Bulletproofing The Athlete- A Fully Customizable Template For Tracking And Changing Food Intake Base
Premise: One of the common traits among high level performing athletes is the recording and adjusting of food intake to facilitate current and changing goals in training and output.
What this is:
- A formula and template that is infinitely adjustable to suit whatever phase of training or performance goals you have.
- It is about consistency, and monitoring for ease and simplicity of adjustment.
- It is based on current bodyweight, body fat, and level of training frequency
- It is a modification and bulletproof version of the Zone portioning system which will allow Bulletproof foods, intermittent fasting, cyclical ketotis etc.
What this is not:
- undocumented, unmonitored free feeding
- calorie restriction (unless chosen)
First we wil be determining a baseline, afterwhich we will get into the modifications to suit Bulletproof and other variations possible. One of the great aspects of Zone is the "block" format which puts macronutrients into small managable numbers which can be changed and then converted to food measurements.
Determining baseline (with examples):Formula: [(bodyweight - bodyfat) x training level] / 7 = protein block requirement/day. (don't worry, blocks will be explaned)
Step 1: bodyweight - 185lbs
Step 2: body fat - 12% or 22lbs
Step 3: 185 - 22 = 163lbs (lean body weight)
Step 4: training level: choose closest match - not active days 0.8, active days .9 to 1.4 (goal based), Example choice is 0.8
Step 5: 163lbs x 0.8 = 130
Step 6: 130 / 7 = 18.62 (choose 18 or 19)
Solution: 19 protein blocks
For the other two (carbs, fat) we just use the same number: Example: 19 protein, 19 carb, 19 fat
What is a block?
- 7 grams of protein is one block protein.
- 9 grams of carb is one block carb.
- 1.5 grams of fat is one fat block.
Example: 19 x 7 = 133g protein, 19 x 9 = 171g carb, 19 x 1.5 = 28.5g fat. WTF!? I know, that's why i changed it.
Now the fun part begins!
- Obviously these ratios are not Bulletproof, this is where the formula mods come in to play.
NOTE: !!! MCT oil is ignored from your fat totals because of it's effect on the body, use as needed if you want more fat intake ouside of your chosen mod.
How to modify the block formula, overview:
- Protein blocks do not change unless you change your baseline.
- for every 1 block of carb removed, add 4 fat blocks
- thats it! you can now adjust your baseline freely using these two rules and stay within the parameters of your personal assignment.
IMPORTANT NOTE: your baseline calculation is exactly that, NEVER eat less than it, feel free to increase your baseline block prescription if deemed appropriate, examples shown for growing are below.
Here are some ideas : only ideas to spur creativity and show how to use the mod template, and remember MCT doesn't count.
Cyclical keto:(weight loss) Caution, this only and example and should not be done long term when training, you will crash.
- If we want to lower the carbs to 50 or less/day, in our Example:(19p, 19c, 19f), lowered to keto carb- (19p, 5c, 19f), every carb taken we add 4 fat (19p, 5c, 75f), see how we did that? I took away 14 carb blocks so I added 56 fat blocks (14x4).
- Refeed days are around 150g carb so figure out the blocks for 150g carb (150 / 9= 16), so (19p, 19c, 19f) becomes (19p, 16c, 19f), now do the fat change (19p,16c, 31f), personally I like to leave the fat unchanged, it doesn't seem to be an issue, so eg.(19p,16c,75f)
Non cyclical low carb:(weight loss) Caution, this is only an example, you may still need refeeds at a 10c setting depending on male/female and size.
- lower carbs to 90g carb (19p, 10c, 19f), calculate the fat (19p, 10c, 55f), adjust carbs up or down based on test/retest.
Lean muscle gain: (weight increase)
- if you have stopped gaining muscle tissue at your baseline here we will increase our baseline to get more protein (eat like the weight we want to be), Example: training days 23p, 23c, 23f becomes something like 30p, 30c, 30f, now using an adjust/test/adjust/retest, lower the carb intake until you reach the point of no bodyfat gain, and remember to do the fat formula rule. Example: 30p, 10c, 120f.
Overall weight gain: This one is tricky, it will not feel as good and will increase inflammation, good for a general bulk up for throwing around heavy weight.
- from baseline just 4x fat and test Example: 19p, 19c, 75f
- if no weight gain, increase baseline and repeat Example: 23p, 23c, 92f, keep increasing at 1-2 week intervals until something happens.
- if weight gain is too fast, lower carbs only Example: 23p, 15c, 92f
- caution, this should only be done on a short term basis ie. 10-20lbs then taper off.
You can just go free form and do whatever you want or adjust for your favorite macro %'s for those attracted to the Bulletproof free feeding premise, the idea is only to find a spot, record it, test it. I feel that Bulletproof is about measurable, repeatable testing. You can not know where you are going if you don't know where you've been.
I need guinea pigs, so try it out, share your mods, results, and questions.
Calculating post workout nutrition
Different types of training sessions will require different treatments of post workout nutrition. For a moment I will be speaking of how to address this excluding things like yoga, steady state aerobic zone cardio etc which may or may not require such attention. Using this formula will take trial, eventually you will understand your body and it's reaction/requirement to various levels of input, and be able to judge exactly what you will need to do when faced with any amount of stimuli.
