Congratulations on getting your measurements and 2000m row time. This is a challenge about performance. If you want a lean fast CrossFit bad ass body you have treat your body like a super exotic 3 million dollar 12oo horsepower Bugatti Veyron. You can’t expect something built to run over 250 miles per hour to run on Hot Pockets and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
As most of you know if you have any desire to win either the fat loss or muscle mass bulk up division (or both) you are going to have to dial in your diet. Like I said most all of you will make great progress by training 3-5 times a week in the gym and not eating crap. I would define crap but you know what I’m talking about. There are some foods that disguise themselves as healthy but start with the obvious and you are on your way. More about diet deception in a later post.
I published the following text last summer and I chose to copy it word for word in this post. The Paleo Performance Challenge has already introduced many of you to a modified Paleo platform that will help you nail your goals.
If you measured over 20% male or 30% female your primary goal should be fat loss. Your body will be more primed to add muscle mass at lower fat levels. Which means the starchy carbs that are necessary to build a lot of muscle mass should be kept to a minimum.
In a couple days I will send a post about how to plan a diet that’s easy to create and follow.
Paleo Performance Challenge
Before we get into what to eat or not, I want to go over some very basic nutrition and exercise information. Too many fail because they get lost in the details before they really understand the big picture.
Body transformation requires both high intensity workouts plus a sensible easy to follow meal plan. Exercise and Nutrition go hand in hand because you can’t diet away lack of exercise just as much as you can’t out CrossFit a doughnut.
Food Follows the Workout
The wonderful thing about CrossFit workouts is if you do them long enough a change in diet is inevitable. The first change is the desire to avoid that terrible or sick feeling during or after workouts caused by poor food choices. So you change what you eat in the hours before your workout. Ultimately you make choices based upon ultimate workout performance and tuning the precision machine that is your body.
If you’re still in the first phase the Paleo Performance Challenge will immediately speed up the process toward ultimate excellence. The problem in the past for many of us is having no concrete plan based either on poor planning and bad or incomplete information.
Our plan isn’t a religion and takes into account that we live in the 21st century and the fact that fueling heavy strength training and high output metabolic workouts may demand nutrition that isn’t “strict” Paleo.
While I might be as vain at the next person eating Paleo is more than just looks it’s also:
- Accelerated Fat Loss
- Increase in WOD Performance
- Less Inflammation and Joint Pain (at 53 this is number one for me)
- Faster Recovery From Training
- Not to mention lowered risk of many modern metabolic based diseases.
So why are so many of us missing the mark?
Some of you need to bring it harder in the gym or get to the gym in the first place. (Enough of that one you know who you are and if you’re just getting started with us you’re forgiven…for now:)
Since most of you finish every workout lying in a pool of sweat, it ultimately comes down to what you’re eating. Counting on the food industries marketing or incomplete messages from our favorite fitness magazines is a recipe for failure. We have heard every contradicting solution from low fat, low carb, all cabbage, all bacon and zero carb… The list goes on and on.
Our goal with the Paleo Performance Challenge is to present a clear and concise Paleo system that anyone can follow is based upon real science and not making a religion about eating only what a caveman would eat. Because of course if a caveman had a cupcake you can be damn sure he would eat it. So are cupcakes Paleo? No but you get the point.
Our goal is to fuel our bodies for maximum performance in the gym, which is the path to ALL fitness goals including losing weight, toning up or building muscle.
It’s all about how we fuel our bodies
What, How and When along with our training dictates whether our bodies are a fat accumulating blob or a super lean calorie and fat burning beast
The reality is that your body is always mobilizing energy for movement and sustaining muscle mass or the body is storing excess energy in the form of bodyfat.
Calories in vs. Calories Out
OK I have to come clean. I used to drive home the principle that if we consume fewer calories that we burn we will lose weight and fat. While that is largely true a bigger picture demands us to look a little closer. We rarely think about insulin the extremely powerful anabolic/fat storage hormone until we see the word diabetes. Too much Insulin too much of the time will keep us fat even if we are training twice a day and in a calorie deficit!
Everytime we eat our food is converted into blood sugar. When our blood sugar reaches a certain level we produce insulin to deliver the sugar to the cells.
If we eat in a way that moderates insulin production we tend to not store fat
If what we eat raises blood sugar beyond what our muscles and organs need a spike in insulin crams the excess blood sugar into your fat cells. Following the Paleo Performance Challenge will moderate insulin levels, control hunger, increase energy and turn you body into a fat mobilizing burning machine.
What is Paleo?
The Paleo Diet is a an approach to diet based upon the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors – consisting of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It excludes foods that came from agriculture or processing – dairy, grains, refined sugars, etc.
