Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes

Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes

There’s a lot of noise out there on diets.  It’s easy to get lost in it!  We’ll highlight the basics of some of the top diets CrossFit athletes follow. 

CrossFit is known for cutting through all the nutritional and exercise “BS” and embracing what actually works.  If you’re unfamiliar with the corrupt influences in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; CrossFit’s founder Greg Glassman has been waging a campaign to pull back the curtain.  Large food companies have unfortunately misled the American public on the healthiness of sugar products and the effectiveness of the traditional Food Pyramid.  Luckily for us, more and more health and nutrition pioneers are paving the way for healthy diets.  Athletes tend to follow what works best. 

With more free knowledge at our disposal, CrossFit athletes and coaches have identified and followed top diets that fuel performance, health, and are genuinely enjoyable.  While many diets can definitely be a fad, we’ll cover the most common diets that CrossFit athletes routinely follow. 

Some of the most popular diet plans include:

  1. The Paleo Diet
  2. The Zone Diet
  3. The If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Diet
  4. The Primal Diet

The Paleo Diet

Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes - Paleo

Fit for a caveman!

It’s probably the oldest diet of humankind.  The Paleo Diet gets its name from focusing on foods eaten by our ancestors during the Paleolithic Age.  For you history buffs, that’s about 10,000 years ago.  A good rule of thumb is - if it has to be processed, created in a lab, or made with hard to pronounce chemicals, its probably not paleo.  Eating Paleo literally means getting back to what humans lived on for tens of thousands of years. 

Paleo Diet Staples:

  • High fat and protein, but low carbs
  • Quality Meats (i.e. grass-fed beef) & Fish
  • Eggs
  • All Vegetables
  • All Fruits in Moderation
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Limited Sugar Consumption
  • Limited or No Dairy
  • No Processed Food

The above is not a comprehensive list, but a good place to start.  To eat Paleo, you want to have 2/3 of your plate covered in plant-based foods and 1/3 in animal-based.  True adherents to Paleo also stick to non-GMO and organic where possible, though this can rack up your grocery bill quick.  There’s nothing wrong with going the more affordable route and buying non-organic.  After all, it’s better to get veggies than nothing at all.  Mainstream research is still non-conclusive about the benefits of organic vs non-organic.

Some Great Paleo Resources:

The Zone Diet

Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes - Zone


The Zone Diet was created over 30 years ago by Barry Sears, a biochemist who’s goal was to reduce diet-related inflammation.  The root of this diet is managing your blood sugar level and intake of "bad fats" to minimize your risk of chronic disease, diabetes, and to optimize mental and physical performance.  While very similar to the Paleo diet, the Zone Diet is more precise.  It recommends tracking your caloric consumption down to grams of protein, fat, and carbs and categorizing these measurements into “blocks”. 

Zone Diet Staples:

  • “Scientific” Diet
  • Count Calories in the form of “blocks”
    • 30% Protein
    • 30% Fat
    • 40% Carbohydrates
  • Eat 5 small meals a day
  • Low-fat Meats
  • Most Vegetables
  • Most Fruits
  • Healthy Fats (defined as Avocados, oils, nuts, seeds)

What is a “Block”?

  • Athletes must calculate their Block Requirements – a combo of lean bodyweight and an activity factor
  • 1 Protein Block = 7 grams
  • 1 Carbohydrate Block = 9 grams
  • 1 Fat Block = 1.5 grams

Athletes should first determine their Zone Block requirements (link in resources below).  From there, total blocks should be allocated according to a 30/30/40 split between Protein, Fat, and Carbs.  Blocks are then spread throughout the day fairly evenly, with larger meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or post-WOD.  While it takes some time to acclimate to thinking about portions as “blocks”, it is a very effective diet for those pursuing significant body composition changes or advanced athletes.

Zone Diet Resources:

The IIFYM Diet

Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes - IIFYM

Same Macros; Steak & Veggies or Flatbread

If It Fits Your Macros.  The diet people love to hate and hate to love.  The premise is; you can eat whatever you want as long as you consume a defined Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate split that doesn’t exceed your target caloric intake.  Sound like a dream come true?  Check out some of the IIFYM food porn.  It really means you can eat pizza, cake, pasta, etc.  As long as it fits your macros! 

IIFYM Staples:

  • Calculate your Target Calories (to lose, maintain, or increase weight)
    • Protein Requirement = 0.75 – 1g per pound of bodyweight
    • Fat Requirement = Generally 25%
    • Carbs = Remainder of calories
  • No limits on food sources
  • No rules on meal timing

At its surface, IIFYM looks like probably the easiest diet a person could follow.  There are genuinely successful dieters and fitness athletes who swear by IIFYM.  Although, there’s definitely something to be said about getting your calories from fresh meats and vegetables versus pizza and donuts.  Ultimately, dieting is a personal decision.  If a particular avenue helps you reach your goals or makes discipline easier, that’s usually the best diet.  The worst you can do is pick a diet that’s unrealistic for you to follow.  Consistency and discipline is key. 

IIFYM Resources:

The Primal Diet

Top Diets for CrossFit Athletes - Primal

Stick with real, fresh foods

Believe in Paleo but miss cheese?  The Primal Diet is essentially a flexible Paleo Diet.  It was first labeled by in 2009 by Mark Sisson, an author and former distance runner.  The evolutionary science that created the Paleo Diet was brought a bit further up to modern day.  Instead of strictly sticking to the dietary habits of a caveman, the Primal Diet advocates quality and “real food”.  An easy benchmark is if it wasn’t available prior to the Industrial Revolution, don’t eat it. 

