In Audio, Nutrition, Videos

March 09, 2009

Video Article

Pat Sherwood is one of CrossFit HQ’s top trainers. He is on the road most weekends at the various CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 certification seminars. He is also a great athlete who is cranking out some very impressive WOD performances. Proper nutrition is essential for optimizing performance. But how can that happen with so much time on the road?

This video is the third in a series in which we get up close and personal with Pat and his eating. He brings his camera to the meal and we see exactly what happens. In this episode, Pat is actually home. He eats a weighed and measured four block meal, modified to fit his lifestyle and experienced results. He eats four blocks of turkey, two blocks of strawberries, cuts out two blocks of carbs and replaces them with six blocks of peanut butter, then puts four blocks of mayonnaise on the turkey. He eats this exact meal almost every time he’s home.

5min 37sec

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121 Comments on “Zone Chronicles: Normalcy at Home”


wrote …

Pat do you eat any grains or much dairy? i know you lay down some seriuos times i myself dropped out oatmeal and any dairy and went to yams post wod and made a big difference in performance recovery. keep it up man you are inspirational


wrote …

If it's a 4 block meal, why 6 oz. of turkey breast? 1 block of turkey = 1 oz.


wrote …

As a college student, I can relate to the diet of apples, deli meat, peanut butter, baby carrots, etc. I rarely use much more than a microwave or maybe a single pan to get my zone meals.


wrote …

Thanks for the video posting, it's nice to see other people eating the same way as I do, I know I'm not crazy now. BTW, What kind of scale do you use?


replied to comment from Zachary Miller


4 oz. of Turkey breast is 4 blocks.

However, Pat's Turkey most likely is coming from ground turkey, which takes 6 oz. to make up a 4 block portion.


wrote …

In more specific Zone books/guides, deli turkey breast is 1.5 oz per block.

Pat, the videos and your nutrition lecture during the Certs are both helpful. I've lost about seven pounds since the VA Beach Cert, even with the occasional Quarter Pounder with Cheese.


wrote …

Check out Robb Wolf's website for more on Paleo Zone eating. I attended a nutrition cert and it is WELL worth it. I just had my blood work done, and the doc said I had the lowest tryglicerides he has seen in years, and my HDLs and LDLs are off the charts in the excellent range. Definately worth it, especially as we all get older.


wrote …

What's ironic is that I was unaware this video had been posted. I just made that exact same meal (except I have grapes) and brought it upstairs to my computer to see if tomorrow's wod had been posted! hahaha. I certainly am a creature of habit, I guess.

#1, Jeremy:
I try not to eat any grains at all, and I'm successful about 95% of the time. As far as dairy, I don't drink milk or eat cheese. However, I do put half & half or heavy whipping cream in my coffee. Some people have experienced some great results with the post-wod feeding you are talking about. I personally have not played around with that yet.

#2, Zachary:
1 block of deli turkey is 1.5 oz

#4, Chris:
The scale says "Chefmate" on it. I bought it at Target. I love it.

#6. Henry:
That kicks ass dude! Keep up the solid work. Tweaking your diet is one of the best things you can do for not only your performance, but overall health.

As I type this it is 10:30pm East Coast time, and the wod is still not posted. Damn it!!! Sorry....bit of a tangent there. I'm glad everyone is enjoying the vids. I'm planning on filming my cheat day this week. I will be sure to make it a good one. That should get some discussion going!

Have a great night everyone.


wrote …

I am glad to see the nutrtion video's. It was a year into crossfit before I got my 1st cert so it was nice to be able to learn the movements from all the great videos and literature. As the regional qualifiers approach I have been cracking down with my diet and your videos here are helpful just the same. Thank you I am very greatful.


wrote …

Pat, I love this vid series. I'm well acquainted with the Zone and different ways to play around with it, but it's still fascinating to see such a personal video diary of somebody's nutrition.

I'm also on board with your super-simple zone meals. My weekly shopping list is maybe 12 items long. Eggs, an apple and some almond butter is one of my daily favorites.


wrote …

I didn't know that fat could be subbed for carbs.

Does anyone have a link explaining how this works?


wrote …

Pat and Henry Williams,

If there are more specific references I would love to check them out. I ask this because in my copy of Mastering the Zone deli-style turkey breast is 1 oz., and the block chart in CFJ 21 says the same.


wrote …

This is a link to "42 ways to skin the zone". Also check out the discussions on many of the posts on Robb Wolf's website.


wrote …

Beautiful. Food is fuel. Early on when I first found the CrossFit HQ site and started researching what it was all about, I loved that so many people viewed food as a fuel source. Whenever I try to explain my views on this subject, people just look at me with their heads cocked sideways like my German Shepard does.....

So I guess you just roll the almond butter and mayonnaise into a turkey roll. Simple, yet effective. "Cuisine by Spartan".


wrote …

Hey pat,

I think the zone chronicles are great, but there is one problem I noticed... If you are subbing out carbs for extra fat, over time you will deplete Liver Glycogen stores...this is vital for your bodies ability to utilize energy, and can lead to Ketoacidosis (big word for your body shutting down due to lack of energy). I noticed you "cheat" which is actually a very good thing because the extra carbs will be stored and you won't chronically blow out your pancreas, while maintaining glycogen stored...unlike 90% of the people i saw at costco today, who just really enjoy buying 10lbs of captain crunch. Great stuff!




wrote …

I guess I should be waiting until the cheat day vid, but... do you plan your cheat day to coincide with your workout schedule? Eg on a rest day?? or perhaps the day before a rest day (due to that post-cheat-day-hangover-feeling)??

I couldn't find this info on the message board, but what do people think about the Zone and Rip's Gallon of Milk a Day? I do paleo diet....but love milk. I couldn't stomach anywhere near a gallon, or even a litre, but I feel like 750 mL would mess up the schedule if I ever decided to start zoning.

Good video series....thats an easy lunch to pack!


wrote …


I picked up Sears' What to Eat in the Zone (there are a tone of other references in print) and downloaded a zone block guide from the Zone diet webpage


wrote …

Are you specifically getting fat-free turkey? Regular deli turkey typically has as much fat as normal turkey, if not more.

1 cup 2% milk = 1 block protein, 1 block carbohydrate, and 2 blocks fat = 1 food block
(If you drink skim, remember to add an extra block fat because there's none in the protein.)
1 gallon would be 16 blocks- about an entire day's worth of food. 750 ml would be 3 blocks, 3/4 a meal. I find it easier to measure a cup of milk for a snack than to measure and cook 1 oz of meat.


wrote …

Pa, thats a great Vid bro..........

Thanks for really shown that a great athlete like urself doesnt survive on fridays food alone.......
Well, put together, and very informative that should gives folks some very realistic ideas at how to attack the diet conundrum, which seems to plague the entire planet......This went up last night and already has tons of comments becuase u obviously did, and continue to answer questions people wanna know.

However, and I could b talkn out my ass here cause I don't have alot of backround knowledge on ya, I still believe that an athlete who ive been informed performs at such a high level as u do, and does so on eating processed deli meats, fruits, and Mayo, could even better already great performances by trying a couple different things. Again, u may have already done the stuff I talk about, and I could b way off base, but when a cool athlete presents himself, I would always like to experiment on them to see if something holds water, or is realitivly of ill worth.
again Pat great work.........jb


wrote …


Great video series. I don't know if I'm getting ahead of the "chronicles" but what does your usual "at home" breakfast look like?


Tracy Coughlin wrote …


Wow, it is amazing that you survive on that little amount of food. Can you explain why you 1/2 the carbs and add extra fat?? Also - what do you drink throughout the day? I look forward to your cheat day - it will probably look like one of my Zone days.


replied to comment from Zachary Miller

1 block of Turkey = 1.5 oz (cause it has a bit higher water content)


wrote …

Hi Pat, I love this series.

What I'd really like more of an explanation of is how you figure how many blocks to eat.

4 blocks of Turkey = ok, that's a canonical Zone diet foundation for a meal.

2 blocks of Strawberries = why do you half the carbs?

4 blocks of Mayo = that's canonical

4 MORE blocks of Mayo = "a replacement for the lack of fat in the Turkey" but I haven't seen that mentioned as something one does in the books. How'd you come up with this?

