I’m really trying to understand this Block eating, but I’m having trouble locating where exactly to begin on getting some insight on this. Any help?
I understand how you feel. It took me a bit to get going myself when I started. The blocks are pretty simple once you get the hang of it. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Entering the Zone, which explains why the Zone works. But, if you don’t care about the why, and just want the ‘how’, here it is:
There are 3 basic “building blocks” of food, referred to as “macro-nutrients”. They are protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Everything you eat falls into one of those 3 categories. Granted, some protein sources also contain fat, as do some carb sources, but for the most part we’ll pretend there isn’t any overlap and everything fits nicely into one of those three categories.
The Zone takes those macro-nutrients and assigns each meal a portion of total calories to each one. So each meal should consist of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. To make it easier, and to adjust for the different levels of caloric density across the 3 macro-nutrients, the Zone created “the block”.
1 block =
7 grams of protein
9 grams of carbohydrates
1.5 grams of fat
Each meal should contain a roughly equal number of blocks of each of the 3 macro-nutrients. Magically, if you follow this prescription, you fall right into the 40/30/30 portioning mentioned above. So, taking myself as an example, I am 5’8” and weighed about 168ish when I first started the Zone. My lean body mass measurement put me into a 14-block per day prescription. You’ll need to figure out what your Zone block prescription is, and CFJ21 I think helps with that, or you can Google for a Zone Block calculator to help you out.
Once you know what your daily prescription is, divide that number by 3. For me 14/3 = 4. That number is my per-meal block prescription for EACH macro-nutrient. i.e. I need 4 blocks of fat, 4 blocks of protein, and 4 blocks of carbs PER MEAL. Now, take the remainder, which is 2 blocks for me, and divide that by 2. The remainder/2 = your snack block count. I have 2 blocks to work with, so I get 2 snacks at 1 block each. That’s a snack of 1 block each of carbs, fat, and protein. I typically have one sometime between lunch and dinner, and the other sometime before bed.
And there you go. Now, the hardest part is figuring out what constitutes a block of each macro-nutrient. There are a tone of lists floating around. I found it extremely helpful to keep a copy of CFJ21 with me for a while until I got the hang of it. There’s also a spreadsheet I printed out which was a combination of something referred to as “The Angry G” list, and someone else’s list. I printed that out and stuck it, along with CFJ21 into a 3-ring binder which stayed in my kitchen for quite a while so I could refer to it.
My biggest piece of advice is to take it slow. Don’t try to just wake up one morning and say, “Today I start the Zone”. Just start trying to make your existing meals fit the block prescription. Over time, you’ll get a feel for how many blocks are in different things and what foods are more nutrient-dense than others, which you can have more of and which you can have less of. I very quickly found myself gravitating toward paleo-compliant foods because I got to eat a lot more of them. For example, I can have a whole melon, or 2 pieces of toast. I’d rather have the whole melon. Psychologically, 2 pieces of toast for my entire carb portion at breakfast doesn’t seem like enough. Caloricly, it’s identical, but nutrient wise, the toast is actually anti-nutritional.
I hope that helps somewhat. and if not, feel free to come back and ask lots of clarifying questions. I know I certainly did! But don’t whine. Metric hates whining
Oh, and Thank you, Sir, for your service. I greatly appreciate it!