I’ve been taken to task on what I wrote and I need to address that. I mention below a “50-60% adherence” number and really tore it apart. When Tony wrote that originally he qualified that as being an arbitrary number, not a claim of accuracy. I was pretty spun up about all that and managed to remember what I wanted to remember to suit my needs. Not very professional, not an accurate portrayal of how the discussion really played out.
Chris put up a good post in the mmmgood thread that I wanted to tackle on the front page. Some of you might have followed the spirited debate that followed one of the recent Zone Chronicles over at the CrossFit Journal site. Here is what Chris had to say:
This whole thing seems really odd to me. I thought the standard CF nutrition line (eat meat, veggies, nuts seeds, etc) WAS a paleo prescription and then the eat this in a 40/30/30 ratio bit was listed secondary?? Maybe that’s changed.
A few thoughts though…
The top performers when interviewed about the Zone seem to add fat and drop back carbs. Crunching numbers puts this broadly line with what is naturally achieved by going Paleo.
Pat Sherwood might resort to burgers etc when on the road if needed, but his home routine is pretty tight paleo excl the weekly cheat meal.
I doubt that the top performers are doing zone purely on bread, shitty cuts of meats and trans fats – I’ll bet they’re keeping the quality pretty high and minimising exposure to sugar, white flour and trans fats. Hmmm… Paleo-ish??
So, my thought would be that both approaches when used by those trying to max out performance leads to the same place – a higher fat, lower carb, 80-90% paleo-zone diet.
Converging paths based upon separate protocols. If you look at this from the CrossFit perspective where using multiple paths to the same goal is encouraged (see the 2K Rowing article from one of the earlty CFJs) its seems odd that you wouldn’t use both paleo and zone to minimise the amount of time it takes you to hit your goal of elite performance.
Moving on from performance to health, Paleo seems a sensible plan to adopt 90% of the time. With first hand experience of the benefits to health that paleo gives, I find it hard to swallow when people dismiss it.
Oh yeah – Chris – I’m UK based and run Crossfit Westcountry. I have firsthand experience with UC and a paleo/zone approach to management – drop me an email if you or your brother need anything.
Chris, thanks for the thoughtful post and YES, a paleo (quality first) followed by Zone (proportionality) is the likely best route to optimum health and performance. I’m not sure what the disconnect is with this in HQ but it starts feeling a lot like “We are going to argue this point until we are the winners” regardless of the content of the argument. On the one hand I have this sense that I’m being portrayed as some kind of tee-totaler who advocates we never go off the paleo-reservation. When I make the point this is not the case but that food quality IS important the argument shifts to “Elite performance only requires adherance to quality foods 50-60% of the time…”
Come again? When I hear numbers like this thrown around to a COMPLETELY unquantified situation it really raises my hackles. Interestingly THIS is the realm of pseudo science, citing hard numbers for a very soft scenario. This does BTW remind me of the apparent “20% slop” we are supposed to be embracing within CrossFit…that will be another popular blog post…
Anyway, like Chris mentioned, folks who are turning top numbers are eating “clean” much more than 50% of the time…this is just a fact. If we wanted to get SLIGHTLY scientific about it I could send out a nutrition survey to all the qualifiers to the games, but this is only as good as people’s memories and honesty, so not super, but it would be something. The reality is people notice when they eat like shit too frequently, that frequency varies from person to person, and based on what the particular nature of the crappy food is. That’s actually a much more accurate portrayal of elite fueling than some arbitrary percentage. This also reflects what people actually experience especially with regards to the quality piece. In the nutrition cert the topic of cheat meals is always a popular piece. I lay out two different scenarios. The first is a beer+pizza bender, the second is a nachos+tequila schwa-re. I tell people to try each one and let me know which one they feel like more shit from. Inevitably, the nachos+tequila leaves people much happier the next day than the pizza+beer. Why? Pizza+ beer is a truck-load of gluten. Coach Glassman told me he does not really buy the gluten gig. I also remember Coach talking about dropping a stack of research literally 2-3 feet thick on the desk of some physician who was decrying the Zone as dangerous….but the doctor would simply ignore the literature and still damn the Zone. I’m certainly feeling like that with regards tot he gut-health gluten gig. I guess the response is the same as what they used with the static about hyperinsulinsim…ignore it and press on.