6 (am I right or is it 3, either way) MORE blocks of peanut butter = why add this extra fat? (it also has protein and carbs too, in a 2/3 ratio, so I guess that cancels out?). Do you add the extra fat because athletes should eat extra fat?


wrote …


You sub the extra fat in for half the zone alloted carbs...



wrote …

I trust you were eating the nitrate free no preservative low sodium deli turkey (Natural Choice is a good brand). My point is that if you are eating that much deli turkey on a daily basis you are filling your cells up with excess salt and all the nitrates and other poisons that is loaded in deli meats. I don't think this is a benign point. Why not just roast a whole small turkey in the oven while you are on the computer in your office and use that meat instead? It's not much harder, and a whole small turkey is much cheaper than the probably $30-$40 you spend on the 5 lbs of deli turkey.


wrote …

#23 Matthew
He eats four blocks of turkey, two blocks of strawberries, cuts out two blocks of carbs and replaces them with six blocks of peanut butter (for every 1 block of carbs taken out, add 3 blocks of fat), then puts four blocks of mayonnaise on the turkey

Again, buy Rob Wolff's "42 ways to skin the zone". on bis website, or just do a search on the forums for replacing carbs with fat. Either way, youll find all the info youll need.


wrote …

Oh, and heres his awesome Canola mayo. Seems like a pretty good paleo mayo to me... no soy bean oil! wfs. Its the one about 3/4 of the way down the page with the pink label


wrote …

Pat tell me if I am wrong, but I am guessing the main reason that you half the carbs is that you don't like all of the insulin that would come from eating 4 blocks of carbs.

The zone is often confused as a low carb diet, but at its best, its a moderate to even a high carb diet. For example, if I was to eat the prescribed amount of carbs on the zone that would be 17blocks times 9 grams of carbs which is 153 grams of carbs, definitely into the moderate range. There are quite a few people out there who even if they eat clean carbs (i.e. no grains, just fruit and veggies) they will still get insulin highs from carbs. I am one of those people. In that case, in Robb's 42 ways to skin the zone he talks about subbing out 3blocks of carbs for one block of fat.

It is still fine to eat all of the carbs that the zone prescribes, if your body can handle it. Obviously Pat has tweaked the zone for his own performance. Crossfit does tend to deplete glycogen stores, and in people that are depleted significantly they may see performance drops. There are ways to combat this, but I won't get into it here. Just read 42 ways to skin the zone.


wrote …

Good morning everyone!

Alright, let's dive into some of these questions that popped up overnight.

11. Clifton, 21. Tracy:

You two inquired about the half CHO deal. Let me explain.

The most important thing to remember is that the normal baseline Zone block prescription is a starting point. Some folks will thrive there and never have to tweak it in any way, shape or form. However, that is often not the case. Everyone's body works generally the same, yet slightly different than everyone else's. Many books and researchers believe that people generally fall into 1 of 4 different categories. 25% of people have a very low insulin response when they injest CHO. These are most likely the people you know that eat nothing but sugary junk all day long and are still lean. 25% a normal insulin response to CHO. Simply put, if these people eat too much CHO, they will get fat, if they don't, they won't get fat. 25% have an elevated insulin respons to CHO. These folks will put on weight even when they over CHO slightly. And the last 25% have an extreme insulin response to CHO. It almost seems like if they look at CHO they get fatter. This can help explain why some folks may need to tweak or play with the zone a bit. Everyone is different.

I started off on the Zone several years ago at 20 blocks, single fat. That is what my calculations told me when I did the formula. I was 5'8" and probably weighed 180-185, with about 10 lbs I needed to lose. That was way too many blocks for me. I think I made the mistake of putting too high of a number in the "activity level" of the block formula. I used a "1.0", I should have used a "0.7".

On 20 blocks of food I went from approx 185lbs to a low of 168lbs. 20 blocks of food is a ton of food, but I was constantly hungry. I was completely ripped (too ripped to be a good performer), and ALWAYS hungry. We were up in Toronto doing a seminar (more than 18 months ago) and at the end of day 1 we all stuffed into a taxi to go out to dinner. I was crammed in next to Nicole Carroll and started griping to her about how damn hungry I was. She asked the normal much do you weigh? many blocks are you on?, etc, etc. When she heard I weighed 168lbs and was on 20 blocks she almost had a heart attack. She told me to immediately go to 15 blocks and triple my fat. I was utterly shocked. I could not believe that upon hearing that I was starving she instructed me to eat 25% fewer blocks each day. Also, at that time I was still learning a lot about the Zone and nutrition in general. I still thought in the back of my mind that if I added more fat to my diet, that I would become fat. So, I delayed changing my diet at all.

About 2 weeks later, still ravenously hungry, I decided to heed Nicole's advice. I went to 15 blocks 3x fat. I felt great. I felt strong and energetic. I was no longer hungry. I eventually played with it and settled on 15 blocks 2x fat. That seemed to work pretty well for me. I stayed there for almost a year.

Then at a seminar in Calgary (someone always seems to tweak my diet when I'm in Canada!!!) I linked up with Robb Wolf. Of course, we chatted about nutrition. At that time I was about 175lbs, and still on 15 blocks. Robb asked when was the last time I played around with my diet. It had been a while, almost a year. He informed me that even the normal zone block prescription can be a bit too much CHO for some folks.

He asked me to try going to 16 blocks a day. However, at each meal I would remove half the CHO blocks and add 3 blocks of fat per CHO block removed. By doing this I would get pretty damn close to the same number of calories per day, but I would just be shifting which macro nutrient I got them from. Let's check it out....

Calories per gram..
1g of PRO= 4 calories
1g of CHO= 4 calories
1g of FAT= 9 calories

Normal 4 block meal....
4 Blocks PRO
4 Blocks CHO
4 Blocks FAT

a block of CHO is 9g. Each g is 4 calories. So a block of CHO has 36 calories. In a 4 block meal that is 144 calories.

a block of FAT is 1.5g. Each g is 9 calories. So a block of FAT has 13.5 calories. In a 4 block meal that is 54 calories.

So in 4 blocks of CHO (144 calories) and 4 blocks of FAT (54 calories) calories, there is a total of 198 calories.

Okay, stay with me......

So now instead of having 4 blocks of CHO at each meal, I'm going to have only 2 blocks of CHO. Now I add 3 blocks of FAT to my meal per 1 block of CHO removed. So, I add 6 blocks of fat. By removing 2 blocks of CHO I removed 72 calories. By adding 6 blocks of fat I added 81 calories. As they say, close enough for goverment work.

Now my normal 4 block meal looks like
4 blocks Pro
2 blocks Cho
10 blocks Fat (the 6 blocks is replacing the CHO, not the 4 blocks of fat you would normally have in a 4 block meal.)

Hopefully that makes sense and did not confuse people even more.

Since switching to that manner of eating I put on 10 lbs of lean body mass. I'm never hungry, and I never bonk on WODS. It is important to emphasize that this is just what works great for ME. This may work great for you as well, or it could be the worst thing you have ever tried. Some folks instantly crash and burn when they go below the standard zone CHO prescription, others thrive. It is a very personal thing. That is why I encourage people to play with their diets.

12. Zachary:
1.5 oz of deli turkey is a block. I believe it is due to the water weight in it. I know that different block charts can say anywhere from 1 to 1.5oz. I'm not sure why that is. Go with the 1.5oz. It will treat you right.

14. Ron:

I just spoon the almond butter into my mouth. I don't put it on my turkey. I'm not sure that would taste very good. But hey, who knows, right? Maybe I should try it. haha

15. David:

I have never experienced any of the symptoms you are talking about. From what I recall, it doe snot take that much CHO to replace those glycogen stores. The body has an amazing ability to replenish glycogen when it needs, even if the body is not consuming adequate CHO. However, I believe that plenty of CHO is available through this diet. And I do agree with you, I believe that having that cheat day each week is not only important for people mentally, but for their body as well.

16. Matt S:

I cheat once a week. The day I cheat on varies. For example, this week I plan on cheating on Wednesday night. Thursday is a rest day, so if my stomach is upset with me all day it won't interfere with my WOD. A nightmare of mine would be to wake up with my stomach doing backflips from all the sugar I ate the night before, check the WOD and see FRAN. I do my best to avoid that situation.

As far as the gallon of milk thing goes, I have no personal experience with it. If that much milk would tear up your insides and have you in the bathroom 8 times a day then I would just increase the number of blocks you are eating.

18. Timothy:

The turkey I eat has like 0.5g of fat per block. Basically non-existent. I think that is pretty common with fresh deli turkey. I don't eat the pre-packaged stuff.

19. Josh:

We've all heard the saying, "Know Thyself", right? I feel that saying applies quite well here, or with nutrition in general. Nutrition is one of those things that we can always make just a bit better in some regard. Some folks will follow the strictest of diet guidelines with relentless discipline, never waivering. Others, when attempting to be super strict will crash and burn and go back to eating crap for a while until they feel bad and go on the super srict wagon again. Of course they will crash and burn again because it is not in their nature to live like that. Those folks would have been better to make moderate changes to their diet and maintain them, instead of trying to live a lifestyle they could not suceed on. And of course there is the vast majority of people who do pretty good with their diets and cheat every now and then.

