4B Nutrition – Summer 2017

 In Nutrition

At Four Barrel one of our big goals is to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter what age, background, or ability.

One of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of reaching our fittest selves is our nutrition.

A saying that goes around the CrossFit world goes something like this, “People do CrossFit for 2 reasons – (1) To look better naked, and (2) to stay out of the nursing home.” Obviously this is an oversimplification of why we all seek to improve ourselves, but it serves as a catchy way to remember two of the biggest umbrellas that fuel our decisions in diet and exercise.

We all want a better body, and dialing in our nutrition is the quickest route to more lean tissue and less adipose (fat) tissue. As our body composition improves (within reasonable limits) so does our performance, our fitness, and our biological health markers (blood work numbers, hormone levels, etc). So while “looking better naked” may be surface-level, the magic is often in all the other benefits that come from intense exercise and focused nutrition.

Though many of us are a long way from the nursing home, everything we can do to improve our fitness and the quality of our body NOW, has been proven to pay dividends in strength, health, and a better quality of life as we age (even decades later) – Thus keeping us out of the nursing home.

So whether our sights are set on becoming a Regional athlete, a better body, or just a better quality of life, it all comes from improving our overall fitness, which starts with nutrition.


Nutrition is the foundation. We can’t stress this enough.


For our summer nutrition initiative, we want to inspire you to dial in your nutrition and get specific with your goals. The initiative is easy to follow:


Step 1 – Educate Yourself

Step 2 – Set Your Goals

Step 3 – Get Inspired to reach your goals.


Step 1: Educate Yourself
To help educate, we’ll be posting weekly reading and videos  that we’ve curated to this page as well as our social media pages each Monday for the months of May & June. In addition we’ll be posting weekly condensed nutrition tips to our social media accounts to help keep nutrition and goals top of mind.

Step 2: Set Your Goals
Download the goal setting activity here, and complete – it will only take 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Get Inspired to Achieve Your Goals
Post your goal sheet somewhere visible where you’ll be reminded. Also our goals boards at the gym will be getting a revamp. We’ll be carving out 10-15 minutes of class a couple times a month to update the boards (you can also update them whenever you’d like). We’ll be clearing the boards once a month, because we want you to update your goals, and if anything, rewrite them to keep them top of mind.

It’s that simple. Start with the first article and below, download the goals sheets, and make a commitment to spending a few minutes each week checking this page, reading the educational information, and keeping goals top of mind. Do it to stay inspired, to take your fitness to the next level, and to live a happier healthier life!



Week 1 – Restricted Success – Hilary Achauer – CrossFit Journal

Preview: “There is a way to eat healthy and not feel deprived, to feel good and maintain a stable weight. In a nutshell, that prescription looks a lot like CrossFit’s original nutrition directive, stated simply in the opening lines of “World-Class Fitness in 100 Words” by CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman: “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.”

Week 2 – How Much Food Should I Eat – E.C. Synkowski – CrossFit Journal

Preview: “All diets need to be road-tested by the individual to determine their effect based on a host of factors that cannot be predicted by an equation. Starting to track your intake is more important than ensuring your starting point is exactly accurate, and your commitment to the process and experience will guide you to your most optimal intake.”

Week 3 – Portion Control Guide

At Four Barrel we start our journey to healthy nutrition with basics of food quality, quantity, and timing. We then like to drill down to a higher level of detail. Many of you are familiar with the “Anytime Meal Plate” which gives us estimates of the quantities we should consume at each meal, but let’s take that a step further with Precision Nutrition’s Portion Control Guide – This is a super easy way to help refine the macronutrient quantities needed based on your sex, activity level, and lifestyle, and requires nothing more than estimates based on your hand. If you don’t have the time to weigh and measure all your meals, use these guidelines to increase your diet success!

Week 4 – In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan’s Seven Words

Video: The message is simple – Eat Real Food. Most of us know this, but we need to be reminded, we need a little direction, and we need some motivation! Keep your nutrition top-of-mind and eat healthy right now, eat healthy today, and eat healthy this week.

Week 5 – Test Your Way to The Top – CrossFit Edition

Preview: “I’ve seen that pop tarts and doughnuts are a (surprising) key staple to a CrossFit athlete’s diet, and yes, if you work out at a top level and eat junk food you will likely still have a six-pack, but how long can your body take junk and produce top results?” -Laura Ligos, RD
Preview: It’s prime season for farmers markets! Get out and support your local economy, try something new, and pickup foods that are fresher and higher in nutrient density than what you’ll find at most grocery stores. Here’s a a quick read from Mark Sisson with 6 good reasons to stop by your local farmers market this weekend.
Preview: Sweetened beverages are readily available, and they’re packed with sugar. Coke has 39 g of sugar in 12 oz. A 32-oz. bottle of Gatorade has 56 g of sugar. If your teenager loves coffee beverages, a frappuccino has 50 g of sugar in 16 oz. An 11.5-oz. bottle of Snapple has 40 g of sugar.Shakha Gillin, MD, FAAP
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