BLUF: counting your macros probably shouldn’t be your first priority, but as with most things it’s a little more complicated than that.
Just like with cleans, pull-ups, or anything else, when it comes to nutrition it’s vital that we build sound mechanics before we try to introduce further complexity. It doesn’t do any good to try to introduce a snatch where a pretty good overhead squat doesn’t already exist.
It also doesn’t do me much good to jump straight to counting my macros without first building good basic nutrition habits. Eating until we’re full but not further, eliminating excess sugar, and getting in some protein and vegetables each day. These are a few of the basic habits we want to become part of our nutritional identities before we break out the calculators and macro counting apps.
The key to long-term success with a nutrition program is systems and developing the habits to implement them on a daily basis. Yes, goals are important. But setting goals without having systems in place to lead us not just to our first goal but to our second, third, and so on, is setting us up for failure down the road. If we have healthy inputs, the outputs will take care of themselves.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation for your nutrition–once you’ve shifted your thinking from “I ate healthy today” to “I’m a healthy eater”–then, and only then, will it be useful to start counting your macros.
About the Author
Edward Getterman is a Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) and the owner of Twin Bridges CrossFit in Waco, Texas. If he can’t be at the gym or at home, he’d prefer to be at Walt Disney World. He loves deadlifts, hates running, and believes above all else that CrossFit is for everyone.