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Old 01-21-2008, 05:52 PM   #1
Jonathan Greene
Member Jonathan Greene is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Jose  CA
Posts: 45
Common Mistakes when starting The Zone

I searched here but could not find a list of common mistakes people make when starting to eat in The Zone.

I imagine having a thread / list would help to get people started on the right track, as they could assess their eating plans and correct any issues preemptively. I am definitely interested in what Zone misteps other CF'ers have run into over the years.

Please contribute. Very obvious mistakes are just as important to note as the more obscure ones. What is obvious to many can still be easily overlooked by someone, especially when that someone just recently gave up processed carbs .

I'll start with a few:

1. Over eating one particular type of food.

For me I like apples and, since they travel well, I tend to eat them often in my Zone meals. They are a favorable carb so they are good choice for something to eat more often. But, variety is a good thing to have in any diet for a myriad of reasons. My solution is to make sure I stock other fruit like plums, oranges, strawberries, and blueberries when I can to balance out the apples.

2. Taking too long between meals / snacks.

Sometimes I do this, not because I am not hungry, but because of poor planning. I'll get caught out in traffic or some other place not near good food at my third or fifth hour. The best solution is to plan ahead as best you can but a backup can save you when you need it. Try stashing some zone balanced snacks at work or in the car, if possible.

3. Poorly estimating block counts or getting lazy with the measuring.

In the beginning it really helps to measure with a food scale or measuring cups. Also, be sure to check with the guide for block counts.

One of my first days in The Zone I incorrectly recalled black beans were 1 carb block per 1/2 cup. They are actually 1 carb block per 1/4 cup. I learned this soon after eating an accidentally carb heavy meal of black beans and tuna. The good news is I got sleepy soon after the meal, realized I was not in The Zone, and went hunting for an answer.

Zone meals should make you feel balanced, satiated, energized, and clear-minded. If they don't then something is off and you should try to find out what you need to tweak to tailor that meal for your particular body.

4. Choosing non-lean protein sources.

Remember, protein blocks are calculated with the assumption that your protein source has ~1.5 grams of fat per block of protein. If your protein source has considerably more fat per protein block, you can quickly skyrocket your total fat grams for that meal. I ran into this issue when using whole eggs as the main source of protein in a meal.

Similarly, non-fat protein sources can leave you shorted on total fat for a meal. As explained in the books by Dr. Sears and the CrossFit articles on The Zone, this is countered by using 3 gram fat blocks instead of 1.5 gram fat blocks if your protein source is non-fat.

The short of it is - keep your protein sources lean and if they are non-fat add in some extra favorable fat to keep everything in balance.

Last edited by Jonathan Greene : 01-21-2008 at 05:56 PM.
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