*** 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 (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?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about CrossFit ABF’s Nutritional Club, a dedicated forum for support in leading a nutritional lifestyle.