How should I eat?

nutrition

 

There are a billion of choices of how you should eat. Like Paleo, Zone, Atkins, keto, clean eating and so on. No wonder people get confused and eventually lost in the cycle of dieting and gaining.

The most important thing you have to keep in mind is to see yourself as an individual: each one of us have different tastes, needs and lifestyles. Listen to your body what it needs, what it feels good and what works.

You need all: proteins, carbohydrates and fats

All three macro-nutrients should be on your plate. General guidelines consists of 40 % protein, 40 % carbohydrate and 30 % of fats. You don’t have to stick to that, if you feel your body needs adjustments. Some athletes prefer less carbohydrates and more fats. Others need more energy and use simple sugars as a fuel for their workouts.

Protein

As an athlete you need more proteins than a sedentary person. Those large molecules consists of smaller units called aminoacids and are building blocks of our body structural components: muscle tissue, skin, bones, hair and more. Among other, their main function is to built, strengthen and repair tissues.

Experts are still fighting over much protein we actually need. The number usually depends on our views we have towards food, but there are some general guidelines:

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for an adult is 0.8 gram of protein per 1 kg of lean bodyweight (U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, 1980). But in general strength athlete should consume between 1.4-1.8 grams per 1 kg of BW.

Carbohydrates

Nowadays carbohydrates are associated with sugar, highly processed foods and danger. But they are far away from being evil. If proteins are building blocks, carbohydrates are our most common source of energy. The daily intake is a big riddle: RDI (Recommended daily intake) is between 45-60 percent (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) of all our calories. Should you go so high? You don’t have to. There are many athletes who follow modern guidelines of low carb eating.

That being said try with different amounts, what feels good to you. In any case, don’t be afraid of carbs, they are not evil. Keep everything balanced.

Fats

Fats serve both, structure and function. They’re essential for maintaining health. Even though FDA recommends lowering our fat intake to fewer than 10 percent daily, we know we can and should get higher.

Consistency: your body was made for a long term period

Nutrition is not a 30-day challenge. It’s a lifestyle and should be considered as that: adjust it in a way you’ll be able to stick to it daily on long term. Not just 3 weeks or 6 months, your whole life.

Life doesn’t have off days so neither your nutrition plan should not have them. Sustainable results and health effects are seen in a longer period of time.

Don’t torture yourself with strict rules

Rules exist so we can break them. As you search through the web you’ll found much information which usually leaves people confused as they vary from site to site. Remember you are an individual and should be treated that way. If you friend eats like a caveman, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Listen, follow and observe your body, and don’t forget that being calm and relax about nutrition is much healthier than obsessing over it.

Must-reads:

General guidelines:

Top 5 nutrition mistakes Crossfitters make

How to calculate your macros and calories

3 meals a day, or more frequent smaller meals?

Diets

Crossfit: which diet?

Paleo: What to eat when competing

Intermittent fasting

Going vegetarian in a Paleo dominated Crossfit world

 

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