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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 02-19-2005, 04:56 PM   #1
Nicole Carroll
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This thread relates back to the “Reinventing the Wheel” thread. Some of Paul’s statements clued Coach in to the fact that Paul's diet may be playing a significant role in his disillusionment with the WOD’s. Coach asked Paul if he would be willing to experiment with his diet a little, Paul agreed, and then Coach asked me to work with Paul publicly on this nutrition experiment. For the original thread see Fitness: Reinventing the Wheel.

Ok Paul here we go.

First looking at your 3-day log I’m not surprised you haven’t been feeling strong during the workouts. It would be difficult to perform well on your current diet. Some of your meals are made up of as much as 70% carbs, only 20% protein and 10% fat. You are on a hormonal roller coaster with meals like that. The Zone (which is what you will be trying) is about balancing your hormones – specifically glucagon and insulin. When they are in balance you become a fat burner as opposed to a sugar burner – fat is a much more efficient fuel to burn and b/c you aren’t having insulin spikes and lows your energy level is kept consistently high, you are more mentally alert, you become leaner and stronger, perform better and feel better.

Second, you are right, the quality of food you are eating is good. Essentially you will be very well off if you eat most of the same stuff – especially the fruits and veggies.

To do this right you will need measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a simple food scale (try Bed, Bath and Beyond or some such home shop). You MUST read and understand Issue #21 of the Crossfit Journal (I will e-mail it to you).

The Zone uses blocks as its unit of measurement. You will use block charts to create your meals – this is where CFJ Issue #21 will become your best friend. According to your height / weight / leanness (“not super lean”) and activity level, I’m assigning you 15 blocks per day. This is the total amount of food you will eat EVERY DAY (no fasting during these 3 weeks). You can divide these blocks any way you like. I recommend 3 four-block meals, 1 two-block snack and 1 one-block snack.

Some helpful ground rules:
Do not eat more than 5 blocks for any one meal.
Do not to go more than 5 hours without eating. Even if you don’t feel hungry you should eat when it is time to eat.


So what’s in a block?
7 g of protein = 1 block of protein
9 g of carbohydrate = 1 block carbohydrate
1.5 g of fat = 1 block of fat (this assumes 1.5 g of fat in each block of protein, so the total fat needed for a 1 block meal is 3g).

When a meal is composed of equal blocks of protein, carb and fat the percentages are 40% carb, 30% protein and 30% fat.

Now if you are creating a four-block meal. You will choose 4 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of carb and 4 blocks of fat from your block chart. Technically, a four-block meal contains 28g protein, 36 g carb, and 12 g fat, but remember you’re thinking in blocks not grams. It’s easier that way.

Every meal and every snack will contain equal blocks protein, carb and fat. ** This IS the Zone – if you aren’t doing this you’re not doing the Zone**.

Food quality – you will notice some foods yield more per block especially in the carb section. These are fruits and veggies. They have a very low glycemic load, a lot of fiber and so much other good stuff. Use them, it will make your zone experience a happier one.

To answer your other questions. You can have Splenda w/ green tea b/c Splenda has nothing in it – I can’t recommend using it with wild abandon b/c I don’t believe it’s good for you - BUT, strictly talking Zone parameters, it’s fine. Whey protein powder is good. Also you can do whatever variation of functional exercises at high intensity you want – you’re right - you will be able to tell the difference no matter what. However, I do recommend the WOD as prescribed as often as you are willing. The impetus for all this was you agreeing that you did not want to be modifying your efforts to accommodate malnutrition – so it would be bad science not to do some, if not all, WOD’s during this 3-week period.

I have stayed away from much of the “why’s” (what coach calls “black box stuff”) to encourage the spirit of doing rather than analyzing. This said, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Zone by Barry Spears. Another book I recommend is Zone Meals in Seconds, it has a pretty extensive block chart and good recipe / food ideas.

