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Old 12-19-2007, 07:04 AM   #1
Sean McMaster
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Difficult to eat enough

So I am starting to get more serious about eating in the Zone, and I prepared a breakfast for myself to eat this morning at work:
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1 oz of cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 almonds

As a fairly active 5'9" 175# male, I figured I need about 15 blocks/day.
According to my calculations, this is a 4-block meal. The problem is, I could barely eat it all!
I felt like I was having to force the food down (the last egg was especially hard).
Maybe it's just because I'm not used to eating a large breakfast, but I can't help but wonder if I am doing something wrong here.
Am I figuring the blocks correctly? Is 15 blocks/day too much for me? Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks.
-- Being apathetic's a pathetic way to be. --
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
Nick Lavato
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

Your calculations are a little off...not too bad, but off a little.

3 whole eggs - 3 blocks of protein
1 oz cheese - 1 block Protein
1 cup milk - 1 block protein + 1 block carbs
1 cup applesauce ~ 3 blocks carbs
3 almonds - 1 block fat

I come up with
5 blocks protein
4 blocks carbs
1 block fat
Add in a little fat and maybe take out a little protein.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
John Edmondson
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

15 blocks is probably about right for you. I'm on 16 blocks, and I'm about your size. Why not divide your intake into five three block meals? That way you wouldn't have to choke down so much at one sitting.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #4
Sean McMaster
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

Thanks for the replies, guys.

Nick, you must think I'm some kind of idiot. Yes, that was totally 5 blocks of protein, not 4. My only defense is that I put that together last night at 10:30.

Also, as far as the fat, do the eggs and cheese really not count at all? I know incidental fat in your protein sources is assumed, but the fat content of the eggs seems high enough to warrant counting it. tells me it is 5g fat and 6g protein per egg. Oh well. I guess 9 more almonds wouldn't have killed me, and the fat from them is a different kind.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:30 AM   #5
Chris Drewry
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

What about the fat blocks from the eggs, the cheese and the milk?
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:51 AM   #6
Sean Dunston
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

You and I are roughly the same size, and when I started the Zone in September, I calculated a 16 block diet for myself.
At first I had the exact same problem as you - I was amazed at the amount of food I was needing to choke down each day! But after figuring out a decent menu over a few weeks - it became no big deal.

I usually hit CF 4 times per week with a schedule of: 3 on, 2 off, 1 on, 1 off. I'd do more, but can't due to other time commitments.

Since I started the Zone in September, I have actually GAINED about 6 or 7 pounds, so I have decided to alternate between 15 and 16 block days a few times per week. I would think that my body fat content has probably decreased - based on the mirror, and the looseness of my clothing - but my intention was to maintain my weight not gain any.

My meals look similar to yours, but I usually hit a couple extra fat and maybe an extra protein block on my meals.

FYI - my breakfast this morning was:
8 oz whole milk (2P, 2C, 2F)
2 eggs fried with 2 pats butter (2P, 2F)
2 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese (2 P)
1/2 cup salsa (1C)
2 blocks worth of pineapple, strawberries and raspberries (2C)
6 almonds (2F)
Total blocks: 6F, 5C and 6P

That is a bit bigger block total breakfast than I normally eat -- but it is mostly due to the Milk. My snacks, lunch and dinner are generally well-managed.

I tend to eat a 4 block breakfast around 6:30, then have 2 block snack (apple, cheese and nuts - or something like that) around 10:30, then 4 block lunch around 1:30-2:00, another 2 block snack around 5:30-6:00 and 4 block dinner at about 9:00 or so.

Best of luck with the Zone!
Mount Vernon CrossFit, Owner
USA Powerlifting, Virginia State Rep
My gym- Mount Vernon CrossFit

Last edited by Sean Dunston; 12-19-2007 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

Sean, I am not on the zone directly (but try to eat cleanly), so I can't a give a Zone-specific advice, but I have one regarding the eggs, which you write made you full:
I eat appr. 80% of all the eggs I eat raw. This may not be everyone's thing, but they are not that bad (the yolk is something like sweet, the white basically tasteless), and you can drink 4-5 of them in 30 seconds, without having a full stomac afterwards. You simply put them in a glass and drink them slowly. I know that there may be different bacteria and such and that the eggs are not sterilized, but I have been eating raw eggs from the supermarket more or less regularly for the last 15 years, and never had any issues. This is only my experience, of course there may be strong arguments against it which I am not yet aware of.
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:12 PM   #8
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Difficult to eat enough

Hey Sean,

There are a couple other threads that talk about the fat content in "block" foods and how to count it. Really it comes down to preference in the long run. The scale in most zone books and CFJ #21 tends to be more of a benchmark than an exact science.

A lot of people will count only significant sources of macros towards their block counts. So if you're drinking low fat milk at 6g protein, and 1g fat, then forget about the fat and count it as 1P.

Since eggs are high in fat, it's really a judgment call. Personally I used to count eggs as 1F 1P, and chose not to eat the extra fat blocks because I didn't feel a hit on my energy levels. If you're eating 3 eggs, and 1 block of fat, and find yourself tired and w/o energy, then stop counting the fat in the eggs, and add some more fat blocks to your meals/snacks on top of them.

Also I think CFJ #21 mentions that 1 block of fat is 3g UNLESS you're eating low-fat protein blocks. It's assumed that most protein will have about 1/2 block of fat hidden away in it, thus why 1 block of fat is 1.5g instead of 3g.

It won't hurt you to count the eggs as 1P 1F, just pay attention to how you feel afterwards and add extra if you take a hit. Also, as far as I know, eggs aren't very high in the healthy kinds of fats that you want, so adding healthy fats and omega3's to balance out might be worthwhile anyways.

Edit: Lastly, remember that fat won't have a major impact on your insulin levels, which is what eating Zone is all about. There's a lot more room for error with fat than with carbs/protein. As long as you're getting the right levels of carbs/protein at the right times throughout the day, you can afford to experiment with your fat blocks.
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