By Maximus Lewin, L2, Founder, CrossFit East Bay


Here is the least you need to know:

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:
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. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
Greg Glassman, Founder, CrossFit Inc.

This is a huge topic, so we will devote several future articles to the subject think of this as an overview. The original CrossFit nutrition prescription is THE ZONE DIET. The Zone Diet is predicated on the concept of macro-nutrient ratios: 40/30/30 Carb/Fat/Protein in each and every meal and snack. Zoners also weigh and measure all of their food. They also control caloric content using the “block” method. Many years ago, I was a Zoner or zone-ish and wrote an extensive blog about my experiences. Here is the current guidance from CrossFit HQ in diet: ”

The short answer: 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.

To optimize fitness, you will need to measure and record intake, evaluate performance and potentially change intake until the desired results are achieved. This approach to diet is no different than the approach to workouts.

To start, we recommend everyone give the baseline Zone Diet prescription a try for four weeks. Doing so will help you establish measurable, observable, repeatable data on your input (food) and output (performance). Once you have completed a minimum baseline term of four weeks, you may find you have to make small tweaks to the block prescription until you achieve your best performance.

This type of measured, systematic self-observation will be the best guide as to whether you should eat any type of food or implement any diet “strategy.”

For instance, experimentation will give you valuable information on grains, legumes, dairy and salt, and it can even help you plan the frequency and timing of your meals. You may need to your adjust your food intake for your lifestyle, goals, discipline, commitment level, etc. You may choose to experiment with supplementation, post-workout nutrition, fasting, and so on. You may choose to include a cheat meal, eat more fat, consume more food, etc.

Overall, diet is specific to each individual, and he or she can optimize diet by carefully tracking input and output”.  The other un-official diet of CrossFit is THE PALEO DIET. The idea here is that we still have the genetics of our paleolithic ancestors, and modern foods are harmful or “inflammatory”. Paleo allows meat products, but no milk, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Agrarian products such as grains and dairy are out. There is a slightly more contemporary version called “PALEO FOR ATHLETES“.

Other popular diets are:


A future CrossFit 101 series will cover nutrition in depth.