The important thing is to know yourself. Know what is realistic for your life and for you level of discipline. Everyone is different. I have no doubt you are correct, that I may be able to perform a bit better, or improve my overall nutrition by mixing up what I eat a bit. No doubt. I have tried it, I don't do it. I buy beautiful pieces of salmon, for example, with the best intentions of doing a bit of simple cooking. The fish rots in the fridge and I throw it out. It has taken some time and a lot of wasted money, but I finally know myself.

20. Matt K:
I have not shot a breakfast video in my condo, maybe I should. This morning I have 7 pieces of bacon (delicious) and 2 eggs. For CHO I had a cup of grapes. For fat I had almond butter.

21. Tracy:
What do I drink through out the day? I drink water, tea, usually 1 americano from starbucks, coke. I'm bracing for impact now that I dropped the diet coke bomb. Let me say, as stated before, I'm not perfect. I have my vices, and diet coke is wonderful. Yes, it has aspartame in it. Yes, aspartame is bad for me. (did I mention that it is delicious?) I know it is rotting my brain away as I type this. I would be overall healthier to stop drinking it. But I don't have many other vices at all, so for now it stays. But the vast majority of the day I am drinking water, and lots of it.

23. Matt B.:

Don't count the macro-nutrients in other macro-nutrients when planning out your blocks. (there are only very, very few exceptions to this) For example, most slices of bread have 1 gram of protein in them. However, we only could that slice of bread as 2 blocks of CHO. Just reference the blocks lists and don't try to over think it. That is a classic way to screw up the zone.

You asked about the replacing of the fat in the turkey I spoke about in the video. A block of FAT is 1.5 grams. This is fine unless the protein source you are using is fat free. If you use a pro source that is fat free, like deli turkey or egg beaters or a pro powder, then you need to add an extra block of fat per block of protein. So I ate 4 blocks of deli turkey that had almost no fat in it. I added 4 blocks of fat because my PRO source had zero fat.

This can potentially open a can of worms. You may be thinking, well....what is my PRO source it fatty, then should I cut down my normal fat blocks for that meal. The answer is NO. Just add a block of fat to your meal per blcok of PRO if your source of PRO is fat free.

Alright everyone. Have a good day. I'm off to get a coffee and continue reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. (which kicks ass so far)

Good luck on the CF total today.



wrote …

I agree on the book, and only 200 years of observations, GO FDA! Seriously, nice job on the videos Pat, very helpful.



wrote …

That's awesome Pat, thanks for all the extra writing.


wrote …

Great video series!! Keep them coming.

What's your target body fat % and how regular do you monitor it?


Tracy Coughlin wrote …

Thanks for taking all that time to respond to everyone!! It totally helps! I too love diet coke (with lime), but limit myself to one a day. Now if I could only limit my red wine intake the same way! Keep the advice coming! Thanks!


wrote …

Do you also do half CHO for snacks. For example, if you are doing a 2 block snack, do you do 1 block CHO with 5 blocks fat (2 for meal, 3 to replace 1 block CHO)?


Ryan Powell wrote …

Pat, I'm sure you're busy so I really appreciate you taking the time to answer everyone's question. There is some great information in there!


wrote …

I love this stuff!


wrote …

Pat thank you for the article it really shows integrity, what do think about coming down on the 20 blocks you were on to say 19 protein blocks, 12-13 carb blocks, 2-3x around 50 blocks fat, and put 8 of those carb blocks in the post wod meal, just curiuos what you think of that.


wrote …

Pat - the Zone chronicles rock! Thanks so much for writing such thorough explanations of your block calculations. Your honesty about your cheat days and your vices is also refreshing. We all know that sticking to a strict diet is challenging but manageable by allowing yourself those times to eat whatever you want. Keep sharing!


wrote …

Thanks so much for the video and the follow up explanations. I have read all that stuff before but it really clicked when seeing the video and reading your explanation.
Walter Sobchak


wrote …

Hey Everyone!

#25, Julie:
Honestly, I love your idea about cooking a whole turkey not only to cut down on $$, but on sodium as well. I'm a lazy chef, but I will give that a try and let you know how it works, or if I stick with it. I'm always open to new ideas that make things better and are still easy to accomplish. Thanks!

#28, Nick:
I'm assuming that my long post from earlier answered your question. If not, let me know.

#32, Craig:
I have no idea what my body fat percentage is, and I never monitor it. I don't really have a target BF percentage either. I base things off of performance. I tweak my diet to achieve maximum performance. A nice side effect of chasing function, is that form will follow. However, the opposite is not true, you can chase form (ie, looking ripped in a bathing suit) and have no function (ie, your work capacity sucks, you are all show and no go). Also, bear in mind that most people will perform their best at a slightly high BF percentage than they would like to see in the mirror.

#34, Jared:
I never really eat snacks. I just do 4 4-block meals each day. However, if I did eat a snack, then yes, I would probably do just what you described.

#37, Jeremy:
I can't really give you an honest answer to that one. I have yet to play around with the post high-intensity wod carb loading. That is not to say there is not some real benefit in it, I just have not tried it yet. I know a couple people that have had success with it. I would experiment with it if I were you. I have not done it yet because I always seem to be bolting out the door at the last minute to workout, hence no food prep possible for after a wod. Or, I get stuck at the gym talking with friends, miss the window to load, then go home and have my normal meal.

Hope that helps!
Keep the discussion flowing. The info being exchanged on here between everyone is awesome.


wrote …

IKES...what a way to live


wrote …

Re #32 - thanks Pat. I've noticed that since starting crossfit and zoning for about a month my body fat (my scale just displays it) has moved up and I think my performance has improved too.

Really appreciate you taking the time to answer back!


wrote …

Another protein option - chicken breast on Saturday or Sunday and cook enough for the week (flavor them differently for different tastes). Sunflower Market has it $2/lb fairly regularly. Stock up and put them in the freezer. That would save quite a bit on the weekly shopping bill.



wrote …


I am zoned for 16 blocks. I started off at 232lbs and in two months I am down to 218. So the shit does work! I am am still looking to lose more weight. Is there anyway to to tweak the block intake to help me lose weight a little quicker?


wrote …

you may want to experiment with tweaking the zone like Pat did (removing carb blocks and replacing with fat blocks) See response #29. Depending on how sensitive your body is to carbohydrate you may see greater weightloss. Although you are losing about 2lbs per week which is a pretty healthy rate.
Walter Sobchak


wrote …

Hey Pat,
Looks very similar to what I eat daily, and I am obsessive about being exact too. Which brings me to my question. Almond butter also has 3 g carbs and 4 g protein in a one tbsp serving. Do you disregard that? I usually calculate that into my total carb/protein ratio for the blocks I am eating.

Does that matter?


wrote …

Hey Pat, I bet you didn't know you would have to write a dissertation along with your video posts. Awesome info, thanks for the bravery in putting yourself out there.


wrote …


I thought you were joking about your turkey/fruit meal when you gave your nutrition lecture at the Toronto cert back in Oct. but that's cool it works for you. I enjoy that you take the time to respond to everyone's questions, I learn lots from reading all the comments. I have kind of a weird question regarding variety, maybe some other Mil guys and gals can add to this:

I like the fact you are honest with yourself and cheat once a week but it still takes a great amount of discipline to be strict the remainder of the time. Your diet seems very basic and possibly lacking variety, do you ever get sick of the turkey, for example? How often do you mix things up?

I have found eating MRE's/IMP's days on end on exercise or operations to give me a great tolerance to eating the exact same zone meals week after week. Does anyone who has experienced months of same bland tasting rations agree?

# 16 Matt Solomon - I did GOMAD for 5 weeks. I am planning on posting the results on my blog this upcoming rest day. I had a hard time finding some really good personal information on it before I started it. There is some good debate on my blog for the pros and cons of it. Shoot me an email i'll send you the link.


wrote …

Pat.........fantastic response..

Very well spoken.........thanks for lettn me bounce ideas of ya........maybe we can make a vid where u come hang out at PCF for a week and train with chas and I....Ill cook all the food, u can program the wkos, we can film all the wods, just for fun.....jb


wrote …

The comment sections of this series is at least as important and informative (if not more so) as the video. At least for me.

I completely agree on simple food. Most of my success on diet comes from having the food ready and available. And that is so much easier when I don't have to cook "fancy". Though I definitely don't object to fancy and would probably eat fancy if I could get my wife on the zone.

It's been a while since I read the Zone book, but seem to I recall that a block of fat is really 3 grams. However, when planing your blocks you use 1.5 gram blocks, assuming that the other 1.5 is in the protein. So it would make since to double the 1.5 blocks if the protein didn't have any fat.

