Nutrition Challenge: Why the Zone?

Last week we announced we are building this year’s Nutrition Challenge around the Zone Diet. Yesterday morning, we sent out an email with all of the details (you can check them out here). We explained all of the specifics for the Challenge there. Now, I want to talk about WHY we chose the Zone Diet for this year’s Challenge.

Nutrition is really a science. The definition of Nutrition is: "The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth", and "the act or process of nourishing or being nourished". We spend a lot of time talking about food quality - focusing on eating real foods from high quality sources. But for this Challenge, we want to focus on the quantities of the foods we are eating.

CrossFit is a physical endeavor. If you are a member at CrossFit Eta, I’m going to assume that you take your training seriously. You show up 4 - 5 days consistently. You work hard every day in class. You want to see results. You want to improve by becoming stronger, faster, and more skilled. You want to be the best that you can be and you want to improve your overall health.

If the above assumptions are true, then I would also assume you want to prioritize your recovery. Recovery is what allows you to come in day after day and do what you do. You know what is a huge part of your recovery? Your nutrition.

If you value your overall health and fitness, nutrition must be a priority. Notice I said, “must.” Not should. MUST. We train hard in class every day. Training like this stresses the body. This stress brings results. This stress causes us to grow stronger, move faster, and become more skilled. This stress is a good thing, when managed properly, but can be detrimental if we are not prioritizing our health in other areas. Therefore, we are responsible for taking care of our bodies through recovery and nutrition.

So, why are we focusing on quantities? Simply put, unless you have ever spent time measuring and weighing your food, you are probably unaware of the general portion sizes you need of the foods that you eat. The American diet and restaurant culture vastly over-estimates portion sizes so it is “normal” to over-eat. Over-eating not only causes weight-gain, but can lead to a slew of longterm health issues that come along with being overweight.

Another reason to focus on quantities is CrossFit athletes require more (real) food than your average Joe. (Remember, we are assuming you show up to class consistently here.) If you already eat primarily high quality, real foods, it’s easy to under-eat if you are not intentionally aware of how much you are consuming. In order to fuel your body for optimal performance and improvement in CrossFit, you must make sure you are getting enough food.

Lastly, focusing on quantities allows more freedom to enjoy treats and less healthy items, in moderation. On the Zone Diet, you are allowed to eat whatever you want, but the quantities are dictated for you. This again helps with learning healthy portion sizes for the treat and snack foods you enjoy eating.

We are excited for this year’s Nutrition Challenge. Join us as we learn more about nutrition, proper portion sizes, and how to improve our habits. You can sign up for the Challenge here!