What is a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge? (Bonus Menu Ideas!)
You started CrossFit and your coworker just finished a challenge and looks great. You’ve seen the results of the CrossFit challenge and now you want to join in or start your own. Well, keep reading for CrossFit nutrition challenge ideas.
If you’ve never done a CrossFit challenge, don’t worry. You won’t have to ask your coworker what to do.
We’ll talk about exactly what is a CrossFit nutrition challenge and how it can help you get into shape.
In this article, find out how to add hemp to a balanced zone diet. We won’t only talk about hemp products though. If you’re wondering what a zone diet is, we’ll cover that too.
So keep reading for some bonus block recipe ideas. Find out what you can eat, what to avoid, and how you can start your CrossFit nutrition challenge today.
What is a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
A CrossFit nutrition challenge is a four week diet plan contest, aimed at weight loss and accountability. The challenge encourages you to eat healthy whole foods, paleo, or zone diet. Typically, an entrance fee is required for all participants which is used as prize money.
The ultimate goal is to understand your body and your performance. It’s a way to hold you accountable and learn more about your overall health.
The challenge is designed to get you eating healthier while helping you lose weight. Your coach or group has different buy-ins and rules including point systems.
The cost can be up to 20 dollars and that buy-in holds you accountable. In the end, the money collected goes back to the winners. The pool is what makes this a challenge and keeps you motivated.
Every challenge is a bit different, but the main ideas and structure are the same. The challenge can last up to four weeks, with a 30 day or one-month challenge being the most popular option. To join in on the challenge you will need to follow a specific meal plan during the month.
The diet may follow a different set of rules that you can adjust to based on your lifestyle. CrossFit follows a zone diet, but the food in the zone can follow a more specific plan for example a paleo challenge.
What Can You Eat on a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
During the CrossFit nutrition challenge, you are required to eat healthy high protein foods. Each challenge is different and you may follow your own diet rules. The diets chosen for challenges have been everything from paleo to vegan/vegetarian.
Regardless of the diet type, a zone diet is often required. Zone dieting is very low carb, but high in fruit and vegetable consumption. Proteins are often low fat protein, like chicken or fish.
When it comes to a zone diet you are required to follow a certain set of rules about the number of nutrients you consume. Your diet should consist of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
Hemp comes in handy because it’s low in carbs, high in protein, and full of healthy fats.
Since the challenge is mostly about how much you eat, most challenges allow you to eat anything. But certain items like processed foods and sugar are not recommended.
What you should eat are low-fat proteins. Here are some foods you can try:
- Skinless chicken
- Egg whites
- Low-fat dairy and substitutes
- Tofu and soy meat substitutes
When you decide what to eat with your protein include healthy fats and colorful carbs. Here are some examples:
- Fresh fruits
- Steamed vegetables
- Hemp hearts
- Hemp oil
- Olive oil
The full list of foods is long and rated from best to poor. So, you’ll be creating a list of foods specifically for your own diet and CrossFit challenge.
What Foods Should You Avoid on a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
Sugar, processed foods, empty grains, and carbohydrates should be avoided on a CrossFit nutrition challenge. Basically, any foods that fall short of high vitamin and mineral content should be eliminated.
Mangoes are an example of a food that is full of sugar and not much else, so it’s rated poor. Even some vegetables that are high in carbohydrates and have no nutritional value, like white potatoes, peas, and corn, should not be included in your diet.
You should also try to stay away from high carb foods like pasta, cereal, and bread. But carbs are not the enemy, vegetable-based carbs with high nutritional value like barley and oatmeal are good for you.
Fatty and processed foods high in saturated fats need to be avoided as well. Vegetarian and vegan meals work well for challenges because it’s best to stay away from red meat, tripe, liver, and egg yolks.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid:
- Processed foods
- Fruit Juices
As you see on the list, coffee and teas are often avoided. They are avoided because of the amount of caffeine and the sweeteners added when you drink them.
With anything, your diet will reflect your lifestyle, so you have to choose what works. Remember, a challenge technically doesn’t have anything you can’t have. However, the true challenge is choosing to omit something.
Avoiding coffee for 30 days to reap the benefit is part of what makes this a contest.
What Foods Should You Enjoy on a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
When participating in a CrossFit nutrition challenge you should enjoy low-fat protein, vegetables, fruits, and monounsaturated fats.
When you think of a diet or a challenge we often focus on what we can’t have. But this is an opportunity to enjoy the good foods you can have. That way you find yourself enjoying healthy foods that give you energy.