Finally, I would like you to keep a food log on this board. You will write down every thing you eat, meal by meal, every day in this fashion:

6am – 3 block meal

3 eggs = 3protein
1 1/4 cups cooked broccoli = 1carb
1 apple = 2carb
9 cashews = 3fat

Also, I want you to write how you feel after meals, during workouts and just throughout the day – not a book! – just a few words to give us a sense of your experience. Please specify on this thread whether you did the WOD as rx’d or your own workout. I would like it if you posted the details of your own workouts somewhere else – perhaps back in Fitness. Of course any questions you have should be included in your daily food log.

Can you pick up what you need and start by Monday morning?

I’m excited for you. Much like Crossfit the Zone will optimize the benefits of your efforts - work is required and the benefit of this work is extreme in its goodness.
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:15 PM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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I've been looking forward to this. Have at it Paul.
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:25 PM   #3
Robert Wolf
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Nicole-

That is AWESOME!
Robb
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
Patrick Johnston
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How much will this service cost Paul?:wink:
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:11 PM   #5
Beth Moscov
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If it costs Paul, we all ought to pay for him since we are learning too.

Nicole, that was the best post I have ever seen on the zone.

Beth
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:20 PM   #6
Mike Burgener
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oh my gosh....what a great post nichole.....and you should see her olympic lift as well!!!! :smile:
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:24 AM   #7
Paul Theodorescu
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Hey all!

Let me make a few comments:

1- I won't write down calorie-free food consumption.

2- I'm going to choose pre-made meal plans from the CFJ to make things easier on myself. [I think I might go insane weighing stuff every meal]. Like tomorrow I'll probably have the "Oatmeal" 4 block breakfast.

3- I'll try to start today (Sunday). If I'm missing foods, I'll start tomorrow on Monday. The first few days will be the hardest, after that I have more free time to plan my meals. (March Break! :-))

4- I'll choose to do my own workouts. I think it would make more sense to make a quick note of how I trained during the day in this thread but I can start another thread in fitness if desired. Maybe if I notice sudden better recuperation I'll modify things.

5- Why 15 blocks? I don't even qualify as a "small male"! Does that make me a midget?

Also, from the looks of it (bear with me; I'm no math whiz) the Zone diet is practically a starvation diet. I calculated 15 blocks = 1205 calories. In calorie restriction circles, that's what females consume!

6 - What about postworkout nutrition? How does that fit in? Should I just ignore it (seems very odd to me but I'll stick to the guidelines).
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:21 AM   #8
Beth Moscov
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Paul - if you could write down calorie free food consumption, it would help me. Two of the things I am looking at for myself is effects of caffiene and quantity of fluids. I would love to see your data at the same time as I am looking at that. (by the way, Bancha Tea is a green tea that I like without any sweetening - it is toasted and for some reason I like it - you might try it. The only brand I like though is Choice Organic Teas. The rest still taste odd to me)
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:43 AM   #9
Paul Theodorescu
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Sure Beth, what exactly would you like to know?

There might be some rare exceptions but I usually consume green/mint tea with like a tablespoon of splenda. On days I don't go to school I drink 6-7 cups. On school days I don't drink any. To simplify I might say "regular tea drinking" and only mention the exceptions...or would you like more precise measurements? I very rarely drink coffee and I never drink soda (with respect to your point about caffeine).

Edit: I'll just take down whatever it is that goes through my mouth. I'll just estimate water intake (no, I'm not bringing a measuring cup to the water fountain!). This might be relevant seeing as there are certain days during which I drink very little (I know, I know...the body's many cries for water).

BTW, for the record... I don't expect any miraculous changes from changing my diet. Although from the looks of it I might lose weight. I don't know how to describe this but it seems my body is always in homeostatic balance (using the term very loosely here). I've taken vitamin supplements then stopped: didn't feel a difference. Have taken minerals and stopped: didn't feel a difference. Have done contrast showers and stopped: no difference. Have slept 10 hours a day then 7 hours a day: no difference. Have eaten no carbs/have eaten mainly carbs: no difference. Whatever I do I feel the same (which is to say I feel good all the time). I'm always surprised when people say stuff like "On this diet you'll be clearheaded and focused and motivated and you'll sleep well" as if this shouldn't already be the case.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:23 AM   #10
Beth Moscov
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Paul - noting "regular tea drinking" is great.

Thanks for indulging me! If I notice anything similar in your log and mine, I will let you know.
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