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Nutrition Simplified: Part 1

One can never read too many articles, or listen and watch too many videos or podcasts that relate to subjects one is passionate about. It’s one of the ways to staying current and relevant. As I continue to expand and learn on various topics that relate to fitness and health and nutrition, my goal is to interpret those learnings in a way that will benefit you as an athlete, and most importantly as an individual.

One of my most latest finds: “Sustained Nutrition” by the very own Matt Chan, CrossFit Games veteran and seasoned coach, provides a simplified approach to nutrition. I thought it was fantastic how he was able to simplify things for people who typically get overwhelmed by weighing, measuring or counting macros.

Chan discusses five points that simplify nutrition, and within these next three articles, I plan on summarizing those points.

Here is what you can expect today and in the coming weeks:

Part 1 (Jan.18): Why nutrition is important, Quality Food and Quantity Control;

Part 2: (Feb.1): Post Workout Nutrition; and

Part 3 (Feb.15): 5 Habits to being successful.

Let’s dive into Part 1.

Why focus on nutrition?

There are many reasons why we should focus on nutrition and it all varies from person to person based on goals and health. All the reasons can be categorized into one of three groups.

  1. Protective of health- holistic, quality nutrition helps keep our blood markers where they need to be for a healthy life.

  2. Performance- this is not limited to inside the gym. Increase performance is talking about everyday performance at your job including something as simple as daily energy levels.

  3. Vanity- Fat loss, muscle gain or getting your weight down

Quality Food

First and foremost we need to consume quality food, but what is quality these days? An easy way to determine quality food is to keep these three points in mind:

  1. Expires in less than two-weeks

  2. Does not come packaged

  3. Has 1-2 ingredients

Now don’t get freaked by this and take it to an extreme. Just like the English language, there are exceptions and this does not have to consume your life. Think about consuming quality foods using a 90/10 or 80/20 rule. 80-90% of the time you strive to eat quality foods and the other 10-20% you don’t worry about it to keep your sanity.

Quantity of Food

One thing that starts to get lost when eating healthier is quantity. Just because you are eating quality food, doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Any over consumption can be bad for you, even if it is quality food. MOST people will do well on a 40/30/30 consumption plan. This breaks down to 40% Carbohydrates, 30% Proteins, and 30% Fats. Now this is where we get the “Simplified” for this article. Please refer to the picture below for simple quantity recommendations.

  • Protein

  • Women- 1 palm size, shape and thickness

  • Men-2 palms, shape and thickness

  • Carb

  • Vegetables

  • Women- 1 closed fist

  • Men- 2 closed fists

  • Dense Carb (Pasta, Rice, Potatoes, Oats, Bread, & FRUITS)

  • Women- 1 cupped hand

  • Men- 2 cupped hands

  • Fat

  • Women- 1 thumb

  • Men- 2 thumbs

These are recommendations and NOT the law. Use these as a starting point to get yourself on track and then adjust as you see fit. Please be on the lookout in two-weeks for Part 2 of this series regarding Post Workout Nutrition. Source: TrainFTW: Sustainable Nutrition - Parts 1-5

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