Nutrition for CrossFit. Diet set up and nutrition coaching. Based in London & online.


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Meal plan


+ What if I do not want to track my macros?



You need to have some awareness of your energy balance. This is why we have set up the plan with specific meal plates and number of meals. This is to provide a framework that prevents overeating AND under eating. You wont have to calculate macros and calories but you will have to change your meals to fit the specific meal plates and timings. 

We don't advocate tracking LONG term. However getting a rough calorie target, or entering meals you eat regularly into myfitnesspal to calculate the calorie load IS useful. 




+ Do my macro calculations look right?

The starting macro and calorie targets we suggest are a STARTING POINT. You won’t know if they are correct until you try them out. Initial calculations are an estimation, a start point from which to adjust based on how you progress.

There are a huge number of factors that affect energy balance. 

  • Your actual energy expenditure will vary somewhere between plus or minus ~20% of what you calculate due to genetic differences,
  • Your metabolism will adapt depending whether you are in a calorie surplus or deficit, your calorie target is constantly changing.

You need to make sure you are tracking your progress in detail so that you have data from which to base adjustments to your calculations off of. You then, of course, need to know how to make the adjustments. Our monthly review videos, webinars, Facebook live videos, articles and content will help guide you through this. 


+ Do I have to follow the structure of eating the number of meals?

Yes and no...hahaha

Let us explain

One of the biggest areas we see with clients is lack of structure. This leads to either mindless snacking as you haven't planned when the next meal is, or you haven't eaten enough so you are hungry. Another common scenario is that you eat a large meal and then go 5 - 6 hours without eating and overeat at the next meal due to being ravenous! Ever been on the way to evening training and felt the hunger pang 45 minutes before your session as you haven't eaten since lunch? Now the next meal you will eat will be around 8pm? THATS 8 HOURS WITHOUT EATING AND YOU HAVE EXERCISED. 

We have set the structure for each goal (FAT LOSS, WELLNESS, STRENGTH) for a specific reason. This is based on our experience working with hundreds of CrossFIt members and athletes. It allows you to remove the decision stress of when and what to eat. It WILL improve your performance and recovery and it will allow you to build better habits. 

So as a STARTING point yes...follow the structure. 

But of course you can adapt to fit your lifestyle or training schedule. 

The most improtant part of being a member is that we have regular opportunities to talk to us at pH Nutrition and get answers to your questions. We will work WITH you and provide all the tools and education you need to get YOUR plan in place.

+ How long shall I stay on each phase

We suggest a 3 month cycle of the FAT LOSS and STRENGTH phases. The WELLNESS can be continued long as you want!

FAT LOSS - Follow for 3 months - after this change your calorie and macros to "stay the same weight". This maintenance phase is crucial and should be followed for at least 2 weeks. 

STRENGTH - Follow for 3 months - after this change your preset to zone and calorie and macros to "stay the same weight". This maintenance phase is crucial and should be followed for at least 2 weeks. 

However this is a guideline and we will discuss how and when to change at the end of each month via the content and coaching calls!

+ Can I take a "diet break"

Of course!! The point of this membership site is to set up your plan long term. There will be times when you can't stay on plan due to holidays, work etc. However a general rule of thumb is to take a weeks break at the following times.

Diet Break Frequency

FAT LOSS - After 3 months every 6-8 weeks

STRENGTH - After 3 months every 4-6 weeks

WELLNESS - Should be your lifestyle. No need for a break.

Read the next question as well.....

+ When can I have a cheat meal / day

Ah the cheat day....we have restricted ourselves and now we can binge on alllll the pizza. NOPE...sorry, just no.

Long term success = as little "restriction" as possible. We don't encourage the famine and feast mentality. We also don't advocate a cheat day.

A cheat meal yes

A whole day


Having treat meals will allow for longer term success and sustainability. This also allows for you to structure social events / date nights into your plan. 

Here are our guidelines


FIRST MONTH - Have 1 off plan meal per week. Even from the start 

ON GOING - 2 off plan meals per week. 



FIRST MONTH - Have 2 off plan meals per week. Even from the start 

ON GOING - 2 off plan meals per week.


