The Big Debate
Nutrition. The word is defined differently by the hundreds of pop-up nutrition companies out there. We have all seen the different diets and products promising you the world in weight loss and performance, but what do you really need to know?
Can you really have your cake and eat it to? Can you have it everyday?
The term “macros” has become increasingly popular over the past couple years. People are finding a way to achieve weight loss while still keeping their favorite foods in their regular routine. The thought process is that as long as you “hit your macros” for the day, you can still eat whatever you want.
The philosophy behind Healthy Steps Nutrition (CrossFit Surmount has partnered with Registered Dietitian, Nicole and her team for weight management programs) has always been disease prevention from Day 1. We focus on quality first, then quantity. Yes, you need both pieces to achieve optimal health and weight loss goals, but you need to be eating the right things first.
Nicole has been asked by gym owners, can give you a client “set macros?” This is the same for me, I get this question many times from clients. Yes, we give them recommended grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats for the day, but our program does more than that. How we feel after eating a donut as opposed to vegetables and lean meats is drastically different even if they both fit in your macros. We teach balance, lifestyle modifications, how to eat out, and how to view your food so that it sets you up for success for the rest of your life. Dietitians aren’t FAD diets- we work with you so you succeed for the long-haul.
At CFS, Meredith, starts by looking at a typical day for the client. What are you doing now? We need to find out what realistic steps need to happen for you to make a lifestyle change. Too much change all at once is overwhelming and tough to stick with long term.
Then, we focus on a phased approach. We start with cutting out most of the processed, high-sugar junk and increase consumption of non-starchy vegetables, lean meats and plant based sources of fat. We are working towards a balanced diet, chock full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All of this will promote disease prevention, hormone regulation, and helping with hunger and satiety.
The next step is dialing in portions and the quantities of food. Yes, weight loss is a numbers game. You must consume less calories than you burn per day. The negative energy balance promotes weight loss.
There are many different ways to lose weight, some more extreme than others. I challenge you to look at the quality of foods you are putting in your body. Do you have a diet full of colorful foods? Are they whole foods? Do you eat a variety? Additionally, I (Meredith) go a bit further in my appointments and introduce the how and why one eats; the emotional, mental, and psychological aspect of eating. How does food affect your mood and thought process? I challenge you to look at your daily food consumption pattern. Do you deprive yourself at any point? Are you rigid with your food intake to only find times of over indulging? Take some mental notes of how, what, and why you eat and bring your findings to me! Everyone is different.
Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, recently said “Each gym is a lifeboat in the tsunami of chronic disease.”
I promise that you aren’t fighting chronic disease while eating donuts and cookies, and potato chips even if they fit in your macros. Am I saying you can never have a donut or chips? No of course not. I had a small kid sized bowl of chips just the other day! I wanted it as a snack, I had planned for it, and I made sure to choose a small serving size. It was amazing! It fulfilled my taste and I didn’t deprive myself. Will I have chips every day and eat out of the bag? No. The key is moderation.
Final verdict: Quality > Quantity