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Old 07-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
Ryan Jones
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Hey everyone, I need some help with The Zone. I'm 28 years old, 6'5.5'', 195 lbs, and 11% BF. 6 weeks ago I hired a personal trainer, he put me on a 4k calorie high carb low fat diet while working out 3-5 times a week. In that time I gained 16 lbs (17 lbs LBM) and lost 2% BF. During that time I found gymjones.com and crossfit.com, subscribed to the journal, bought back issues of the journal, and I've been tailoring my workout to be more like CF. Both sites point towards The Zone diet. So I bought 'Enter the Zone' and read it. I workout 3-4 days a week. 1 day with the trainer is 1 hour of non stop core plus full body exercises with some weight training thrown in. The other 2-3 days are 2 hours of core, body weight exercises, weight training, and olympic exercises. I also play basketball for 2 hours 1-2 times a week. I figured this put my activity rating at between .8 and .9. That combined with my lean body mass of ~155 puts me at ~21 blocks per day. I did the math and at 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs, and 9 calories per gram of fat (a d assuming 1.5 g of fat per block of protein (read about that somewhere in this forum)), this has me cutting back from 4k calories to less than 2k! Is there something wrong with my math? Is this correct? This seems horrifically low. Today was my first day 'in the zone.' For breakfast at 9 am I had a protein shake which equated to 6 blocks carb, 6 blocks protein, and 3 blocks fat and then I added 9 almonds for 3 more blocks of fat. For lunch at 1 pm i had 5 oz turkey, 1 fuji apple, 1 pear, and 15 almonds. For a snack at 5 pm I was in a hurry so I ate 2/3 of a jack in the box chicken pita (the whole thing is 3 blocks, so 2 blocks worth). I worked out from 6-7. After my workout around 7:15 I had another shake + almonds for 6 blocks. And later tonight I'll have a 2 block snack (I really need to get to costco and get some more diverse nut options and other stuff). I've also drank about a gallon of water so far. I've been hungry all day. I was shaking and starving after the workout (that actually usually happens). I know this is a lot of information but I wanted to get it all out there. Is my diet correct? And how can I figure out the glycemic index of my protein shake (so I know whether to ditch it or not?). Thanks a lot to anyone for the help.

(Message edited by jonesy on July 23, 2007)
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
George Mounce
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Funny what coming down off of sugar will do to you, isn't it?

Yes the Zone is much less as far as calories when used strictly. Without adding anything I'd be at about 1700 if used strictly. But I am an extremely active CrossFitter so I know I need more.

Most people will use the Zone as Rx'd until meeting their BF % goal then add in 3-5x the blocks of fat. (Example, I'm 17 blocks, and eat 51 blocks of fat per day.) Good fats = lots of calories. Doing this I get about 2300-2500 calories a day according to (w/f safe) http://www.fitday.com .

For 21 blocks your meals aren't adding up to the same amount of blocks per meal.

5 oz turkey would be 5 blocks of protein and 5 blocks of fat is assumed, but a pear and an apple is only 4 blocks of carbs, with 5 blocks of fat in the almonds. So you just missed out on carbs, and the fat isn't right.

6 blocks in a meal is overdoing it, about 5 is the max for most people. If you are using the bought protein mix, that has no fiber, you are missing out on a breakfast that would make you feel full.

I'm gonna say, drop the pre-made protein shakes and find good simple protein isolate to mix with good carbs, meaning fruits and veggies, not pre-made stuff.

Your protein shake if it is pre-made, look at the ingredients, it is probably sugar making it high glycemic. I prefer ISOPURE Zero Carb for my pre and post workout snacks and then something with lots of fiber for the carbs and some nuts for fat.

The key to feeling full is fiber + fat.

Here are some things that might help you:





Attached Files
File Type: email Zone Block Calculator2003.xls (97.0 KB, 109 views)
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:23 PM   #3
Ryan Jones
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The Zone book actually says that 1/3 a pear is one block so an apple + a pear is 5 blocks. Perhaps I should move to a 5/5/3/5/3 block breakdown? Heres the info on the protein shake (cyto gainer lean muscle maximizer is the name btw). I use half a serving. A full serving has 6g fat (3.5 sat), 75g carb (7g sugar, 4g dietary fiber), 54g protein. First ingredient is 'cytocarb II (cytosports unique combination of branching as well as long linear chain maltodextrins with very low 'DE'(dextrose equivalent) providing a complex carbohydrate source approximately 96.5% sugar-free). Then it lists whey protein, cocoa powder, chocolate cookies pieces (that cant be good), creatine, and then numerous other things. So it doesnt sound like it has too much sugar, no?

And another question question. The book lists plain yogurt (1/2 cup) to be 1 block protein 1 block carbs, is this regular, low-fat, or non-fat yogurt?

