Basic Guide to Eat to Perform

by ~jenniferlynn on August 20, 2014

in Eattoperform

A lot of people have asked me questions on Eat to Perform and how to get started. I strongly encourage if you are interested that you buy the book, as you also get access to their online forum (I am not affiliated nor sponsored by them so not making any sort of commission on referring this, sadly, just love it!). The forum has moderators that will answer any and all questions about your training, food timing, food quantity and quality, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

But it you aren’t quite ready to jump on buying the program and get individualized help, I’ll break it down in the most simple form for you. Note that I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, but this is my personal compilation of what I have learned since starting the program. Ultimately, you need to find what works best for you.

Basic guide to Eat to Perform, an ideal diet for those who Crossfit or do any sort of weight training or resistance training. Diet is based on carb loading around your workouts and not restricting anything. Most people need to eat more calories! For more diet and exercise tips, check out @winetoweights at

What is Eat to Perform?

The foundation of Eat to Perform is that you are basically eating for performance. If you are fueling your body properly, it will maximize muscle growth, encourage strength and endurance, and lead to fat loss. Fat loss, folks. Not necessarily weight loss (though if you have excess weight to lose, there are definite ways to tweak the program for you!). Fueling is used for training, which is used to build muscle, therefore burning more calories at rest. There are no strict rules, no dietary restrictions, no required workouts. And you can eat cereal. 😉

Keep carbs lower during the day and eat them around your workouts; consume the rest of your daily carbs at night which will replenish glycogen depleted during workouts, help the CNS recover, plus can aid in some sound sleep! While it seems labor intensive at first, the goal is to make it all intuitive and sustainable.

How do I start?

First, use the ETP calculator. I would recommend starting with the guidelines below and trialing for at least a month before making any changes:

Protein: Set to 1g per pound of body-weight (or lean body mass, if known).
Fat: Set to 75g for women, 125g for men (or 100g for women and 150g for men if you are coming from a lower-carb background).
Carbohydrates: Solve for this.

The calculation above will tell you how much you should be eating on an active day (workout day). Chances are, this is higher than what you are doing now! On a control day (rest day), eat less carbs.

Basic Macros for Eat to Perform, an ideal diet for those who Crossfit or do any sort of weight training or resistance training. Diet is based on carb loading around your workouts and not restricting anything. Most people need to eat more calories! For more diet and exercise tips, check out @winetoweights at

I get the whole tracking thing is a major turn-off for a lot of people. Who wants to weigh food and worry about portion sizes and log every morsel? No one. The calculator is intended to be used more of a guide. If you are experiencing weight gain or strength loss, log what you eat for a day, make adjustments and move on.

I like to track my food, though it can get a bit obsessive, so I only do it every once in a while, and mostly to make sure that I am eating enough. How I eat seems to change every few months, but you can get an example of a sample meal plan of mine here.

Here is a basic outline on how to structure your days:

Eat to Perform Meal Template – Workout Day

Breakfast: Protein, fat, and veggies
Lunch: Protein, fat, and veggies
Pre-Workout: 1:2 ratio Protein and slow-digesting carbs (ex: 25g protein, 50g carbs)
Post-Workout: 1:2 ratio Protein and fast-digesting carbs
Dinner: Protein and carbs
Post-Dinner: Make up whatever macros you need to. Mine is usually just more carbs!

Eat to Perform Meal Template – Non-Workout Day

Breakfast: Protein, fat, and veggies
Lunch: Protein, fat, and veggies
Dinner: Protein and carbs
Post-Dinner: Make up whatever macros you need to. Mine is usually more protein and carbs.

Relatively simple! You can pin a handy chart here to use as a guide.

I have been loosely following this over the past year, with a stronger emphasis on it in the past six months. While I haven’t really had a consistent training program, I will say it has done wonders for my mental health and has given me the fuel needed to get my heavy lifting on, plus have gas left to WOD.

