Are you wondering if CrossFit is good for weight loss? Perhaps you are just getting into CrossFit, but you want to know the exact amount of calories you can shed? Don’t fret. We’ve put together this article for people like you.
Keep reading, and find out how CrossFit can help you lose weight.
But before we dive in, let’s answer this crucial question:
Can you lose weight in a CrossFit class?
If losing weight is your ultimate goal, we’ve got some excellent news for you. CrossFit classes offer a variety of exercises that can help you lose weight and become leaner quickly. Research shows that you will likely burn more calories when doing CrossFit’s long runs, sprints, and other high-intensity interval training (HIIT). For example, you can start with a 15-minute dumbbell destroyer workout, then later do other HIIT exercises like Burpee’s squat.
The science behind weight gain
Fun fact: if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. But if you eat fewer calories and burn more calories, you will lose weight.
When you eat carbs, your body will produce insulin. From there, it will pump glucose out of your blood straight into your muscles. If there are tidbits of glucose left, your body will turn it into fat.
What is the afterburn effect?
For those who don’t know what afterburn is, here is a simple explanation: the after-burn impact refers to an increased amount of calories burned after every highly intensive workout.
Some people think the afterburn effect is a myth. Nothing could be further than the truth.
Scientists have found that doing high-intensity CrossFit workouts may trigger the afterburn effect.
According to recent research, the afterburn effect can last for up to 72 hours. Put differently; your body can continue to burn calories for three days in a row. The study went on to show that afterburn replenishes between 6 and 15% of the total oxygen consumed by your body during an intense CrossFit workout. As you continue exercising, something else also happens; your metabolism remains elevated for several hours.
Some frequently asked questions regarding using CrossFit to lose weight:
How many days should I spend working out?
This is a great question; here are some suggestions:
- Busy parents (3 days)
It may be impossible for any professional or a parent to do CrossFit five days a week. We totally get it! So three days a week will be enough for you.
Our recommendation: If you are pretty preoccupied, we advise that you consider doing yoga, too. It will help your body to recover fast.
- Active athletes (5 days)
You fall under this category if you have been doing CrossFit for more than three months. Remember, your CrossFit workout sessions will be split up into four parts. You will spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up, do strength training for 15 minutes, cool down for 5 minutes, then another 30 minutes on your workouts.
Our recommendation: At least add one following: running, swimming, or yoga to help your body recover.
- Aspiring athlete (6 days+)
Suppose you are an aspiring athlete, then six days of workouts will be ideal.
Our recommendation: Consider yoga, meditation, swimming, or yoga to aid your body to recover faster.
Which exercises should I do?
You will certainly lose weight when you do the following exercises: long runs, sprints, and other high-intensive exercises. According to this research, you will lose more weight faster if you spend at least 5 hours on those CrossFit exercises.
Do one of the following exercises with weights:
- Do a dumbbell Goblet squat: this exercise will boost your overall testosterone levels.
- One arm dumbbell swing: this exercise will activate your lower back.
- Dumbell lunge: this exercise will activate your front deltoids.
How can I alter my diet for CrossFit?
CrossFit will be taking a heavy toll on your body. Hence, it’s essential to start eating lots of proteins to help your body repair quickly, consume carbs for energy, and have the right amount of calorie intake. You need to eat enough meat, some vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruit.
Keep the following in mind:
- Pay attention to your diet and how much you eat.
- Avoid sugar.
- Avoid processed food, and only eat organic food.
- Make a point to weigh, measure, and record your intake daily.
- Do that at least for 30 days, then assess your results to see how many calories you’ve burned.
- Eat less starch food.
Do you have to eat a lot?
One of the challenging things for first-time CrossFit athletes is calculating macronutrients (or Macros). What are they? Well, macros are three nutrients that your body uses to produce energy. They are protein, carbs, and fat.
The right formula for CrossFit is energy=calories in minus calories out.
Why? Because macros for Crossfit are totally different from bodybuilding. Let’s put it into perspective:
- When there are fewer calories in than calories out, you lose weight.
- When your calories exceed calories out, you gain weight.
- When your calorie intake matches calorie outtake you maintain weight.
So when you calculate macros to lose fat, you need to start by calculating a calorie deficit. Remember, your macros are not supposed to be static. You can change them after every 12 weeks.
Accomplished CrossFitter, Rich Froning recommends that you eat an estimated 200 grams of protein, 500 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fat and eat between 3,500 and 4,000 calories each day.
How many calories do you have to burn each day?
One of the most tricky things for most CrossFit newbies is calculating the number of calories to burn each day.
CrossFit conducted a study in which one athlete did push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. They found out that if you do your workouts for 20 minutes, you will burn an impressive 260 calories!
Which food should you eat for breakfast?
Are you unsure what you should eat for breakfast? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got your back. CrossFit recommends that your diet always includes food that will improve your energy and blood sugar levels. For example, green vegetables, lean meat or plant-based protein, nuts and seeds, and energy bars.
Some CrossFit athlete’s breakfast that might inspire you:
- A Brent Fikowski: 3 eggs, Seasonal vegetables, fried over coconut oil, 2 ½ cups of oats with strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon, a glass of water, and plain yogurt over them.
- Tia-Clair Toomey: 3 scrambled eggs, two pieces of sourdough toast with butter, 50g of fresh salmon, Green smoothie that contains coconut water, carrots, spinach, kale, blueberries, cappuccino, and cucumber.
- Rich Froning: 2 eggs, Piece of toast with peanut butter, Cup of oatmeal, Glass of milk, and Glass of water.
This all being said, if your goal is to blast fat, keep an eye on your calorie intake. If you consume more calories than you burn, your mass will increase. Meanwhile, if your calorie intake is relatively low, you are likely to lose weight. While at it, make sure you eat eggs, meat, nuts, milk, blueberries, and drink lots of water.
Remember, the process of losing weight won’t be the same for all people. For some, it may take a bit longer. Whereas for others losing weight may take a couple of months. High-intensity interval training is at the core of losing weight. Start with something as essential as a 15-minute dumbbell destroyer workout. Then later, progress other HIIT workouts. Lastly, be patient, and always listen to your body. Use yoga, swimming lessons, or meditation to help your body recover well. Have lots of fun!