This is about *so* much more than performance. It is about long term health and avoiding chronic disease first and foremost. I understand that in a CrossFit context performance is supreme, but I think as a group we need to reinforce the fact that a Paleo-style of eating will support a long, chronic disease free life. As Robb says over and over and over again, chronic inflammation in humans is bad! It is bad for performance, and it is bad for long term health.
I think folks forget the example of Mel Siff that Coach Glassman used to point out in early lectures. Mel had elite performance in both OLifting and endurances athletics…he also had advanced cardio vascular disease due to a high carb diet. He died from a second heart attack while this topic was being argues on the CF message board. One can obviously have world class performance on a shity diet but the downsides are just waiting.
I attended your cert a little over a month ago in Santa Cruz, two days after that my fiance and i switched to a 100% Paleo diet to try it out. Since starting the diet, my crossfit times have improved drastically and i am getting new pr’s left and right, i feel great every time i go into the gym. Her and i feel better than we have ever felt in so many ways from our energy levels to our mood. The side effects that gluten has on the body is insane and i am glad that you inform people about this. I have not seen a change in the Vitiligo but i am still keeping up hope, by the way hope to see a post Vitiligo when you get the chance. Since going Paleo, i look good, feel good and i am performing better that ever. Thanks for putting out the info.
Hearing stuff like this makes all the effort worthwhile, thanks much for the feedback. Keep tinkering with the paleo/gluten free schtick. Also add in some vit-D. Cod liver oil is a good source (about a tablespoon per day). Vitiligo is an autoimmune issue and it shoould respond to this, at the very least it will cease advancement. Did I tell you how I tracked this information down? An old girlfriend of mine had vitiligo. When we first met at school she was talking about how she had to drop out of beauty pageants (she was a Ms. Sacramento) due to a skin condition (vitiligo). I told her that if I could figure out what was up with her condition she had to go out with me. Funny, we dated for almost a year till she took an internship in Italy to do modeling. I do not think she thought I had a chance figuring out the vitiligo!
There’s no guarantee but I think you have a good chance at improvement. Keep me posted!
Wow, this weekend in Boston is going to be FUN! Can’t wait!
Thanks Mark! Im fired up!!
Leo S says
Gluten intolerance check – go off all gluten containing foods for 3-4 weeks (grains, breads, beer etc). Enjoy good digestion, no stomach problems etc.
After 3-4 weeks eat a piece of bread or anything containing gluten. Be messed for the next 1-3 days. After that decide if avoiding gluten is worth it.
At this point personally I think measuring food for increased performance is essential (especially if you’re not super athletic like me and have to drill & drill & practice. I used to be very clumsy 😀 ). But I don’t think Zone really cuts it anymore that well.
With the ever increasing strength & power demands of Crossfit 40/30/30 is just not enough protein, too much carbs and not enough fat. And tweaking & re-tweaking it seems to call for a new starting point. Something a-la – if Z is the number of carb blocks per day than the daily breakdown should be:
4-5x Z of Pro/ 1x Z of CHO/ 8-10x Z of Fat. What do you think Robb?
Here’s my experience with such tinkering.
Last 6 weeks I’ve been doing 2500 cals a day, 275 g pro, 50-80 g CHO, 110-140 g fat a day which is roughly 40 bl P/6-8 bl CHO/ 80-100 bl F and doing great with one hypercaloric day & one full blown gluten free cheat day (Hagen Dasz is gluten free! At least the basic ones).
Adjusted it down to 2300/250/50-80/110-130 to speed up the fat loss a bit ( last couple of weeks). 1 to 1.5 lbs a week down to 215.5 now, from about 230 right around Qualifier (carbing up after low carb brought my weight up 10 lbs!)
As far as numbers – my chest to bar pull-ups (the only ones I measure now) went up to 26 from 12, muscle ups from full turnout consecutive is up to 5 from 2, I clean & jerked 205, 215, 220 on the minute and increase it in 5 lbs increments once a week and it was easy (so was the 155, 165, 170 snatch), I low pulled 1:13 pace on the rower (try to get a few strokes in & get the fastest pace possible. Good test of strength). Down from 1:15 a few months ago. There’s more but my log is at the gym.