FIRST MONTH - Have 2 off plan meals per week. Even from the start 

ON GOING - 2 off plan meals per week. 

+ I'm vegan / vegetarian - do I need to change my macros

Hmmmm this is a tough one! Hitting protein levels for vegetarians and vegans can be challenging. Again this comes back to energy balance. So caloric intake is the first point of call but we do need to ensure that there is a balance of macronutrients. We suggest the following.

Drop protein levels down to 25% of overall intake - but no less

We have created a section going through everything for a vegan / vegetarian setup and CrossFit



All things nutrition


+ Can I build my own meals opposed to using the recipe site

ABSOLUTELY YES! Following meal plans is not sustainable long term. You need to learn how to build your nutrition plan and what works for you. We have developed a food table that provides some guidance on what to eat and when. 


+ Are there specific foods not to eat

We don't advocate removing whole foods groups such as going no carb or no grains. However there are a few foods that we do want to limit.

  • Deep fried food - The mix of high carb and high fat from poor nutrient void sources is just no good
  • Highly processed foods - white breads, white flours, white sugars, most crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties.
  • Poor quality meat and fish - Factory farmed fish and meat is loaded with antibiotics, certain hormones and are fed a poor quality diet.
  • Too many "healthy protein snacks" - Just because it has 20g protein in it doesn't mean we can eat it all the time. Mars protein bar....still a chocolate bar. 

The purpose of this membership site is to educate you on finding what works for you. Nothing is truly off limits. It is all about balance.

+ Should I change my nutrition if I train in the morning or the evening

In short yes. We have provided sample meal plans for different times of training. The reason we want to manipulate our intake is to maximise the stimulus of the training session. 

Typical bodybuilding diets may focus purely on calorie load over the day - and although energy balance is essential - improving your nutrient timing will help you get the most out of your sessions. 

Follow the structure and meal suggestions for each day in your plan. Monitor how you feel and track your progress. Then ADJUST to PROGRESS your plan. 


+ Should I eat less on a rest day

Dropping calories (and in particular carbs) on rest days is a common strategy people use. A few areas to consider with this before we give a definitive answer.

First thing is to identify your goal. 

If you are trying to drop body fat then yes absolutely this can be a useful strategy to use. Increasing muscle or performance...maybe not. Why? This is due to energy balance...this basic principle. Less output on a rest day and your goal is fat loss - then staying in a calorie deficit will help. For strength and muscle gain you need to fuelling the tank and dropping calories is not going to help you stack on more muscle or increase strength.

Then we have training volume. Are you training 3 times a week or 9 times a week? If 3 times a week then yep fire away and give it a go. Drop some carbohydrates, keep protein levels consistent and monitor how you feel. If you are training more than 5 days a week adjusting the macronutrient levels on rest days but keeping calories similar MAY work. 

In all honestly at the start it is more about consistency and keeping things simple so we suggest trying to hit your daily calorie target, and once this has become a habit we can start to manipulate your intake. 

Use the decision matrix to help guide you

+ When trying to lose fat can you under eat?

Yes you can definitely under eat.

We often see clients making progress by being in a slight deficit and energy levels improving and hunger signals being balanced. They then think that a larger deficit will result in more weight loss. Not the case.

Being in a large deficit (over 500kcal)  for the odd day is fine. It is when we under eat for an extended period of time that it can affect energy levels, hormone balance (particularly testosterone and ghrelin) and result in our body 'holding" onto calories as it is being underfed. 

Too much water kills the flower. A slight deficit is good. Too much and we run the risk of halting progress. Trust the process.

+ Should I be taking supplements

Food first....always. Supplements should be used to either treat a deficiency and enhance performance / recovery once the basics have been nailed down.

You don't need them, however we do use supplements and if used in the correct way at the correct time they can definitely help. A few areas to consider

  • Please read the below articles before buying any supplements
  • Buy quality - there is a reason that fish oil is £3. Steer clear
  • Consider getting some testing done prior to buying a tonne of supplements just because someone else is using it.

We use supplements with our athletes and clients - but only after they have got the basics of their nutrition plan in place. In all our coaching programmes a personalised supplementation protocol is provided.


