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Old 12-07-2007, 05:25 PM   #1
John West
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Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Hello all,

I am attempting to take the next step in my journey towards world class fitness by measuring and weighing my food.
I really like FitDay for the convenience and the graphic breakdown of calories into the macronutrients by percentage. I can also play around with the ingredients and quantities to achieve the 30/40/30 percentages.

My question is this: by achieving a daily breakdown of calories (via FitDay) into 30% fat, 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, is this Zone compliant?

The reason I ask is that some of the zone blocks only take into account the major macro-nutrient found in the food.
Example: 1 egg = 1 protein block, but doesn't count for fat.
1/4 cup black beans = 1 carb block, but doesn't count protein.

In other words, do i need to count blocks to Zone, or can I just eat 30/40/30 and keep the total calories under control?

Thanks in advance,

John West
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
Jack Gayton
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

John, I'm in the same boat. I have been following zone since Monday. I resisited for months because I did not want to track, weigh or measure. I decided to give it a shot after feeling like garbage for a few weeks due to poor nutrition. I'm sure some of it could be psychological, but I feel fantastic. I've had a lot more energy, my weight has dropped slightly (like a pound) but I'm not hungry.

That being said, I've had similar questions. When I follow CFJ # 21, the percents in fitday are somewhat off. I tend to be at about 40 - 45% fat, 30% protein and 20-25% carb. I think a lot of people have had similar experiences, but I haven't heard a clear answer. I think it's what works for you. I personally have a hard time hitting 40% carbs and if my energy isn't dropping, then I'm ok w/ a little more fat and protein.

My plan is follow the meal plans in CFJ # 21 very closely, enter the data into fitday and try to keep my total calories around 1800 or 1900 a day. I've never tracked everything I eat before. Now, I'm noting cream in coffee, a random square of chocolate.. everything. It's easy to see how I spent most of my adult life grossly underestimating my calorie consumption.

Anyway, not sure if this helps, but I'm sure others will chime in. Here's my current food journal for the past week. If you check it in about two hours, you may see a couple guinesses on there! Good luck, I'm off to face "Lynne"

WFS: http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJ...wner=jackg1125
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
Jack Gayton
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Not sure if I was clear on my last post. When I said the percents of fitday were "somewhat off" I didn't mean in terms of accuracy. I've just noticed that when you follow CFJ 21, the ratios do not come out 40/30/30. The consensus seems to be because the zone blocks are only accounting for the macro nutrient.. Fitday seems pretty accurate..
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:29 PM   #4
John West
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Thanks for the reply.

I agree completely with the "go with what works" method, but I guess I want to try to start out on the right foot.

The essence of my question is:
Is the Zone about eating within the block system or the 30/40/30 system? Because often they are not the same thing.

I like FitDay and would like to keep using it, but not if the block system offers a greater chance at fat loss & lean muscle preservation.

Thanks again.

John West
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:37 PM   #5
Rob Johns
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Hi guys, I had the same problem when I started the zone a month or so ago and recieved some good advice I'll pass along. I too found on fitday that my proteins's and fat's for me were too high, carbs way too low, even when I blocked things out with meticulous care. Tony Bainbridge from crossfit fredericton told me he basically counts his overall calories for each macronutrient and aims for a certain number of calories by the end if the day (and he's a cf machine). The block system is just mainly for simplicity and is based on ruff estimates, but also keep in mind that the fitday proportions are pretty ruff estimates too. I suspect that the "zone" is somewhat flexible and allows for some deviation from meal to meal so don't stress it too much. Either method will likley work for you and after a while your body will tell you if you are missing something. For me I occasionally go a bit short on carbs and feel a bit lightheaded. Adding an apple to the meal tends to remedy this for me. Trial and error, trust me you'll feel the difference.

By the way, stick with it. I've found a huge increase in energy and many PR's since I started and after a while of measuring everything I mainly just weigh out meat and count nuts. I've measured out veggies enough times that I basically just start cutting stuff until I've filled my 4 cup capacity of my measuring cup (it's about 5 blocks of carbs). Of course I've gone for a more simplified "stir fry" type strategy where I just throw everything into either a pan and cook it, or onto a salad.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

I did Zone for about 3 weeks and have nothing but good things to say about it. For the very reasons you mentioned, I ended up ditching it to try Intermittent Fasting with as close to Paleo as I can get. In the 3 days I've been IF'ing, I've noticed how much lower my stress level is simply because I don't have to worry about eating the right amounts of foods at the right times during the day.