And the everlasting feeling of being ready to tear it up is fantastic!
Only a month left till Aromas!
that looks like a solid prescription…am I reading that correctly however, 5x Protein? OH! This is not a Zone multiple, but ratios based off calories. Yea, I like it. I DO like the block methodology for keeping track of food also, but the starting point I recommend for virtually everyone is a Zone with 50% recommended carbs, and 3F blocks for every C block deleted.
A few interesting things come to mind: Josh Everett told me his one big change he noticed wiht his nutrition was when he committed to getting at least a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. The other thing is a conversation I had with Rutman. He attended a conference that indicated we benefit from more protein as we age…1.5-2.0g/lb BW. Third interesting thing:Poliquin recommends at least a gram per lb, especially for his weight loss clients.
there is no doubt some folks see pretty rocking performance on the Zone, but Im really starting to wonder if folks are not seriously missing out on some better performance.
You are spot on about the gluten, and this is how I recommend folks tackle this issue. Cut it out for a while, reintroduce…see how ya do. Doesn’t seem particularly extreme but man can it get some panties in a wad!
Good luck and see you kids in Aromas!
Nice post Robb. I was recently at the American College of Sports Medicine conference to present some research and attend lectures and it seems that the ACSM is getting on board with the idea of high quality foods, even promoting the paleo concept to an extent. I was sitting in a symposium on sudden cardiac death and three prominent researchers (one PhD and 2 cardiologists) all harped on the importance of changing the diet of americans and promoted the consumption of natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and high quality meats. While this may be kind of old news to everyone who reads your blog and crossfits, its certainly refreshing to see that this is starting to get national recognition and hopefully this starts some changes.
That is good to hear. I think the economics of bad food recommendations is finally catching up with us.
Steve from Steve's Club says
I don’t get it. Food is like religion to some people. No matter how many facts you throw at them or suggestions you offer to “just give it a try”, some people refuse to give up a story that they have blindly followed for so long. The story here that grains, wheat, flour, dairy and sugar is okay and there’s not a whole lot of good to be gained by dropping them from one’s diet. I’m at the point where I pretty much given up on some people (like my mom who gets the worst stomach pains after eating wheat and gluten filled meal but cannot see any link with the two whatsoever)….rather than offer advice or help, I now say to myself “wow it stinks to be you….and how you could be saving yourself from a lot of harm and health issues if you jut had an open mind and were willing to TRY black boxing it for a month before reintroducing it back into your diet to see the true effects.
Guess the old ofsaying “you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink it” has much truth to it.
Yea…I’ve given up trying to really convince people. Between the blog and the certs most of the folks are at least willing to give it a try.
I pimp the paleo kits at every cert!! They kick the shit out of Zone bars…
After attending your cert in West Palm Beach all I can say is wow.
I’ve been crossfitting since Oct. 08 and I have been following a pretty strict zone diet for most of that time. I feel I’ve made extremely good progress. After attending one of your nutrition certs., I started following the paleo/zone with 1/2 carbs. It seems I’m setting new pr’s everytime I walk into the gym. I’ve cut out dairy and the liquid protein shakes and have been amazed at how fast the last bit of stomach fat came off.
On a side note, you made a statement about how fertile woman become while on this diet. When my wife and I had our first son it took many attempts while she was on clomid. We have since tried clomid again with no luck. After a little over a month her following this diet and not actually trying, she is now pregnant. You should definately try and capitalize on the benefits of this diet and fertility
We have a whole business model based on fertility issues…we just need an OBGYN to oversee the pilot study. Congrats on being knocked-up!
Chad Cilli says
Robb and Chris,
Excellent points! I haven’t watched or read the comments on the zone chronicles since the first one came out. I was totally unaware there was a disagreement with HQ, but this is a no brainer. Hmmm does quality of food matter? Well, let me extend the question, does quality of movement matter? 21 thrusters is just 21 thrusters right? Why would we put so much emphasis on quality of movement if quality didn’t matter? If nutrition is the foundation of an athlete, wouldn’t you want your foundation to be based on quality?
