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Old 01-28-2008, 12:16 PM   #1
Roelant Bergen
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Is the Zone really the only way?

Hello Everyone,

I've been reading up on as many threads as I have time for (study breaks) and was wondering if any experienced people would be able to tell me if the zone was the only way to attain elite athletic performance while doing crossfit. I've been on the zone for two weeks now and I'm ready to gouge my eyes out. I can't stand the measurements etc. and I'm litterally eating all the time, even when I'm not hungry. I felt a lot better when I was doing a Warrior Diet/ IF paleo (with Dairy) hybrid, and was making gains on my workouts but I'm not sure if those will plateau or not. Eating during the day eventually plugs me up and gives me bouts of unfavorable umm....levitation so I'm wondering If I'm either doing something wrong (eating too many nuts?) or if i should just go back to IF? anybody doing IF that has a sub 4 Fran? I know the top tier Crossfitters weigh and measure but this is killing me. I'll do what I have to do, but I feel more comfortable doing the fast/paleo. Any advice is welcom and appreciated.

Roelant
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

No, a lot of people also do IF/Paleo or just Paleo without the IF. Not sure why you switched though if it was working great for you..

As far as I know those are the generally the two diets (and variations) that most people use. Zone is probably better for those who are looking to lose a lot of extra weight (which is probably at least half of the people here) or get off carb rich diets (which is pretty much near all of the people here) because it is based on very strict control of cals and insulin (well, Paleo/IF does too, but not to the extent of Zone).

Last edited by Steven Low : 01-28-2008 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
Roelant Bergen
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
No, a lot of people also do IF/Paleo or just Paleo without the IF. Not sure why you switched though if it was working great for you..

As far as I know those are the generally the two diets (and variations) that most people use.
I'm assuming their results aren't crappy otherwise they would have dropped it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
Nick Cummings
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

I would say that The Zone is not the only way but as far as I know (or anyone else that I have spoken to or learned from, knows) it is the best way. It can be a bit tedious the first couple of weeks. It does get easier or maybe I just got used to it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:39 PM   #5
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

It's definitely not the only way. It's good because it's a strict and quantitative (or is it qualitative?) way of benchmarking as much as it is a diet. With Zone you can very easily track what works and what doesn't. With Paleo and IF it tends to be a little more obscure. You can't just say "Ok, so I need to drop 1 block of carbs" with those methods.

I think overall I felt best when Zoning, but could not keep up with planning my meals so in-depth and routinely having time to get all of my snacks and meals in. Zone is usually meant as a lifestyle change and not just a diet to use for a short period to lose weight with. But for some it's just a little too cumbersome.

Many people on here have great performances with Paleo and/or IF. I personally prefer to workout on an empty stomach, so I've gone the IF route and haven't seen any performance decreases, but haven't been doing WODs routinely enough to say that I've really seen increases or gains.

I think it all depends on how you feel. Zone seems like it has more facts backing it up with all of its ratios and the like. But eating Paleo probably accomplishes 75% of what the Zone would be aiming for anyways. And eating IF is aimed at having the same insulin-regulating effects as Zone, and is a great alternative (for me, anyways) provided that you can deal with the lack of food during the day -- it's really only annoying for the first week.

Go with your gut (haha) and do what feels best for you. There's no shame in experimenting, but I'd say give the Zone a bit longer (I did mine for a month before feeling the need to switch), as the first few weeks can be transitional for a lot of people.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
Joe Bernard
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

If you are sick of measurements, then switch back to what you were doing. I am currently in college so the Zone is not an option for me due to not being able to measure food. So instead I do Paleo and it has been working great for me. For example, the week i switched to Paleo i dropped 7 minutes on my ab workout, which was very surprising to me because i usually increase my time by a max of 30secs per workout. You will not plateau on what you were doing unless you eat the same food everyday and do the same workouts, which you dont. I have read the Paleo diet book and there are alot of different foods you can eat, so reaching a plateau is something you shouldnt be concerned about.

Just choose what you are more comfortable with. Prove everyone wrong by doing IF/Paleo and becoming a top tier Crossfitter.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #7
Gant Grimes
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
Just choose what you are more comfortable with. Prove everyone wrong by doing IF/Paleo and becoming a top tier Crossfitter.
I agree that you should do what works for you, but people should understand that the three approaches are not mutually exclusive.

You can:
IF/Paleo/Zone
IF/Paleo
Paleo/Zone...etc.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
Ari Kestler
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Zone is probably better for those who are looking to lose a lot of extra weight (which is probably at least half of the people here) or get off carb rich diets (which is pretty much near all of the people here) because it is based on very strict control of cals and insulin (well, Paleo/IF does too, but not to the extent of Zone).
I would argue that Paleo/IF places even more emphasis on insulin control, no?
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
Derek Weaver
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

Zone is good, but by no means is it the only way. The best way is what works for you and allows you to maintain sanity.

I used to Zone, was showing improvement, but I was so neurotic about getting my measurements and timing right that I eventually had to stop Zoning. I still stay "Zone-ish", but tend to go more EF/Paleo these days. I've given most of the approaches a try in the last 6-9 months. Paleo, Zone, Anabolic Diet, IF, Paleo/Zone, IF/Paleo etc.

The thing about Zone and why it's effective is that for a lot of beginners it is restrictive on calories, only allowing enough caloric intake to maintain lean mass and performance. Hence why you see a lot of Zoners leaning out to between 5-10% bf (for men) on moderately low carbohydrate diets, which the Zone is.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:39 PM   #10
Richard Gonzalez
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Re: Is the Zone really the only way?

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
If you are sick of measurements, then switch back to what you were doing. I am currently in college so the Zone is not an option for me due to not being able to measure food. QUOTE]
I agree with most of what you said, except for this line. I find it easier to follow the Zone diet than the Paleo. I am not in college, but my job requires a lot of sporadic and often unnatural eating habits. I can't always obtain fresh veggies, fruit, or quality meats. Sometimes I have to eat a balance bar (or two). Sometimes I have to substitute a tortilla for my carb source, my protein may come from deli meat...etc.

Optimal zone results are gained through proper measurements. However, you can still follow the zone by using the eyeball method and reading labels correctly. Dr. Sears and Crossfit have made following the zone extremely easy. They list foods which are ideal to eat, and what their block content is.

...you are right, however, as to follow what works for you. Experiment with your diet, but ensure it's nutrient dense.

I can't speak of any other diets (IF, Paleo...), but I've black boxed the Zone, and so far, like Crossfit, I am seeing benefits.
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