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Jeff Belyeu 08-11-2007 09:15 PM

Doing Xfit and my own diet had been down to 155#. Think 165# is a healthier weight for me. Diet and exercise were lax for a while... now up to 175#. Had some friends give me a "short course" on the zone and decided to give it a try. We decided I should start out with a 16 block meal plan (3-4 block meals, and 2-2 block snacks). Didn't have any notes with me, but I went to the store today to get zone-able foods.

For dinner, I thought I would wing it and see how it goes. I didn't feel like waiting around 45 minutes to bake the chicken I had just bought, and I needed to cook some sausage that had already been in my fridge, so I decided to have that. If my calculations are correct, choosing to use that meat was my first mistake.

For every 2oz serving of sausage there are 17g of fat, and 9g of protein. Ouch. Ok, the package is 1.23lb and has seven links so...
1.23# x 16g/# = 19.68 oz
19.68 oz / 7 links = 2.81 oz/link = roughly 1.4 servings
17g fat/serving x 1.4 servings / 1.5 g fat/fat block = 16 blocks fat
9g protein/serving x 1.4 servings / 7 g protein/block = 1.8 blocks protein

OK, I am supposed to be eating a four block meal. So I have half my protein and way too much fat. I hadn't calculated the fat part yet, so I turned to the carbs.
1 plum = 1 block
1 cup grapes = 2 blocks
1 slice of bread for sausage wrap = 1 block

Totals so far:
2 blocks protein, 4 blocks carbs, 16 blocks fat

Tried to justify things... zone assumes that every block of protein has a block of fat built in. Let's try to correct for that. 16-2 = 14 blocks fat. Totals now 2/4/14. Ok, forget the fat, what can I do to correct the protein. I bought the Mootopia milk, but that still has a lot of carbs. Looking around and see a can of tuna... read the stats ... 13g of protein and .5 g fat. Ignore the fat, that is basically my other two blocks of protein. Great. Eat the can of tuna. Totals not 4/4/14. Writing everything down to double check my numbers, realize that the can of tuna is 6oz, and the serving size is 2oz. So that was 5.5 blocks of protein, and 1 block of fat. Subtract out the other two "hidden" fat blocks from my supposedly four block meal. Final total 7.5/4/13. At this point I wondered if I should eat more fruit to at least try and balance it out some, but I figured I had done enough damage for one night.

Anyone have any advice besides "don't do that again"? lol.

Also, I think my calculations are correct, but please let me know if anyone sees any errors.

Thanks in advance.

Robert Olajos 08-12-2007 05:20 AM

Focus on lean protein, like chicken or fish. Sausages aren't lean. Just don't make sausages your everyday protein source.

Anna Foteini Hawkins 08-12-2007 05:46 AM

i just started a couple weeks ago as well, and this is what i learned right at the beginning:

1. don't feel bad about throwing away the junk in your house that you shouldn't be eating
2. keep it simple. you will get better at food combinations after a while.
3. lean deli meats are great and easy to use because you can get sliced chicken breast (already cooked for you!) and ask them to slice it in 1 oz. or 1/2 oz slices. that makes measuring really easy.
4. get it all ready and correctly measured before you eat it. otherwise, you play the catch up game.
5. it gets easier! stick it out because it is totally worth it.

Good luck!

Jeff Belyeu 08-12-2007 05:49 AM

I don't buy or eat them very often. I just happened to have them on hand and was being lazy. I also didn't read the label before I started to use them. Now I know not to buy them at all. The rest was a minor comedy of errors in trying to make up for the sausage. When you realize you have messed up, should you just forget it and move on? or should you try to balance out the meal like I did (but did a poor job of)?

Anna Foteini Hawkins 08-12-2007 06:07 AM

i have no idea how you would have balanced out 13 blocks of fat! yeah, definitely cut your losses on that one. the point is to keep your body in this zone and i think by the end of that sausage there was no way of getting back there. that is why you have to plan it before you eat it. oh, and make sure to write down the good meals that worked well so you can use them again.

George Mounce 08-12-2007 12:15 PM

Jeff two things:

1) Fat doesn't have a glycemic effect, its more calories then anything. Do not try and balance it out with more carbs/protein in the meal. Just shrug, love the taste of it and move on to the next balanced meal.

2) Many people use the Zone to lower their blocks to obtain a body fat % then add fat blocks to level out their calories. I did this at 17 blocks with 51 blocks (3x) of fat a day. This by no means meets 40/30/30 its more like C25/P25/F50. I recently have gone back to 22 all-around blocks. My bodyweight has changed a whole 2 pounds heavier, but I'm still at 7% body fat so its got to be muscle. I'll take that. So you didn't mess up as bad as you think you did.

The simple fact that you are even thinking about these types of things puts you way ahead of a lot of people.

The Zone is simply making each meal a recipe rather then just randomly throwing things together. Get a notebook and just write down each meal, pretty soon (and believe me you can do this) you'll be able to make snacks + lunch for work in about 10 minutes of prep time. Throw it in a cooler and go!

Robert Olajos 08-12-2007 01:43 PM

Two other things you could do. First, go through your cupboards and throw out all the junk. Then it won't be there to tempt you. Second, whenever you go grocery shopping, only buy good food. Sounds simple. I skipped the former (still lots of pasta in my cupboards) and have excelled at the latter. I was too cheap to throw out perfectly good, but not ideal, food. But the longer I've been at it, the less 'bad' food there is, making meals nowadays much more balanced.

Christine Reinhart 08-12-2007 04:11 PM

If you feel bad about throwing out "perfectly good, but not ideal food", you could donate it to your local food bank.

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