Primal Diet Staples:

  • High fat and protein, but low carbs
  • Quality Meats & Fish
  • Eggs
  • All Vegetables
  • All Fruits in moderation
  • Most Nuts & Seeds
  • Legumes
  • No Alcohol or Artificial Sugar (i.e. high fructose corn syrup)
  • Raw and Fermented Dairy Products
  • Natural Sweeteners

Mark Sisson breaks down the difference between Paleo and Primal; “Primal is fluid, not rigid ideology”.  If you have a pizza and a beer, just recognize you’ll probably feel sluggish in the morning.  Realize that nutrition, much like life, is a cycle and a process.  There will be ups and downs.  As long as you have a guiding set of good principles, you’re heading in the right direction. 

Primal Diet Resources:

What’s the Best for CrossFit?

Ultimately that comes down to your personal goals and what’s realistic.  Adhering to a diet doesn’t have to be a sacrifice.  CrossFit athletes and everyday people find success following many different diets, or none at all. 

From the list of top diets above, the best plan is to pick something that you can stay consistent.  Veering off the plan for a meal or two every few weeks won’t harm you.  The worst you can do is commit to something that will break down your willpower and cause you to give up altogether.  Fuel your body and your CrossFit results will follow. 

WOD Fever

Motivation. Information. Preparation.

We want to make every WOD your best WOD.  

WOD Fever represents CrossFit athletes, weightlifters, bodybuilders, and anyone who has a "workout of the day".  Join our community and follow us for more WOD BOD Interviews, fitness news, training tips, and deals on gear.  

Liquid error (sections/article-template line 48): Could not find asset snippets/relatedblogs.liquid


  • I Have At Last Located A Trustworthy Cyber Expert Who Deals With Lost Bitcoin Troubles contact Lost Recovery Masters

    I wanted to take a moment to express my utmost gratitude for the incredible service LOST RECOVERY MASTERS provided in helping me recover my lost cryptocurrency. When I first found myself in this unfortunate situation, I was feeling helpless and unsure of what to do. That’s when my friend recommended Lost Recovery Masters to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their suggestion. From the moment I reached out to Lost Recovery Masters, their team displayed professionalism, expertise, and genuine dedication to helping me. They patiently walked me through the entire recovery process, ensuring that I understood each step along the way. Their knowledge and guidance gave me the confidence that my lost cryptocurrency could be retrieved. I was truly amazed by the level of skill and precision Lost Recovery Masters exhibited throughout the process. Thank you once again for your exceptional service.
    Whatsapp: +44(7537)-(105921)
    Email (

    Leon Hader
    Allow me to suggest Cyberetrieve, a respectable hacker that can assist you in recovering any lost money via the internet, in any event of cryptocurrency fraud. I was duped into believing that an investment company I came on had taken all of the bitcoin I had in my wallet—nearly $567k worth—and they froze it.An internet advertisement then led me to these recovery specialists, who helped me recover everything. They have helped me to overcome my darkest grief. If someone has fallen for a fraud, they can be contacted via email at or Telegram @cyberetrieve.Additional channels of communication below:
    This piece is meant for scam victims.Ignore if you are not affected

    Kathleen gusto
  • Investment is one of the best ways to achieve financial freedom. For a beginner there are so many challenges you face. It’s hard to know how to get started. Trading on the Cryptocurrency market has really been a life changer for me. I almost gave up on crypto at some point not until saw a recommendation on Elon musk successfully success story and I got a proficient trader/broker Mr Bernie Doran , he gave me all the information required to succeed in trading. I made more profit than I could ever imagine. I’m not here to converse much but to share my testimony; I have made total returns of $20,500.00 from an investment of just $2000.00 within 1 week. Thanks to Mr Bernie I’m really grateful,I have been able to make a great returns trading with his signals and strategies .I urge anyone interested in INVESTMENT to take bold step in investing in the Cryptocurrency Market, he can also help you RECOVER your lost Cryptocurrencies. you can reach him on WhatsApp : +1(424) 285-0682 or his Gmail : BERNIEDORANSIGNALS@GMAIL.COM

    , bitcoin is taking over the world, tell him I referred you

    Dave allen

    I cannot thank ethicsrefinance enough for their incredible work in helping me recover my stolen $325,000 USDT. I was devastated when I realized my funds had been stolen, but ethicsrefinance stepped in and used their expertise to retrieve my money. Their professionalism and dedication to their work was evident throughout the entire process. They kept me updated and informed every step of the way, and I felt confident and reassured knowing that my case was in their hands. Thanks to ethicsrefinance, I was able to recover my funds and regain my financial stability. I highly recommend their services to anyone in need of ethical and reliable hacking assistance. Thank you, ethicsrefinance, for your exceptional work and for giving me peace of mind. Reach out to EthicsRefinance hackers today and reclaim what is rightfully yours

    EMAIL VIA: ethicsrefinance @ gmail .com

    TELEGRAM: @ethicsrefinance

  • “Cashlyfaucet” is an awful scam cartel, don’t bother engaging their service for whatever reason. I lost a ridiculous amount of money investing in their crypto scheme. I had to seek help from RestoreChef and with their expertise, they amazingly helped with the full recovery of my funds. Reach their support center via RECOVERYCHEF@TECHIE.COM for assistance.

    Helen Allen

Leave a comment