"Every fad diet thinks it has discovered the root of all evil," says Dr. Ochner. But nutrients in legumes, whole grains, and dairy—all of which are forbidden on the paleo diet—can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy weight, he says. Cutting dairy, the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets, is especially worrisome for women who want to avoid osteoporosis.
“CrossFit definitely attracts the type-A personality—someone who likes structure and rules and measuring metrics,” says Will Lanier, a 32-year-old New Yorker who founded OUTWOD, a queer CrossFit collective, in 2011. “But it is so much more than just working out, which is where some of the cult vibes come in. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, my CrossFit family showed up in such a big way. I felt so supported and loved through the entire journey.”
CrossFit is promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport, incorporating elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. It is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms, roughly half of which are located in the United States, and by individuals who complete daily workouts (otherwise known as "WODs" or "workouts of the day"). CrossFit has been criticized for allegedly causing people to suffer from unnecessary injuries and exertional rhabdomyolysis.