Everything I Wish I Had Known About Nutrition

Everyone thinks they are an expert.

Every week there is a new study found on the internet or in someone’s mind that is often offered to you unsolicited and free of charge. Just keep in mind there are many myths out there and by the appearance of America as a whole and the kids in our schools, we have gotten a lot wrong. Let me ask you, “are you happy with your current nutrition?” Here are some thoughts on what I wish I had known about food and eating. After all, I am an expert.

Calories in vs. Calories Out is Not the whole story.

All calories are NOT created equal.

Sure a snickers bar may contain the same amount of calories as an 8 oz chicken breast, but do you think that it will get you closer to your fitness goals? I would go for the chicken. They are not created equal.

Dr. Ludwig, an obesity expert and professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, argues that weight gain begins when people eat the wrong types of food, which throws their hormones out of whack and sets off a cycle of cravings, hunger and bingeing. In his new book, “Always Hungry?,” he argues that the primary driver of obesity today is not an excess of calories per se, but an excess of high glycemic foods like sugar, refined grains and other processed carbohydrates. (Anahad O’Connor, New York Times) his high sugar diet raises insulin which accelerates fat storage.

Sugar is the enemy, not fat. Our society, based on bad science, has embraced this “Fat Free” idea because of BIG FOOD INDUSTRY’s profit margin on corn syrup. Sure pushing corn syrup supports America’s Corporate Midwest corn farms, but it definitely is not in your families’ best health interest. Food companies in America have replaced the fat in their products with loads of sugar (or fake sugar) in order to retain the taste. Eating products labeled “Fat free” actually makes you more fat. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat, eating too much sugar (carbs) makes you fat. Got it? If you ever have a chance on Netflix, watch the documentary Fed Up.

Exercise should be a daily habit.

CrossFit is the absolute best way to exercise. Even better, join a CrossFit Affiliate, like CrossFit Van Zandt in Canton, Tx. All you have to do is: #1) walk in and your coach will #2) give you a high-five and #3) explain exactly what, why, and how to do every workout every day. There is no secret pill or electric shock machine that will do the work for you. Fitness is hard work and functional fitness (training movements necessary for work and play) is key.

Without question, we need to exercise every day in order to continue to be able to move when we are old. We all want to live a long ACTIVE life where we can take care of ourselves. I’m sure no one wants to be a burden on anyone else. So, take care of yourself now.


What are Macros?

The 3 Macronutrients are Protien, Fat, and Carbs. The goal here is to find YOUR Macro #s based on your weight loss goal and activity level THEN eat daily to arrive on, or as close to, those exact #s. Why? Because, it is possible to eat too little, slowing your metabolism. And, we all know that eating too much is also bad. Here is how to calculate your numbers:

Find your goal weight. Mine is 185 pounds. So follow along with yours:

185lbs x 11 = 2035

11 is for my activity level (yours should be the same if you go to CFVZ or exercise at least 3x week)

2035–200calories = 1835 calories

We subtract 200 calories for weightloss. You should add 200 calories for weight gain or 400 for high school football weight gain.

Now to find your Protein: Find 90% of your goal weight (mine is 185 lbs) So .9 x 185= 166.5 ~ 167 grams.

1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories FYI

Now to find your carbs: Find 10% of calories as grams. So .1 x 1835 calories = 183.5 carbs or ~ 184grams of Carbs

Now to find Fat: Both Protein and Carbs added together then multiplied by 4. So 167+184 =351

Now take 351 and multiply by 4 = 1404. Then subtract 1404 from 1835. 1835–1404 = 431.

Now divide that number (431) by 9 because there are 9 calories per gram of fat. 48 grams

So my Macro Goal Numbers are 167 grams of Protein, 184 grams of Carbs, and 48 grams of Fat.

Follow me? (I learned Macros/Flexible Eating from Jason Ackerman, squattherapy.com)

There are also many great free apps to help you track these numbers, but remember, get as close everyday to these numbers for optimal results!

Gatorade is NOT healthy or good for you.

Gatorade is owned by the Big Soda industry and is loaded with sugar. Athletes should eat healthy and drink water only when thirsty. Drinking only when thirsty may surprise you, but Hyponatremia is real and has resulted in deaths. Especially with high school sports athletes. I know because it happened to me at the Canton High School football practice field one summer. Dangerous.


“Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells….one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water during endurance sports — causes the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening.” (MayoClinic.org)

You cannot out train a bad diet, although sometimes it may seem you can. To begin, people who go directly from the couch to CrossFit will lose weight and get healthier for a year. Over time, however, their progress will slow and they will actually get worse athletically if they do not improve what they are eating. Fitness in 100 Words or Less should be taken very seriously if you are indeed serious about training.

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerk, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climbs, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.” (Greg Glassman, CrossFit CEO and Founder)


I believe sugary foods should be treated as a reward for kids. Kids and adults should learn that there are normal foods (think Macros) and there are celebratory foods (birthday cake, ice cream, etc.). Celebratory foods should be had at birthday parties, holidays, and weddings and not on a daily basis.  I am willing to bet, 99% of obese kids regularly consume sugary drinks.



Our problem today lies in that our society and our kids are consuming more sugary foods than normal foods. Furthermore, the problem grows worse when you do not exercise.

Prescription: Start daily exercise and stop consuming sugar.  

This is what I wish I had known about food and eating from an early age.

-Sam Deen

Thanks for reading!

Sam DeenComment