The trick is finding foods that are nutritious, tasty, and easy to prepare. This is why you may want to try incorporating hemp into your Crossfit nutrition challenge.
Hemp is a food that has high protein with all nine essential amino acids. Hemp also has essential fatty acids, which covers the challenges, monounsaturated fat requirements.
The best part about hemp is the variety of products. You can fit hemp into your zone blocks in the way that works best for you. Try hemp in different ways to check all the nutrition challenge boxes.
How do Hemp Products Fit Into a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
Hemp products fit into a CrossFit nutrition challenge as a high protein, healthy fat, and low carb superfood.
When doing the challenge you need to eat a certain ratio of carbs, fat, and protein. Hemp is a naturally balanced food that gives you vitamins and minerals you would get from a supplement.
In fact, Dr. Sears, the creator of The Zone, suggests you take an omega-3 fatty supplement. Adding hemp to your zone diet could help you get the omega-3 acids you need without a supplement.
By adding hemp you will ensure you are getting the essential amino acids and omega fatty acids you can’t get anywhere but from food. Hemp protein will also give you minerals like zinc and calcium, without the empty calories of vitamin supplements loaded with sugar.
Hemp Products That Work Well with the CrossFit Nutrition Challenge
Crossfit nutrition challenge work well with hemp products because hemp blends well into any diet. Add hemp products to your snack zones, as a part of your dinner recipes, or as a supplement.
Eating hemp hearts during the nutrition challenge will ensure you get your daily protein and healthy fat. Hemp hearts can be your snack or sprinkled on top of yogurt or oatmeal at breakfast. Adding hemp hearts to your meal will give your diet both protein and healthy fats.
Hemp oil can fulfill your fat requirement while giving you vitamins and nutrients to keep you energized through the challenge. If you choose to add an omega-3 supplement, replace it with hemp oil to also add zinc, vitamin E, and fiber to your diet.
Hemp Protein Powder
You can use hemp protein powder to give you a boost before or after your CrossFit workouts. Hemp protein can be a light breakfast in the form of a smoothie that is also full of vitamins and nutrients. Hemp protein will help you lose weight and build muscle helping you reach your challenge goals.
What Are Some Nutritional Challenges on a CrossFit Nutrition Challenge?
Trying a new diet means there may be some adjustments. Here are some nutritional challenges on a CrossFit nutrition challenge.
- Sticking to a diet
- Finding foods to eat during the challenge
- Going back to your old ways after the challenge
- Following the zone diet
As with any diet, you will have to commit to sticking to it. That is why challenges are set up with some kind of incentive so you stick to them.
The easiest way not to avoid your old ways is to incorporate foods you really love. Make your challenge a lifestyle change, not a diet. Eat so that you benefit your overall health and treat yourself, so you don’t feel restricted.
The hardest part of the CrossFit nutrition challenge is understanding the zone diet and how to create meal blocks.
What is a Zone Diet?
The zone diet consists of food blocks that balance protein, carbohydrates, and fat in every meal. Each zone food block consists of one block (sometimes called a mini-block) of each macronutrient. The goal is a 1:1:1 ratio of protein, fat, and carbs.
The amount of blocks you eat in a day depends on if you are male or female, your weight, and your activity level. On the zone diet females usually eat 11 blocks each day, while males average 14 blocks each day.
Zone diet examples
An example of a block from the zone diet website is:
- Protein mini-block = 7 grams
- Carbohydrate mini-block = 9 grams (use net carbs for this, or total carbs minus fiber)
- Fat mini-block = 1.5 grams (of fat if you ate an animal protein) or 3 grams (of fat if you ate a plant-based protein)
To help you understand better here’s another example:
If you use hemp protein at breakfast in a smoothie you would use the protein powder as your 7-gram plant-based protein option. You would then use 9 grams of fruit for your smoothie and add avocado for 3 grams of fat (because hemp protein is plant based).
If that doesn’t sound like enough food for one breakfast, that’s because in one meal you would need more than one block at a time.
Determining “block” size of certain foods
To determine how much of a specific food counts as a block, take a look at the zone food block guide. There you will also have a body fat calculator to help you determine the quantity of food blocks you should consume.
The zone diet requires you to weigh and measure your dishes for at least one week. After weighing your food for a week you will have an eye for estimating food portions. Once you can eyeball portions you can use the size and thickness of the palm of your hand (3 or 4oz) to determine the right amount of food.
Measuring out your food will help you make a balanced plate. Your plate should be two-thirds full of vegetables with protein and a little fruit.
