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Old 02-17-2007, 10:05 PM   #1
Stefan Borovina
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So I am a former high school and college athlete but law school has put some pounds on my gut. I have been very busy and have fallen out of shape.

My first goal is to lose some of this body fat. I think I understand how the Zone works, but I do not know how to begin. Anyone want to share some info on how to start setting up meals for the week? The program seems to be very exact with its requirements and I want to be as time efficient as possible. I am concerned that with my busy schedule I will have a hard time weighing out and following my block allotment for each meal.

For those of you on the Zone... how did you get started, and how do you stay on track?
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:05 AM   #2
Dave Campbell
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Stefan,
Do a search on the Zone. There have been literally thousands of CF threads regarding the Zone. Many people recommend skipping the weighing part in the beginning.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:34 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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Here's what I suggest. Get CFJ issue #21. Make copies and carry it around with you and post it in your kitchen.

Make a list of the 10 or 12 meals that you eat all the time. We all have our "go to" meals whether we eat out of cook at home: lumberjack breakfast, turkey sub, pizza, #4 value meal...whatever they are.

Now try your best to modify those meals into a zone friendly version.

I like eggs in the morning. I know I can eat 3 blocks of eggs and one block of bacon. 2 apples for carbs and a 9 almonds for fat (because bacon has a fat block).

My favorite mexican place makes a steak with pico de gallo that's really good and I get a side of guacamole. I usually eat a little more than my blocks of that but it's a safer alternative than quesadillas.

Also read CFJ issue 38 "Getting Off The Crack."

If time is a real factor. I vote for Zone Chefs delivery service. As long as you're going into debt with law school...you might as well do it right. And with starting salaries for first years going up, it seems like a good expense.

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Old 02-18-2007, 08:03 AM   #4
Ron Fielder
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I started off with a paleo diet. Within 2.5 months I dropped my weight from 198 to 176lbs. With the paleo princinple you can eat as much as you want, you just can't eat certain foods.
There is a painful transition where you have to learn to eat enough fat to quench yor hunger and I believe that once you have bottomed out on paleo then you can tweak it with the Zone.
For me the Zone is a little complex and is taking some time to incorporate, I still eat on my paleo base though.
I hope that I can get more into the zone but it is taking time, I have come up with some ideas on how to be more efficient with my vegtables.
I just measure out the various veggies and place them into ziplocks at 4 blocks each. That for me is the hardest part. The amount of veggies is a lot sometimes.
Just my 2 cents.
Good luck with what ever you decide.
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
Michael Tong
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Similar to Ron, I am more strict on Paleo than the Zone. I started on out using Zone for meal sizing, and Paleo for what to eat. Once I became familiar with block-sizing of the foods I normally eat, it got easier and easier. I think Paleo (ie. what to eat) got me better results than Zone, but that is purely a guess.

As you may already know, if you want to Zone, figure out your LBM, and calculate your protein blocks you need per day. From that, obviously, you will know your carb and fat blocks.

What helped me a lot switching over is eating the same thing for all my meals within a day. So, I may have chicken and mixed veggies/fats for today for all 4-5 meals, then tomorrow I might have grilled salmon for all my meals. I usually cook the night before or first thing in the morning. If I am on the road, I pack a few meals in a thermos, a few apples or oranges, and a ziplock bag of walnuts/almonds. Cooking once a day allows me to measure only one time per day.

Something else that I just started and seems to be helping is making meat burger patties and freezing them, to have quick meals at-the-ready. Each patty is 4 oz., so in a pinch, I take a patty from the freezer straight to the stove top. Steam some frozen veggies, some walnuts, and a fruit, and you're good to go. Or, use a couple of portabella mushrooms to replace the bun and have a Paleo burger. I make my own patties so I know what seasoning goes in it. Also, since each patty is already seasoned, it is tasty enough by itself and can be a great on-to-go meal. You could cook the patty, break it up in a thermos, add veggies and you're good. I now have chicken, salmon, turkey, bison, and beef patties on hand, and now I don't have to eat the same meat for all 5 meals within a day.

Don't forget to drink lots of 0-calorie liquids. I drink about 1/2 gallon of tea and 1/2 - 3/4 gallon of water every day.

You just have to jump in and not try to over-think it. You're probably going to make a lot of little tweaks along the way - adjustments to your schedule, palate, cooking time, etc., will be expected. I am still making little adjustments here and there, but it actually is fun.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
Stefan Borovina
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Thanks for the advice everyone... I think I am going to ease myself into the paleo diet for a while and add in some of the Zone concept after i have changed my eating habits.

Is it alright to occasionally go off these diets if you are out to eat or during a holiday meal?
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:12 AM   #7
Sarena Kopciel
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What one does, one chooses. You ask if it's alright to "go off" one's eating plan to go out--you are the one who makes that decision. It is somewhat recommended (at least initally (?) to incorporate cheat days I believe. All I can tell you is (and there have been numerous threads on this) is whenever, I have "cheated" I felt like crap. Extremely lethargic, low energy and unable to perform. The choice is yours to make!
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:16 AM   #8
Michael Tong
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Stefan,

You may consider buying The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain or The Paleo Diet For Athletes by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel. I have the latter and it's a great read. I believe they both discuss cheat meals.

Some have said on this forum that when they have a big non-Paleo meal, they get sick, or at least don't feel too well. I have not cheated yet so I cannot say personally. The books say to make sure it is a cheat meal, and not a cheat day. I personally went into Paleo cold-turkey. I didn't perceive that my body took too long to adjust. Getting rid of high GI starches, primarily rice for me, was the biggest adjustment. I didn't eat junk foods, soda, and sweets to begin with. Perhaps the degree to which you ease into it, depends on how much non-Paleo foods you consume now (<--- I know, probably stating the obvious).

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:28 AM   #9
Derek Pflugradt
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I may be in the same boat as Stefan. I have a general idea of the Paleo and Zone diet, but I am at a loss as to where I should start. I am a Corporal in the Marine Corps and outside of MRE's I can only eat in the chow hall. I do the best I can to get a good variety, but my options are limited. I am not overweight, and I run a 300 PFT, but I want to eat better. I have been doing crossfit religiously for 6 months, and I want to take my fitness to a new level. I know there are a lot of knowledgeable individuals out there, any help would greatly be appreciated!
Semper Fidelis,
Derek
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