With that said, I noticed that my FitDay log, while Zoning, was also very different from what sources like CFJ #21 and "Mastering the Zone" would have measured it to be. I didn't sweat it too much, as long as my Carbs and Protein were close.

The main thing to focus on is Carbs and Protein. Fat doesn't affect insulin so it's really more of a "Man, I'm tired... gimme more fat!" sort of thing than a balancing act.

The carbs and proteins, from what I understand, need to be as close as possible, though -- and as I'm sure you've read, the proteins need to be your focus, with the carbs built around them.

FitDay can be about as lopsided as CFJ #21 sometimes. I'd say use it as a benchmark and just use your noggin otherwise.

personally I count things like eggs (with yolks) to be 1P 1F, assuming one of the other macros is high enough to warrant it. Don't sweat the small stuff, and keep at it.

Worst case scenario is you tweak it and try something else to see how you feel. From the 3 days I've been IF'ing, I can safely say I'd recommend it just about as much as I'd recommend Zone to someone. I notice that my energy levels are fine (not noticeably better though), my hunger pangs during the day are minimal, and aside from eating a ton in the PM, I don't have to deal with measuring quite as much -- though I still do, because I'm addicted to FitDay
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #7
Jack Gayton
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Rob, Thanks for the tip. I'm in the 16 block range 4/4/2/4/2 .. Today, I just focused on getting my grams of protein and carbs into that range, it helps simplify things. The fat always seems to get a little high, but I just feel better. I feel like I've leaned out a little (even the wife has noticed) and I've felt very good during the past 3 WOD's.

It's funny, I resisted the zone for so long.. Little lazy I guess. I didn't want to think about what I was putting in my body which I guess is pretty crazy if I really want to hit some benchmarkds in the WOD's.

Good luck all.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:33 AM   #8
Oliver Gould
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

One thing worth noting is that as a very active person and a pretty good athlete (just based on the #s in your sig), you will probobly end up adding fat blocks on the order of x2 or x3 to your diet, so don't stress over the 40/30/30 ratio too much, just concentrate on getting the carbs and proteins balanced. Start at x1 fat and see how you feel. Personally, at x1 fat I couldn't lift myself off the couch after a workout. I'm at x2 and feeling pretty good, once I burn some more body fat I'll probobly add even more fat so I don't fall into the 3-4% range and die.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:56 AM   #9
Jack Gayton
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

John, Did you ever get the answers you were looking for? Just curious.

Oliver, I have followed your advice and others regarding the protein and carbs. I try to keep those within a few grams of the blocks prescribed (16 in my case). I basically base my diet around meal plans in CFJ 21 and look to hit approx 144 grams of carbs and 112 of protein. The fat creeps higher, but it keeps me full.

Last night on the main page they posted "avoding metabolic derangement" from a past CFJ. In it they listed a typical day for Greg A .. to kind of solidfy the theory of fitday vs zone block meals, I plugged in what he would normally eat. He follows the 5/5/2/5/2 - 19 block plan.

Here's what I got.. I had to estimate a little. For example, his lunch called for a salad, but wasn't specific. So I estimated a couple cups of lettuce, a cup of cucumber and cup of tomato. Also, there is probably a decent margin of error in fitday's calc's ..

2616 cals
133 fat (47%) 44.3 blocks
188 carbs (21%) 20.8 blocks
200 protein (32%) 28.57 blocks

I also noticed he eats a TON of veggies everyday. The diet looks like paleo / zone. High quality carbs.. I've used bread and fruit to get the bulk of my carbs.. So, I could stand to throw in some cucumber and throw out some bread..

Greg A is not only a monster in the gym, but on the nutrition side too.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:51 PM   #10
John West
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Re: Attempting Zone Eating via Fitday

Jack,

Thanks for asking. Really I was looking for someone who has had long term success eating a 30/40/30 Zone plan using some other calculation method other than the Block system. If this is the case for anybody out there, I would love to hear from you!

For me, it's too early to tell if my goals of fat% reduction and overall weight reduction will be achieved, but I will say that almost immediately I've noticed a lack of that heavy, "I need a nap" feeling after meals. Some might call this increased energy.

Thanks for your interest.

John West
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