The Ultimate Diet – The Hybrid

By
CrossFit Chiltern
The Ultimate Diet – The Hybrid

The Ultimate Diet – The Hybrid

There are some many options out there when it comes to diets and it seems that all are claimed to be the healthiest and the best way to lose bodyfat.

I want to break down the benefits of each and see how we could incorporate them into the ultimate hybrid diet. I am going to focus on the benefits relative to body composition.

Macro Tracking

In its most basic form this is calorie tracking but preferable is macro tracking. This is using either pen and paper or technology to keep a food diary and ensure your intake is sufficient to sustain activity but not bodyfat.

Benefits

A more flexible approach that allows you eat whatever you like as long as your daily totals are within set parameters to ensure you are achieving your body composition goals. This close tracking can allow you to modify based on results.

Low Carb Options

Here we have multiple variations on the same theme with differing degrees of tolerance.

Carnivore and Keto

In these there are no carbs allowed. Carnivore you can only eat animal products, Keto is restricting yourself to less than 10% of your intake from carbohydrates.

Paleo, Zone, Low Carb, and others

These are generally restricting carbs to around 30% or less.

Benefits

It is commonly known that carbohydrate intake causes greater production of insulin which contributes to increased bodyfat. Reducing or removing carbohydrates is a good option to control bodyfat. With all of these options we are looking to have zero sugars and minimal starches.

 

Intermittent fasting & Time Restricted eating

These include but not limited to

5:2

5 days of regular diet with 2 days out of five severely calorie restricted.

16:8

You eat within an 8-hour window each day. Fasting for the other 16 hours

Other variations include more days fasting, longer fasts and smaller windows but you get the idea.

Benefits

Fasting allows your body time to utilise all of your stored glycogen (carbohydrates). Once your glycogen stores are depleted your body is forced to break down bodyfat for energy.

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Benefits

Primarily these are reduced calorie intake due to the reduced amount of fat available from food especially through the vegan diet. In addition, the increase in fibre from increasing your nut, seeds, fruits, and vegetables helps to counter the carbohydrate intake. Higher fibre in meals reduces the glycaemic load and therefore makes meals produce a slower release of energy and lower insulin requirements. In addition, having more plant-based foods means a higher micronutrient intake.

In the past a vegan diet would have had a greater influence on health as there were very few processed foods available to vegans. However increased popularity of the diet has resulted in a huge industry for vegan and vegetarian foods. This means the diet can now be followed using a large quantity of processed foods, especially with the prevalence of meat substitutes. Processing of any food will cause a reduction in fibre and nutrient density so the act of being vegan alone does not necessarily give any health benefit.

The Ultimate Hybrid Diet

From this we can determine that the ultimate diet would take the best parts of each one of the above.

Plan and track your macros.

Stick to your suggested intake of proteins, carbs, and fats. Adjust calorie intake based upon results.

Reduce carbohydrate intake.

I would suggest a diet of no more than 40% of your calories coming from carbohydrates. Try to remove sugar from your diet and have a minimal quantity of starches. I would try and have your starches and higher carbohydrate intakes before and after workouts.

Implement Fasting

Ideally implement both variations.

5:2

 I would suggest 2 fasted days per week. Usually link these with your recovery days. For example, train Monday to Wednesday at full intensity. Recover on Thursday with a lower intensity workout and combine this with a fasted day. Then have Friday and Saturday back to higher intensity training then fast and recover on Sunday.

16:8

Plan out your other training days to allow you to consume all your calories within an 8-hour window. Try and do so through 2-3 meals without snacking in between. This may look like

Sample 16:8 Day

6:30 Training session

8:00 Fast Ends: Breakfast

12:00 Lunch

15:30 Dinner: Fasting Begins at 16:00.

Fasting Days

Following the above timetable, the 5:2 Daily fast would begin at the end of the 8-hour eating window on night before (E.g., Wednesday 16:00) and end at 8:00am on the Friday. I would recommend your one meal for the fasted day happening some time on the Thursday evening. Ensure you have adequate carbohydrates in this meal to fuel your morning workout. (Black coffee pre-workout is acceptable as part of the fast).

Having this extended 40 hr fasted period twice a week will accelerate the fat burning process.

Increase Fruit and Vegetable intake

Plan your diet to be as nutrient dense as possible. This was the original major benefit of the vegan diet. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. This keeps the fibre and micronutrient content at its highest.

Whole Foods matter

The key area that most of these diets share if followed correctly is that they encourage whole foods over processed. If you cannot identify the food by looking at it then try and avoid it!

Is the Ultimate Diet realistic?

That is the question? As with all diets following with 100% adherence to the rules would be difficult, but the results would be at their most accelerated. Working as close to them as possible will still bring about really good results.

The way we implement these habits at CrossFit Chiltern is through our 4 nutrition kickstarts. We use the first one each year to cut out booze, sugar, processed foods, and starches. The second kickstart is all about macro tracking, our third variation works on removing snacking and creating fasting windows with our final kickstart encouraging an increase in fruits and vegetables.

We perform each kickstart in isolation of each other to layer on the habits and people from this can pick and mix good dietary habits that work for them. The ideal and fastest way would be the ‘Ultimate Diet’, but the best results require the biggest change and implementing this all at once would be overwhelming for most!

This is where our kickstarts are successful, we are not seeking perfection just small improvements. If someone asked me how to lose bodyfat as fast as possible then the ‘Ultimate Hybrid Diet’ would be the answer. But only if I felt that it was appropriate for that individual and their lifestyle. In most cases we take elements from each of the diets noted and find the solution that will fit best.

If you need direction in your diet then your first step is to come along to join. Maybe a couple of nutrition kickstarts will get you on the right track!

Just as a final note with all diets I think it is important to have an end date. 52 weeks a year 24 hours a day is not sustainable for the majority. For most knowing they just have to hold out for 28 days before they can go on to more of a ‘moderation’ plan even if it is just to have a break is far easier to consider mentally than having an endless road ahead. I will discuss this more in the future.

Thanks for giving me your time. Please feel free to ask any questions on diet or training by either leaving a comment or emailing jeremy@crossfitchiltern.com

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