Stay tuned for Monday when I will post some of the FAQs that readers have asked on the program!

Your turn..
Do you have any questions on the program or how to structure your meals?
Have you tried Eat to Perform?
Do you follow any sort of macro timing?
Are you a fan of counting calories or logging your foods?

Sandy Shepard August 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Just got the book on for 75 cents (in fact, it’s even an author-signed copy 🙂 ) I was hoping to find it on Audible (seem to be listening more than reading these days) but I couldn’t pass up 75 cents 😉 There are a slew of them there – this is always my fav place to get books, DVDs, etc. As the ENORMOUS pile next to my bed attests, I guess! 🙂

SO GLAD to get a definition of “Macros”! I have been meaning to look that up esp every time Claire uses it 😉

~jenniferlynn August 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I haven’t used since I was in college.. forgot all about it!!

Sandy Shepard August 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

🙂 xoxoxo 🙂 btw turns out given my actual fat percentage (JUST got this done AGAIN – after 5 days/week of Crossfit for 3/4 of a year and it’s still 30% – sigh) – that I’m eating what I’m supposed to cal-wise. how depressing LOL LOL
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~jenniferlynn August 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Could just be the timing then or what makes up those calories! Or a zillion other factors like stress, sleep, hormones, nutrients..

Sandy Shepard August 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm

re what makes up calories/timing/etc. – sadly, seem to be doing it all right. Don’t go through menopause with a thyroid issue, that’s my recommendation 😉 No stress (I’m retired), sleep 7-8 hours/night, nutrient panel is faboo and now take bioidenticals but no real effect Blah-Ti-Blah-Ti-:-)
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Sandy Shepard August 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm

🙂 xoxoxo re 🙂 btw turns out given my actual fat percentage (JUST got this done AGAIN – after 5 days/week of Crossfit for 3/4 of a year and it’s still 30% – sigh) – that I’m eating what I’m supposed to cal-wise. how depressing LOL LOL. One thing that my endocrinologist mentioned is also that you need to spike your insulin 2-3 times a day because that’s what makes your T-3 (or was it T-4?) – Chris Kresser talks about this as well. It’s so interesting. Of course, you can’t eat gluten (thyroid attacker), so I’m back to oatmeal LOL. (Coach’s Oats and Bob’s Red Mill seem to be the best btw. Also making 6 days’ worth, pouring it into a bread pan, then cutting it into 6 “squares” allows me to microwave each “square” quickly and easily for slow-cook oats.)
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Rachel August 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Thank you for this-I’ve been looking into ETP for a while now, Paleo seems like it’s great, but it’s not QUITE what I need (carb-wise).

Can you give some examples of slow digesting carbs?


~jenniferlynn August 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Sure! Oatmeal, grits, sweet potatoes, brown rice..

Post-workout you want something to spike your insulin, so white rice is perfect here.

Renee at bendifulblog August 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Interesting stuff. You always have great information! Although I will admit most of this just went right over my head 🙂
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~jenniferlynn August 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Haha.. i’ll do a follow-up FAQ which may make it make more sense..

Brandon August 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

I think you meant to say 0.8-1.0 grams protein per kilogram for the average person and not 1 gram protein per pound.

~jenniferlynn August 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I’ve read both ways; this isn’t meant to be exact, but for many it’s a good baseline to start at. Some may scale it up or down.

Fredrik August 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I just found this page in google, and thought it would be interesting. Well, I ended up purchasing a book that you recommended! I will dive into it as soon as it arrives at my door step!

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Lacey August 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Awesome, awesome blog post. Thank you. My initial research into ETP months ago helped me realize my carb intake was way too low. I actually think I should track for a week or two again to see how I’m doing. I am always great about getting 1 gram protein/lb of body weight but I tend to shortchange myself on carbs.

Do you make any calorie intake changes or carb changes on a day where you do just a light workout? I’m just wondering what you would recommend on a day where you’re not doing heavy lifting and just doing a quick workout to get your heart pumping.

