Nutrition Basics for Life

Nutrition is key to health. Tailor diet, make gradual changes, use "Hand Method" to measure intake, aim for sustainable habits.
Brandon Garcia
January 9, 2024
Nutrition Basics for Life

Nutrition forms the foundation of our overall health and performance, serving as a pivotal lever within our control to improve our lifestyle. While there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation, a few fundamental principles lay the groundwork for individual success.

CrossFit advocates a dietary approach centered on eating meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. When striving to optimize health and performance, keep your intake to levels that support exercise and not excess body fat.

Within these guidelines, a multitude of options exist for tailoring your nutrition to suit your circumstances and goals.

Changing nutrition is fundamentally about behavior change and is often about the slow burn rather than the all-or-nothing approach. For most of us, it's those gradual adjustments that stick. New habits need to be sustainable to be effective. Making small changes amps up motivation and makes it easier to adopt new behaviors. These little shifts build up over time, setting up a system that supports continual change. The aim? Introduce small diet tweaks that snowball, letting you celebrate wins and boost that self-belief.

Take any part of this recommendation—say, cutting out processed foods. Don't go cold turkey on every meal and snack; start with breakfast. Swap out those cereals, toast, or muffins for a hearty breakfast with eggs, bacon, fruit, and some spinach. Once you've nailed this in your breakfast routine, move on to snacks and lunch. Step by step, make each meal whole and natural.

The same goes for measuring intake—start slow. We recommend beginning with our "Hand Method" of measuring. A palm size of protein, a fist size of veggies, a cupped hand of starchy veg or fruit, and a thumb size of edible fat. Start with 1 hand of each (guys will likely need 1.5-2).  Also, kid hands for kid portions, adult hands for adult portions. From there, you can do things like figure out your macronutrients and daily intake by setting a baseline. No need to weigh and measure everything from the get-go.

With either method, begin by nailing precision in one meal, maybe breakfast or a snack, meticulously measuring carbs, proteins, and fats. Take a few days focused on this before expanding to other meals. Eventually, your whole day's intake will be in check. With this setup, make gradual tweaks to your ratios and intake to match your health and performance goals.

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