YOU CAN'T OUT-TRAIN A CRAPPY DIET!It's that simple.You simply will not achieve the fitness gains you desire (fat loss, muscle gain, blood pressure, triglycerides and blood sugar improvements) unless you sort out your nutrition.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include pasta, bread, bagels, wheat products, pop tarts, soft drinks, and processed carbohydrates such as biscuits, muffins and breakfast cereals.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give too great an insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora's box of disease and disability.
These types of foods can be useful however during/after long, endurance type sports and activities (eg: sports drinks/bars),yet are often over used. A 20 minute walk on the gym treadmill or gentle Sunday bike ride does not necessitate the consumption of a bottle of bright blue sugar water!!
So What Should I Eat?
Modern diets are ill suited for our primal genes. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. The CrossFit prescription of functional, high intensity, real-world exercise fits perfectly with the Paleolithic model of nutrition.
In plain language, base your diet on ridiculous amounts of garden vegetables, some fruit, lean meats, free range eggs, nuts, and seeds, very little starchy foods, low amounts of dairy, and no sugar. Keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Real food is perishable, thus the stuff with a long shelf life is suspect. If you follow these simple, yet highly effective guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
Proteinshould be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Carbohydratesshould be predominantly low-glycemic and account for 30-40% of your total caloric load.
Fatshould be predominantly unsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
To read more on this topic, check out this NY Times article HERE.