eating bananas in crossfit

You Too Can Eat Bananas

The other morning, I sat at breakfast with a friend of mine as we discussed the success of the latest 10 week nutritional challenge being held at our gym.  This challenge is based on the CrossFit’s World Class Fitness in 100 Words and very loosely, the Paleo Diet.  For those of you who don’t know what the concepts of this eating plan are here is a down and dirty description. 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.  Basically avoid all things processed.  If you need anymore info just hit up google and you can learn all you want and more about this nutritional theory.  Due to my experience with this way of eating my follow up question was, “Are you eating a lot of fruit?”  I asked this question because I know that the major pitfall of the Paleo Diet is a lack of adequate carbohydrate consumption.  Her answer was, “Yes, I am eating a lot of fruit but no bananas.”  After apologizing for laughing so hard, I asked, “Why? What did the banana ever do to you, and why are you ostracizing it from the rest of its fruit brethren?”  Her answer was simply that the banana has too much sugar compared to other fruits.

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This conversation got the wheels turning in my head about the American public’s obsessions and misconceptions when it comes to carbohydrates.  In the past 20 years, starting with Dr. Robert Atkins, we have learned that controlling our carbohydrate consumption helps control our insulin levels.  We also know that controlling insulin helps prevent storage of fat.  Unfortunately, people have taken this tidbit of information and turned it into dietary guidelines that say eat all the meat you can handle and eliminate all carbs, even the good ones like fruit and veggies.  This has led to the rise of the melonphobia epidemic.  Melonphobia is defined as the fear of fruit which has a hard rind and juicy flesh.  It’s the closest thing I could find to the fear of fruit so I am using the term a little loosely here. Do you have melonphobia?  Are you restricting your fruit intake or eliminating certain fruits from your diet because you feel they are to blame for your current poor state of health?

Now, just so I can be factually correct, my friend did have a point. It is true that a banana has a higher concentration of carbohydrates than other fruit.  According to the Zone diet, 1/3 of a banana contains 9 grams of carbs, which is the equivalent of half an apple or 1 cup of strawberries.  Sooo here it comes…wait for it….BUUUUUT who cares.  Please raise your hand if you think that this is where your problem lies.  OK, so now that nobody has to put there hand down I am going to take this whole thing one step farther.  In over 10 years of working with people who have struggled to hit their fitness goals, I have never, let me say it again NEVER encountered a situation where fruit was the problem.

Fat Loss and Fruit - Roger Rabbit

In the words of Roger Rabbit…   pppppppplllleeeaaassssss….

Do you really think that the down fall of your latest attempt to lose weight get in shape and improve your health is all that fruit you’re eating?

So where am I going with all of this?  Our buddy Bobby Atkins did have one thing very correct.  Sugar is bad. In fact, it’s the arch nemesis of your overall health.  But we are talking about processed sugar…you know the stuff in candy, cookies, and soda.  We are not talking about natural sugar which comes directly from the earth in the form of fruit (fruit, which also includes wonderful vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

I guarantee that if you take any time to truly monitor what you are eating on a daily basis you can find plenty of stuff to eliminate before we get anywhere near concerning ourselves with your fruit consumption.  I also challenge you to try to overeat on fruit.  Have you ever tried to eat 2 apples, 2 bananas and a cup of strawberries in a sitting?  Of course not, because it’s impossible. You will be stuffed!

So I end today by standing atop a mountain and shouting “EAT THE WHOLE DAMN BANANA” or apple, peach, or plum.  Actually, how about having some of each every day?  I guarantee that if you take the time to eliminate the processed garbage that is being rammed down our throats as “healthy” by the food corporations and replace it with fruit you will see your health and fitness head in the right direction.

CrossFit is a great way to lose fat, build lean mass and look great. Coupled with Coach Dan’s nutrition platform we’ve seen tremendous results. Our last nutritional challenge tallied a total of 490 lbs lost between 35 participants. That’s an average of 14 lbs per person! Interested in learning more? Visit our nutrition or weightloss pages and fill out our form.

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