Every few weeks, there’s a trendy new diet that makes the headlines. These diets are often made up of controversial guidelines and they promise incredible results that would provoke anyone to forget about the common sense of good nutrition and dive in. While some of these diets may prove to be effective for some people, maintaining a safe and healthy eating strategy is still the best way to go, especially if you’re practicing calisthenics.

Calisthenics is a type of workout that only requires body weight as resistance. It is made up of classic exercises that can be performed anywhere and anytime. These exercises are often compound exercises that target multiple large muscle groups simultaneously. Jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, burpees, and squats are just some great examples.

Calisthenics has been shown to improve overall body strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. But in order for you to get the maximum benefit of calisthenics, you also need to arm yourself with the right diet plan – the Calisthenics Diet.

What is the Calisthenics Diet?

The Calisthenics Diet is an eating plan that promotes whole, healthy food. What this means is that the focus should be on nutrient-dense food rather than junk food with empty calories. This diet in itself can be very broad that’s why it can be easy and difficult to follow at the same time.

Just like calisthenics exercises, the Calisthenics Diet is very flexible so you can modify it depending on what works best for you. However, it is critical that you follow the 4 main principles of the calisthenics diet if you want to improve your performance.

1. Avoid junk food

Pizza, burgers, nachos, chips, cookies and doughnuts… these are just examples of foods that may tantalize your taste buds but are totally detrimental to your diet. Junk foods are often overloaded with sugar and empty calories. Instead of satiating your cravings, these unhealthy carbs only push you to eat more which can trigger the release of the insulin hormone. This is the hormone that signals the body to store fat.

While most people think that just one slice of pizza or one doughnut will not hurt, the first bite is often the gateway to more bad food decisions. To make it easier for you to follow this guideline, remove all the unhealthy stuff from your pantry and replace them with healthier options like fruits, nuts and seeds. This way, you will not be tempted to reach for that bag of chips or chocolate bar.

When shopping, totally skip the aisle that holds these unhealthy items and fills you cart with label-free items like fresh produce. If you have to buy something with a label, carefully check the ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better and if there’s something in there that you cannot pronounce or spell, better skip it!

2. Eat organic produce as much as possible.

According to a report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. This is an alarming fact because according to the CDC, it has been shown that plant-heavy diets can reduce the risk of many serious diseases like obesity, heart problems and diabetes.

To meet your daily guidelines, replace all the junk food that you used to eat with fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. If possible, go for organic options. If organic is not available or out of your budget, the normal fresh produce is still much better. Just make sure to wash and clean them thoroughly.

The key to incorporating more fresh produce into your diet is to choose fruits and veggies that you actually enjoy eating. Always having a variety is great so you will not run the risk of getting bored with your meals. If you usually pick lettuce greens for your salad, next time, try kale, arugula or baby spinach. Pick fruits that are in season and don’t be scared to try out something new.

3. Make sure you eat enough protein

Protein is very important to build muscle but the problem is most people often think that protein is boring because their idea of protein is only limited to steamed chicken breast and protein shakes. Nobody can blame you if you’re getting tired of eating the same white meat every single meal so what you need to do is mix-up your menu. There are so many protein options for you to choose from: salmon, tuna, sardines, shrimp, lobster, crabs, lean steak, eggs and many more.

If you are a vegetarian, you can still get your protein from nuts, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peanut butter. There are thousands of recipes available online that are very easy to follow so you won’t need to revert back to your old unhealthy habits.

4.Focus on whole foods

The great thing about whole foods is that you actually end up eating more food because they have fewer calories than junk food. Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains are generally lower in calories and packed with the nutrients your body needs. This means that not only are you getting a calorie deficit, you’re also powering your body up with the sustenance it needs to be stronger.

Why is it important to follow a calisthenics diet?

It is no secret that the leaner and lighter you are, the easier it is for you to perform calisthenics. However, you still need to have enough strength and energy to power you up in your workouts. This means that for your performance to improve, you cannot afford to follow a crash diet and deprive yourself of food. If you do this, you are also depriving your body the nutrients it needs to function well.

The Calisthenics Diet is not complicated to follow as its foundation is based on timeless nutrition concepts. While it may seem simple, it can also be challenging because you definitely need an iron-clad willpower to make sure you stay on track!

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Smith started calisthenics at age 26 as a means to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.