Speaking from experience, I am super strict with my diet. The only non-paleo food I consume is dairy, and I only have it post workout. This is not because I’m some hardcore elite crossfitter, nor am I some paleo fanatic, I flat out feel better. For years I ate a diet of grains. I had oatmeal every morning, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner, and usually gatorade and rice after hockey practice. I ate what I thought was a performance diet; no candy, no pop, no sugars. After discovering the Performance Menu and Robb’s articles, I was intrigued and decided to jump in feet first to try it out. It was like someone flipped a switch. All my life I’ve struggled to put on any kind of weight, suddenly I started putting on muscle. I started feeling better in general, no more afternoon slumps, no more digestion problems. I have no shame so I’ll say it here, I used to alternate between being constipated and having diarrhea. Cut out the gluten, problem solved. I rarely, rarely cheat on my diet (once or twice a year) not because I’m afraid it will affect my performance, but because I don’t like the way I feel when I eat garbage.
Quite frankly, I’m shocked and disappointed to hear that HQ is fighting you on this. I thought the real goal of Crossfit was health and fitness, not just who is performing best. I’ll even admit that I had one of my best performances this year after having some birthday chocolate mousse cake, call it supercompensation or something, but anyone looking for long term health and performance gains isn’t going to find it eating sub-par foods.
Just my two cents, I couldn’t resist, topics like this get me so fired up. Carry on the good fight boys!
Rob you said, “A few interesting things come to mind: Josh Everett told me his one big change he noticed wiht his nutrition was when he committed to getting at least a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. The other thing is a conversation I had with Rutman. He attended a conference that indicated we benefit from more protein as we age…1.5-2.0g/lb BW. Third interesting thing:Poliquin recommends at least a gram per lb, especially for his weight loss clients. ” Is that per meal or day? If it’s per meal fine however if it’s per day thats just not enough???
that’s per day. 200lb guy would need AT LEAST 200g protein in this scenario.
To Chris- Yes, PALEO is the very starting block for ANYONE in my professional opinion to become the most healthy. The Zone parameters though, are fantastic, FOR MOST PEOPLE. The majority of the population in our country is overweight, with severe insulin sensitivity issues, and strict Zone adherence, at least until the body composition is normailized, will get these people/athletes down to a more normal composition. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that the top level-crossfitters are not even close to a reasonable percentage of the population, so more specialized diet measures of course will need to be taken. It is my personal belief that if we first got everyone to go paleo, then incorporated an appropriately scaled crossfit system with them, the health of the population would not be an issue. Zone for those who are in need of body composition change.
Robb. Is your starting point of “Zone with 50% recommended carbs…” calculated using Zone blocks based on lean body mass, or do you start with 1 g per pound of body weight, or something else.
I zone, and have zoned for a long damn time (more than 6 years), and I like it. I fall off the wagon, and get back on without much trouble. I zone probably 85% of the year. Though I lean towards meat and veggies, I eat grains in all their manifestations, but steer clear of refined sugar.
As far as training, I CrossFit 5 days a week consistently.
I’m intrigued by your recommended ratios and I’m considering trying it out to see what happens.
I weigh 150 lbs. Does that mean my daily intake would consist of 21 protein blocks, 10 carb blocks, and 30 fat blocks? Based solely on body weight.
Or do you recommend calculating with the .7 g per body weight, giving me 15 protein blocks, 8 carb blocks, and 24 fat blocks?
And I’m assuming all paleo, correct? No dairy, grain, etc.
You asked my like 5 questions in there brother! You are not quite doing the numbers correctly. You add 3 F blocks for every carb block deleted. 15P 8C 15+21=36F.
Melissa Byers says
Interesting note on the Everett/Rutman/Poliquin protein thing. Kind of goes against what I’ve been thinking, which is… if you have enough fat in your diet, you don’t NEED as much protein. Fat is muscle sparing, right? So I haven’t been sweating the 1g/lb. of bodyweight recommendation lately, and nothing’s fallen off from a strength perspective. But I wonder… if I played with that a little and included more protein, could I maybe be stronger-er?