Which brings me to a question about x2 fat. Assuming your protein has a regular fat load, if you double the 1.5 gram fat block aren't you really at x1.5 fat?

Not trying to quibble to much, I just want to understand.


wrote …

#46 Shannon,
For the regular Zone diet, the macronutrients from a given block of fat,protein, carb are ignored, i.e. forget about the protein and CHO in the almond butter and just count the fat.

Alternatively, you can log all your food each day and shoot for a certain total in each macronutrient. However, this might cause the "block" prescription to be adjusted. This is called the "Obsessive Zone" diet for good reason. Not recommended.


wrote …

How does that saying go? "Monotony is the spice of life?"

The good things about this diet are: Control over macro nutrients, calorie intake, ease of preparation. On the downside is lack of variety, absence of any vegetables, and as Julie mentions, high sodium, and other additives in the deli meat.

I'd be especially concerned about the lack of variety in the long haul. What micro nutrients, phyto nutrients, plant enzymes, etc.. might this diet be missing?


replied to comment from Zachary Miller

deli turkey is 1.5


wrote …


Thanks for spending so much time in your response. I am new to crossfit (and even more new to zoning) and I am getting excellent results thus far. I really appreciate you clarifying everything in the detail you did.

Very informative.


wrote …

Way too confusing for me.

1) Why so much turkey in 4 blocks

2) Do you worry about the sugars in all the fruit?

3) Why so much extra fat?

I just ask this because for the longest time I was eating all my carbs but most suggested I was easting way too much sugar.

I appreciate the vids but you lost me on this one :-) I havent read all the comments.
Too many numbers tossed around.

I want zone simple.


wrote …

Thx Pat for an awesome vid. You killed it like always. Always enjoy and benefit greatly. I also appreciate your follow-ups, your a real class act. Keep up the great work and i am going to start playing with my zone. Whats interesting is that i have these intuitions from time to time and Crossfit always supports them. For instance, i thought that there had to be more to a workout than a 2 hr visit back in the days and Crossfit sure answered that. And this extra fat thing, ive been attempting to give it an honest effort now for a while but have felt hungy and thought that the answer was probably in the fat intake category and Bam you post this Vid. Like you said it not complicated stuff but sometimes with the everyday we can miss those moments. I believe Crossfit has forever changed the way people will look at fitness and nutrition and will be that beacon of light that will help many find there way home to health and better living, God bless Crossfit. Sorry all for going on and on, but this shit is powerful.


wrote …

Hello everyone,
Let's dive in, shall we?

#44, Chris:
I would not want you to lose weight any quicker. Quite frankly, I would have put you on MORE blocks than 16 at 232. If 16 is working for you, then stay the course. But it sounds low.

#46, Shannon:
There are approx 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon. So, there are 6 blocks of almond butter in a tablespoon. Taking into account the numbers you stated that would mean that in 6 blocks of almond butter there is only a 1/3 of a block of CHO and 1/2 a block of PRO. My advise is not to count those other macronutrients at all. Just count that almond butter as fat.

#48 Sean & # 52 Eric (I will lump you guys together for this one)
Do I get sick of eating the same thing? Nope, not really. However, you have to remember that I'm on the road 3 days a week, not eating turkey, strawberries and almond butter. I eat at a ton of different places and a ton of different things when I travel. So that probably helps me not get bored with my simple "at home" diet.

And yes, the Zone does take discipline, no doubt about that. However, it's all up to you. No one says you need to do it 100% of the time if that will cause you to pull your hair out and not enjoy your life. Plenty of people do an 80/20 kind of thing with great results. During the work week when most people are being responsible adults some folks weigh and measure and keep themselves pretty strict. On friday they let their hair down and go enjoy their life with their friends. They have their wine and cheese cake and smile and relax. They have a lax day on saturday and sunday morning as well. Beginning with lunch or dinner on sunday they start to tighten things up again to hit it hard for the week. That is a great way to maintain your fitness and your sanity. You will get 75% or 80% of the benefit that way. Play with it. Find what works for you.

The lack of veggies, a bit too much sodium, additives in the meat, micronutrients, phyto nutrients, plant enzymes, etc, etc may be missing in my "at home" diet...... My answer is, "yup". What I eat at home could no doubt be better. But I will tell you could be waaaaaay worse. I actually don't know ANYONE that gets 100% of all the items you mentioned. Seriously, I'm not trying to be funny. I know a lot of healthy people and NONE of them have every single solitary nutritional base covered all the time. Nutrition is one of those things that can always be improved upon. There is always another level to take it to or an area that can be buffed up a bit. I'm certainly not argueing with you that some variety at home would do nothing but benefit me. However, all I'm saying is I truly don't think it is as big of a deal as some may think. Truth be told, most people only eat about a half dozen different meals over and over and over again.

Again, Eric, you are 100% correct, some veggies on my plate would do me good. However, even if I identified the few different veggies that I enjoyed the taste of and were easy to prepare I'm sure there would still be micronutrients, phyto nutrients, plant enzymes, etc that I was missing. It's a life long process I guess of constantly trying to make it better and better.

#50, Kaleb:
A block of fat is 1.5g.
2x fat would be doubling the 1.5 to 3g. (if you are reading labels)
If you are using the zone block prescriptions, just double the block prescriptions. Example; chart says 3 peanuts is a block of fat, so on 2x fat just have 6 peanuts. So on and so for.
I had the exact same question a couple of years ago.

#55, Noah:
I highly recommend you read "Enter the Zone". It will answer all the questions you have and get you on the right path. It's an easy read and you will learn a ton from it.
Quick answers are....
-the amount of PRO (turkey for example) will be different of each athlete. It depends on their lean body mass and activity level.
-I don't worry about the sugar in the fruit, nor would I worry about the sugar in a radish or a piece of toast or a snickers bar. What I am concerned with is eating only the amount of sugar that my body needs and being aware of not spiking my insulin levels.
-Why so much fat? Because fat represents all that is wonderful and joyous on the planet. Fat rocks! It is one of our prime energy sources and keeps us feeling satisfied after a meal. You can train your body to become a fat burning machine through the Zone.

Alright everyone. I hope that helps clear some stuff up. I'm truly glad that these videos have prompted some great discussions. I have read a bunch of comments just going back and forth between several people on here.....exchanging info, making recommendations, helping each other out, etc, etc. That is bad ass! This is what the CF community is all about.

Hope the CF total went well for everyone.


wrote …

Oh dudes, and bettys, I wanted to share that if you are trying to keep track of your diet, if you have the IPhone, download the "Loose It" application. Its an easy way to keep track of your calories, proteins, carbs, and makes it super simple!


replied to comment from Brandon Ecker

I hope that's "Lose It", not "Loose It"...


wrote …

Pat, thanks again for all the help!!! Had another question about fat:

I've read Enter the Zone, and tons of Robb Wolf's posts on his blog. Just trying to piece together some of the reasoning you used.

I understand that a block of fat = 1.5g
but that is assuming you got 1.5g of fat from your the protein.

In your video, you had a lean meat, so you needed 3g per block (as opposed to 1.5g if you had a fatty meat like pork) when measuring the mayo, so 12g total for the meal.

Additionally, you took out 2 blocks of CHO, which you then had to supplement with 6 blocks of fat (3 blocks fat/1 block CHO subbed). So when you are subbing these 6 blocks of fat, is it 1.5g of fat/block or is it 3g of fat/block? You are not getting any fat from meat, so I would suppose that it should be 3g of fat/block, totally 18g for this substitution. As opposed to the 9g from the almond butter you used.

Also, you had said in your responses to comments that you were on 2x fat in the past. Are you still on 2x fat while subbing out CHO? If so, how do you implement that? I did not hear anything about that in the video.


wrote …

I read that it is typically not good to mix fruit with your meal because of the way your stomach digests them... something about your stomach pre-releasing its contents into the small intestines before the food has had adequate time to break down in the stomach. have you heard anything like this?

so do you just eat the almond butter with a spoon and dip your turkey in the mayo. seems kind of strange but whatever works I guess...


replied to comment from David Cohodes

We need to have a sit-dawn and talk about the SIGNIFICANT differences between Ketosis and ketoacidosis. Here is a link from Dr. eades to get you going:

Outstanding work! Keep it up brother!


replied to comment from David Cohodes

We need to have a sit-dawn and talk about the SIGNIFICANT differences between Ketosis and ketoacidosis. Here is a link from Dr. eades to get you going:

Outstanding work! Keep it up brother!


wrote …

Not sure how I screwed all that up.


wrote …

This is for Pat or Rob: How much do you think that all the science in Dr. Sears' books is valid vs. that he just got lucky and hit the right percentages? Granted, it's sort of a black box model where we don't need to know why it works and just that it does, but I'm concerned about how much we should trust the rest of his talk about arachadonic acid, fish oil, etc.. I mean if he's right, shouldn't we all be consuming pharmaceutical quality fish-oil in huge amounts to make us super athletes and stop eating egg yolks? Or if he's wrong, how come we keep giving him so much credit for something as simple as macro-nutrient percentages and leave all the crossfitters out there wondering about where his validity leaves off and where crossfit's adding fat and cutting carbs takes up?


wrote …

Nice video, but wait... you have a shoppe where you can grind your own almond butter? What is this magical place?

