Nutrition & Healthy Habits Challenge

Who’s got two thumbs and needs a nutrition tune-up? 

This girl! 

If you’re feeling the same way, join me for a 6-week Nutrition & Healthy Habits challenge!! We’ll kick off on February 1 and go through March 15. 

Cost – $0

Timing – Monday, February 1 – Monday, March 15

Prizes – The glass half empty person would say “none,” but I prefer to say: “You’ll feel like a million bucks and head into the CrossFit Open ready to slay some workouts!”

Components – There are 2 main components to the challenge: Nutrition and a weekly habit or focus area. For the nutrition component, you’ll pick an eating plan and stick to it for all 6 weeks (details below). The habit/focus area will rotate weekly and will include: (1) 800g fruit & veggies, (2) Water, (3) Sleep, (4) Mindfulness, (5) Mobility, (6) Get Outside!

How to Participate 

  1. Choose your nutrition level. See the details below and talk to us if you need help!
  2. Sign up on this spreadsheet.
  3. Fill out the challenge tracker each day. The tracker is located on pages 2-7 of the sign up spreadsheet. Each participant will complete 2 drop down boxes each day – one for nutrition and one for the weekly habit/focus area. When you meet your daily goal, select “yes” (green). If you’re close, select “almost” (yellow). If you missed the boat, select “no” (red) – but don’t stress about it! Just commit to doing better the next day!

Other Recommendations – To get the most out of the challenge, we also recommend that you:

  1. Complete the Performance Test. It will be the Daily WOD on Monday February 1 and Monday March 15. Record your results in SugarWOD! The purpose of the performance test is to give you some practical, fitness-related, “before and after” data.
  2. Take some basic body measurements. At a minimum, record your weight, waist and hip measurements. It’s also a great idea to take some photos of yourself (scantily clad!). You don’t have to turn in any of these measurements – they’re just for yourself. If you’d like to purchase before-and-after Inbody scans, send us an email and we’ll set you up.
  3. Maintain an eating log and write down everything you eat. There are various apps you can use (My Fitness Pal is a favorite) or an old fasioned notebook works fine. Writing down everything you eat will help hold you accountable and will give us a good starting point to troubleshoot any problems mid-challenge.

Nutrition Component

We believe that the most important part of health and longevity is what food you put in your body. At ICA, we recommend a largely “paleo” approach to eating, supplemented with gluten-free starches/grains as needed to support your workouts and recovery.

The food pyramid on the left provides an overview of our nutritional philosophy. Foods in green should be the base of your diet. Foods in yellow are incorporated as needed based on your goals and unique metabolic needs. Orange (dairy) is used on a case-by-case basis. It is not considered part of the paleo diet, but many clients do well with limited dairy such as unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese.

For clients just starting your nutrition journey, we typically progress through the following steps. Each step builds on the one before it, so if you are following Step 2 it means you are also following the conditions in Step 1. For the nutrition component of this challenge, you’ll choose what step you are ready for, and you’ll  follow it for the entire challenge. 

1. Food Quality. Eat from the “foundational” groups as much as possible, supplemented with foods from the “optional” groups as needed or directed. Avoid pre-packaged foods, added sugar, and gluten as much as possible. Alcohol is off limits for the duration of the challenge. For this level, you do not need to measure or quantify your food… but please be reasonable! (For instance, eating an entire bag of nuts in one sitting or 2 cups of rice with your Chinese food would greatly inhibit your results.)

2. Food Quantity – Phase 1: The Plate Method. This introduces the concept of controlling the overall quantity of food you eat (i.e., the size of your plate) as well as “balancing” your plate to ensure a good distribution of vegetables, protein, and healthy starches. A good starting point is to eat 3 meals/day. Larger athletes can use 3 dinner-sized plates. Smaller athletes should use lunch-sized plates. Fill 1/4 of your plate with protein, 1/4 with gluten-free starch, and 1/2 with colorful vegetables. We can refine the plate method based on your individual goals and caloric needs. Try to minimize snacking between meals; one exception is you may want a pre-workout snack about 1-2 hours before your workout if it’s been a while since your last meal.

3. Food Quantity – Phase 2: Macro Diet. Athletes following the macro diet will weigh and measure all their food, targeting a very specific amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat each day. We can set you up with target “macros” based on your InBody scan. Eating this way requires a food scale, measuring cups, and a lot of time and commitment. It’s a great way to dial in your eating and help you reach your fitness goals; however, it’s not for everyone.

Healthy Habits

Each week there will be a new habit to focus on for the week. Details will be released week-by-week. The areas will be:

  1. 800g Challenge – Eat 800 grams of fruit & vegetables each day. If you don’t have a food scale, target 6 cups. (Update: Details on this habit released on our Jan 27 blog post.)
  2. Water  – Drink 3 liters (men) or 2 liters (women) of water each day. Coffee, tea, and seltzer water also count.
    (Update: Details on this habit released on our Feb 7 blog post.)
  3. Sleep – Sleep 1 hour more each night than what you’d normally get. (Set your own goal and stick to it!)
    (Update: Details on this habit released on our Feb 15 blog post.)
  4. Mobility – Complete 10 minutes of mobility each day.
    (Update: Details on this habit released on our Feb 22 blog post.)
  5. Get Outside – Get outside for 30 minutes a day. Walk, hike, run, do some yard work, play with your kids… just get outside to soak up the sun and breathe some fresh air!
    (Update: Details on this habit released on our Mar 1 blog post.)
  6. Mindfulness – Complete 5-10 minutes of meditiation or mindfulness practice each day.

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