Wondering if you have any thoughts on that. Of course, while I’m waiting for a response, I’m just going to try it for myself and see what happens. Duh.
I DO think the higher fat is protein sparing…to what degree that might decrease protein needs/optimization Im not at all sure. I notice feeling better on what is likely about 30 blocks of protein…almost double my Zone rx. I do OK on 16 blocks but I just feel a little squiddly.
Let me know how you do on the tinkering!
Artie Lange says
How dare you disagree with Greg Glassman, the man is simply the smartest person in human history…hands down.
In every aspect of the elite athletes life they strive to make 1+1=42… training timing, recovery method, massage/SMR/ART, every supplement under the sun including ‘radical’ supplementation, equipment choices that they spend MONTHS agonizing over and dont even get started on the absolute adherance to form and productive application of force… yet so many argue about making the same committment/sacrifice to the fuel sources?!? Smacks of irrationality, frankly.
If even a small group of my fellow crossfitters had concrete experience that wearing a gold lame thong would cut 5% off their metcon times, improve recovery, spare of even add LBM, boost endogenous production of GH and Test, not to mention ease the body’s potential to access lipids as a direct energy source, you would see the thong market go through the roof.
Replace the Golden Ass-Fleece with the suggestion that they forgo gluten entirely and use IF in their training protocol and you get a scarlet letter tatoo’d on yer noggin and get sent to TinFoilHatland.
Inevitably, gluten free athletes will begin to crush those unwilling to experiment and keep some data… even Coach once said, ‘If you show me data that wallowing around on a stability ball juggling toasters will increase my athletes performance I’ll add it to the program tomorrow…”
As for me? 2months strict Paleo/IF at 50% carb and 2x fat has me not just CRUSHING my metcon numbers, but putting weight overhead that I haven’t seen since competive days. Migraines? Gone. Joint inflammation? Gone… the list goes on.
cheers to letting our freak flags fly, soon enough we’ll end up as the establishment by virtue of success.
Good word and thank you. I HOPE HQ sees that food quality matters. They have not embraced that linear progression is beneficial for building stronger athletes. Stronger athletes dominate CrossFit….and limit singles are not the best/only way to get there…
As you say, people will tinker and experiment and they will KNOW if something is legit or bogus. The HQ focus is exclusively on insulin/glycemic control via the Zone. That works great but a whole world of improvement is to be had from a focus on food quality. I tell folks to give it a shot for a month…I’m not getting load of emails or comments that indicate shitty food trumps quality.
Gluten sucks. It sucks for sleeping. It sucks for performance. It sucks for strength. It sucks for everything. And it makes my stomach hurt and my liftin suck. Gluten is death.
I am a 5’9″ 170 lb male calipers say 19% BF. Recently cut out dariy and gluten and now started loosing weight again. I have been feeling like I’m not getting enough protein with my zone blocks of 14P-11C-23F…Carbs and fat differ a bit by 1-2C blocks. Going off of 1g protein per lb of body weight & 50% carb…… Am I lookin at 24P-7C-34F???
Looks right…let me know how it goes.
I just wondered if you know of any evidence if there’s an increased risk of problems with Gall Stones with a zone diet using ramped up fat-intake?
Not if they are gluten free:
Gall bladder issues are undiagnosed gluten intolerance.
Forgive me if this has been posted elsewhere. I tried searching you blog and posts on the crossfit and performance menu forums; but, I haven’t been successful. Meant to ask this question at the nutrition cert and forgot. What would you recommend as the ideal bodyfat % for both health and/or performance? Does this varry too much by athlete?
I think about 8% is pretty solid both athletically and from a health standpoint (for males). Art Devany kicked that number around as well. Some guesswork on this but it makes pretty good sense.
My daughter was having some serious stomach issues so we pulled her off of dairy. Didn’t resolve so we pulled her off of gluten too. Didn’t resolve – turns out she had a stomach parasite (gross!). Anyway, the entire family (mom, dad, 12 and 9 year old) are STOKED! We all felt so great during the whole dairy/gluten free period that we have stuck with it!! We still had to find other options (like pasta) since the kids didn’t really want to give up all of their favorites, but for the last 6 months we buy organic or shop at the farmers market, my husband and I do the paleo-zone and the kids get whatever they want paleo style. We haven’t been sick, and as a family of athletes have seen increases in speed, endurance, strength, sleep better and have tons of energy – the small “study” we have employed at home absolutely shows living this lifestyle keeps us healthy and feeling great!
