Nutrition: The Teeter-Totter

By Nicole Carroll

In Classic, Nutrition, Videos

March 01, 2008

Video Article

Anyone who wants the full benefit and results of CrossFit must understand--and then act on the information--that nutrition is the foundation for all the other work you do in the name of athletic development and elite health. The key, of course, is hormones, which regulate how the body stores and releases energy and repairs itself. And, as far as hormones are concerned, food is a drug--a very powerful drug. It is the regulator for your body's internal teeter-totter, where the interdependent levels of "good" and "bad" hormones pivot on the food you take in. The simple CrossFit nutrition prescription--"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar"--will deliver you from metabolic derangement (i.e., hyperinsulinemia, Syndrome X, and their relatives) and keep you generally well. For maximal fitness and output, however, you need to be more precise than that. In this lecture excerpt, Nicole Carroll makes a compelling case for why.

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29 Comments on “Nutrition: The Teeter-Totter”


wrote …

This lecture and CFJ #21 have saved me tons of cash and lots of wasted time. Thanks Coach and Nicole.


I agree — after many conversations of trying to explain it all to my wife, I showed her this video, and she totally got it.


wrote …

how do I figure out my block numbers?


wrote …

i think u can figure out block numbers by looking at cfj 21.


wrote …

Hey Nicole,
Thanks, my wife and I are on day 4 of getting off the crack. We've always worked out but never really controlled the portions. Between your video, and your own experience it's really helped us to push through the cravings. You do "have to f@#* with your diet before you die."


wrote …


That was an incredibly informative lecture -- simple to grasp yet detailed enough to apply. I liked the occasional 'F-bombs' for emphasis, and the whole thread of the message flowed logically.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, and thanks for presenting it in a professional manner. I'll be watching this a few more times ~


wrote …

I agree that this was very telling, and it broke it down to make it real. Simple, but not easy and when we can live with that, we will do better with our diets-and be rewarded in the workouts!


you need to determine your lean body mass (LBM) first... then multiplying this number (POUNDS) by a factor between 0.5 - 1.0 according to your activity level:

0.5 - Sedantary (no sports or activity)
0.6 - Light (daily activity like walking)
0.7 - Moderate (fitness training or sports activity, 3 times a week)
0.8 - Active (daily aerobic exercise or weight training)
0.9 - Very Active (daily heavy weights)
1.0 - Elite Athlete (heavy daily weights and intense sports training)

This will give you your Protein requirements in grams. This number divided by 7 (1 Block Protein = 7g) will give you your required block count.

Then simply add the same number of blocks for Fat and Carbs.

CHECK for further details...


wrote …

I can tell you that the "ready state" she is talking about most definitely exists....once you power through those first couple of weeks its like dropping into a perfect wave...perfect....great video


wrote …

As a Certified Dietitian I recommend 100% The Zone Diet, and let me tell you guys one thing...its not a diet, be in the zone its a kind of life.
This is a great information lecture and a great job for Nicole, I dont know if you are a Dietitian but you really know what are you talking about.


Russell Benedetto wrote …

Nicole I am new to Cross Fit and cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this lecture. I hope one day to meet you and thank you personally. Cross Fit has changed my life and your lecture was another giant step for me....Thank you


wrote …

I loved this article. I have been "trying" to zone for a while now, but I get lazy and don't always measure. I have a couple questions:

1)is the weight of things before or after cooking
2)I am a small woman: 5'1" and I have to drop some fat, so I calculated my blocks and it is 11. that is not much food and I do find myself getting really hungry. Can I add more vegetables? I have to admit I haven't been measuring my veggies. ... What do you recommend?
3)I don't eat meat, but I eat some fish. Any specific recommendations for me?


Glenn Siegrist wrote …

I was trying to explain to my wife how I was feeling and the word was escaping me, and then I heard you say, "You just Hum all day long". Bingo thats the feeling I have now. I have not used any breads for almost a year so I don't expect to suffer from the withdrawals some seems to go thru. This will be my go to video to help explain why anyone should change their life eating. Big Thanks


wrote …

The best video I have heard in the longest time... without Nutrition "forget about it".