Lacey August 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

And keep tracking this week on MFP!!

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape August 21, 2014 at 6:07 am

Great post, always been so intrigued by eat to perform! They always post some great articles too!

Look forward to hearing more about your journey with this. I do think with Paleo, I do pretty well fuelling for training and non training days but it would be good to find out a bit more with the possibility of making some changes! 🙂
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Shelly August 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

This is awesome! I’ve been stalking the Eat To Perform website for a while now, but have yet to make a move. I am officially sold! I know I’m not eating enough, so this would be a great way to ensure that my body is getting exactly what it needs!
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April August 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Thank you for the write-up. I have been toying with purchasing it. I had been stuck in low or no weight loss and even weight gain (not muscle). Recently, I increased my carbs. An amazing thing happen, my whole body changed. The scales moved but I look different. People, not crossfit or weight lifters, keep telling me to go low carb and I will do even better. my new response is I LOVE carbs! With your write up and my observatoons, I am really more interested in ETP. Think I will look into the book.

Lisa RunFastMama
Twitter: runfastmama
August 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hmm, very interesting. I have been struggling with this for a while as I was eating so clean and then fell off the wagon, lol. I do need to give myself some controlled freedom and honestly the reason I eat so clean is to perform at my peak. I have been thinking about another Whole30, including my protein smoothies, lol, but will give this a look too. Thanks for sharing!
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~jenniferlynn August 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm

For me, having a balance is KEY.. Like Whole30 is a great reset, but if you want to perform, it may not be sustainable. I think eating an 80/20 or even 90/10 is still better than 90% of the people out there! It’s just using the “treats” where it makes sense.
Obviously eating pizza and donuts everyday is silly, but if you put in a heavy strength training session, your body is primed to process that a lot quicker than if you woke up and had a muffin or something.

It is so much trial and error, but I think the biggest thing that makes this program better than anything else I tried is that it is sustainable. I don’t stress out about what I am eating; I just use food as fuel plus enjoy the treats when I have them.

Alex @ Alex Tries it Out
Twitter: alex_j_meyer
August 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

Hmm, interesting! I’ve been curious about it since you’ve been doing it so this was a fun little intro to read :).
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Dolce December 11, 2014 at 12:08 am

I know these ETP posts are older, but I just stumbled upon them through Pinterest! I am so intrigued in ETP as I love heavy lifting/CrossFit/high intensity training & am left puzzled at how to properly fuel myself. My question is: The meal template has pre & post workout in the afternoon, what should I do if I workout in the morning after breakfast? How do I switch around the meals on the template?

~jenniferlynn December 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Hi Dolce! Thanks for the comment!

I still follow ETP so don’t mind answering questions at all!

So the ideal time to workout is the evening (I don’t have sources handy, but I have stumbled across multiple articles on why this is good to be most efficient in fat burning, etc.). However.. realistically, many people can’t workout then with life!

I would structure the day like this:
Breakfast/pre-workout: Coffee/BCAAs/Water/no food
Immediately Post-workout: 50g carbs + 25g protein (I do a shake and banana)
Meal 1: Protein/fats/veggies
Meal 2: Protein/fats/veggies
Dinner: Protein/carbs
Post-Dinner: Whatever macros you are missing for the day, probably more carbs (which your body will store for use in the morning!)

Franco May 26, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Hi, I have a question.
could you please say me how to orden my day?
I have breakfast at 7 am and i train at 10 or 11 am so my breakfast must be with carbs and protein.
then my post workout at 12 am again with protein and carbs (2:1)
lunch at 14 pm compose by protein and fats
and the last meal will be the dinner with protein and carbs again

its ok?
Sometimes i do double turn. So in that days every meals will contains protein and carbs and a bit of fat. Anyone without carbs, right?

~jenniferlynn May 26, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Hey Franco! Thank you for the comment! Can you email me?

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