Thanks! that is great stuff. Did your daughter have Giardia by chance? I had that twice. Not fun.
I only have one question…and sort of a tangent to this discussion since we are mostly talking performance…and don’t get me wrong….I love meat just as much as the next guy (just finished a 1 lb of grassfed beef between me and my girl), but my only question is this….a lot of these societies (blue zone populations, centarians, etc) that we aspire (or at least I do) to live like don’t eat anywhere near the meat intake we do. I’m not saying they are right and we are wrong or vice versa, I’m merely wondering what impact that much meat has on our livelihood compared to theirs… What do you think?
Ari- Honestly, I do not know. We know for certain that centenarians ALL eat red meat, typically drink a little, are go-getters in attitude. they are NOT extreme athletes typically…
Here is an interesting thing:
Notice the 100 year old Kitavan Man.
At one time I also think the highest population of centenarians was in South Dakota…have to double check on that.
One final interesting thing. Of one googles the terms “centenarian vegan” the return is…NOTHING. If veganism is so damn good, you’d think they could march at least ONE person across the century line.
Sean B-H says
Since your cert in Chicago my girlfirend and I have gone Paleo. We have both seen great results. I have also seen great success with my clients. Thank you!
Have you ever worked with a client who had a hysterectomy? Did you find that they have a hard time dropping weight? I just started with a client who had one. She has gone two weeks and seen great performance improvements, loss of gas from colon issues and is no longer taking anti-inflamatories. Although, she has not seen any body changes and has complained about not being able to lose weight since the operation. Have you ever come across this? Will Paleo, with time, eventually sort this out?
Its tough to tell. The hormonal issue is a tough one. birth control can really buggar fat loss as well. She might consider tracking down a bio-identical hormone doc…this might really improve the prognosis.
What is the symbol next to your name on the header underneath “i think?” is that a decision tree?
sorry. nevermind. found it. darwin
I am doing almost all Paleo, almost all Zone. In the past I have done Zone with pretty good food choices. But, the better quality of food I choose, the better my performance, no doubt. This seems like a no-brainer, but I had to learn the hard/slow way! I am pr’ing very regularly right now on everything EXCEPT strength. I am tinkering with approaches there though.
I am coming to your cert in Woodinville, WA in July, but I’d like to run something by you, if I may. I have been experimenting with what you recommend as far as C/P PWO and no added fat at that time. 1 hour later eating a balanced meal. Right now I am doing 16P, 8-12C, 2X fat and adding 3F for each C deleted. I love it and my performance is jumping. Should I add in the missed F blocks from the PWO window to the next balanced meal? So if PWO I eat 4P, 6C, then 1 hour later eat 4P, 2C, 22F (adding 8F to make up for the PWO fueling)?
Actually I am about to move to 3XF I think as well, but the question still is the same. Thanks for all the great info you put out. I am really looking forward to meeting you this July!
You can drop those fat blocks anywhere. No hard rules on that. Thanks for the feedback on the food quality issue, more ammunition.
Robb- For fat to be protein sparing, does it need to be the dominant macronutrient?
Well…yes. here’s the deal. The body will burn whatever nutrients are provided in excess. Folks who eat mainly carbs tend to burn more carbs. This works until they run out of food for a few hours, then they will catabolize protein to make glucose. Now, with protein extra amounts get converted to glucose and that is then stored in the liver or muscles (If insulin sensitivity is good). So when we start talking about “protein sparing” we have a scenario in which insulin sensitivity is good so the body can PRIMARILY use fat as a fuel, then we have ADEQUATE protein for growth and maintenance. This is a situation in which nitrogen balance is maintained or increased with comparatively less protein input vs say a high carb diet.
Gooch Foster says
I just read your “Words of Wisdom from Robb” and I have to say it is one of the worst papers I have ever read. Regardless of the intended message, which was difficult to understand at some points, there were so many grammatical, sentence structure, typo(s), and other standard English related mistakes, that I found reading it comical, but at the same time, embarrassing.
