View Full Version : What are the ratios?

Ahmed Moussa
03-21-2003, 08:36 PM
Well Ive tried the paleo style and the only grains i take in are whole wheat bread in the morning. however, i dont know how much is enough at each meal. i mean, when i have around 30grams of protein and the same in fat, while keeping my carbs to half of that, i dont feel i have the same energy in my WOD's as i did with slightly higher carbs. I eat around 4-5 meals a day consisting of 3 large 700 calorie meals with 2 "small" snacks. I was wondering what the ratios i should be getting are, especially if i am at 13% BF and want to get down to 10.

i am 5'10" and weigh 187 lbs. i currently do the WOD 4-5 x week and train in BJJ 3 x. So what should be my numbers if i want to lean up and not gain fat by raising my fat intake to ridiculous levels. oh yeah, and thank you for giving me the most insightful outlook on strength and conditioning after my experiences with dreary bodybuilder style workouts which did nothing for me. thanx.

Robert Wolf
03-23-2003, 11:52 AM
I talked with Coach about pretty extensively...it is interesting. The Goal is to get down around 5-7% to do that follow a standard Paleo/Zone (approx for every 7g protein have 9 g carbs and 1.5 g fat...have AT LEAST 1g protein for every lb. lean body mass and try to divide this into 6 or more small meals throughout the day). Once you are down to very low bodyfat levels the hormonal stage is set for you to gain muscle...surprisingly easily. Keep the same #'s on protein and carbs...start increasing fat untill your performance is screaming and you are not adding more body fat. Look at my old post about caloric restriction for more details about this second stage. Email me and I will forward some great conversations I had with Lauren.

Let me know if this makes sense and dont hesitate to ask questions.

John Frankl
03-23-2003, 06:23 PM

Could you email me those conversations as well? I'm in SC right now and would love to read them while I am talking to Coach.


John Frankl

Ahmed Moussa
03-23-2003, 08:39 PM

thanks for the prompt reply robert. thats as accurate as i have seen the ratios set. however, i was looking through some of the old posts and saw one where you broke down your own numbers. your fat intake is huge, and i was wondering if it was because your body had reached the hormonal stage. if you have any articles about the phases with whicxh body adapts to nutrition, such as heightened insulin senstivity, that would be really helpful. this forum and the amount of knowledge poured into it is amazing. thanks alot and ill email you regarding the articles. thanx.


Robert Wolf
03-23-2003, 10:34 PM
I got o thinking that I should just post the letters I sent to Lauren and her responses....they are Incredibly valuable:
We like the Zone for a couple of reasons, one of which is, it works. I
can get anyone willing to appropriate muscle mass and body fat via this
Another reason is that it is comparatively easily administered. The Zone
gives a common language for us to discuss a person's diet. The "Block
Method", for what ever reason, is easier for most to deal with than
other methods of accounting.

We can teach someone to gage 4 "blocks of chicken", 4 "blocks of
broccoli" and 4 "blocks of macadamia nuts" fairly easily.

This is good for us because most people have NO idea of what they are
putting in their mouths let alone how much of each macronutrient.

This brings me to you.

You are the exception. Obviously you have been experimenting with diet
and you are sensitive to its effects. Based on what you have shared
here, I don't think I would change your diet. AS LONG AS - you are able
to hold and build muscle mass (continue to gain strength) and your
energy level is good (you are up for these high intensity workout along
with surviving the rest of your life).

The reason the Zone works is due to its caloric restriction along with
hormonal control. Your diet has both of these elements.

You are right, it is difficult to get 40% carb without incorporating
some higher glycemic foods using Zone portions. I prefer a diet that is
green leafies and not fruits and veggies. The problem many people
experience when they only eat very low gly foods is that workouts are
tough due to low energy and enthusiasm. Your carb load meals should
take care of this problem.

I am a big fan of the one carb load day. I think it helps everything,
fat loss, muscle gain, enthusiasm, etc. Again, the problem we have in
terms of administering diets for the general public is that when you
give some people a carb load day, it turns into Krispy Kremes for days
at a time. You do not have this problem.

Another rule of thumb that I have for diet is that if it is not broke,
don't fix it. If you are able to stay lean, strong, and happy - you are
doing everything right. Is there anything that your diet is not
providing you?
How tall are you? Do you think you could/should hold more muscle?

Perhaps there is fine tuning to do with your diet and I will be happy to
help, but it looks like you are 90% there.

