Re: New to Zone Diet
Keep in mind that, when you're out, you will probably not be served enough fruit and veggies to cover the carb blocks that would normally be consumed with your 6 blocks worth of steak. When I'm out, I'm less concerned with measuring, more just concerned with making sure my carbs are not too high. I'll order a meat entree and ask for only veggies and fruit, knowing that I'm probably only at 2-3 blocks for carbs. But that's better than getting the fries and being at 6 or 8 blocks carbs. Here and there if the place is crap an no fruit is available, I will just eat like 3 or 4 fries with my meal and give the rest away. (I'm not yet a Paleo-ologist)
I'm still learning the ropes myself, but I would agree that a cheat day is important. When I tried to cut that out, I gained weight because I would just lose focus and eat worse. I eat more cleanly knowing that Sunday night I can have some pizza.
Also, measuring gets easier once you have some memorized as well. I don't look at the chart for most meals. I just weigh the meat and put the berries in a cup and grab some tablespoons of almond butter, and I have it all memorized so it's pretty hassle free. In fact, it's only marginally more time consuming that just scooping things on the plate. The benefit here is that it makes you consider how much you're going to eat, and how much of each you need. Before the Zone, I'd rationalize bad food because it had some protein in it. Now I know how much of each I need for a good balance and what foods are the prime sources for such things. We may both someday graduate into a more paleo diet, or at least an adjusted Zone, but I credit the Zone with helping me begin to fix my eating.
Best of luck!