Whole Gains Challenge - Nutrition

Eat meat, vegetable, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.

— Greg Glassman

Although specifics and nuances of each persons approach may vary, our needs are primarily the same. We all need the three essential macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). 

In recognition of the different needs/desires of each individual, this iteration of the WGC has 3 different levels of engagement: Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.


Complete "Zone Diet" Compliance.

The Zone Diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, is CrossFit's officially approved diet. Thus, why not hold this as our highest level of WGC engagement? Those using the zone diet will need to determine how many blocks of food they need daily (spread over 5 times per day). What is a block? A block is 9 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fat. Depending on your sex, size and activity level, the number of blocks you need varies. There are plenty of good resources out there for those in the Zone, so fear not. The plus side of this diet is that nothing is technically off-limits from eating... the down side is that for a breakfast of balanced blocks, if you want to eat a bagel you may get to only enjoy eating half of it while weighing out perfect amounts of macadamia nuts and chicken breast on a digital scale to get just the right blocks for that meal.

Scoring: You start the day with 5 points. For the zone diet you eat five times a day. Each time you digress out of the zone, you lose a point for each block's worth of deviation.

Resources: Zone explained and meal-plans from CF Journal, also the Zone Diet official webpage.


"Slow Carb Diet" Compliance

The Slow Carb Diet was designed by Tim Ferris and presented in his award-winning book "The Four Hour Body". The premise of this diet: Eat vegetables, lean meats and beans. Don’t eat fruit, juices, white foods (bread, potatoes, pasta) or sugar. Give yourself a cheat day each week where you’re allowed to eat any of the banned foods. This diet also advocates repeating the same meals (for example, have the same breakfast a few days a week), starting your day with protein, and avoiding alcohol (1-2 glasses of red wine are allowed). This way of eating is pretty easy to understand, enforce, and stick with (because of the cheat-day caveat).

Scoring: Start the day with 5 points. If you fail to start your morning with protein, lose a point. Any time you eat something from the naughty list, lose a point. Same scoring rules apply to cheat days.

Resources: A quick guide, another quick guide, the book on Amazon, the book's webpage.


Ok, maybe a complete dietary overhaul isn't your thing... but surely there's room for improvement. So, let's get rid of 3 vices for the duration of the challenge. Let's not over-specify them just to make the challenge easy... so, instead of saying "Peppermint Patties" let's get rid of candy completely. Other ideas include: bread, pasta, sodas, beer, alcohol in general, nervous snacks, midnight snacks, or anything else.

Scoring: Start the day with 5 points. Any time you eat one of the 3 foods you've identified as naughty, lose a point.