Thanks for all the info so far. My trainer has never heard of the zone diet and says im crazy to cut to a 1820 calorie diet, sounds pretty crazy to me too so had to ask to make sure my math was right =).
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:05 AM   #4
Andy Shirley
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So you are saying six weeks ago, you weighed 16 lbs less than now(179 at 13%bf), and that is the last 6 weeks you have gone up to 195, claiming a gain of 17 lbs of lean body mass? It seems like the numbers are a little funny to me.

Also, in the zone there are hidden calories(fat in the protein, protein in the carbs).

Also 195 at 11% puts you at 173# lbm(use what you are now, not what you were).
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:44 AM   #5
George Mounce
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Ryan, I've never read the book. I have had no need. I use all the information I've found on these boards. I use the values that are in the PDF I put up there, not the book. So far so good for me. The values for a "pear" can differ by 50% due to type of pear and at what stage of ripening the pear is at. That is why I have moved from just "blocks" to Fitday to really track what I am eating. Blocks are too loose for me. They are much better for people wanting a more flexible system, which is 100% OK as well.

Ryan your protein shake sounds a lot like a muscle magazine advertisement. 75g of carbs = meal replacement. Ew. Eat a real meal. I do like your idea of moving to a 5/5/3/5/3, less is more in the long run. I personally do it like this:

4, 1-2 pre workout, 1-2 post workout, 4 lunch, 1 snack, 4 dinner, 1 snack. Total = 17 blocks protein carb, 51 blocks fat.

Andy is right. The Zone blocks don't take into account the other nutrients (such as the fat in yogurt).

Use Fitday and you will be really surprised that the 1800 calories you "think" you'll be eating will really be more.



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Old 07-24-2007, 12:01 PM   #6
Ryan Jones
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Woops I posted some wrong numbers with the mass, with an LBM of 173 and an activity rating of .85 that puts me at 147g of protein which is 21 blocks.

As for the hidden calories, fat in the protein, protein in the carbs, etc. How would I create a meal looking at nutrion labels? If I want a 5 block meal (35g protein, 45g carb, 7.5g fat), if I'm using nutrition labels should I actually aim for 15g of fat due to the assumed 1.5g of fat per protein block? Should I make any other adjustments?

I actually take a half serving of that protein shake, but I should ditch it eh? Thats too bad, its so easy heh.

I'll check out fitday.

I really did gain 16 lbs in 6 weeks, I weighed myself wearing the same thing, at the same time, 4 days a week and it was a steady increase up to ~16 lbs. Sure the BF% could be off but it was done by the same person at the same time of day at least.

Sorry for all the newbie questions, and thanks for all the help.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:38 PM   #7
Alisha Kowalewski
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Ryan,
I am also extremely active and have been on the zone for quite some time. I am a 27yof, 126# and just under 10% body fat. I take in about 18 blocks a day and have never felt better. I have more energy and my performance in sports has skyrocketed. If you are at 21 blocks a day and you do not want to lose any more weight, then you may need to increase your blocks by 1 or 2 or your fat. A lot of people just increase their fat and works great, for me it just worked better to increase my total blocks. Anyway, you really should start eating whole foods (especially fruit and veggies for carbs). Make your own smoothies; They are much healthier and you know what you are putting in them. The zone diet is something that you could adjust up or down in blocks to how you feel best without gaining weight. And, the others are right, there are hidden calories in each block. And about nutrition labels, yogurt and milk are combo blocks (others are too, but can't think of them off the top of my head), but for most labels, you want to count the carbs if they are mostly carbs (ex, bread has a lot of carbs, some protein and fat, but on the zone you really only count it as a carb). Fat is 1.5g, and the other 1.5 is hidden in meats and other protein. Hope this makes some sense. You will get enough calories on the zone, you may just have to adjust your blocks
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:57 PM   #8
Ryan Jones
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Thanks Alisha. You are all quite helpful.

What about with high fat protein items like cheese and red meat, should I count those as a combo block of protein and fat?

Ive been using fitday to enter my food, should I focus on striving for a 30/40/30 breakdown of fat/carb/protein?
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:51 AM   #9
Alisha Kowalewski
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Hey Ryan,
Pertaining to the cheese and red meat, I would count that as a protein and use the 1.5g fat per block (instead of 3g/block); that way you are counting some of the fat in the meat or cheese.
I have never used fitday, heard it's great though. If it allows you to use 40%C/30P/30F, then yes, use it if it helps you.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
Jennifer Wade
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The things is, the Zone diet has never been proven to be effective or safe. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, but the man behind the diet is neither a physician not a nutritionist, and there is no definitive, published scientific work proclaiming that the Zone is even SAFE. In fact, most professionals insist that this diet will harm you in the long run.

The best diet, in my opinion, is that one where you listen to your body. We've been getting it pounded into our heads since we were little kids what is and is not healthy to eat. If you want to "diet", cut out the fast food, drink water instead of soda, and watch the candy intake. Workout to take care of the rest.

Good luck!
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