The Top 5 Crossfit Diet and Nutrition Books
Your relationship with food is the most important determinant of your longterm well-being. The first thing that you should think about when you want to make a change in your life is your diet. Nutrition is the foundation of the development of an athlete and of humans in general.
When you start to think about what you eat there are some basic questions that you need answered. Here is a guide to the most recommended diet and nutrition books here at Crossfit Virtuosity. The basic guideline that we follow at Crossfit is to “eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” If you want to get a little more information you should read the following books
- What should I eat? The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain. Dr. Cordain has made a great argument that we should eat as our caveman ancestors ate. He points out a strong correlation between the development of agriculture and modern diseases. Get back to basics with the Paleo Diet: meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some fruit.
- Where does my food come from? The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Omnivore’s Dilemma is a fascinating book on the modern food chain. Where does your food come from? Probably not from where you would think or hope. This book examines some of the real costs of our modern agriculture system and the impossibly long food chain from the giant monoculture farms through the processing plants and the huge oil-consuming transportation system. It makes you think long and hard about your food choices. It is also the best written of all the books on this list.
- How much should I eat? Enter the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears. Ultimately if you are going to diet, you need to think about how much you are eating. We’ve all heard the phrases “eat in moderation” and “too much of a good thing.” Portions make a difference–A huge difference. Following the Zone Diet is the best, way to measure your portions. It not only works for losing weight but, more importantly, it is a performance diet. If you really want to be a star crossfitter (or merely a better crossfitter) you had better start Zoning.
- Why do these diets work? Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Taubes has written the most thought out and well-researched diet book to date. It has a lot of good information a helps explain why all this dieting works and doesn’t work.
- What else do I need to know? Lights Out: Sugar, Sleep and Survival by Bent Formby and T. S. Wiley. This is probably the worst written book on the list and the most wildly speculative. However, the writers postulate a fascinating theory that should not be dismissed too quickly. Light pollution effects our sleep habits, which effect our hormones, which effect our eating habits and ultimately leads to obesity and disease. The writers claim that light pollution causes our bodies to “think” we are approaching the end of summer when the days are longest. Thus we crave more sugar and carbohydrates to store up energy for the cold winter. Turn off ALL the lights, sleep more and eat less sugar and watch the pounds melt away.
Those are the books you should definitely buy. However, definitely do NOT buy The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Initially you will say, “but we are Crossfitters and athletes so this should apply to us.” However, in this book Dr. Cordain only concerns himself with endurance athletes. He does not address the needs of athletes that use other energy pathways. The biggest problem with the book is that Dr. Cordain all but reverses some of his basic beliefs about the Paleo Diet and advocates eating more simple carbohydrates and non-paleo type foods to get more sugar into your system. Lame.
For more tips on eating right and staying healthy subscribe to the Crossfit Journal, but specifically read Issue 21 on how to follow the Zone Diet.
Subscribe to The Performance Menu
Read the following blogs.
Mark Sisson’s blog Mark’s Daily Apple
Robb Wolf’s blog
The F Word
How to Start Your Meal Plan
Was this article helpful to you? Do you have any other great diet books to recommend? Please post your thoughts to the comments.