There is a true disservice being done in the CrossFit world, and it is the notion that nutrition needs to be complicated to work. I will be the first one to say Macros work when done correctly. The problem Jason and I have discovered is this: making the puzzle all fit together every single day in the real world is tough.
My own experience with nutrition, and particularly macros, has been both positive and negative. On the positive side, when I count my macro nutrients, the results are good. I achieve the goal I am after. However, there is a large negative, and that is the manner in which I hit my nutrition numbers on a daily basis. After training, working, and coaching all day, I had the tendency to have 1,200 calories left at the end of the night. While that may sound great (cereal for everyone!) in reality it was forcing me to cram food down when I was well past my full point.
I don’t say this to put down macros and counting your nutrients. I think it works extremely well, and with some extra planning, I could make it easier. But what about those of us who lead busy lives? What about the moms who are running kids around after school? How about the dads out there who are rushing to their kids games and don’t have the chance to sit down to a perfectly crafted meal each time they eat? Or maybe you are one of the twenty-somethings who is putting in long hours of hard work, and doesn’t have the chance to always cook a “perfect” dinner? I’d wager these three groups make up the majority of the population, and macro counting can be another stress on them that is not needed.
Is there a solution? I think so.
Here is a really easy way to make your nutrition simple: eat real food, not too much, and mostly plant-based. Expanding on that point, if it runs, swims, or flies, and grew out of the ground, you’re good to go. If it went through ten different factories, started out as 15 different ingredients, and then is gluten-free-non-GMO-paleo-friendly-brownie-batter Ice Cream, stay away. In the word’s of CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, “Eat meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no added sugar.”
We could sit here and break it down forever, but if you simply start by making your nutrition “real-food” focused, and cut out the processed junk, you’ll be well on your way to lower body fat and improved body composition. Not to mention how much better you’ll feel, and how much your performance will improve.