will be posted shortly.

Finally these are generic weight loss plans for the average male and female, if you wish to have something more tailored to your individual needs and goals please contact us.

Tailored nutrition plans, consultations and ongoing advice start from £30.

Team CFB, Stay Fit, stay Strong, Stay Healthy

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