Please learn to write as it will be beneficial to your audience who appreciate both athletics and academics .
Other than that, and before I get crucified by your followers, I enjoy reading the posts on this blog. Please try not to take offense.
Hey “gooch”. I have trouble navigating a keyboard on the best of days…my wife is constantly on my ass to use this wacky piece of gear called “spell check”. If you check the blog roll you will find quite a number of informative and well edited sites. Or try a Valium on an empty stomach, 2 shots of tequila (gold…silver is piss) and the type-o’s will magically disappear and everything will make sense.
Thanks for the response Robb! So I take it that insulin sensitivity is really the most important factor. So if protein is the dominant macronutrient how is the fat processed?
I am tinkering with my diet and am thinking of increasing protein blocks by 1 per meal to meet 1.0g/bw. With this increase, the protein would outweigh my current 2x fat blocks. Do you think this is a concern for protein sparing? Should I increase fat to 3x to stay dominant?
Just play with it and see. how do you look, feel and perform? That needs to be your ultimate guide. Use the theory to make informed decisions, then you just need to tinker and take notes.
As always I love reading your stuff and find it very informative. We have had great success with clients at CrossFit Victoria with clients who follow a paleo diet. They seem to find it easier to follow than the Zone.
However, I didn’t really want to post about that. Rather, I wanted to congratulate you on your update. It takes balls to admit when you are wrong and not enough people in this world have the balls to do it. Well Done.
thanks much for the props. I Fuck up constantly so it’s pretty easy for me to own up!
Scott Pauly says
More evidence of the benefits of Paleo/zone. I’ve been doing zone since 96′ with good results. I’ve also suffered from fertility problems, having a low count and low motility, for all of my adult life. Recently my girlfriend and I attended your nutrition cert (Nov.08, in Flagstaff) and I switched to a strict paleo diet, with zone portions. I felt better almost immediately. Approx, 3months later, my girlfriend surprised me by telling me that she is pregnant. Maybe its just luck, but i give credit to the Paleo lifestyle, having been together for 4 years and never using birth control, then 3 months of Paleo, Bam! another new crossfitter on the way. Coincidence, I don’t think so, Your thoughts.
We see this a bunch. Just reconfirms things. it IS interesting that the folks who argue this point spend no time DEALING with people on this stuff.
congrats BTW! Get your girl on some fish oil and have yourselves a healthy, beautiful baby.
I chatted with you a while ago about giving fish only paleo a shot. It’s been a couple of months now and I have experienced a tremendous difference across the board. Mentally, I am feeling much clearer, mood is very good and steady. Physicaly, I am feeling great, recovery time is shorter, but most importantly, I am feeling stronger and faster on the field(soccer)! This is not surprising, especially now after reading the Kitava study. Although, my diet is slightly different in regards to fat intake our protein source is exactly the same. I am wondering if I am missing out on any key nutrients by getting my protein from 100% eggs and fish, no fowl or beef.
That said, thanks for this post and the subsequent comments. Sometimes I find myself straying from the fat intake levels that I know I should be hitting in an effort to cut back on some calories (dumb I know). Question though, are there disadvantages from getting majority of one’s fat blocks from nuts only? Specifically walnuts and almonds. I have been bad about incorporating EVOO into my diet recently. Thanks for fighting the good fight, you do a great service to this community of athletes with your insight and expertise, it is much appreciated.
The nuts ARE heavy in N-6 fats. Mixing it up with EVOO and other sources helps to minimize this problem.
I’m going to your Cert on Saturday, can’t wait, but was wondering if you’ve ever come across the LeanGains approach to IF? I am about to start it tomorrow or Saturday, been somewhat doing it as you’ll see in my food journal (which is far from perfection), and was wondering your thoughts about it. Hopefully we can talk on Saturday but essentially I’m curious if a higher carb diet with lots of protein (at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight) and some fat is fine if the carbs are mostly Paleo (accounting for the whole gluten thing)? I know a lot of people cut carbs in half and sub fat and do well but I notice that I just feel better with more carbs and don’t have any issues with riding the insulin roller coaster as the fasting phase is no problem. Basically I can’t get past the Kitava culture. If they can live on mostly carbs (Paleo ones at that) and not have Western disease, then I can’t demonize carbs (Taubes/Eades). I’m only left with the axis of evil being sugar, wheat, sometimes dairy and processed/vegetable oils. I’m sure you’ll cover a lot of this on Saturday which I’m looking forward to because nutrition is my passion, performance in a WOD is only a natural derivative. See you soon and sorry for the long post, probably not much value-added here!
