Nutrition is the bedrock to Fitness. Whether your goal is to lose weight, become stronger and faster, sleep better, focus better, it absolutely starts with food.
The intent of this page is to deliver you resources to aid you in making wise food decisions. We will be speaking in generalities that have served people positively nearly 99.9% of the time. Our goal in this page is to help you compare the advice/resources below against what you’re actually doing. We are here to help you address any questions you might have.
Food quality and quantity:
These two main categories must be addressed when dealing with nutrition. Food quality refers to what kind of food you are putting in your body. We address this with the paleo/primal diet (below). Food quantity refers to how much of that food are you putting in your body. This is where the Zone diet (below) comes in handy, along with other resources we have developed with VICTAE .
What Should I Eat?
In as plain language as possible, base your diet on garden vegetables, lean meats, nuts/seeds, some fruit, moderate amounts of starches and the right grains (many of you us should cut grains completely). Absolutely no added sugar and limit alcohol (best avoided).
That’s about as simple as we can get. As a general tip, 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. Real 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 and the modern American diet is filled with these. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato-chips, 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.
A list of things to avoid:
Certain Grains. This includes bread, pasta, corn, and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains. That’s not real food, right? We at BCF take exception to oatmeal and rice depending upon goals and body-type.
Dairy. This includes cheese (hard and soft), yogurt, and milk. Many people have an issue with dairy and don’t realize it. Certain exceptions can be had but we recommend this after nutrition resets (elimination diet) have been performed (see Whole30 below).
Sugar. Do not eat sugars of any kind, real or artificial. If you must sweeten, use minimal quantities of honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. No Splenda or Aspartame. It appears Stevia “might” be a safer substitute but you shouldn’t be eating a lot of processed foods that contain it. Learn how to tame the sugar dragon here and here.
Eliminate processed foods and drinks (chips, cookies, soda, fruit juice, etc.). Things like protein bars, dairy-free creamers, certain packaged goods should also be limited. Check out Whole30’s “Can I have…” Guide.
Alcohol. The best scenario? Avoid it 100%. It’s a poison. If you’re seriously wanting to change your life, it has been nothing short of amazing the results we see in people when alcohol is eliminated, even for a short period of time. In general, alcohol should be limited. Consider an elimination diet (like the Whole30) to see how it affects you.
How much should I eat?
This question is answered primarily by ‘the Zone’ diet, a diet created by Barry Sears for those looking to improve health and reduce body fat. To us, the Zone seems like a sensible and conservative plan of eating that anyone could follow: 40% of your calories from Carbohydrates, 30% from Fat and 30% from Protein, at every meal.
This balance is maintained every time food is ingested, with the intent of regulating changes in digestive hormones, namely insulin. Food is often divided into ‘blocks’, the ratios amongst which are fixed to keep designing meals somewhat simpler. Ie., a three block meal may have 3 blocks of Carbohydrates, 3 blocks of protein and 3 blocks of fat.
Another tool we have is our macro and TDEE calculator to help you figure out “how much should I eat”.
(Video) The “Fat” Lie We’ve Been Told:
(Video) Why We Really Get Fat:
(Video) Success Story of “Grain Free”:
- Getting Started
- End The War On Fat (Slate)
- The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar & Type 2 Diabetes (Mark’s Daily Apple)
- The Definitive Guide To Dairy (Mark’s Daily Apple)
- Nutrition Articles from the CrossFit Journal
- The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf
- Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It, by Gary Taubes
- The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
- Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
- The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
- The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
- Food, Inc. (documentary DVD)
- The Future of Food (documentary DVD)
- Fed Up (documentary DVD)
Food/Recipes Website Favorites:
- Well Fed: Delicious and original “Dino-Chow” recipes from the kitchen of Melissa Joulwan.
- Everyday Paleo
- The Label Says Paleo: Dozens of recipes from a group of CrossFitters trying to clean up their diets (and blogging about it!)
- Nom Nom Paleo
- Use Google – Just remember, there are plenty of “paleo pancakes,” “paleo cupcakes” and other items that you may think are healthy just because it says “paleo” or “gluten-free.” That is not the point of eating well. A pancake is still a pancake.
More than anything we hope this page helped educate you on what real food is and began a shift to how you approach food. We are human and we want to “enjoy” treats and life just like anyone. We get it. The above information is as black and white as we can get to help 99% of you. But, we’re all unique so please come to us if you need guidance. We’re here to help.