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Old 06-27-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
Casey Story
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Zone Meal Considerations

Hi all,

First post and I am just looking for a bit of information about the Zone diet. I have been referring to the Zone bible "CF Journal 21" and working to figure out blocks in everyday foods. Here is the main question.

In Journal 21, it states that 1 egg = 1 protein block. Pretty easy math. However, as I look at the breakdown of the Zone diet, it states this:

7g protein = 1 block
9g CHO = 1 block
1.5 g Fat = 1 block

So when an egg has a nutritional breakdown of:

6 g protein = 1 block
0 g CHO = 0 block
5 g Fat = 3 blocks
Approximate block breakdown.

If I am planning a block menu, do I refer to the nutritional information for determining total blocks or to I refer to the journal article that only looks at the protein included in the egg? Any light that someone can shed would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for reading and for your feedback.

Cheers!
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

You generally just consider the primary macronutrient in your food source. Eggs are on the extreme end of the spectrum, but most protein sources will contain negligible amounts of fat. Likewise, you can ignore the protein content of nuts.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:00 AM   #3
Joe Migliorini
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

I was wondering this same thing, especially because I eat quite a bit of black beans. The easiest method I have found is to use "my fitness pal" or something similar so that I can see the totals for each meal and tweak each component accordingly. This ensures I get exactly however many blocks I need without going over for a given macronutrient.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

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Originally Posted by Joe Migliorini View Post
I was wondering this same thing, especially because I eat quite a bit of black beans. The easiest method I have found is to use "my fitness pal" or something similar so that I can see the totals for each meal and tweak each component accordingly. This ensures I get exactly however many blocks I need without going over for a given macronutrient.
You're over thinking it. As I mentioned above, you should only consider the primary macronutrient of your food source. In the example of black beans, it's true that they do contain some protein, but the amount relative to their carbohydrate content is insignificant. If you try to take into account every miscellaneous gram of macronutrient in each food source, you will end up taking in too few calories.

Also, CrossFit Journal 21 is by no means the "Zone bible"; it's more of a rough overview. In my opinion, if you haven't read "Mastering the Zone", then you really don't have a good concept of how to work the Zone diet and probably don't even know how to properly calculate your block count.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
Joe Migliorini
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
You're over thinking it. As I mentioned above, you should only consider the primary macronutrient of your food source. In the example of black beans, it's true that they do contain some protein, but the amount relative to their carbohydrate content is insignificant. If you try to take into account every miscellaneous gram of macronutrient in each food source, you will end up taking in too few calories.

Also, CrossFit Journal 21 is by no means the "Zone bible"; it's more of a rough overview. In my opinion, if you haven't read "Mastering the Zone", then you really don't have a good concept of how to work the Zone diet and probably don't even know how to properly calculate your block count.
The problem I was running into was that when I was eating 5 blocks per meal using the simple method you suggest, I was easily going over the 500 calorie limit per meal.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:58 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

Why would you limit yourself to 500 calories in a meal? That's a moderate-sized snack.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:16 PM   #7
Joe Migliorini
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

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Why would you limit yourself to 500 calories in a meal? That's a moderate-sized snack.
That is what Dr. Sears says is the upper caloric limit for any meal while following the zone.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

I wouldn't worry too much about the whole 500 kcal meal/100 kcal snack limit. A lot of what Dr. Sears wrote in "Enter the Zone" was later modified in "Mastering the Zone". He realized that using the Zone for lifestyle maintenance and performance would require individuals, especially larger athletes, to take in more calories. Do you think Matt Chan and Greg Amundson, both evangelical Zoners, limit themselves to 2500 kcal a day?
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
Joe Migliorini
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

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Originally Posted by Christopher G. Woods View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about the whole 500 kcal meal/100 kcal snack limit. A lot of what Dr. Sears wrote in "Enter the Zone" was later modified in "Mastering the Zone". He realized that using the Zone for lifestyle maintenance and performance would require individuals, especially larger athletes, to take in more calories. Do you think Matt Chan and Greg Amundson, both evangelical Zoners, limit themselves to 2500 kcal a day?
Thanks for the info! I'll be reading "Mastering the Zone" very soon then.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
Casey Story
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Re: Zone Meal Considerations

Thank you all for the great comments. There is definately some genuine considerations I need to dive into before I would consider myself an expert. All of these speak true to the assumptions I was making, and as Joe says, I think my next step will be to read through "Mastering the Zone" to determine how to balance it all out. Thanks again and happy 4th of July!
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