Buy the whole chicken, Pat... it's worth it. Plus, dark meat and chicken skin is soooooooo much more delicious than deli turkey.

The cowboys at my local Farmer's Market thought I worked for a Community Center with all the meat I buy. Hah! It's nice to know that I'm not the only meat freak out there.


wrote …

Pat, that makes me want to leave a home cooked meal on your doorstep... Put a whole chicken in a pot of cold water and bring to boil for 10 min. Turn off the heat and leave it with the lid on for 1 hour. Delicious moist chicken, without all the salt and garbage - it's a snap ;)


Paula Jager wrote …


I'm with Jeanette and Deanne; lose the processed deli meat. A juicy chicken thigh and skin will rock your world. Take a whole bird, bake for 1 1/2 hours at 375, good for at least 2 or 3 meals. Roast 2 or 3 at a time for that matter.

Radically changed my diet last Aug. from 55% carbs, 30% protein, 15% fat to 35% protein, 40% fat and 25% carbs. AMAZING!!! Energy off the chart, stable moods (that's a first EVER), happy, not hungry, satisfied and never bonk in CF workouts, actually kicking glute. Organic butter, raw cream and red meat work for me. And that's from an egg white and oatmeal girl for 15 years! Never knew life could be so good.

49, 5'3", lean 116 Want to switch to blocks; am very active, good amount of muscle, never had a weight problem and excess carbs affect my mental well being. Eat around 2500 cals a day. 14 blocks? How many times fat?

Love your Chronicles, your feedback comments and your lecture at the Miami CF cert!


wrote …

Hey crossfit community!! I have a question about fish oil, and figured this would be as good a place as any to ask. I've read about fish oil and all its health benifits. But I want to know specically how it helps improves athletic performance. I have also heard bad things about takin to much. Can anybody help to clarify this for me or to send me in the right direction?


wrote …


First of all, you guys all rock. I love the comments and ideas that are flowing around. Okay, let's address some of this stuff........

#60, Jared:
Scroll up and read my post, #57. Then read my answer to Kaleb's question. I think it will answer your question.

When I'm home I'm on single fat. When I travel I load up on fat. This balancing act works for me. Overall I'm probably on about 3x fat.

#61, Nicholas:
I have heard the "mixing fruit with a meal" thing before in casual conversation. I have not read any factual scientific evidence that it is true. That's not to say it's not true, simply that I have not been exposed to it yet. Do you have any good links to research in that area? I'd love to read up on it.

Does anyone else have good references that either support or deny this theory?

#65, Jeff:
First of all, I LOVE your question/statement. I'm a skeptic/critic at heart, so I completely hear where you are coming from.

Do I think that Dr Sears just got lucky and hit the right macro percentages or do I think it was great science? Honestly, I'm sure it was a mixture of both. I'm not a scientist, but everything I read leads me to believe that a lot of scientific research and experiment is just that...."experiment". They play with the inputs and control groups, make educated guesses based on the available "facts" and see what happens, note it, and try again.

As far as the fish oil goes....hell yeah. I think you should start taking some immediately unless you consume enough fish each week that supplies those oils. I have yet to read anything credible that goes against taking fish oil. There seems to be overwhelming agreement on that point. (which is impressive given that fact that different doctors/scientists/researchers/ etc tend to frequently disagree on most topics)

I believe he does deserve a ton of credit for coming up with, as you put it "something as simple as macro nutrient percentages". Geting your macro nutrients in line is the most important thing you can do. The benefits from accomplishing just that step, not even addressing food quality, can yeild amazing health benefits. Once we get those macros in order, now we are in a great position to further improve the person's diet and health through the 300 other things we can tweak.

Adding addition fat is covered in "Mastering the Zone".

As far as cutting CHO goes, as stated in one of my previous posted Dr. Sears states that the baseline zone prescription is a starting point. Individuals may need to play with it a bit. This is mentioned in his book as well.

Let me state for the record that people get crazy fanatical about nutrition in general, especially if you believe in a certain manner of eating. Hadcore "Zoners" can't stand the loose standards of Paleo people not weighing and measuring what they consume. Paleo followers watch a Zoner eat a slice of bread and want to stone him to death. If you are a Zone diet follower and you ahve not read The Paleo Diet, I recommend you do so immediately. If you are a Paleo person and have not read Enter the Zone, I think you should do so immediately. There is great info out there from a wide variety of sources and schools of thought. Then read Protein Power LifePlan, then read Good Calories, Bad Calories. Then move on to the next book. The only thing that is certain in nutrition is that no one seems to agree on much. That is why we tend to embrace ways of eating that we see real world results and health benefits from. Hence our embracing of the Zone and Paleo styles.

#68, Paula:
If you are already lean then I may start you on 11 blocks and 2x or 3x fat. See how that treats you for a while. Do you maintain weight? Lose weight? Gain weight? Based on what happened we would tweak it from there.

In closing I would like to state that if I could think of what heaven or utopia might be like, then I would guess it is close to what is happening with these comments............women offering to bring delicious food to my doorstep. My life is now complete!!!!

Thanks for all the input and questions everyone!! I'm about to go hit this 30 min AMRAP, should be fun.

Robb Wolf!!! Great to hear from you, bro!! I know I need to make it out to Chico. Thanks dude for sparking my interest in Nutrition.

Talk to you later everyone,


wrote …

ACKKK! The video I want to see most(this one), won't open up. My new apple computer is not allowing me to open this file under quicktime(I tried windows also). Any quick remedy for this??



Russell Benedetto wrote …

Pat love all the videos they have been an amazing help to me, in addition thanks to all the questions asked of you, and your answers I am gaining more and more understanding of the zone. My 4 week anniversary on a strict zone is the 14th.... Thanks again


wrote …

Lots of great info on here. I couldn't agree more with Pat. There are so many opinions and theories on what is the ideal diet. I've come to realize that no one really knows exactly what they're talking about. I think you just have experiment and do what makes you feel good. I also think that there is a big difference between eating for health and eating for athletic performance and that's where a lot of differing opinions come in.


Try downloading Flip4Mac. It might work.


wrote …

Quick question, I'm a pretty strict zoner especially on training days. I have been doing the zone since mid January. I find that I am consistently hungry despite the fact that i regularly eat 5 5 block meals a day in most cases i have a few spoon fulls of peanut butter and im good. I also find that trying to eat 5 blocks of good carbs is a little to much fiber if you know what i mean so i have shifted to about 50/50 good and "bad" whole grain stuff. Also I've been experiencing some weight loss despite having increased my carb intake over the past few months. My sleep is good generally 7-9 hours a night and i train the conventional 3 on 1 off. Anyone have any good advice for my diet as i don't want to loose weight. my age is 21 I'm 6'0" and about 172lbs give or take.


wrote …

Jonathan Bailey, I'm no zone expert, but read comment 29 by Pat Sherwood. Sounds very similar to the problem he had when he started zoning....


wrote …

Good evening Everyone!

#75, Jonathan,

You are obviously quite lean if you are 6' and 172 lbs. Frankly, 25 blocks a day seems like way too much food. I will recommend to you what Nicole recommended to me when I was at 20 blocks and starving....less blocks and more fat. It's a tough call without seeing you in person, but try going to 18 blocks of food and anywhere from 3x to 5x fat. I think you will be much happier there. You may have to do some experimenting to find out where you perform the best, but that should get you close and help with the hunger you have and the trouble eating all 25 blocks.

#69, Joshua,
Only the omega-3 and omega-6 fats can be transformed into eicosanoids. Some scientists think eicosanoids are the most biologically active substances in our bodies. They are involved in more metabolic processes than I would ever want to type out. If you are unfamiliar with them, then google it. It's fascinating and cool stuff.

Most Americans diet have way too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 to keep our internal balance where it should be. Too much omega-6 in the body can lead down the road to all sorts of metabolic derrangements that we would rather avoid.

As far as helping out your athletic performance, once you research the amazingly long list of metabolic processes that will benefit from ensuring your omega-6 and omega-3 levels are where they need to be it will be quite apparent how it will benefit you in many ways.

Alright.....the ice cream has been's going to be a cheat night. I'm going to burn it down!

