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Old 08-04-2009, 03:42 PM   #1
Jeremy Raffer
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just started zone and need your help

Ok I decided that I want to give The Zone a shot. I am 5'8" 156lbs 8% bf. I think im a medium male which means i need 17 blocks. So I have a few questions. For starters...I understand that I need to pick 5 things for my meals from the block chart for protein, carbohydrates and for fats. 5 oz of chicken is fine, 5 tbs of avacado ok, but 6 cups of broccoli or 5 small artichokes, 6.6 cups of spinach. This sounds undoable for the carbs. Am I missing something? Also, how many calories a day is 17 blocks? If i do it right it will be 40/30/30 c/p/f right?
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: just started zone and need your help

At 8% BF, why do you want a calorie restricted diet?

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
Jeremy Raffer
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Re: just started zone and need your help

is it calorie restriction? I thought it was a way to improve performance.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
Brandon Petersen
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Re: just started zone and need your help

it's FAT / PROTEIN / CARBS

and most people dont follow those ratios. . depending on your activity level, goals etc..
there is a ton of info on these boards...everyone is going to tell you to SEARCH.
but i do a lot of searches, and i can never find anything LOL...I must suck at the whole "search" thing...
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
Jeremy Raffer
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Re: just started zone and need your help

Yah I dont think its going to work for me. not enough food. I just did a 5 block dinner which was 320 cals because I could only eat 2 cups of snap peas and needed to eat 5. 5!
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: just started zone and need your help

Jeremy:

1. What the hell are you doing eating a 5 block dinner on a 17 block diet? That means you only consumed 12 blocks throughout the rest of your day. I do 18-20 blocks a day and never consume meals larger than 4 blocks. You should be getting the bulk of your calories in your first three meals. If you want to eat a 5 block meal, it should be breakfast.

2. Trying to eat 5 cups of snow peas (or 4 cups of broccoli, or 8 cups of spinach, etc.) is a classic zone-rookie mistake. You need to learn to use combinations of low and high density carbs in your meals. If your eating a 5 block meal, eat 1 block of snow peas or broccoli or whatever, and get the other 4 from sweet potatoes or fruit or something. Performance athletes cannot live by favorable carbs alone. I don't know about you, but my stomach's just not big enough.

3. At 8% body fat, you can probably go straight to consuming 2-3 x fat. That mean 34-48 blocks of fat a day.

Katheryine:

The zone is not a calorie restrictive diet. The zone is about macro-nutrient distribution. The main reason the zone is so heavily promoted within the CrossFit community is for the ease with which it can be adjusted for different purposes. It can be adjusted for weight loss, weight gain or performance.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: just started zone and need your help

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
The zone is not a calorie restrictive diet. The zone is about macro-nutrient distribution. The main reason the zone is so heavily promoted within the CrossFit community is for the ease with which it can be adjusted for different purposes. It can be adjusted for weight loss, weight gain or performance.
As written, the Zone is a calorie-restricted diet. The standard Zone calculations almost universally produce a number of blocks that will put the user into a calorie deficit. Don't believe me? Do the math. Or read all the threads on this board from people who find themselves with undereating symptoms after following the Zone for a few weeks.

Yes, I know that the Zone ratios can be applied to any quantity of food, and that many people on this board tweak the Zone in order to support their caloric needs. That's great; I'm happy for people who like their results. But for an active individual with 8% BF (the OP), following the Zone as prescribed would, IMO, be a remarkably bad idea.

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Old 08-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #8
Jeremy Raffer
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Re: just started zone and need your help

the block chart in cfj issue 21 said 17 blocks 5 breakfast 5 lunch 1snack 5 dinner 1 snack.

BTW I am eating 3000 cals a day net and gaining muscle slowly. Im trying to put on 10 lbs of muscle to boost me up to around 165lbs. Im doing this because I have your standard over developed upper body and underdeveloped lower. I can press 135 for sets, bench 235 for sets but my max dead is 305 and i do sets of 5 on squats at 215.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #9
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: just started zone and need your help

Jeremy:

The 5-5-1-5-1 model is just one option. When I do 18 blocks, I do a 4-4-3-4-3 breakup; for 17, Try 4-4-3-3-3. Also, if you're trying to gain weight, definitely bump up your fat blocks. Another good idea would be to buy (or at least borrow from the library) Mastering the Zone, which is by far the most comprehensive of the zone books. CrossFit Journal 21 is just an introduction to and rough overview of the Zone.

Katherine:

I have to disagree with your view of the Zone "as written". Granted, the most commonly used structure, what some people on this board would call "strict" or "standard" zone, is geared towards weight loss, but that's because most people who pick up a diet book are looking to lose weight. However, since Dr. Sears books also include instructions for modifying the Zone based on your level of activity and fitness, I would argue that the Zone "as written" is a modifiable system. At any rate, we both seem to be pointing the OP in the same basic direction, so why don't we just chalk this one up to a difference of opinion?
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
Eric Montgomery
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Re: just started zone and need your help

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Raffer View Post
For starters...I understand that I need to pick 5 things for my meals from the block chart for protein, carbohydrates and for fats. 5 oz of chicken is fine, 5 tbs of avacado ok, but 6 cups of broccoli or 5 small artichokes, 6.6 cups of spinach. This sounds undoable for the carbs. Am I missing something? Also, how many calories a day is 17 blocks? If i do it right it will be 40/30/30 c/p/f right?
Check out Robb Wolf's "42 Ways to Skin the Zone." He notes how hard it is to eat 5 blocks of low-GI vegetables and recommends swapping out carb blocks in favor of 3 fat blocks per. So you could do that then go to 2x or 3x fat to help you gain weight and to boost energy. So if you keep eating 17 blocks, maybe eat 17P/10C/38F for a baseline Zone, then that would be boosted to 76F if you were doing 2x fat, and so on.

Don't worry about counting calories...Zone blocks don't count hidden calories. Like an egg for instance--it counts for 1 protein block so in theory it's only 28 calories (7g protein times 4 calories per gram), but its fat content boosts it to 70 or so calories.

Yes, the Zone as written is calorie restricted, mainly because it's geared towards sedentary people who want to lose weight. You can tweak it for mass gain and boost performance by eating more fat or a block more than the charts recommend. I gained 10lbs over a two month period by taking my normal 17 blocks and going to 18P/10C/120F. Had tons of energy, got stronger, and gained weight, though not all of it was muscle obviously. So now I'm trying to undo a little of that so my metcon comes back up.
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