The formula: First,calculate your lean body mass (body weight - body fat), then for protein, use 0.1g to 0.18g per pound of lean body mass, for carbohydrate, use 0.18g to 0.36g per pound of lean body mass. Then with those numbers, round it to the nearest block.
- Training: very hard, heavy, and long (left nothing behind)
- Choice: 0.18/lb protein, 0.36/lb carb
- Calculation: lean body weight 150lbs x 0.18 = 27g protein, 150lbs x 0.36 = 54g carb
- Block conversion: 27g divided by 7g (1 block) for protein = 4 blocks protein, 54g divided by 9g (1 block) for carbs = 6 blocks carb
- post workout conclusion: 4 blocks protein, 6 blocks carb
Tips, tricks, suggestions:
Usually you want quick nutrition post workout, there's no point dragging out recovery, which leads to the result of liquid nutrition to be the most effective form, and usually the last thing you feel like doing right after a hard workout is to sit down to a plate of food. Probably the best bulletproof choice for dealing with this is coconut water, it is 60% glucose, 25% sucrose and 15% fructose and has ample amounts of electrolytes and minerals like potassium and magnesium, you could also use mashed sweet potato which dissolves easily in a shaker cup, and protein powder for the protein, MCT is excellent to add as well to maintain nutritional ketosis in the face of carb ingestion. How to test how much to use is fun, if your workouts are generally the same in form, function and intensity, do a workout using whatever you have been doing ie protein and no carbs etc, and record how you feel at the 30min, 60min 120min, 240min marks, if you feel wasted or tired or affected especially at the 240min mark then you need help. You can start at the low end of the spectrum and repeat the test, there should be an improvement, you can then go a little higher or to the max and retest. When you find the right setting, when the 120min and 240min marks arrive, you should hopefully feel like the workout was not performed or at least completely recovered and clear headed. If you stay there and notice any fat gain, slowely dial back until you find your sweet spot (unless bulking). I have tested this with morning training and evening training and there have been no adverse reactions, only a renewed zest and excitement towards the next workout.
- Eat protein at every meal, evenly distributed throughout the day to supply a constant amino acid availability, reducing cortisol and catabolism as much as possible.
- Eat all daily carbohydrates around training and within 6hrs after training to take advantage of the increased insulin sensitivity from training, to recover from training, and replenish glycogen stores for next time.
- Eat fat away from training times, and the protein/carbs eaten pre or post as to not slow the digestion and absorption of these nutrients.
- On rest days, all macros can be distributed evenly or as seen fit.
- If training first thing in the morning, have up to half of your carbs the evening before and the rest intra/post workout.
Sample 1 block equivalents for green zone Bulletproof foods:
Use this list instead of simply converting your blocks back to grams or calories, it will be less food if you do that.
animal meat cooked - 28g
fish cooked- 42g or follow label
egg - 1 egg is 1 block protein and 3 blocks fat
protein powder - follow label (7g protein = 1 block)
collagen - follow label (7g protein = 1 block)
MCT - 1.5ml
ghee - 1.5g
egg - 1 egg is 1 block protein and 3 blocks fat
coconut oil 1.5g
avocado - 10g
avocado oil - 1.5ml
butter - 2g
olives - 10g
almonds - 3g
cashews - 3.5g
hazelnuts - 2.5g
macadamia - 2g
pecans - 2g
cocoa powder - 10g
cocoa butter - 1.5g
Carbs (fiber included)
cilantro - 200g
bok choy cooked - 450g
brussels sprouts cooked - 120g
fennel - 130g
celery - 300g
asparagus cooked - 225g
broccoli cooked - 120g
broccoli - 136g
cauliflower - 200g
cucumber - 225g
kale cooked - 225g
collards cooked - 190g
spinach cooked - 225g
spinach - 255g
cabbage cooked - 225g
Radish - 230g
zucchini - 300g
lettuce - 300g
sweet potato peeled cooked - 50g
Potato starch - 10g
carrots - 100g
carrots cooked - 112g
pumpkin cooked - 185g
butternut squash cooked - 90g
long grain white rice cooked - 30g
taro - 26g
cassava - 23g
plantain cooked - 30g
Plantain flour - 13g
blackberry - 86g
lemon - 95g
lime - 86g
raspberry - 75g
strawberry - 115g
pineapple - 67g
tangerine - 67g
dextrose - 9g
A word on healthy changes to body composition:
- If you establish a maintenance level food intake, that can be kept with no issues.
- If you are wanting to lose weight, it is optimal to do this only in 3 month periods before stopping, this to counter the typical endless cut that people fall into, also to minimize muscle loss, and to keep metabolism from declining in an attempt to reach homeostasis.
- If you are wanting to gain weight, it is optimal to do this only in 3 month periods (or 15lbs) at a time before stopping, this is due to muscle being much harder to gain than fat so continuing to add weight will eventually change to mostly fat.
- Gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously is rarely possible and is effectively taking away your most valuable tool for doing either to the best of you ability, ie. to gain the most muscle possible requires actions that directly violate the actions of losing fat, and to lose the most fat possible requires actions that directly violate the actions of building muscle.