My last few questions on the Zone
Posted: 04 April 2013 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
Puppy Dawg
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Hey everyone,

Brand new to CrossFit, just an FYI.  However, I have read countless number of threads on both the Brand X and CrossFit.com boards. I have gone through the FAQ, the video list, CFJ after CFJ, google searched, read Mastering the Zone, and watched plenty of YouTube videos covering the information as well as link after link of more information provided by others.

So, I feel about 90% confident in understanding everything I need to know to start (and learn more as I go, of course).

I have a few questions about the Zone and the correct number of blocks, calories, etc.

A quick background: m/5’10”/165/athletic background/20-22% BF (haven’t exacted it yet). I have done p90x in the past, and I Just recently am switching from SL 5x5 to CrossFit after a few months of 5x5.

So, here’s a few questions I have and would love any clarification:

1) To my knowledge, if you ate a piece of food that was (for example): P: 21g, C: 9g, F: 6g, after reading the Zone, I would consider it to be 3 blocks of protein, 1 block of carbs, and 4 blocks of fat (1.5 each). However, after more research about total calories, I have seen many people say something like… “count it only as 3 blocks of protein and disregard the rest in terms of blocks. They won’t count towards carbs or fat blocks, that is how you will increase your calories.” Is that true? Or would I count it as the way Dr. Sears describes… as 3 blocks, 1 block, 4 blocks?

2) I have read many people say that they get fatigued a week or two into CrossFit because they don’t have enough calories. And this comes from question 1’s answer. If I am not getting enough calories, I have read that you would simply increase your fat blocks little by little after you reach the BF% that you are looking for—thus allowing you to have more calories to burn from your fat intake. That number of fat blocks increase would change on how you calculated your answer from question #1. I’ve even read to start at a 1:1:2 ratio. How should I approach this?

3) In terms of PWO supplements like isolated whey protein: would I take, for example P: 26g, C: 8g, F: 2g and subtract that from my overall daily allowance from each block? Depending on your answer from question 1, it would be ~4 blocks of protein, ~1 block from C, and ~1 block from fat. So, that’s almost like replacing all of the blocks of a meal in terms of protein or reducing each meal by 1 block of protein, correct? Of course, I would also look to eat fruit directly after the protein shake as well to create the balance between P:C to a 1:1 ratio. How do you handle PWO nutrition and does it come from your overall daily allowance of blocks?

4) Understanding that I should start with a 1:1:1 (or even 1:1:2 ratio), I have read that you should slowly decrease your carbohydrate intake and replace it with the equivalent of fat intake. So, if you were to remove 3 blocks of carbs from your daily allowance, you would then increase your fat blocks drastically (3 blocks carbs = 9 blocks fat) to remove the “hungry like a zombie” feeling that I read about in “42 ways to skin the zone.” When should one do this? Doesn’t this throw off the whole BALANCE argument? Or am I simply learning that a 1:1:1 balance is great, but perhaps a 1P : .5C balance is better for ME specifically (and since it’s .5 C, for example, I would replace the other .5 with fat blocks)?

I hope I can get some clarification for these questions I have. If you can tell, I have some plenty forum readings, CFJ readings, etc. I am just stumped beyond belief when it comes to these 4 major points I have listed.

Thanks in advance for your guys’ help.

Oh, p.s. based on CFJ 21, I am thinking I am either a small male (blocks: 4 4 2 4 2 16) or medium (5 5 1 5 1 17 Medium male)

- Adam

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Posted: 04 April 2013 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 05:48 AM

1) To my knowledge, if you ate a piece of food that was (for example): P: 21g, C: 9g, F: 6g, after reading the Zone, I would consider it to be 3 blocks of protein, 1 block of carbs, and 4 blocks of fat (1.5 each). However, after more research about total calories, I have seen many people say something like… “count it only as 3 blocks of protein and disregard the rest in terms of blocks. They won’t count towards carbs or fat blocks, that is how you will increase your calories.” Is that true? Or would I count it as the way Dr. Sears describes… as 3 blocks, 1 block, 4 blocks?

If it goes in your mouth, count it.  Yes, there is some generalization (3 almonds = 1 fat block), but if you’ve got a nutrition label then use the info on it.

GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 05:48 AM

2) I have read many people say that they get fatigued a week or two into CrossFit because they don’t have enough calories. And this comes from question 1’s answer. If I am not getting enough calories, I have read that you would simply increase your fat blocks little by little after you reach the BF% that you are looking for—thus allowing you to have more calories to burn from your fat intake. That number of fat blocks increase would change on how you calculated your answer from question #1. I’ve even read to start at a 1:1:2 ratio. How should I approach this?

