We all have seen more and more people at the gym opting for cross fit. The leading reason is that CrossFit focuses on your overall fitness. You can say it zeros into general endurance and not just muscle strength. It includes high-intensity interval training, plyometrics, gymnastics and so on. In order to meet up with the high energy needs of CrossFit training, nutrition plays a cardinal role. They say nutrition is the foundation. Many diets have paved their way in the recent decade. The ones who have gained a lot of popularity are the ‘Zone’ and the ‘Paleo’ diet. Let’s take a quick look at how each of them works.

Zone Diet. The diet has worked remarkably for many and claims to meet the energy requirements of training. Recommendations for the zone diet have it that one-third of your plate should be filled with lean proteins. The other two thirds must contain equal amounts of carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and good fats. Barry Sears the author of the Zone diet mentions in his book, “Maintain a beneficial ratio of protein to carbohydrate every time you eat. The ideal ratio is about 0.75- that’s three grams of protein to every four grams of carbohydrates.” It shall vary according to your training patterns. It is essential to pay keen attention to the carbohydrates. Processed carbs that claim to be whole grains might take a toll on your diet. The majority of your carbohydrates must come from vegetables and fruit. Now the diet’s both quantitative and qualitative aspects must not be compromised. The calorie count has to be exact and in proportion with our training. You need to increase the uptake if you are planning to go hard on your training or increase its frequency. Greg Glassman advises, “keep your intake levels that will support exercise but not body fats”.

Paleo diet. A majority of cross-fitters even follow the paleo diet. This diet is preferred as it encourages an intake of whole, real food high in high protein and vitamins. The diet advocates eating like our caveman ancestors and strictly eliminates the consumption of refined, processed food. However, this is true for any healthy diet plan. Since a hard-line paleo diet completely rules out carbohydrates and fats through dairy, the one used by crossfitters is a modified paleo diet. Some athletes follow general guidelines of CrossFit nutrition, which are a high protein and a high-fat diet while restricting the carbohydrate intake to required amounts only. Regardless of the diet, you follow, eating patterns must not be ignored. The practice of breaking down the entire day’s diet into six meals must be inculcated. The diet must be well planned to avoid any last-minute compromises.

What to eat before the workout? The secret lies here. Know that CrossFit isn’t an hour-long jog in the park. It would include rigorous training. Hence it is mandatory to eat right in order to fuel your body while not being full. A typical pre-workout CrossFit meal can include bananas, oats, protein bars. It must at no cost include a rich carbohydrate, fast-digesting food. Beginners must have their breakfast: lunch: snacks: Early dinner: late snack in the ratio of 5: 5: 1: 5:1 considering you have 17 portions in total (according to the color-code of zone guidelines). For the principal meals one can cook grilled meat topped with light spices or a vegetarian meal by tossing veggies like broccoli, tomatoes cabbage and so on. Snacks can consist of berries with yogurt, a medium-sized fruit, a scoop of almond or peanut butter. While CrossFit can be challenging the secret to excel remains nutrition and motivation. While going through training, the respective diet must be followed religiously. Only then, meeting the goals of training is definitely a possibility.

Disha Surwase
Jan. 31, 2020, 10:36 a.m.

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