Just do it people and I bet you see results even within 4-5 days.

Awesome stuff Crossfit and Nicole!



wrote …

I liked the energy of the lecture, it's basic information and love watching Nicole, but I have to say that the information only applies to the general populus who don't have much muscle mass. This critique is purely constructive, because I like the ethos, but there doesn't seem to be material for gymrats. The guy that asked the question in the audiemce about the energy being low was clearly not any old client, but a well conditioned weightlifter. There's no way near enough protein for a weightlifter, you need a minimum of 1g per lb bodyweight as long as you're not obese, this plan would only have you eating a maximum of that if you were 0% fat and elite level. If you were dieting you would need 1g per lb bodyweight as an absolute minimum. The other problem, is that the block diets are about optimising hormones for health, but for peak peformance testosterone is very important, and this diet -which says it uses fat for energy source- is not very high in fat, not high enough to promote high levels of testosterone which would come from eating a diet of over 30%, ideally around 40% mainly healthy fats. The block plan comes out at under 20% fat. Other than this, I like what I see. If there are more comprehensive vids for weightlifters I'd be interested in them, otherwise I need to adjust the block allowance to my own needs.


wrote …

Also, I am aware of the hidden fat in protein sources (which isn't that high because of the small amount of protein allowed anyway), but even counting this fat the percentage (eg 1g extra per 1block of turkey) bring dietary fat to 26%. The only way round this is to eat meat as fatty as is allowed within the category as "lean" meat, but the problem with this is animal fat then becomes the major fat source instead of the healthy fats from the seeds&nuts.


Webster Smith wrote …

Nicole is the only person I have ever met that can say f*&^ and still sound sweet doing so. Haha. Great info, Nicole! Thanks for the reminder as to why I strive for the healthy end of the spectrum day in and day out. It's refreshing!

Lindsey Smith


wrote …

haha, Webster, right on..

Nicole seems like a definite cool woman. Great info


wrote …

I have a fair understanding between the high GI/GL carbs and low GI/GL carbs. However, I need advice on where old fashion oats (not instant of course) fit into the Zone and/or paleo eating. I'm trying to become more disciplined with nutrition. I eat a lot of oats and I was wondering if I'm on the right path. Any advice??


replied to comment from MARC KELLY


I eat oat meal (Irish style) on the Zone, just balance with cottage cheese, walnuts, and a piece of fruit.


wrote …

What a terrible way to use the English language. It is too bad someone thinks that in order to explain themselves with passion they have to use the f word. tragic. It tarnishes this good message not enhances.


replied to comment from Todd Reasoner

Relax Todd...they're not at bible camp.


wrote …

Ah, the old days.......I LOVE the use of the F-bombs for emphasis during the lecture. In all seriousness, this video remains essential viewing for CrossFitters starting to learn about their eating habits.


replied to comment from Todd Reasoner

Always interested to see how swearing/cursing is still seen as offensive in the US. I'm from England and my vicar swears more than that.
One thing we have to get used to when working in the US is that you can't say the F and C words in the office.
Great lecture and a very engaging speaker.


replied to comment from Todd Reasoner

Todd, I totally agree!! Just read your blog on how she continually used the "F" word and that degrades the whole meaning behind the message. Especially when it comes from a woman. nuff said.


wrote …

Nicole is hot!


wrote …

And what about if I´m below my ideal bodyweight and I have to gain some weight and train at the same time? this kind of diet will help me?


wrote …

shes the hottest crossfitter ever, but a freakin pioneer. nicole, i love it, your vocal explanation is always in the back of my head when talknig to my clients about nutrition, i remember this. always have, always will.


replied to comment from Sven Meyer

I made this and says that I need 20 blocks of everything!... What's that mean?!... Is it so much or what?!

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