Have a great night everyone, enjoy the rest day tomorrow.


wrote …

Hi Pat,
What research have you seen about the importance of fish oil quality. The only thing I was able to find was in the OmegaRx Zone. However, being a skeptic, I can't help but distrust Dr. Sears' recommendations to buy his expensive Zone brand fish oil. What kind do you use and do you take any of this into consideration?

I find all this nutrition stuff both fascinating and frustrating as hell. I'm working my way through Good Calories, Bad Calories right now, but I'll get on some Paleo diet reading after that, but it seems the more I research diet the less I can claim to know. Some days it would be nice to go back to the good old days where bananas and breakfast cereals reigned supreme. Well, not really, but ignorance was a sort of bliss...

Also, just to reiterate the fact that everyone reacts differently to diets, here's my zone story. I'm 5'11", 22 years old and 170lbs. I started at 19 blocks then cut back to 16 with double fat at the recommendation of a crossfit trainer. I was pretty much constantly losing weight at a slow pace following the switch (not my goal). I lost about 5-7lbs within the first week or so, I'm guessing this has something to do with excretion of excess water needed to process carbs, but I'm not really sure. My weight went from 177 to 172 or so in the first week then slowed for the next month or two. I was slowly adding fat until I got down to about 167 and got fed up with losing weight so I jacked my fat blocks up to 4-5x and things seem to have settle out at about 170. I'm still messing with maybe cutting some carb blocks to see what happens, but I already eat a lot of fat so I'm a little hesitant. Pretty soon I'll just be taking shots of olive oil with my deli turkey (which I agree is awesome) at meals.


wrote …

I've been doing the WODs now for about 6 months and really enjoy the site and all the great info within it, especially the nutrition info. I haven't read any of the zone books, and all the info on the diet I get is from the site. All that being said, how dificult/practical would it be, a father of 5 to start on this diet without making a zone dinner for me and my wife and a dinner for the kids.


replied to comment from David Cohodes

David - re: Ketosis

Actually Pat wont go into a state of ketosis. In order to do that he would have to have way less carbs. Not only that - we didn't talk about what Pat drinks. His diet cokes and coffee will keep him out of that state for sue (I know Pat..we all have our vices :)

I have done the ketogenic diet for a few weeks - for fun - and had good results and some awesome workouts following cheat days - but just don't think its ideal.

To test my theory - try Pat's version of the diet, go to a local pharmacy and just piss on some ketone sticks and it will show you how many ketones you have in your body.

More of a concern is eating the same thing. When you constantly eat the same type of food - like turkey or eggs - everyday - your body will become immune to it and will start to attack it. I have seen this time and again with food sensitivity tests going through the roof - from acne to skin disorders to all kinds of things. Eating high protein from a variety of food sources is always best.

Just my thoughts.


Frank Beauvais wrote …

Pat- Thanks for all the advice. I just started the zone on Monday and the first day sucked BALLS! I was constantly hungry after 2 1/2 hours. I have a lean body mass of 140# with ~8% body fat for a 5'7" frame. I alotted 16 blocks on monday with 2x the fat. Energy wise, I felt great, just hungry as hell. I figured my activity level @ .8. For the last 2 days, I've done a 20 block day with 2x the fat and felt a ton better. Yesterday was the best with only starting to get hungry after 3 hours from a 4 block meal. Do you think that my blocks are too high, or that my fat isn't high enough. I'm not overly anal about the exact measurements. I don't have the time, or energy, especially when I'm chasing a toddler around. I just use some rough measurements and call it good. Thanks,


wrote …

Good morning everyone!

Am I the only one who is tired as hell from the last 3 days? I'm not going to do ANYTHING at all today. 100% rest.

Let's see if we can't shed some light on some more of these questions.....

#78, Jeff:
Great question about fish oil quality. Also, I can't blame you for being skeptical when someone tells you that you need to take a certain supplement and then says....oh, by the way, I happen to sell just what you need.

You want to ensure the supplement you take is free of mercury and PCBs. It should state that on the label. I think Protein Power LifePlan has one of the best summaries of fish oil and which ones to take. I will paraphrase the important points below.....

Best choice is cod-liver oil. They highly recommend the brand "Carlson's Cod Liver-oil". Once you open it store it in the fridge and disgard it after 2 or 3 weeks.

There are fish oil capsules. Here is the potential bad news about the capsules. Researchers supossedly pulled bottles of fish oil capsules off the shelves in health food stores and checked them for rancidity. They found that in almost 5% of the cases some of the capsules in a given bottle were rancid. Now does that mean 2 capsules or 70 capsules in the bottle were rancid? I don't know. The bad news is that when fish oil becomes rancid is becomes a harmful fat. That sucks.

They recommend only buying fish oil that comes in glass bottles. Plastic is permeable to air, and air is death to fish oil. They also recommend every 2 or 3 days chew a capsule to ensure the batch has not gone bad. (gross, right?) If the capsules are fresh they will taste slightly fishy. If they have gone will know.

You can also get the fish oil from sardines. Get the ones packed in sardine oil. The next best choice are those packed in olive oil or spring water. Avoid the ones packed in soybean oil or cottonseed oil because they have a fair amount of omega-6 fats in them.

I currently have a bottle of fish oil in my fridge. It's plastic. I bought it before I learned the info I just stated. The bottle is almost gone. When it's time to buy more I will be buying the cod liver-oil.

#79, Michael:
I have no doubt you are probably one of the busiest human being on the planet between being a father of 5, your job, and doing CF. I would say you could attack it from a couple of different angles. Perhaps so it does not seem like an overwhelming obstacle, start small. If you eat 4 meals a day, start off by making just 1 of them Zone. Once that has become a normal part of your day that you don't even notice, then attack the next meal. Let it take as long as necessary, don't be in a rush.

I could not tell from your question if you were trying to make your meals during the day Zone, then have a "regular" meal with the family at night. Is that correct? If you want to improve the nutritional quality of the big meal with the family, you may want to attack that from a Paleo angle. Don't sweat portion size, just emphasize quality.

By the way, I strong recommend anyone on the Zone try to make their meals as "paleo" as possible by eating real, fresh foods. Try to avoid the low quality, processed, refined food choices to the best of your ability.

#81, Frank:
You are obviously a very lean dude at 5'7" and 140#. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say you have a hard time putting on weight? For your size, yeah, I think 20 blocks is too high. 16 blocks is probably where you need to be, but you are going to need a ton of fat. I would not recommend you do anything less than 3x fat. See how that treats you. I do not want you to lean out at all. Go as high as 5x fat if you need to. If that does not do the trick, then bump up to 18 blocks. I don't think that will be necessary though.

I hear you on it being quite a shock to the system when you first start. Most people go through a tough couple of weeks. Hang in there!

Alright everyone, I take off tomorrow to head to NJ for a seminar this weekend. So I may not be able to respond as quickly to questions over the next few days. As soon as I get the opportunity though, I will answer everything that pops up to the best of my ability.

Have a great day!


wrote …

Made a typo on my previous post.................

some fish oil capsules were found to be rancid in "50%" of the bottles, not "5%".

Sorry about that.......big difference.



wrote …


Thanks for the response.

I have read Enter the Zone, Week in The Zone, all the zone books.

For 4 months I ate Turkey Deli, Apples, Cheese & Cashews and it seemed suddenly stubborn fat loss/leaning out stopped while energy and CF intensity remained the same.

I posted the question in the forum and some suggested it was all the sugar from the apples.

I've since switched to mixing up my protein with salmon, cottage cheese etc and that seems to be helping.

I said "Why so much fat" because I just got confused at your counting of all the fat. I'm ALL for extra fat.

Thanks again for the response and please keep the vids coming! Your on-the-road vides have helped me tremendously when traveling.



wrote …

Pat......Awesome videos ! Keep them coming.....Thanks


wrote …

#80 Phil,

Interesting comment. What type of Keto diet did you follow and could you provide any links or starting points for me? I'm a new Crossfitter and I have been Zoning/Paleo for about three months now but haven't dropped much BF% or the beer gut from my college days. I'm interested in a Keto diet for a couple months before the summer (yes -- I said it, I want to look good but also keep my Crossfit performance up since I'm so new) and then switching back to standard Zone/Paleo. Any links, tips or places to start?


Great video. Frankly, I do the same on a lot of days. Nothing like plain turkey breast! I also like how you don't obsessively check your BF% and stuff like that but rather focus on performance and how your body feels. Very important to me. I purchased some of your Canola Mayo -- for others, you can purchase it at Whole Foods.

Pat, questions. 1) What do you consume Post-Workout? Anything in particular? And does it change depending on a strength or metcon? Just wondering..and 2) Do you use any other supps? When you leaned out a while back (you said you were "ripped") -- did you lose significant muscle mass? You seem like a big guy and I was just wondering.

