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Old 03-19-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
Jenna Dodge
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F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Based on my calculations my body fat percentage is 22% and I weight 123 pounds. I calculate from the Zone book that I should be eating 14 blocks a day, but then in the CF Journal 21 it recommends that a "Medium Female" eat 12 blocks and a "Well Muscled Female" eat 14 blocks. I think I am at most a medium female, but according to my friends I am "well muscled" so I'm not sure how much to eat. THis is day 3 on the zone, and I had a few zone days last week before I completely splurged on Sunday. Anyway, I am STARVING! I was eating low-carb before (I actually had to UP my carb intake to stay in the Zone, but my fat intake is WAY down now).

Also, how low does my BF need to get before I can start upping the fat blocks? In the above mentioned article Coach says that when an athlete gets below 10% towards 5% then he ups the fat intake, but I know that is for males. Is it necessary once you are that thin to even pay attention to fat intake? I'd love to be able to snack on almonds again, as well as to put sunflower seeds, olives, and as much oil and vinegar on my salads as I want.

Thanks for the advice! I am new to the forum, this is my first post. I have been crossfitting for 5 weeks and just set my new DL PR of 1.5 X bw today (185 pounds! I'm stoked!)

Thanks again!

p.s. there's a lot of info on the web doggin' on the Zone diet, saying that is is not scientifically based. Do crossfitters just ignore all that? I'm going to give it a month at least.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:19 PM   #2
Emily Mattes
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

On Dr. Sears website there is a Zone Block calculator (all links WFS). The body fat percentage may be off from your other estimates, but it provides a pretty good block estimate. Most Crossfitters trying to lose body fat pick a "Moderate" level of activity.

As for body fat, you stop losing body fat when you feel you need to. You are the best judge of your body and the best place for your body fat percentage to be. When your performance is maximized and you are happy with how you look and feel, that is your ideal body fat percentage. If you are running low on energy or feeling like your weight is slowing you down, you may want to gain or lose body fat accordingly.

Last edited by Emily Mattes; 03-19-2008 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:40 AM   #3
Elliot Fuller
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Hey Jenna,

Regarding the "Zone is bad for you" comment: The people here aren't all scientists (although some are f'ing smart, and very well should be). The one thing that most here who have tried the Zone can agree on, outside of science, is that it has improved their performance, their physique, and their overall health.

When the proof is in the pudding, you generally don't need science to back it up. But if that doesn't sell you on it, there are plenty of people who have gone and had the blood work done as well, to prove the case as well.

A lot of people who do Zone for "the media" probably aren't doing the same kind of Zone that a lot of people on here are doing. They're probably not eating grassfed, healthy meats, healthy fats, or Paleo food sources. They're probably counting 1 Twinkie as a 4 block meal

Zone's not for everyone, but what works works, and you can be the best judge of that.

As for the blocks... you can use the calculator that Emily linked to, or you can Black Box it for a couple of days at a time to see how you respond to different levels. My sister just started on it recently, and she's doing 13 blocks, significantly taller than you, but maybe less active. It all depends.

If you can get your lean body mass more accurately measured (by a physician), then you should have no problem. Figure out your "Protein Prescription" and then piecing together your block counts from your basic protein requirements should be no problem. It's all based on how much protein you need anyways.

If you can't do that, then just try one for a while, switch up, try another, etc. The fat blocks are largely for energy. If you find that at the correct number of blocks, you are still low energy and just not feeling it, then up the fat to give your body the extra boost.

If, on the other hand, you're literally starving (and not just low energy), you can either adjust the sources of food to include a lot more low-density carbs (broccoli, lettuce... really filling stuff), and see how that fares, or you may actually just need a higher block count for your metabolism.

In the end, you can tweak things up, and if it doesn't work for you, try something else. Plenty of benefits to just eating Paleo foods as well, whether they're Zoned portions or not.



Oh and lastly -- if this is just your 3rd day doing it, you need to give it some time. Do a solid week (or two, if you can) of strict measurements of Paleo food sources at an appropriate number of blocks. Give your body time to adjust.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:20 AM   #4
Matt Unthank
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

If you are training on the 3/1 cycle, I would bump to 2x fat at this point, at least for a few of your meals a day. I made this switch, and I felt substantially better throughout the day and in my workouts.

I lived in starvation mode as well, until I started using more veggies for my carb blocks. A piece of fruit is always an appealing choice, but the amount of broccoli you can eat will easily leave you full until you next meal.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:05 AM   #5
Jenna Dodge
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Thanks everyone for the responses. After some further prodding it looks like I should stick with 12 blocks for now, though apparently I can go up to 15 if I am an "Elite Athlete" (my boyfriend thinks I am but I think he is crazy). I do bike race (road and downhill mountain mostly) so perhaps during that season i'll have to kick it up a bit. I train at least once a day, usually twice, 6 or sometimes 7 days a week (like when I accidentally go rock climbing on my rest day) so my concern is that i will not be eating enough.

Mostly at this point I am concerned with how much fat to eat. I've never paid attention to it. I will just stick with the recommended amount until 1 week into the diet and then up it if I am feeling tired/run down.

Thanks again and I will take more advice if anyone has any!
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:22 PM   #6
Aaron Trent
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

This might sound like a strange question, but does your boyfriend race bicycles?
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:36 AM   #7
Jenna Dodge
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Aaron,

my boyfriend does race bicycles - why? I mean, he doesn't race as much as me but he has raced before....strange question, why do you ask?
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
Aaron Trent
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna Rettenmayer View Post
Aaron,

my boyfriend does race bicycles - why? I mean, he doesn't race as much as me but he has raced before....strange question, why do you ask?
There was a guy on a bike related forum that I used to frequent. He was from Bozeman. He was under the user name of "Cypress". I was wondering if it's the same guy.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:38 AM   #9
Jenna Dodge
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Trent View Post
There was a guy on a bike related forum that I used to frequent. He was from Bozeman. He was under the user name of "Cypress". I was wondering if it's the same guy.
Nope, not the same guy. Was the forum Pink Bike? That name sounds familiar, like i've been on a forum and talked to a guy with the same name or something.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:12 PM   #10
Carina Ricciardi
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Re: F/5'4"/123 lbs - how many blocks?

Hey there, I am in the same boat you are and wanted to see how it was going for you. At first I did 12 blocks, and didn't really have much energy to work out, bumped it to 13 felt a bit better but my performance went down. Messed around with the fat a bit but have been attempting to eat 14 but not always making it. Still trying to find the right combination....any thoughts?
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