Let me know if this helps any,

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Wolf [mailto:robbwolf@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 1:43 PM
To: lauren@crossfit.com
Subject: My diet

Hi Lauren and Greg-

My eating the past three months has followed the natural Hormonal
Enhancement guidelines. Pretty low carb for three days and then the
two meals of the third day are high carb, low fat, low protein to
glycogen. Here is how it breaks down:

Low carb days:

5-6 meals with ~40g of protein at each meal (the [protein has come
primarily from grass fed beef...Dave werner and I split a whole cow!).
Copious amounts of very low carb veggies (cabbage, kale, broccoli
than 30g active carbs/day) and about 1/4 cup of olive oil (about 56 ml-g
fat. High end that means 240g protein, 30 g carbs and 336 g fat for a
caloric content of 4104cal/day.

On a carb load day it is the same ratio of food but 3-4 low carb meals
then two carb load meals in the afternoon eve. with 100g of carbs at
meal (usually yams or sweet potatoes). That gives a high end of 160g
protein, 230g carbs and 224 g fat for a total calorie content of

I have followed the zone guidelines previously but it seems I need to
fruit to make the process of balancing the carbs easier but tend to not
well with fruit digestively and I tend to get "carb head" even after
just an
apple or orange. I am 165 lbs 5% bf and it seems like I have been
some muscle and strength of late with the increased caloric content of
diet. I feel a little skittish about mixed meals of carbs, and fat at
same time. That pesky lipogenesis thing! Before I found crossfit I was

training gymnastics,olympic lifts and sprinting but it was not nearly as

effective as your "program". I suspect the diet issue will be much the
same. I can only imagine how busy you folks are so any advice you
offer would be incredibly appreciated.

I hope this is not overly gushing but crossfit has changed my life and
really cemented where I want my career path to go. What you have
has benefited me in a way which is difficult to describe...thank you so
for what you have done.

Take care


I meant to be more direct about that. Your calories are controlled.
Actually, I don't think you are that far out of what "Zone"
Recommendations would be. I would have you at about the same protein
intake, carbs would be more at Zone proportions, and because of your
leanness, your fat would have to be higher than base-line zone

Your calculation of 22-2500 calories per day for the Zone for you I
think is low. I would have you somewhere near 25 blocks for the day and
there are over 100 calories for each block, so it would have to be over
2500 calories.

Yes - still low, but then I would increase your fat as you have done and
this would also raise the calories.

I too would like to see you gain more muscle. Give it a year and I think
you will be there. I like hearing you are gaining, but %fat is the
same. That is the goal.

Keep it up and if anything changes, let us know.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Wolf [mailto:robbwolf@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 8:48 AM
To: lauren@crossfit.com
Subject: RE: My diet

Hi Lauren!

This way of eating does seem to be going very well for me but I was very

curious about where you folks stood on this. I often forget that what
easy for me to do because I enjoy tinkering with this stuff could be a
pain for someone else. I am infering from what you said that I am still

getting caloric restriction due to my activity level. Pretty cool!

I am 5' 9" and 165 5% bf. If I could push that up 10-15lbs and have the

same BF...that would be great! I have been gaining some weight lately
seemingly leaning out even more...it is really strange. So any advice
might offer I will certianly put it into effect.
Thank you again

__________________________________________________ ______

Robert Wolf
03-23-2003, 10:36 PM
Since this time I have switched from the cyclic low carb to Laurens recomendations. Result: 5lbs heavier, PR's in...everything, and same bodyfat.

03-24-2003, 10:58 AM
Question for Robb or anyone out there. I eat 3 meals a day, no snacks. My doctor claims that 3 meals only is an important guideline in caloric restriction in addition to something about human digestive systems operating fully/optimally 3X daily, not 4 or 5. What is your opinion and what do you eat as snacks and at what times of the day?


John Frankl
03-25-2003, 10:46 PM
Soryy to jump in here, but I just shared this story with Coach. I flew back home to Santa Cruz a couple of days ago. On the plane I sat by two doctors. They guzzled Coke and ate rice, bread, and cake the whole way. When they arrived, they probably gave someone dietary advice:crazy: Three meals is about minimal interference in the work day--if you have the time and discipline to eat 6-7 meals a day, do it. Regardless of the total calories you personally decide on, spreading them out will up your metabolism. As for snacks, etc., the Zone books have more recipes than you could eat in a year.