Anyways great vid and hope you enjoyed the ice cream! Wooo!



replied to comment from Zachary Miller

The extra water in the deli style turket allows for 1.5 oz of meat.


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

Bro, that's too much shit to read. I'm taking my cho in the form of rum with my diet coke and turkey keilbasa for a combo fat/ pro.


wrote …

Good evening everyone,

Hope the rest day is treating everyone well.

#86, Thomas:
I do not do any special post-wod nutrition of any kind. Someone asked about this earlier. Read my post #40. (my response to Jeremy)

I have not used any supplements or vitamins (other than fish oil) for the past couple of years. However, in keeping with my own recommendation that I always give to others, which is to experiment and see how they feel, I'm about to start taking some. There is a very short list of supplements that is recommended (depending upon what you feel you are already getting from your diet) that I just read about in Protein Power Lifeplan. I'm going to take them for at least 6 months and see if I notice any difference in how I feel, sleep, perform, etc, etc. I don't feel comfortable recommending things to other people if I have not tried them myself. The list includes vitamins E, C, Aplha Lipioc Acid, Co-Q 10, and magnesium. Hopefully I will be able to keep you guys posted on my results.

With regard to your question about whether I lost significant muscle mass back when I was on the wrong zone prescription and "ripped", I don't think so. I had about 10 lbs of fat that went away. I don't think I lost any muscle. I'm not a big dude, and never have been. I'm a card carrying member of the "medium dude" club. Since tweaking my diet I went from 5'8" 173 lbs to about 185 lbs. I'm not as lean as I was when I was 173, and that is a good thing. I was too lean. The vast majority of weight I put on was lean muscle mass. For most folks, being "ripped" is a sign they are too lean.

Have a great night everyone. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the wod tomorrow!


wrote …

#88, Brian Stokes.....

What's up, bro? How's life? How are the wods going? Long time, no see. I hope all is going well for you!

Let me know when you are going to consume those macronutrients and I will head over to your place! hahaha


wrote …

If anyone is having any questions about post workout nutrition I suggest you read through Robb Wolf's blog posts, namely the "Feeding the Machine" series ( "42 Ways to Skim the Zone" ( It's $2.50, and there is some great info on there for anyone who is feeling like they should be getting something more out of the Zone.


wrote …


Thank you for sharing your dietary secrets with the CF Community. I read your past post in the comments that said what you eat is good, not perfect, but it could be much worse. I completely agree.

My knowledge regarding nutrition is not as complete as that of Robb Wolf and Professor Cordain, but I do feel my observations are valid.

1) Canola oil
In your video, you said canola mayonnaise is "really good stuff." I don't think you were talking about the taste of the product, as much as the nutritional profile. I agree with about 90% Professor Cordain's The Paleo Diet, but I disagree on his idea that canola oil is healthy due to its omega 3:6 balance. The canola oil we are exposed to in the U.S. goes through a deodorization process that removes all of the omega 3 content from canola

2) Saturated fat
You mentioned that the canola mayonnaise has barely any saturated fat which suggests that saturated fat is the bad guy. I thought animal protein, such as fish, chicken, and beef were full of saturated fat, and that we, as CrossFitters say, "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds..." So why should we fear tasty, muscle building saturated fat? And although saturated fat was once thought to be an unhealthy fat, much of the recent research in nutrition suggests that it is trans-fat, rather than saturated fat that is the real artery clogger. In fact, many people, e.g. Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Sally Fallon of Westin Price, extol the virtues of saturated fat.

So I feel your fear of saturated fat, and your desire to consume canola oil mayo are unwarranted. In fact, it may be the case that the canola mayo you eat is full of trans-fat.

While I do not fully agree with everything that Cordain, Wolf, Sisson, and Fallon suggest, I do think each of them have made important contributions to nutrition-related research. And, I think it's important to not limit oneself to a single source of information.

Thank you for encouraging discussion.


wrote …

It's 1:44am and I can't sleep....just one of those night I guess.

#92, Ben:

I can see how what I said may lead you to believe I fear saturated fat. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm totally on board with everything you said. Sorry about the confusion. Bring on the eggs and bacon!

The Canola Mayonnaise I consume has Zero Trans fat. It totally rocks. You should check it out. The brand name is "Spectrum Naturals". If all of the omega-3 got removed in some process then they must have put it back in or something. It states that each serving has 1040mg of Omega-3. Pretty sweet, huh?

I hope those S.O.B.'s that wrote on the label aren't lying to me! haha

Alright, I'm going to try and get some sleep.


wrote …

Pat...thanks for all of the great video's and all of the question answering...I think you are going to have to break down and just do a full "day in the life of Sherwood" video for both your home weighing and measuring days and your cheat days...cause everyone is eating it up! Keep up the great work! Cheers-Tami


wrote …

This thread is awesome, the CF message board "Nutrition" section should just link here, haha.


wrote …

Hey, I apologize for asking a very basic question, but being inspired by this thread and being excited to get started, I quickly read The Zone (although admittedly, it was rushed) and I'm trying to put a few things together.

My basic assumption was that at the end of the day, you want 40% of your CALORIES coming from CHO, 30% PRO, 30% Fat.

But when I read Pat's great explanation of moving to 2x-3x fat, he explained the basic balanced 4 block meal as having:

144 calories from CHO (4 x 9g x 4 calories)
112 calories from PRO (4 x 7g x 4 calories)
54 calories from FAT (4 x 1.5g x 9 calories)

which if using calories, is more like a 47%, 36%, 17%.

I know I am missing something.

Please advise and thanks in advance.



wrote …

I am loving the videos. Thanks so much.

I am also reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. A great book but a hell of a long, in-depth read. Another book I just read was "An Apple a Day: The Myths, Misconceptions and Outright Exaggerations About Diet, Nutrition and the Foods We Eat" by Dr. Joe Schwarcz. It is a very easy read and in my opinion he does an excellent job at looking at the literature fairly and deciphering what we can believe and what is still unproven. I think it would be a great book to recommend to a client who is just starting to think about nutrition and worried about all the conflicting viewpoints out there. He makes a great case for adding lots of vegetables to your diet and using spices (like turmeric and cinnamon) in your cooking. Is it the gospel? Maybe not, but it is a good, quick read for someone before tackling the likes of Taubes and the Zone.

My advice for those who are hungry on the zone. Along with upping your fat intake I would also suggest trying to make salads for your carb blocks. I usually try and eat at least 2 salads a day with lots of spinach, kale, brocolli, cucumber, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms etc etc. As you can see from the block charts you can make a HUGE salad for a 4 block meal. For some colour chop up some raw red cabbage, a couple of baby carrots, some strawberries, whatever! Sprinkle on some nuts or olives or slice up some avocado for it and then all you have to do is take care of some meat and you're set. If you're pressed for time hard boiled eggs go great in any salad as well, just boil up a huge batch and put em in the fridge. It's delicious, filling and really pretty easy and quick to make and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who will tell you that it isn't healthy.


wrote …

Pat, thanks again for all your dedication to keeping up with the discussions.

I didn't see any references to vacations / downtime here, but what is your philosophy there? Some people advocate half weeks ever 4-6 and full rest weeks every 12 or so. That is going to be specific to the individual, but I'm more curious how you treat your diet when on vacation etc. If you have longer stretches without zone, how do you find you recover afterwords?

Do you treat your downtime somewhat similar to your traveling approach to eating?



wrote …

Pat i need some advice i zone/paleo no dairy grains, 5 11 187 8-9% bodyfat,
405lb deadlift,165lb press, 325 squat, the metcons kill me example 9min+ fran, helen sub 14min, i am eating 19 blocks protein, 13 carb, 50fat blocs, 500 meter row around 1:40 and i am wasted, not sure where to adjust the food at. any of your knowledge would be greatly appreciated


wrote …

Hey Everyone.

Just got checking into my hotel here in NJ for the cert this weekend. As soon as Chuck Carswell gets here were are heading out for steaks!! Should be delicious. Alright, let's get after these questions....

#96, JB:
I do not recommend counting calories when on the Zone. You will lose you mind. On the basic Zone prescription the assumption is made that for most protein sources there will also be about 1.5g of fat in the meat per block. So, that would be another 54 calories of fat hidden in the meat. However, if you try to think this way it will eventually cause you to mess up the zone. Trust me on this one. Just trust the block charts. Luckily the doctor with the 10 lbs brain did all the miserable number crunching for us and left us with easy to use charts. I do understand where your confusion came from, though. I hope this helps clear it up a bit for you.

#97, Jeff:
Thanks for the book recommendation! I'm always reading something and always looking for the next book to dive into. I will pick that one up.

Anyone else have any good nutrition books they recommend?

