From The Archives: CrossFit Nutrition 101


In preparation for the newsletter this month, I was looking over some of the articles from previous months. While there are still plenty of topics to write about, I think it helps to occasionally review and reflect on previous work, and where better to start than to revisit the first article written for this newsletter about the base of CrossFit developmental pyramid: Nutrition. Written by: Coach James “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” – Greg Glassman (Founder of CrossFit), 2002 Nutrition seems to be a topic where the more someone learns, the more confused they become, and the harder it is for them to implement long term changes. People will research all kinds of fad diets, watch countless documentaries on Netflix, purchase templated meal plans endorsed by their favorite athletes, and yet still find themselves sitting in line at the drive-thru, choosing to drink their calories, and uttering the words, “Diet starts Monday!” each and every week. It’s in our nature to wish for perfect black and white answers to all of life’s difficult questions. Nutrition metabolism is a highly complex, nuanced, and divisive topic, and honestly, it’s one that even experts are still constantly arguing over. The USDA has complicated things even further by pushing programs based off of maximizing profit and convenience rather than maximizing health, leaving even those who pay attention to nutrition labels wondering why their efforts aren’t paying off. CrossFit, in its Level 1 seminar, identifies nutrition as the base of its methodology, and the quote above is taken from the beginning of Greg Glassman’s “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”. It is THE most important part of an active and healthy lifestyle, and has the greatest influence on how you look, feel, and perform. It is often said that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and if someone’s initial improvements from adopting the CrossFit exercise program have begun to plateau, it’s often times because they’re attempting to build their fitness house on a weak foundation. If you want to get the most out of the hard work you’ve been putting into the gym, you’re going to need to get a hold of your eating habits.Right now, “macros” seems to be the buzzword floating around fitness and nutrition circles. Short for macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), these are the calorie-containing components of the foods we eat. A balanced diet plan includes relatively equal amounts of each of these, which for many Americans means less carbohydrates (particularly highly processed/refined) and more protein. Depending on a million different variables, an individual’s personal needs may vary, but this is an excellent starting point for someone wanting to improve their nutrition. Is it absolutely necessary to track/weigh/measure everything you eat? Probably not in the long term. But if you really want to maximize your progress, understand the needs of your body, and observe how you respond to various kinds and amounts of foods, it’s definitely worth the effort. Getting started can be especially difficult, as any change can be, but it helps to have some guidelines to follow, a little knowledge along the way, and the assurance/accountability from a great community of like-minded individuals. Many of you have asked about nutrition coaching and education, and very soon CFIS will be offering Nutrition Coaching services to help guide you through the process, step by step. By combining education, systems, and a positive mindset, our goal is to give you the tools necessary to set yourself up for success in the long term. A letter from the Editor: So as it turns out, we’ve had a few “failures to launch” with our nutrition services. From many conversations with members, it seems like what’s actually the biggest hurdle in our nutrition is simply time, or lack thereof. That’s why we’ve tried to make things easier on you guys by offering healthy snacks and supplements at the front lobby and also the recent addition of Kettlebell Kitchen, which has been tremendous for the gym (thanks, Trevor!). For those who are looking for more direct nutrition coaching services, we’re going to be partnering with a good friend of mine, Preslie Hirsch. Preslie is the face of Hey Preslie Nutrition and works with CrossFit clients all over the valley. We’re really excited for these new partnerships and look forward to helping all of our members progress through their fitness journeys!

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