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New Zealand cricket player boosts bowling scores with Paleo diet and CrossFit

Find out how the Paleo diet helps one cricket player improve.
Find out how the Paleo diet helps one cricket player improve.
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New Zealand fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan doesn't mess around when it comes to seeking options for improving his cricket score. So when he discovered that the Paleo diet worked for him, he banned bread and dumped dairy to become the poster boy for caveman eating, reported Fairfax New Zealand News on Jan. 26.

"I try to do the diet 70-80 per cent, purely because I'm on the road all the time and it's quite hard to get exactly what I need," McClenaghan said.

He credits the low-carb diet prescribed by the Paleo approach both for improving his health and helping him with his weight loss goals.

"It makes me feel less bloated and gives me more energy and it's helped me lose a lot of weight and get fit, and helped me get back to good health when I was injured."

Even though it's challenging when he's traveling, he stays true to the traditional Paleo plan, reported the New Zealand Herald on Jan. 26. On McClenaghan's menu: Fish, grass-fed stock, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Off the menu: Grains, dairy products, potatoes and sugar.

But the sportsman doesn't view it as a diet.

"I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet," McClenaghan says. "Diets put pressure on you to follow them strictly and that's when people give up. This is a natural route for people who can't have dairy or gluten products."

And to boost his weight loss and health, McClenaghan also has given up alcohol.

"I've found my body doesn't respond well to alcohol if I want to perform at the highest level. That's a personal preference. That ties in with Paleo where I tend to stay away from grain and yeast which can give me digestive and bowel problems."

In addition, CrossFit earns credit for his weight loss.

McClenaghan enjoys "the high intensity nature of the training. Most sessions are quite short - about an hour. They allow you to lift weights quicker, while building strength and endurance."

He also believes it helps him mentally.

"Before CrossFit, I was potentially mentally weak but this encourages you to keep going by working hard and cheering on your team-mates until the clock stops. It has helped me when the going gets tough."

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