#98, Brian:
When you say downtime I think you mean not working out, right? I usually take 3 to 5 days off about every 3 months. Usually, something in life makes this easy...a trip, tough schedule, etc, etc.

During those times of not working out, I still eat zone as often as possible and as close to paleo/zone as possible. (definitely not all the time.)

The longest I have gone with no weighing or measuring a single thing I ate was for about 10 days in the last couple of years. This just happened recently when we traveled out to Australia for 2 seminars. There was a couple days of travel on both ends, and about 5 days on the ground in Oz. I then flew home for 1 day to VA, got on another plane and flew out to Edmonton, Canada for 3 days for another cert. So, actually, it was more like 2 weeks with no weighing/measuring. When that happened I tried to go as close to straight Paleo as possible and do the whole; "meats & vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar" thing. It worked like a champ.

#99, Jeremy:
Honestly, your diet seems pretty damn good. I would be curious to know anything else you could tell many days a week do you CF? how long have you been at it? How is your rest? What are your strengths and weaknesses? etc, etc.

You strength seems good. What kills you on Fran? Thrusters? Pull-ups? Both? Lungs?

I don't think your diet is your problem. Quite honestly, you may not even have a "problem". You may just be rather hard on yourself for where you would like your times to be given how long you have been training. Not sure. It's real tough to diagnose over a typed medium like this. I would much rather have you standing in front of me so we could talk about what you think is going on.

You can shoot me any info you have to

Alright everyone......the steaks are calling my name and I just got a text from Chuck. It's on!

Have a good night,


Chris Walls wrote …

Cue the Indian Jones music...


replied to comment from Robert Wolf


You are absolutely right, I should have wrote Ketosis. (I was just literally studying Diabetes for an exam and ketoacidosis came out). I'm glad you noticed my mix up, and will take you up on that sit down you offered. I would love to learn from you.




wrote …


Great job on the Chronicles...and way to throw down on those cheat days. I could use your advice so I'll get right to it: I'm 5'9 1/2, 170 and am currently eating 17 blocks a day, usually divided into three 5 block meals and two 1 block snacks. I know something has to be adjusted as I'm always hungry, and although I've gotten leaner my performance has suffered. As a starting point, should I double my fat intake and keep my CHO as they are or cut my CHO in half and triple my fat like Robb Wolf had originally suggested to you?


wrote …

Alright, just finished the Level 1 seminar in Montclair, NJ. It was a total blast!

#103, Stephen:
You are 100% correct. It sounds like it is time for you to double your fat. I would try that first before I played around with the CHO modification. If down the road you want to experiment with the half CHO, by all means do so, but play with doubling or tripling the fat on the regular zone first.

Good luck, bro!

I'm exhausted from the cert..............early to bed for me.


wrote …

Amazing cert! This cert for whatever reason was totally insane!! Everyone who participated was kick ass!! Thank you for letting myself and Rhabdo workout in the trainer workout today (even though my back is already feeling the effects of being hit by a train). Look forward to seeing you guys again and i'll make sure that I have some Popeye's waiting for you...

-Bill Shockley


wrote …

Im a Firefighter which means evry 3rd day when im at work i have a dinner that is in no way zone compliant. I try to avoid the obvious Zone destroyers like Garlic bread or Giant Bowl of pasta. Im wondering if i am still allowed to have a cheat day, i mean, i dont want to miss out on the desserts. Ive been trying to Zone regularly and have noticed a huge differance in my performance. I am 5'10'' 164lbs and pretty lean. I think i need to up the fat or try the fat/CHO switcharoo thing. Anyways thanks for clearing up all the issues. You were at my Cert in West palm FL in Nov but there was not enough time for the 1 million questions i had about the Zone.


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood


Thanks alot bro! Believe me, I look forward to the extra almond butter.

Take Care,


wrote …

Hey Pat,

Got a question for you regarding CrossFit/Paleo/Zone. I started CF/P/Z in 8/08 as a 28 year-old male, 5'5", 140 lbs, 16% BF. Got my CF Level 1 Cert in 11/08 (with you in FL!). Now I'm 29, 125 lbs, 13% BF, and still building my CF "skills." Since starting CF/P/Z I've used the CF "small male" daily block recomendation of 16 blocks. At 16 blocks I've always had my ups-and-downs with hunger and/or low energy, but the last month has been really bad. Evaluated my block intake and saw that according to the Zone calculations, I should only be around 12-13 blocks per day. So I've cut back to 13 blocks per day and increased my fat intake x 2. I've only been doing this about a week, but hunger and energy are still an issue (?). Also, being a "small male" I don't want to loose anymore weight than I already have in the past few months. So my question is (finally)...considering my size and issues with hunger/energy, where should I be at with my daily blocks and additional fat?




wrote …

Being a single guy in the military means i like to eat just as you described; quickly and simply. I eat mostly egg whites, 99% lean turkey breast(deli style), turkey bacon, and the occasional tuna when the turkey gets old. I'll usually end up getting my carbs from apples or canned mandarin oranges. i stick to those simply because i dont have to eat 9,000 of them such as broccoli or green beans to get my prescribed blocks. my question is, is eating mostly fruits going to degrade my "zone" or is it kosher?


wrote …

What's up everyone?

I'm hanging out in Seattle right now getting ready to hit the Calgary, Canada cert this weekend. It should be a blast. Canada always treats us very well.

#106, Neil:
You sound like you must be pretty lean at that height/weight. That being said, I'm sure you have no worries about enjoying a cheat day. Work it into your schedule and see how it treats you. I think you will be fine. I would hate to think you could not have a cheat day! What a terrible life that would be! haha
Also, try increasing your fat blocks since you are so lean. Remember, you will never find what works best for you without some experimentation and tweaks. Good luck, bro and stay safe.

#108, Chad:
I don't care what the chart says, you should not be on 12 blocks. Try going to 15 blocks. If you are already quite lean and have no desire to lean out any more, then increase your fat. If you have a super fast metabolism, feel free to keep increasing the fat until you are not starving all day long, but do not put on unwanted BF. You may well wind up on 15 blocks and 3-5 times fat.

#109, Josh:
As far as degrading your "zone", if I'm understanding your question, the answer is no, you'll be fine. The "zone" refers to keeping your blood sugar levels in a "zone" that is balanced. The way that Dr Sears crafted the Zone diet allows you to eat a wide variety of CHO choices. As long as you eat the appropriate number of blocks that you should be eating along with your protein and fat, you will stay in the zone.

Hope that helps everyone.

Heading out the door to get in a wod.


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

Thanks for the advice Pat. I'm REALLY glad you didn't recomend staying on 12 blocks per day! I don't think I would've lived to see tomorrow! I'll give 15 blocks a go and increase my fat.



wrote …

Thanks for the Video Pat! This really helped my wife understand that I'm not the only one out there eat like this. My wife is from Netherlands and all they eat is bread and cheese so this really helped put things in perspective for her. She was also waiting to see you eat the food, she was wondering what you were going to do with the mayo. I told her you would probably dip the turkey in it.
Thanks again,


wrote …

lots of good info.

two things i wondered:

where did you get the scale? - you said target, thanks.

where did you get the simple, divided plastic plate for separating your food?


wrote …

Hey Pat!

What do you recommend for post WOD, as far eating? I mean, isn't it good to get something in you within 30 minutes of finishing a wod? I'm close enough to 6'1, 183lbs if that helps.


wrote …

Never mind I read post #40


wrote …

I have been eating similar to this for the last few weeks. In particular lots of strawberries. Does anyone have problems with canker sours? I have had one buggin the hell out of me the last few days that does not want to go away.


wrote …

Pat I can't open the video Normalcy at Home. It looks great.


wrote …

Holy hell this is probably the most comments I've ever seen on a journal. It was a cool experience reading them all. You guys savced me the trouble of checking out about 8 other threads. Grassy-ass.

Pat--This video was great. It was cool to see you respond to every ones questions with such earnesty. I've read most of the articles you referenced in regards to cutting CHO and adding FAT, but for some reason it was still hard to formulate my meals. Been eating the same meal from the video for a little over two weeks and feeling groovy.

Thanks from Korea.
Mike Mathers USAF


wrote …

I just found out tomato is a fruit...guess should take it out like I did the apples


Ashley Denton wrote …

Ryan Brown - I know you. You make me laugh. Funny guy.

Pat - Thanks for the vids. PS - Great job at my level 1 cert in Charlotte this past May. Oh, and do me a favor and tell HQ to schedule another level II already... and not in some random country that I can't afford to fly to. ;)


wrote …

I'm new to CrossFit and to the Zone Diet. I am so happy i found this video. Thank you so much Pat. This has just made my life at work and trying to eat a whole lot better. Thanks!!!!!

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