What is The Zone?
The Zone diet is basically about learning how to put together perfectly balanced meals that promote health, wellness, and performance. The concept behind The Zone Diet is designed to control the expression of inflammatory genes.
For even more info
When following the zone diet every meal you eat is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. You eat a certain number of “blocks” based on how much lean body mass (muscle) you have. Once you get the details down this can be simpler than it sounds. You can use online tools to help you figure out your required “blocks”. There can be a lot of weighing and measuring as you figure the amounts out and if you want to be precise (if an athlete precise nutrition can be key to performance)
So these blocks I speak of:
An entire block is composed of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Here is how it breaks down in grams: 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, and 1.5 grams of fat.
Learn how to put meals together!
Essentially you will need to pick a lean protein and get the amount of you need of that “Your
block/Blocks” then do the same with your carbs and fat .A balanced meal must contain all 3 in the
set portions of 40 % carbs , 30 % protein and 30% fat.
–A One Block meal consists of one choice from your Protein list one from the Carbohydrate List and one from the Fat List
-A Two Block meal consists of 2 choices from each list.
-A Three Block meal consists of 3 choices from each list…and so on.
Here is a handy food block guide to download
Here’s a useful online calculator for figuring out those blocks if you want to be precise
If that’s all a bit much here is ….The Zone Diet Made extra easy
All you really need to follow a simplified Zone Diet is your eyes and a hand. At each meal divide your plate into three equal sections. On one-third of the plate you place some low-fat protein (like
chicken, fish, or vegetarian sources like cheese or soybean products). The amount should be no
larger or thicker than the palm of your hand. Next fill the other two-thirds of the plate with colourful carbohydrates consisting of non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
Finally add a dash (that’s a small amount) of fat low in saturated fat and omega-6 fat to the meal.
These fats include olive oil, nuts, or guacamole.
This may be the simpler approach to start you off and see if the Zone might work for you
My personal experience:
When I started Crossfitting and getting really into lifting, I was still a vegetarian. Everyone was
speaking about Paleo and for me as a veggie it just wasn’t a feasible healthy option.
Then when I took my Crossfit level one trainer course they spoke to us about the Zone and it
seemed a sensible, logical healthy approach to eating that even I as a vegetarian could follow.
I responded well to it I leaned down and found my performance improved. It made me more mindful of what I was eating which in turn prevented me from under / over eating and also guaranteed I was getting adequate protein. It also taught me a lot about food composition and how certain food items I classed as protein sources were actually more carbs and fats ( beans and pulses and nuts) . I did however find it tiresome at times sticking to the percentages at every meal and after 3 months that involved me moving and changing jobs etc. I exited the Zone but I exited it 4 kg lighter and it has stayed off. Now that I count my Macros I stick to pretty much the same breakdown as the Zone suggests but I count it over the day as opposed to each meal. This suits me at the moment, but I do see The Zone as a good choice in a healthy eating plan. I wouldn’t rule out re- entering The Zone!
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