Greg Battaglia says
With regards to the centenarian lifestyles that Ari brought up and your comment about them NOT being extreme athletes………what does this say about the disparity between Crossfit and the activity patterns of our ancestors? That Kitavan man certainly wasn’t hitting the daily WODs…i suspect that his activity pattern wasn’t nearly as intense as Crossfit. Perhaps Crossfit isn’t the best method if we’re shooting for longevity. Not saying I believe this, just trying to get your opinion. What WOULD you consider to be the best path to longevity?
Centenarians are typically quite active throughout life…rarely extreme in their athletic pursuits. I think a “crossfit inspired” approach could foster excellent longevity but now that this has taken on the air of sport the opportunity to drive this pursuit tot he extreme is pretty apparent.
Good to hear from you amigo!
Justin in Memphis says
Thought you’d like this Robb, A-Rod reveals his (non-steroid) diet secret: Yams
I’m a huge Yankees fan, not the biggest fan of Rodriguez. He’s in phenomenal shape though, provided he’s steroid free.
Jose Garcia says
Tony is probably failing to take into account that most of the elite performance with 40-50% slop food people are supplementing (wink).
I find it usually boils down to one thing, character. The most common argument I get about Paleo is that there is no evidence that it works.
The only argument I find myself having time to make these days is that its hard to find evidence when you don’t look for it in the first place.
amy pinto says
I am just starting research this whole Paleo/Zone/Gluten-Free diet scenario as I recently found out I have PCOS. I am new to Cross Fit (2 weeks) but previously worked out 6x/week heavy weights and sprint interval training. My current diet is much like the Zone, with eating equal portions of carbs/protein every meal and adding a bit of fat here and there. I typcially eat 5 meals per day.
My main question is if going Gluten Free will help with the PCOS symptoms, and should I also cut some carbs from my diet?? Despite working out regularly (with intensity) and eating well (I do take a cheat each week), I continue to gain weight albiet fairly slowly. I have done some research and can’t seem to get a final answer from anyone/any source. My doctors are telling me they can’t give me any sort of medication since I’m not huge (I’m 5’6″ and 167lbs), but the steady gain is quite bothersome.
Any advice you could give is greatly appreciated.
I’d cut your carbs a good bit…it WILL likely decrease performance initially, but you can tinker with that later. I’d also consider adidng in 150mcg of iodine per day. We have seen some overt PCOS in women who were DIALED on their food/training who just could not get/stay lean. They added the iodine and literally in a few days fet and looked better. Be careful! If that IS the issue you will be a fertile-myrtle when you add that iodine!
Hey Rob, I’m pretty new at CF, doing it about 2 months. I’m 5’11” and currently 192 lbs, don’t know what BF is but I assume around 20%. I started on a traditional weight loss pgm, ie, calorie in calorie out, with P90X & cardio. I went from 217 down to 202 in about 2 1/2 months. I started CF and got down to my current weight by going >65% of cals from Fat, and under 40g net carbs a day, but I’ve plateaud. Energy is great, but not losing any fat or leaning out. Being new to Zone & Paleo, how many calories should I be consuming to get down towards 170lbs with 10% BF? Please help. Thx
check out the FAQ brother!
Just an addition to my earlier post: Average day is 1800 kcals, 130g fat, 40g carbs(net) & 120g protein. I’ve tried experimenting with going down to 1,500 cals, but body is not really responding.
Nola Hartill says
Eloquently written and much needed public response. We can never “understand” to the point of rationalizing God’s Word. Thank you brother Steve for standing soundly upon God’s Word and His blessed covenant of marriage. I am praying for Pat Robinson and those who respect his advice.