Processed foods and a modern “westernized” diet are unique to the last 100 years and many of the highly processed foods are as recent as the last 30 or less years. The human body hasn’t adapted to modern super refined foods and as a result many of us find ourselves overweight and suffering from many inflammatory conditions. Many people who adapt Paleo principles in their diet immediately lose inches from the waist and several pounds in inflammatory fluids in the first week even without exercise. Other benefits include a naturally lean body, clearer skin, improved athletic performance and recovery, and relief from numerous metabolic-related and autoimmune diseases including diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Every time we do a body transformation program and the subject of food comes up most people roll their eyes and ask, “What do I have to stop eating?” The answer to that question might be a lot but we really like to keep the focus on what you can eat while simply allowing the attention on what you can’t eat take a back seat to the positives. So instead of a lecture on the evils of high fructose corn syrup and the virtues of grass fed beef we will provide you with a very simple template along with the Vitabot online nutrition system in about 15 minutes.
Failing to Plan is the same as planning to fail
There are a lot of well thought out programs BUT if they aren’t easy to follow they will all fail. Having access to CrossFit classes and an eBook on paleo nutrition isn’t going to get it. The common trait with everyone we see who attains and maintains long term success are those who plan their workout times and their meals in advance. For the next 12 weeks we’re asking you to put your workouts and nutrition first. Let’s face it we’re all busy fitting 3 or even 4 workouts a week AND finding the time plan out and prepare meals and snacks in advance can be overwhelming. You of course have to find your way into the gym but our goal here is to put together a program for eating program that requires a little planning but is remarkably easy to follow.
The Paleo Performance Challenge will look very familiar to anyone who has done any research on eating Paleo but there are a few big differences. Our food plan is based upon the Paleo diet but doesn’t demand you pursue it with religious fervor. We also understand that we live in the 21st century and need to adapt traditional Paleo to the high demands of CrossFit training.
Building The Plan
Building the plan using our Paleo template and the Vitabot system is very simple. However its very easy to make something simple very difficult. WARNING: Another surefire recipe (sorry for the pun) for failure is getting a complex gourmet meal plan that has unique recipes for every day of the week. I have seen too many meal plans (yes I helped create a few) that had different recipes each day and different ways to prepare them.
Have you ever seen one of these programs and thought that the preparation time not to mention the huge financial burden of buying that much new food and got totally overwhelmed? Of course you have.
The reality is that the simpler our diet is the more successful we will be. I once had a trainer who wrote a diet for me that included 6 meals in very simple combinations. He told me that I needed to eat the same food at the same time in the same quantity 7 days a week. At first I thought it to be way too restrictive and impossible to follow. In reality it was very simple, practical and the best part is that I never got leaner in my entire life. While we aren’t asking you to be that simple or even perfect we are asking you to limit yourself to only a few different meals total. This makes preparation and shopping more efficient and more economical.
Here are the advantages of a simple plan:
- Shopping for the same items is far simpler. Since you know exactly what to get and in exactly the right quantity you never run out with less waste and expense.
- A simple diet is perfect for planning ahead and cooking for the week on Sunday evening. I have even found it possible to get up 20 minutes early and get everything prepared for all 6 meals for the entire day. This is only possible by eating a limited range of foods
- The simpler our diet is the less susceptible we are to emotional eating. The less variety we have the more our brain understands that food is fuel and looks to other activities such as working out and physical activities for pleasure.
- The simpler your food plan is the less you have to think about it and the more you can simply focus on following it. In short it eliminates excuses and eliminates even valid reasons based upon poor planning.
Building Your Plan
Having a food plan is awesome. So here are a few tips from our home that should help you succeed with your plan:
1. Make sure your plan is realistic and simple.
How many times have we heard failing to plan is the same as planning to fail? Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated (remember we love to keep it simple) it just has to be something you can follow. For example look at the upcoming week and note your families work and activities schedule and you can plan meals both in and out around that schedule. One thing we do in our home on Thursday is allow our crock pot to slave all day long on a roast or brisket because we don’t get home until late with CrossFit classes and track practice.
2. Shop Smart
Smart shopping is pretty easy when the weeks meals are planned out. It always seems that the food budget gets spent way too early when there is no food in the fridge that leads to unplanned meals out. Again the fewer recipes and menu items you have will also make it much easier and economical at the store.
3. Have cooking nights
Planning a one night a week to cook for the week will guarantee good food is available when things get crazy during the week. Again this goes back to the plan. We will cook chicken, breakfast chops and even vegetables and greens for the week.
4. Have a plan “B”
Without a plan B snacks and even full meals usually become a quick gut bomb at a fast food joint. Having almonds and fruit around will often save a trip to grab whatever easy food is available for us.
Here is a brief summary of the Paleo Performance Challenge Program:
- Plan your workout times, meals and meal preparation times in advance
- Train at least 3 times a week but no more than 4 days in a row.
- Keep your total food intake within the guidelines set by your trainer.
- Always have a plan B for food on hand in case something comes up in your schedule
- Do eat lean meats green vegetables and eggs. Avoid sugars, grains and all processed foods.
- If your food plan looks, sounds or feels complicated or too hard it probably is. Revise and simplify your plan.
- Lastly always feel comfortable asking for help from any of our trainers either in person or by email.
That’s about it we wish you incredible success and results.
Scott and Cynthia Lofquist
Move Fast and Lift Heavy My Friends