John Frankl

03-26-2003, 07:04 AM
i've read in nummurous sciantific magazines dealing with animal and animal behavoirs that members of the primate family ( most primates i think it stated) spend up to 9 hours a day "grazing" eating small amounts through out the whole day, and only occasionally will they come accross sources of meat. however when they do come across meat they tend to bing eat, ( it is always wild game they eat, so it would be low in fats) givin that primates share many internal characturistics with humans, would this be an acceptable interpratation for the palleo diet? eat through out the day nuts, berries, and veggtables, then maybe 2 or 3 times a day eat larger amounts of meat. sort of saving the meat ratio for dinner say. or is it better to break it all up into snacks and keep the ratios for each snack?
i was just curious if it would be acceptable or not thanks


Daniel Ramos
03-26-2003, 07:18 AM
Coach, Rob, Lauren, anybody....

What Zone book would you recomend to understand the Crossfit aproach to the Zone for athletes?

03-27-2003, 07:16 AM
Thanks John. The doctor I was referring to is more of an anti aging specialist, which may explain his leanings. His dietary recommendations are very similar to paleo with some exceptions for oatmeal. (whole foods, organic, free-range, etc) I believe that his recommendation of 3 meals/daily is tied to his anti aging bias. If I understand correctly, the consumption of food and moreso the digestion of food involves sometype of energy consumption which equates to aging in his world. I've also heard him say that any food eaten between meals should be fresh vegetables 'only' b/c they apparently do not restart the digestive process. He is quite an impressive individual, 92+ years old, works a full 40 hr week, still drives his car, plays golf, etc. The man is incredibly disciplined in his dietary approach. I'm questioning his 3x daily approach and so that I can come to my own conclusions and/or understand his better. Any comments, wisdom, etc would be greatly appreciated.

David Wood
03-27-2003, 09:34 AM
Hello all:

Absolutely outstanding discussion. I'm going (back) to a zone-type control of my paleo-type foods.

But . . . if Buckeye tells us that his doctor can also clean and press his own bodyweight (as well as everything else he does at 92 years old), then I'm ready to sign up for his program immediately. :lol: !


Robert Wolf
03-27-2003, 11:30 PM
Daniel- Enter the zone and the Omega rx Zone are "must reads"...you will understand the theory from those and understand the practical application from what Coach and Lauren have given us.

Shane- you are correct humans in a "natural environment" ie. huntergatherer do exhibit a grazing type eating pattern. Any diet composition shows better hormonal responses with a grazing pattern vs less frequent feedings. Intermittent fasting particularly at night does seem to have some interesting effects on immune function and growth hormone status...Art Devany talks about this stuff at length. when we begin processing food we DO deplete....arg! I cant remember what it is...one of those three letter acronyms ....I am thinking NAC but that is not it....look over at the evolutionary fitnees list serv about a year ago...keith thomas and I were talking about this very topic and he had some good things to add.

Ahmed Moussa
03-28-2003, 03:09 PM
rob, i noticed you were talking about nighttime immune functions. i was reading this article about the secretion of growth hormone and the consumption of fat blocking it. its a good article for debate.

-ahmed moussa


Robert Wolf
03-28-2003, 06:55 PM
The way I read the article it implies that a meal high in fat AND glucose casues decreased hGH secretion. Checking in Guyton Textbook of Medical Physiology it is noted that high blood glucose levels decrease hGH secretion (consistent with the article) and free fatty acids (FFA) decreases hGH secretion. Fat from a meal is transported not as FFA but as tri-acyl-glycerols (TAG) and in small droplets calle chylomicrons. hGH actually de-esterifies the chylomicroms/TAGS releasing the FFA's...this is the role of hGH and explains its "fat burning" effect.
It should be noted that hGH secretion increases circulating FFA and is inhibited by the same...negetive feedback. Ok, now my point...IMO if one is not in a hyperinsulinemic state, be it from a glucose feeding or Type 2 diabetes, a small fat only or fat and protein (caloricly below the threshold of releasing significant insulin) should not negatively impact hGH secretion. This is by no means the difinitive word on the matter...there may be supproting information on this and I think Natural Hormonal Enhancement eludes to it, but the endocrinology makes sense and it jives with what I have experienced. I do however believe the hGH is decreased to some degree by any type of meal....that is part of its role to act as an energy mobilizer (among other actions) in times of scarcity.

Excellent article BTW!