Counting Macros: Nutrition Made Easy

*** NOTE – None of CrossFit ABF’s coaches hold degrees in any form for nutrition. The below content is based on a methodology that we’ve researched and have found success in. We cannot provide a meal plan or prescribe a certain diet, only make suggestions based on our own experiences. *** 


Sometimes, it’s easy to complicate an easy subject matter. Leading a healthy nutritional lifestyle – contrary to popular belief – is easy. CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, laid out a pretty simple formula that works every time. What makes up a good nutritional diet?  

Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.  

What’s NOT easy, unfortunately, is sticking to that formula 100% off the time. Whether it’s due to increased grocery bills or a lack of schedule convenience, sometimes you slip. Frankly, that’s okay. Nobody’s perfect. Hell, we even encourage a little “slippage”; it’ll keep you sane and keep your diet balanced. Think about going 100% on anything for a sustained period. Eventually, you’re going to burn out. It’s important to have a little levity.  

At CrossFit ABF, many of us have found nutritional success in flexible dieting. Is it the perfect diet? No. Does it have its pitfalls? Yes. However, it’s delivered remarkable improvements while still giving us the freedom to go out with friends, have a beer or two(s) or take our significant others to a nice restaurant.  

The idea revolves around counting macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) in each piece of food we eat. Here’s the basics on how to start counting your macro-nutrients today.  

Calories 

Calories (kcal) are an important part of the process. Your body takes in a certain amount (through food) and burns a certain amount (through activity). The goal, as simple as it can be, is to burn more than you take in.  

How do you determine how many calories you need, though? 

  1. Use a Calculating Website like If It Fits Your Macros – Websites like www.iifym.com provide general numbers for people of your height, sex and weight. Bodybuilding.com also has a calculator. The issue? It’s not specific to you and your needs. It’ll get you close, but may not be perfect.  
  2. Track Your Maintenance Weight Intake – Downloading a simple food tracker (we recommend My Fitness Pal) gives you the ability to track everything you’re eating throughout the day. The ability to add in various recipes and foods means you can tailor it to your needs, too. Once you’ve tracked your intake for three days, you’ll get an average number of calories you’ve been eating.  

Proteins 

This is the easiest. For every pound you weigh, eat a gram of protein. Is it exact? No. But, it’s close enough to work perfectly. If you weigh 150 pounds, eat 150 grams of protein in a day. 

Want to know how many calories of protein you’re eating? Multiply your grams by 4. So, 150g of protein equates to 600kcal.  

Fats 

Nutritional guidelines generally recommend your fat intake take anywhere from 30-35% of your daily calorie allotment. If your average 2,000kcal a day, 600kcal should be fats. To figure that out in grams, divide 600kcal by 9. This gives you 67g of fat.  

Carbohydrates 

You’ve got your proteins and you’ve got your fats. Guess what. Fill the rest of your diet with carbohydrates. In the examples above, we had a 2,000kcal diet that consisted of 600kcal of proteins and 600kcal of fats. 

2,000kcal – 600kcal – 600kcal = 800kcal.  

To determine your carbohydrate intake, divide the remaining calories (800kcal) by 4. This leaves 200g for carbohydrates.  

This example’s final macro-nutrient numbers are: 

2,000kcal: 150g of Protein, 67g of Fat, 200g of Carbohydrates 

Weight Change 

What if you’re looking to lose weight? Or, what if you’re looking to add it? Start by reducing / increasing your calorie intake by 100 and reconfigure your numbers. Go from there and adjust to your desired needs.  

Have nutritional questions? Email ryan@crossfitabf.com to learn more about CrossFit ABF’s Nutritional Club, a dedicated forum for support in leading a nutritional lifestyle.

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AMY BELL

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Amy Bell has always been into sports and fitness all her life, starting soccer at a very young age, playing competitively through high school. Once she started college, being an athlete and staying fit wasn’t really important to her at the time but quickly realized she needed to do something to get her fitness back in check. Her sister participated in CrossFit for over a year before she finally talked Amy into trying it. Once Amy did, she was hooked. She started CrossFit in Georgia as she finished her bachelor’s degree and then moved to Florida. Shortly after her move to Clearwater, planning on testing different gyms in the area, she bought a Groupon for ABF as her first one and stayed, never trying anywhere else.

