Nutrition

Nutrition guidelines for optimal health and fitness
We believe that serving clients to the best of our ability should be the main focus for what we do. Crossfit exposes one to the idea of Performance, Health and Longevity, and that a person should have the basic tools to be able to live a long, healthy and happy life that allows them to play with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren throughout this life.

test2To develop these tools you must start at the bottom of the pyramid and work upwards.

Nutrition is the biggest and most important block. All the members of CrossFit Cork who train regularly, understand the need to eat food that will support and promote their endeavours (mostly because we rant on about it constantly).

Fuelling your body for performance or weight loss, requires a lifestyle change with a huge focus on eating good whole foods. What are these foods? Well in essence they are foods that contain the greatest number of nutrients per serving packaged in the most optimised way. This simply becomes fresh local vegetables’ and local meat.

Our mission has always been to sort the sugar problem first, it is the biggest contributor to the obesity and sickness crisis that we have at the minute. Fat does not make one fat, sugar does! Table sugar, which is in constant use especially in processed foods, contains two individual sugars that each creates metabolic problems in excess. These are glucose and fructose. Please avoid low fat foods as the quality (and tasty) fat they have taken out of the original product has been replaced with salts and sugars to replace the missing flavours.

Glucose is the one responsible for messing with insulin levels and bringing people in to type 2 Diabetes. Fructose because it can only be metabolised by the liver will exacerbate the insulin issue but can also lead to the same health problems as alcohol (they are metabolised on the same pathways). Fruit is a problem here, yes fruits is a natural good whole food but it is also very high in sugar (fructose) and should be avoided if you are looking for weight loss. We know that the body will run very happily with fat as its major energy source but for you to be able to use it or to access your own body fat stores as energy, you must reduce your sugar level dramatically.

After about 2 weeks of not having access to sugars the body will switch over and from there you just keep it running. The macro-nutrient ratios vary from person to person but the overall principle is the same – try to eat a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and moderate to low in carbohydrate. Low carb does not mean NO CARB. It is the carbohydrate component that really changes depending on where you are metabolically, activity levels and other lifestyle factors and will vary from person to person.

Protein intake is recommended at 2 to 3 grams per kilo of bodyweight per day, 2 is baseline up to 3 for those whose volume and intensity is high. Carbohydate is set at 50-100 grams per day for those looking to loose weight and up to 40% total carbs for those that are lean and are carb adapted (that means
that you can eat carbs freely and not put on weight). Fat will take up the remainder of your calories for the day (remember folks, eating fat does not make you fat, sugar does that job!).

Power athlete (Gaa, Rugby, Crossfit) 2-3g protein/kg bw, and between 33-46 calories/kg bw, the lower levels are for loosing weight and the upper for gaining. The principle of only having 50-100g carbs while loosing weight applies but for those gaining weight then make carbs 20-40% calories as tolerated.

  • 75 kg athlete gaining mass would be-3450 calories, 225g protein (1012
    calories), 230g carbs(1035 calories) 155g fat (1403 calories).
  • 75kg Athlete leaning out would be 2475 kcal total, protein 150g(675
    kcal), Carbs 50g (225 kcal) Fat 175g (1575 kcal)

These numbers are going to fluctuate to suit the individual, but the only way to find out what works is to keep a food diary for a few weeks recording everything
and how you feel after workouts. We use Robb Wolfs indicators of Look, Feel and Perform. Do you look good naked (body fat test). Do you feel healthy (vitamin and nutrient testing) and are your numbers in the gym improving (eating enough calories).

If you are curious about protein shakes and their compatriots the advice here is to avoid them until you are lean, if your not sure what that means just ask in
class. For those that are lean then you will be looking at using some protein to assist in faster recovery, 10 to 20 grams of BCAAs’ mixed with 20 grams of Whey protein pre workout is a good place to start. The BCAAs’ will help prevent muscle breakdown and the protein will do all the repair and growth work. The big take away to remember is that you still must take in 2g/kg/day of protein from food.

Supplements that we would recommend for everyone would be a good source fish oil and vitamin D which can be found is most supplement shops or Tesco Fish oil will help with recovery, weight loss, pain and inflammation. Vitamin D we get naturally from sunlight , but as we live in Ireland we need to supplement this. Vit D will help keep bones healthy through improved calcium absorption, boosting immune systems and promoting healthy neuromuscular function amongst other benefits.

If you are concerned about fat levels considering that we will talk about eating a good amount of Saturated Fat then check out Peter Attia’s four articles on how cholesterol works, if you don’t understand it then ask us in class. If someone tells you to eat lean meats and use olive oil solely then they need to read some more.

What to eat

  • Eat plenty of Irish beef and lamb (it’s mostly all grass-fed). Try to source free range pork. Fish is bountiful and cheap in Ireland due to our proximity to the ocean. Mackerel is King here both nutritionally and cost wise, just be conscious to ask at the counter which fish is wild and sustainably caught, if they don’t know go somewhere else. Try to buy the best welfare standard Chicken and Turkey you can afford. Eggs should all be free range without compromise. Try to buy a whole free range chicken more often and use the bird completely.
  • Veg does not have to be organic but should always be as local as possible and in season as much as possible, swedes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, parsnips, cabbage, onions, leeks, sweet potatoes etc. Farmers markets are numerous and run on different days of the week so you should find one to suit.
  • Make and use dressings, mayonnaise, aioli, guacamole etc.
  • Spices and Herbs will really transform meals

Snacks:

  • Nuts; the best are walnuts, almonds, macadamias. (but keep the amount low)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Fruit is one to watch, as we are working to improve your insulin sensitivity it is prudent to keep fruit intake to one to two pieces a day
  • Coconut oil and milk is a great source of energy and a handy cooking fat, you’ll see it used extensively in Paleo recipes. Butter(Kerrygold) fixes everything

Dairy is optional, and depends on whether you are tolerant to it or not. If you are loosing weight then I would avoid it (except butter) and when you are maintaining weight then some good greek yoghurt, heavy cream and good cheese is perfect If you are looking to gain muscle then take in up to 4 litres of full fat milk a day.

We try not to use the word “Paleo” too often as it’s simply all about eating good food but this is a great chart to work with.

paledo

Other reading and links:

Marks Daily Apple: Primal Diet

CrossFit Football: Fuelling for the power athlete

BBC Good food. Great for recipes

Robb Wolf. Paleo Diet

What is the paleo diet

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