CrossFit Nutrition Challenge Menu Ideas
Now that you have an idea of how a zone works let’s go over some examples. Typically a person will need three to four block meals and one block snacks. Mix and match to create recipes that include all three macronutrients, protein, carbs, and fats.
Once you find out how much you need you can divide your blocks evenly throughout your day, adding more blocks to any meal to need to.
Here are some zone diet three-block meal ideas:
Yogurt with hemp hearts and fruit
- ½ c Yogurt, plain low-fat *
- 1 tsp Hemp hearts
- 2 Egg whites, large
- ½ Grapefruit
- ¾ c Tomatoes, cooked OR 1 c tomatoes, raw
- 3 tbsp Avocado, sliced
*yogurt is a combination mini-block that contains 1 mini-block of protein + 1 mini-block of carbohydrate
Turkey bacon and a protein pancake with berries and almond butter
- 1 scoop Hemp protein powder (blended into a pancake)
- 4 Egg whites, large (blended into a pancake)
- ⅓ c Oats, raw rolled (blended into a pancake)
- 1 c Strawberries, sliced
- 1 tsp Almond butter
- ⅔ tsp Olive oil to cook
Grilled Chicken salad with hemp oil dressing and fruit
- 3 oz Grilled chicken breast, skinless
- 4 ½ c Spinach, cooked
- ⅓ c Mandarin oranges (fresh or canned in water)
- unlimited Alfalfa sprouts
- 1 tsp almonds, slivered
- ⅔ tsp of hemp oil + vinegar (dressing) with salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Turkey wrap with hemp oil and tahini
- 2 ½ oz Turkey breast, deli style
- 1 oz Cheese, low-fat
- 1 Flour tortilla, 8 inch
- ½ Apple
- 1 tbsp Tahini
- ⅓ tsp Hemp oil
Veggie pizza topped with basil and hemp oil drizzle
- 1 Egg, large (in cauliflower crust)
- 2 oz Cheese, low-fat or vegan cheese
- 2 ¾ c Cauliflower + italian seasoning + garlic powder for crust
- 2 ¾ c Zucchini, sliced and cooked
- 1 ¾ c Tomato, chopped
- ⅓ tsp Hemp oil drizzle + basil
- 4 Olives, large
Shrimp and veggies with hemp oil dressing and quinoa
- 3 oz shrimp sauteed or grilled
- 1 ½ c Broccoli, cooked
- ⅓ c Quinoa, cooked
- 1 ¾ c Tomatoes, chopped
- ⅔ tsp Olive oil for cooking
- ⅓ tsp Hemp oil + vinegar + red pepper flakes
Chicken breast with asparagus and sweet potato mash
- 3 oz Grilled chicken breast, skinless
- 5 tbsp Sweet potato, mashed with cinnamon
- 2 ¼ c Asparagus, steamed (about 28 spears)
- 1 tsp Olive oil (to cook with)
Hemp tofu stir fry with veggies and barley
- 4 oz Hemp tofu, firm
- ⅓ c Edamame, boiled
- 2 ⅓ c Broccoli, raw
- 1 c Carrot, raw grated
- ¼ c Barley, cooked
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
Ham rollup with carrots and guacamole
- 1 ½ oz Ham, lean deli-style
- 1 c Carrot, raw grated
- 1 tbsp Guacamole
Cheese, wine, and nuts
- 1 oz Cheese, low-fat
- 3 oz Wine
- 3 Almonds, whole
Salami, fruit, and hemp hearts
- 1 oz Salami
- ½ c Grapes
- 1 tsp Hemp hearts
To create your 11 block day choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and two snack ideas. If you need more than 11 blocks, add one more block at a time until you reach the number of blocks you need.
Summary: CrossFit Nutrition Challenge Using Hemp Products
As you can see, a CrossFit nutrition challenge is a way for athletes to stay motivated and lose weight. Typically, your local box members pay an entrance fee which is split with the winners.
CrossFit Nutrition Challenges can use any variety of diet, from keto, paleo, or even the zone diet. Zone dieting is one of the most common diets followed by Crossfitters on a nutrition challenge.
Hemp is beneficial for a Crossfit Nutrition Challenge because it comes in so many different forms that you can easily add to your meals. With a great balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, hemp can add important nutrients to your diet without throwing off your macro balance.
Hemp is full of important essential fatty acids and amino acids you need. Plus it’s a great source of omegas.
It’s time to start the challenge and get the nutrition and energy you need from hemp products today.