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Kieran Hartnett 07-10-2007 06:27 AM

I'm looking at paying more attention to how well my diet fits "The Zone" (rather than pretty much just calorie counting, which is working for weight loss but perhaps not optimal for Crossfit), but am wondering whether I might do better to drop some of the fat for even more protein on the basis that at 325lb (M/31/6'1") I'm already carrying a hell of a lot of fat.

Is this a good move, or do I need to keep getting 30% of my calories from fat so that I don't miss out on some useful flavour of lard?

George Mounce 07-10-2007 06:44 AM

I wouldn't use lard. =)

Don't cut the fat (GOOD FATS!). While fat is 30% it isn't huge in actual quantity. 1 block of olive oil = 1/3 of a tsp.

I defer to others on the forum on what your block amount should be over the course of the day. I disagree with what the Zone uses in its calculator. According to it I need 21. I live very well on 17 (M/29/5'11"/179#) I am guessing at your optimum weight being 6'1" you would be a 20 or 21. I was 198 when I started CrossFit and have kept to 17 blocks, never felt tired and am still going strong.

If you have MS Excel use my tool I made to help you out with blocks, you can find it in the thread (W/FS):

Kieran Hartnett 07-10-2007 08:11 AM

I'm not really bothering with blocks or even Zone-ing each meal - I just use a website (, safe) to calorie-count and it also provides info on how things break down.

Darren Zega 07-10-2007 09:02 AM


Fat in food is not the great Satan so many dieticians have made it out to be. Your body needs is just the same as protein or carbohydrates. I'm not totally zone compliant either, but George's calculator is great, in a pinch, if you want a comparison over how much fat you should eat relative to your carb and protein intake.

Anthony Bainbridge 07-10-2007 12:02 PM

Dietary fat intake is mandatory. It's an essential macronutrient, meaning you would literally die if you ate no fat.

Other than life, it's also good for proper hormone production, absorption of certain vitamins, protects your organs, helps control inflammation, improves nutrient partitioning (that means it will help you lose fat), and it keeps your coat shiny. ;)

How much you need is debatable, but until you develop proper habits (meats, veggies, nuts at every meal) I wouldn't worry about exact grams or percentages.

Kevin McKay 07-10-2007 04:41 PM

yeah, 90% is going to be controlling insulin via selecting quality carbs. Keep the fat it also retards digestion to further prevent your insulin form spiking which is what tels your body to store rather than burn fat.

Here is some info I put together hope it helps


Albert Carr 07-10-2007 07:03 PM

Dietary fats are essential to good health. For healthy weight loss you should take in at least 20% fat(30% would be better) Fat is needed for many functions in the body. (Mainly hormones) Keep In mind that saturated fat needs to be at less than 10%of your total calories (less is even better). Saturated fats are used in testosterone production so cutting them off completey would be a big mistake, but in excess they are deadly. Ensure that all fats are from healthy sources- nuts, olive oil, fish oils, etc. Believe it or not- I tend to shed more body fat when I increase fat inatke and decrease carb intake (while I keep protein intake constant).

Eugene Cha 02-17-2008 09:06 AM

Re: The Zone - Cut the fat when trying to shed it?
I have a question that always comes up in discussions about zone diet with my friends. Doesn't undigested fat end up in adipose fat tissue? I did a little research and I found two sources that told me only 5% of fat is absorbed as glyercols, which is transported to wherever it was need as chylomicrons and the rest were deposited into fat tissue. Is there a difference in terms of weight loss between carbohydrates being converted to fat and stored in adipose fat tissue due to high insulin levels or dietary fat being undigested and stored in adipose fat tissue? Thanks.

Also the fat section of this article

claims that satiety through fats is self defeating because fermentation of fats in the stomach causes irritation which causes greater hunger. I don't mean to be an *** and attack the Zone diet, but it's just that these things come up in conversation when talking with my friends (which include a lot of bio, chem, and nutritional science majors). Again, thanks.

Jennifer Higgins 02-17-2008 10:30 AM

Re: The Zone - Cut the fat when trying to shed it?
I'll look at those articles when I am able, but before then these posts made me think of a few things that I've learned in my research:
we don't ferment things in our stomach.
Different fats are digested in different ways (for example the MCTs in coconut oil do not require bile for digestion like the other fats do).
If fats are truly not broken down in the GI tract they will exit in the stool and the stool will be fatty.
Lard from properly raised pigs (difficult to acquire certainly) is 60%monounsaturated fat (as in the Zone's beloved olive oil) and it is an excellent source of Vitamins A and D.
Saturated fats are not exactly killers. Even the most mainstream, conventional public health studies like Framingham do not show that. In fact the director of that study is on record as saying there is not a relationship between intake of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and development of cardiovascular disease. Our body dismantles the polyunsaturates we eat and makes stearic and palmitic acids (saturated fats) if it must because our body requires them for many functions.

Gavin Jones 02-17-2008 10:58 AM

Re: The Zone - Cut the fat when trying to shed it?
Kieran you know when you should quickly stop reading a webpage?......... When it has links for 'Curry to combat cancer' and 'Cabbage Soup Diet'. Also when the word calories is used and the title of the site has the words 'Weight loss' in it.

'Weight' means absolutely nothing unless you compete in a weight category. Body composition on the other hand should matter to everyone. Forget the BMI and all that junk, look in the mirror:
  • are you fat? Then your malnourished
  • Are you a lean, mean, strong machine? Congratulations you're nourished.

End. :notworth:

P.S. Crossfit has infinite examples of real science (e.g. the zone, paleo, oly lifting, starting strength, mma) applied in the real world (e.g. people not lab rats where every other varible is taken out of the equation)


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