What are our shared beliefs about nutrition? And how do we act based on those beliefs?
Core Principle #1: Our goal is to fuel our body.
We ask our bodies to perform many tasks throughout the day, and our nutrition plan is meant to fuel those activities so that we can do them well. Different foods fuel our body differently and impact our performance. We need to know the difference between high and low quality fuel. Changing the perspective that food is working FOR us instead of “I work out FOR FOOD” gives freedom to anyone who adapts this mentality. We’ll never “out-exercise” a poorly fueled diet.
Core Principle #2: Our nutrition plan has to be sustainable.
We have to look at our choices and ask ourselves, “Can I sustain this behavior or eating habit every day for the next month/quarter/year/etc?” Diets aren’t part of the solution. The solution is to build positive habits around nutrition and healthy decisions. CrossFit’s vision of “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar” and “keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat” is a guiding vision we share, but what we really focus on is the habits that support a sustainable lifestyle that is fueled by the right foods.
Where does this get us? What is the next step you need to take? Well, that’s a discussion you probably need to have with a coach since we’re all in different phases of our nutrition journey. But here’s an analogy that might help you figure out what to do next.
We’re all familiar with a CrossFit class. We talk about the workout at the Whiteboard, then we Warm Up. After that, we spend time Teaching and Practicing exercises. After that, we do the Workout. And we wrap up class with a Cool Down & Reflection. Let’s use that same framework, just now for our Nutrition.
Whiteboard: This is when we begin to learn what to expect. It’s also the best time to ask questions. What goals for my nutrition do I have? How am I feeling? What are my expectations? What challenges do I face? Who can help or support me with these?
Warm Up: What do I need to get ready? What data do I need to know? I can’t just jump into the “workout.” Am I doing a Daily Food Log or weighing and/or measuring food? How many calories should I be consuming? What does the macronutrient composition look like? Measuring the data is imperative to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Teaching/Practice: What’s the most important thing to improve or change? How will I implement a sustainable change? What do I need to learn about my current habits or beliefs surrounding food? Do I need to educate myself further? Before making a change in an eating habit (the workout) it’s important to understand what I’m capable of doing and where my weaknesses are.
Workout: Action! Take what I have learned and apply it – usually for a minimum of four weeks. Doing so will help establish measurable, observable, repeatable data on the input (food) and output (performance). During those 4 weeks, there will be ups and downs, challenges and victories!
Reflection/Cool Down: Once I’ve made a change, there will be new adjustments to the prescription to achieve better levels of health and fitness. These evaluations and potential changes will be ongoing throughout life. It’s time to recover and get ready for the next workout, starting at the Whiteboard again!