What do I eat?!

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A lot of you know that your food intake is extremely important in regards to your health.  The effect of your food choices cannot be overstated.  However, with the plethora of information floating around, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

There are numerous “diets” out there claiming any and all benefits you can think of.  Want to lose 30 pounds in 6 hours?  There’s a diet for that!  Want to add 300 lbs to your squat? There’s a diet for that! I think you get the point.

*Results not typical.

*Results not typical.

The truth of the matter is that most diets do work (to one degree or another), and there’s a good chance you’ll see some results if you manage to stick it out.

The problem is that most people don’t/can’t stick with them long enough to see results.  Sometimes it’s the cost, sometimes it’s the cravings and sometimes they are just ridiculous (lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, anyone?).

Do not "diet"

Do not “diet”

An effective diet doesn’t need to be costly, time consuming, boring or overly restrictive.  Obviously, the more effort you put in the more you’ll get out of it.  However, most of us don’t have any real need to get a single digit body fat percentage or set of 12-pack abs.  Most of us would be happy just having a little more energy, dropping a few inches, and not feeling guilty about what we eat.  That being the case, there are a few hard and fast rules that we recommend you follow, regardless of your level of commitment.

  1. Choose foods that are minimally processed.  If you can’t tell what your food started out as, you may want to make another choice.clown_meat
  2. Try to cut back/eliminate sugary drinks.  This goes for regular soda (diet soda isn’t great either), juice (real or juice-drinks) and, unfortunately, alcohol (it acts like sugar in your system and leads to bad decisions: fried food, breakdancing, etc).  Since these drinks don’t need to be broken down like whole foods, they enter your blood stream much faster.  I don’t want to get all science-y (nor am I really qualified) so just trust me.  Cool?
    Avoid this aisle if at all possible.

    Avoid this aisle if at all possible.

  3. Don’t “diet.” You should be eating to live a healthier life, not to look good in a bikini for 3 months.  When you take on a diet that you can’t sustain, it’s like holding your breath.  You’ll be ok for a little while, then it hurts, then you give in and start gasping for air (binging on crap, in this case).  Sound familiar?  Instead, make small sustainable changes and you’ll be on the right path before you know it.

The official CrossFit food recommendation is as follows:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

The unofficial CrossFit way to eat (notice I didn’t say “diet”) is Paleo/Primal.  Basically, it is based on the way Paleolithic (hence the name) man/women used to eat.  At Copperhead CrossFit, we’re working on creating an easy to follow guide to get you guys headed in the right direction.  Until then, here’s some extra reading to get you started.

-“What is the Paleo Diet,” by Robb Wolf
-“Meal plans,” from Robb Wolf
-“What is the Paleo Diet,” by FITBOMB
-“The Paleo Solution, Quick Start guide,” by Robb Wolf.
Paleomg.com, Julie Bauer’s site with some great tasting recipes.

PALEO DIET

Let us know if you have any questions.  Happy eating!

BONUS TIP:  Watch out for things like FAT-FREE, NO SUGAR and LOW CALORIE as this usually translates to CHEMICAL SH!T STORM.

I get it, you want to be healthy.  You’ve heard things like “fat is bad,” “sugar is bad” and “there are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat.”  Unfortunately, big food companies are aware of this and they use these buzzwords to lure you in.  They take advantage of your good intentions and engineer their products so that they can slap a “healthy” label on it.  In reality, these products are usually laced with all sorts of undesirables and you’d be better off staying away from them.

If this discourages you and you find yourself asking, “Well what can I eat?!”  Just refer to rule #1 (choose foods that are minimally processed) and you’ll be good to go.

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