Amy enjoys the community, the programming and the overall atmosphere of ABF. She been with ABF for four years now, making huge improvements to her fitness and dialing in on her nutrition. CrossFit has become a passion and a lifestyle for Amy. Working in the medical field, she realized how important fitness and nutrition are and if more people could make this kind of lifestyle change, even just a small change, there could be less people with illnesses and more living healthier lives. CrossFit has also given Amy the competitiveness she’s always loved playing sports, competing against other athletes at ABF as well as competing in local competitions and the CrossFit Open.

She has been a large part of how we’ve kept the gym clean the last three years. She has been planning to coach for some time now and finally completed her CrossFit Trainer O-L1 course in September 2021 to become an official coach at ABF. She is excited to be able to share her passion with others, to encourage and help fellow athletes reach their fitness goals.

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BRANDI

COACH

Brandi fell in love with all things barbell after watching the CrossFit games in 2012. She hadn’t been into sports or fitness in her younger years, but had been looking for ways to improve her strength and conditioning between a desk job and being a mom. After failing to make much headway in a standard globo-gym, she bought a Groupon for a local CrossFit box and immediately realized there was no turning back. The supportive community and infinite scalability of CrossFit has kept her engaged and coming back for more. Years later, Brandi continues to grow into a well-rounded athlete.

Her passion and dedication has lead fellow athletes to look to her for guidance on their lifts, so when Brandi was offered the chance to coach she jumped at it. Brandi earned her ABF L1.5 in 2020 and runs our foundations program. If you’re new to CrossFit, she will likely be your first coach.

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ANDREA

COACH

Fitness has always been a piece of her life, but things didn’t change until she found a Groupon for CrossFit ABF. Andrea gave ABF a chance after years of attending a regular gym that left her wanting more out of fitness. This was the best choice she made as it combines her love of being social with new and old friends and a newfound love of lifting weights and pushing herself to the limits. CrossFit ABF has shown her what a FitFam really means as she looks forward to working out with them every week.

Andrea is an inspiring mother to her daughter Layla and her giant fur babies, Storm and Thunder. You can catch Andrea killing a workout, rollerblading down the causeway, or enjoying a night out line dancing (yes, she loves her country music!). She enjoys the adventures of life and encourages others to strive towards their goals. Andrea continues to take her skills to the next level and wants to be there to help you do the same.

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AMBER KRUMN

COACH

Amber Krumn, lovingly referred to as “Krumncake,” joined CrossFit ABF (and the overall discipline of CrossFit) in 2017 after she grew tired and bored of the “typical” gym atmosphere. Different from anything she’d done before, she grew to enjoy CrossFit due to its varied workout types. Every day’s workout finally became exciting! An avid runner, Krumncake also fell in love with the sporting aspect of CrossFit. Recently, she’s become more interested in the nutritional aspects of functional fitness and you’ll often find her trying to improve the sport’s various skills, which, in turn, make the sport all the more challenging.

 

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CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

RYAN MCELHANEY

COACH

Ryan McElhaney is a CrossFit Level II Trainer, USAW Level II Coach, CrossFit Gymnastics, and CrossFit Movement and Mobility Certified. He has been an athlete for as long as he can remember. His father built box jumps and agility courses in the backyard rather, than sending him to summer camps. He’s participated in soccer, track & field, cycling, golf, basketball, paddle boarding, 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and extreme napping.

In February of 2012, he realized that he needed more than what the standard Globo-Gym could offer, so he finally took the advice of a good friend and gave CrossFit a try. He was hooked somewhere between 3-2-1 Go! and the gut-wrenching feeling of never having conquered a workout like this before. Continuously-varied challenging workouts, strong community support, constant improvement, and a proper diet are what fueled his passion to coach and inspire others to share in his success. Two years later he completed the CrossFit Level I Trainer course followed by CrossFit Movement & Mobility.

“I love to coach, it’s the highlight of my day when one of my athletes becomes proficient in a lift or movement and I’m extremely passionate about helping others improve their fitness. I’m also a big fan of any career that promotes flip flops and t-shirts as the standard work uniform… coaching!”

Ryan is married to Linda and they have an adorable puppy named Bella.

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