We know that this time of year, many of our members are trying to trim some holiday pounds. Maybe you’re only looking to burn off the cookies and milk from Christmas ever – or you’re a bit bloated from New Years Eve Cocktails. Maybe this year, you want to get back to your pre-baby or pre-college weight. Whatever your reason, you want to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to make your efforts in the gym count! But, have you ever thought about how what you’re doing in the kitchen – with your nutrition, might impact your performance in the box?
You don’t have to look far to hear all of the adages about the importance of nutrition. “Abs are built in the kitchen,” or “you can’t outrun your fork” are common things you’ll hear when someone’s talking about leaning down or bulking up. But it can’t be as easy as that, can it? Will you look better by eating only celery and peanut butter until you drop?
Nutrition for weight loss has a few important caveats. It’s not always about eating less and moving more. For example, what you eat can be really important. The athlete looking to lose weight probably wants to minimize muscle loss – or catabolism, as much as possible. When you go into a caloric deficit, your body may actually eat your muscles for fuel, before turning to an emergency storage like fat. How do you minimize catabolism? Well first, you want to make sure you’re getting adequate protein, at least .8 grams per pound of body weight.
That’s almost twice the daily recommended intake of .36 grams for body weight – the reason for this is we want to make sure you’re keeping your muscles fueled and growing!
Another thing to consider is eating enough food to fuel your workouts. You won’t get much benefit from workout out if you’re eating so little that you’re tired all the time! This is why some diets that are dangerously low carb can help you lose weight, but become difficult when you start working out. If you’re doing intense exercise (like CrossFit!) you need to ensure that you have enough food and calories coming in, so you can hit PRs going out.
A good place to start is to simply start writing down what you eat. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, and write down how your workouts felt after a certain meal. If you feel energized, write it down! If you feel sluggish, definitely write that down too! When you record how food makes you feel, you can make connections to what works for your body, and what can help you reach your goals in the long run!
Of course, make sure to talk to the coaches at Beltsville CrossFit about what foods work for them, and for any nutrition advice they may have! Our coaches are here to help you reach your goals!