We will be delving into the relevant times to use certain supplements / nutrients throughout the monthly habit series

An excellent source of information regarding supplements and research is

+ I'm lactose intolerant - what can I do

There are a tonne of lactose-free products available these days. Substitutes include nut milks (almond, coconut, cashew, hazelnut) and dairy free yoghurts such as Coyo, kallo, Koko, coconut collaborative. Alternatively you can use oat or coconut-based products. Foods such as coconut yoghurt and oat milk are great additions to your diet. Another tip is to be cautious if buying pre-made sauces and jars of food. You will find that milk is often used in these.

+ What affects energy balance

Energy balance is the relationship between “energy in” (food calories taken into the body through food and drink) and “energy out” (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements). We know via the pyramid of importance that this is an essential area to making progress with your nutrition. 

So what affects energy balance. Well pretty much everything! But here are a few key areas - 

  • Thermic effect of eating
  • Gut health
  • Exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC)
  • Non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
  • Sleep

This is just to name a few. Although we focus on getting your calorie and energy balance correct via the amount of food you are eating, this is only one part of the puzzle. The monthly habit series covers sleep, recovery, gut health, immune function, neurotransmitters and hormones that all play a crucial role in energy balance.



Social, travel and eating out


+ What do I do if I am going out on a social occasion?

We know that being perfect isn’t the goal, but trying to stay consistent when eating out can be a challenge, too. First things first....if it is a special occasion - dont be that person...enjoy your meal!! It is one night out of 365. It won't kill your progress.

Restaurants don’t care about your body fat or macros , they just want you to enjoy amazing food. You can still enjoy meals out whilst maintaining progress, you just have to be aware of how to make better choices. 

  • Eat similar meals to what is on your plan. Try to replicate what you created at home as much as possible. Visual memory should help here with portion sizes, choices, etc… Use your hands to estimate!
  • Adjust the day of and the day after around this event. Similarly to the alcohol question we have answered, you can manipulate your intake so you can be a bit more relaxed when going out. Hit protein targets, lower fat intake, swap starchy carbs for veggies. Careful though, too drastic of a change is not good. Small reductions over the day and the day after will allow for balance. 

+ Whats the deal with alcohol

One of the most common questions is "what can I do about my alcohol intake that will allow me to still make progress?"

Alcohol intake is one of the primary areas we see that prevents progress. But we never suggest going zero alcohol as this restriction is not sustainable long term (for most of us). We have a few simple tips to help you make better choices when it comes to alcohol.

Ask yourself is it essential to drink?

If it is a work event that you HAVE to drink at, or a special occasion then just enjoy it (or suffer through it) and chalk it off as an unavoidable. If it is just an occasion that isn't of huge importance then stick to water. Removing these "non essential" times to consume alcohol is a great way to manage your intake.

Additionally think about adapting your intake on the day. On days that you know you are going to drink a lot:

  1. Keep your fat intake low. Drop your intake on the day by 25%.
  2. Eat your protein target for the day to preserve muscle mass, focusing on lean protein sources.
  3. Restrict carbs to veggies.

Then we out drinking focus on

  1. Low sugar mixers and clear spirits. Gin and slim, whiskey and diet coke, vodka lime and soda.
  2. Steering clear of sugary cocktails. 

And one last not have the late night food - no it won't "soak up the alcohol" and prevent a hangover. A mix of high carb and high fat just before you go to bed can skyrocket your calorie load for the week (maybe month).  

If you follow those few rules and keep these things infrequent, you won’t ruin your progress. 

+ How do keep my nutrition on plan when travelling

If it is holiday....enjoy! Have a break from following a plan and relax!

If it is work related it is all about preparation. 


+ I commute to work after my session - is there any specific advice

Just finished your morning session and now have to sit in the car or tube to work? We know that calorie balance and overall macronutrients are more important than nutrient timing but being prepared when it comes to your commute can help you kick start the recovery process.

Use the table below to help guide you depending on your commute.

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Trying to create a relaxed environment to eat is essential. Eating on the commute is not ideal but if you can relax in seat then that is fine. We understand that you are busy! If you are eating at the gym then take 10 - 15 minutes to relax / shower before eating your meal. One of our pet peeves is people chugging a shake or eating a bar 8 seconds after the last rep.