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Training, Nutrition, and Recovery

Administrator March 25, 2019

By: Michael Gibbs, NP, MSN, MBA, CSCS, RYT-200

When building a better athlete, it all comes down to training, nutrition and recovery. Nutrition is so vital to both exercise performance and exercise recovery. Unfortunately, nutrition is often misunderstood.

This article is about the nutrition we recommend for our athletes to achieve the best results in all aspects of their lives.

Our definition of performance nutrition is that it should facilitate the following outcomes:

  • Improve health
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Improve exercise recovery
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the risk of future disease

We believe that performance nutrition must meet the following objectives:

  • Sufficient protein to meet body's requirements
  • Sufficient carbohydrates for fuel
  • Sufficient fat to meet energy needs
  • Proper balance of fatty acids
  • Sufficient vitamins
  • Sufficient minerals
  • Sufficient other trace elements
  • Sufficient antioxidants
  • Abundance of polyphenols

The nutrition we recommend to our athletes is the zone diet. The zone diet is based upon the following macronutrient guidelines:

  • 30 Percent Protein
  • 30 Percent Fat
    • Mostly monounsaturated fat
    • Limited saturated fat
    • Limited polyunsaturated fat
  • 40 Percent Carbohydrates

We recommend the zone diet because it works. The zone diet also provides the body these other benefits:

  • It minimizes inflammation
    • Inflammation may cause disease
      • CVD, Arthritis
  • It teaches the body how to burn fat for fuel
    • Fat is the best source of fuel at rest and low intensity
  • It keeps insulin levels sufficient to feed tissues while keeping insulin levels low enough to prevent disease
  • It keeps the body out of ketosis

The basics of the Elite Fitness Now diet based upon the zone diet are listed below:

  • For Our Athletes: 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass
  • Protein predominantly from lean sources
  • Carbohydrates predominantly from fruits and vegetables
    • Low glycemic options most of the time

How to begin following the zone diet. The first thing you need to know is your percentage of body fat. Ideally, this can be measured. If not, there is a calculator that will help you estimate your percentage of body fat.

Subtract your percentage of fat from 100 percent and then multiply that number by your total weight that will be your lean body mass.


If you weigh 200 pounds and have 10 percent bodyfat, take 100 percent minus 10 percent, and you have 90 percent lean body mass. Now take .90 and multiply it by our body weight, and that is your total lean body mass.

Now, you need to compute the number of blocks to eat per day. This is performed by taking lean body mass and dividing it by 7, as 7 grams of protein are in a food block.


180 pounds of lean body mass divided by 7 = 25.71 blocks

At every meal, each block of protein has the same number of carb and fat blocks

Follow the zone diet food list to determine what constitutes a food block.

A great resource on this nutrition plan is A Week in the Zone by Barry Sears, Ph.D.

For elitefitnessnow athletes, it often becomes necessary to tune the zone diet. In the post workout meal, we like to have a higher glycemic carbohydrate such as a sweet potato for carbohydrate blocks.

At some point, our athletes often become a bit too lean that they become fatigued. At that point, we recommend that the athlete increase food blocks: 1-3 blocks per day. If the athlete is still fatigued, we have them increase monounsaturated fat slightly.

For example:

If the athlete eats 15 almonds with breakfast, increase it by 30. And we do this with each meal until the athlete is no longer fatigued.

This is what we recommend for our Athletes. Note that Elite Fitness Now does NOT receive any sponsorship from the zone diet. We only recommend it as it works so well for our athletes. provides professional athlete strength and conditioning services online so that peak health, wellness, and performance are available to all.


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