People may be fatigued.  Attributing it to insufficient calories if pure speculation.  If you’re going to follow the Zone, then follow it.  Fiddling with fat blocks every time you’re tired isn’t the way to go.

GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 05:48 AM

3) In terms of PWO supplements like isolated whey protein: would I take, for example P: 26g, C: 8g, F: 2g and subtract that from my overall daily allowance from each block? Depending on your answer from question 1, it would be ~4 blocks of protein, ~1 block from C, and ~1 block from fat. So, that’s almost like replacing all of the blocks of a meal in terms of protein or reducing each meal by 1 block of protein, correct? Of course, I would also look to eat fruit directly after the protein shake as well to create the balance between P:C to a 1:1 ratio. How do you handle PWO nutrition and does it come from your overall daily allowance of blocks?

Yes, PWO supplement comes from your daily allowance.

GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 05:48 AM

4) Understanding that I should start with a 1:1:1 (or even 1:1:2 ratio), I have read that you should slowly decrease your carbohydrate intake and replace it with the equivalent of fat intake. So, if you were to remove 3 blocks of carbs from your daily allowance, you would then increase your fat blocks drastically (3 blocks carbs = 9 blocks fat) to remove the “hungry like a zombie” feeling that I read about in “42 ways to skin the zone.” When should one do this? Doesn’t this throw off the whole BALANCE argument? Or am I simply learning that a 1:1:1 balance is great, but perhaps a 1P : .5C balance is better for ME specifically (and since it’s .5 C, for example, I would replace the other .5 with fat blocks)?

You’re overthinking things.

What are your goals for the Zone diet?

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Posted: 04 April 2013 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Puppy Dawg
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canis_nerdus - 04 April 2013 08:19 AM

If it goes in your mouth, count it.  Yes, there is some generalization (3 almonds = 1 fat block), but if you’ve got a nutrition label then use the info on it.

People may be fatigued.  Attributing it to insufficient calories if pure speculation.  If you’re going to follow the Zone, then follow it.  Fiddling with fat blocks every time you’re tired isn’t the way to go.

Yes, PWO supplement comes from your daily allowance.

You’re overthinking things.

What are your goals for the Zone diet?

Canis, I appreciate your help and response. I tend to over analyze things, it’s just the type of person I am :D

If you are fatigued, what would you recommend? Just so I have a clear answer if this does happen to me. I would assume its because of the physical amounts of activity your body is going through.

My goal is to follow the WODs posted on crossfit.com and that are scaled here on Brand X. With that, my goal is to get to 12-15% BF and be in phenomenal shape and gain strength but also increase my cardio and endurance. Hence, following the WOD and wanting to do CrossFit. But to answer your question, my goal is 12-15% BF and to have plenty of energy for each WOD at 4-5 days a week.

Also, one more question: if I plan on exercising/doing the WOD at around 8/8:30 PM, how would I adjust the Zone Diet in terms of timing? If I finish at 9/9:30 and take a protein shake w/ fruit, would I simply call that my pre-bed snack or eat again afterwards a small snack (assuming I follow the 7 AM, 12 PM, 5 PM snack, 7:30 dinner, 10 PM snack model)? My point is, should i adjust my meals times or I would assume my dinner an hour or so before my WO would supply plenty of energy an just treat my PWO shake as my pre-bed snack?

Sorry for the long posts. I appreciate your help.

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Posted: 05 April 2013 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 08:35 AM

If you are fatigued, what would you recommend? Just so I have a clear answer if this does happen to me. I would assume its because of the physical amounts of activity your body is going through.

Stay hydrated and get sufficient rest.  Limit processed carbs as much as possible.  Scale your workouts wisely.  Keep your bigboy pants clean and snugly fastened.  cool grin

GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 08:35 AM

...just treat my PWO shake as my pre-bed snack?

Yes

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Posted: 05 April 2013 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Puppy Dawg
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canis_nerdus - 05 April 2013 10:09 AM
GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 08:35 AM

If you are fatigued, what would you recommend? Just so I have a clear answer if this does happen to me. I would assume its because of the physical amounts of activity your body is going through.

Stay hydrated and get sufficient rest.  Limit processed carbs as much as possible.  Scale your workouts wisely.  Keep your bigboy pants clean and snugly fastened.  cool grin

GoGreenMSU - 04 April 2013 08:35 AM

...just treat my PWO shake as my pre-bed snack?

Yes

Much appreciated. And I don’t like pants, for the record—more of a shorts kind of guy. :D

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