CrossFit South Rockland

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Zone Blocks for Dummies

What is a “block”?
The first hurdle I faced in starting the zone is to figure out what the heck is a "block"?  The Zone is predicated on a 40/30/30 split among Carbs, Protien, and Fats (you can think of it like when you grab the three divider picnic plate), but that doesn't answer the question:  how much of each do I need to eat? 

That's where the Zone block calculator comes in:
The Zone block calculator will give you an idea of how many blocks of each you should eat based on your weight, body fat, and the amount of exercise each week.  This of course will change as you figure out what your body needs (for example, in checking out the message boards - many crossfiters seem to increase their fat intake to maximize energy for workouts). 

The Zone recommends you eat every 5-6 hours.  For me, I eat 4 meals a day:  breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. Based on the zone calculator, I am currently eating 13 blocks  (2 for breakfast, 4 for lunch, 1 in the afternoon, and 4 for dinner). What this means, is I eat 13 blocks of each every day. 
Zone for Dummies
If you read about the Zone on-line, you will read a lot about how many grams of fat, carbs, and protein are needed to make up a block of “x.” I say forget all of that and use quick guides to create Zone blocks for dummies! You can find one in the Crossfit Journal #21 or here:
As you can see, this allows you to group foods into blocks pretty quickly as the items are categorized and listed in 1 block increments. The choices are endless and pretty easy to create meals without getting into scientific measurements and formulas for grams, etc. 
All I have to do is choose 4 from each group to come up with a simple 4 block lunch:
6 oz. of
breast, deli-style (1 ½ oz. is 1 block).
1 Apple (1/2 apple is 1 block = 2 blocks)
1 6” corn tortilla (1 block)
1 Tossed salad (3 cups shredded lettuce, ½ raw green pepper, and 1 raw tomato = 1 block)
Handful of Almonds (3 almonds is one block, so that’s about 12 almonds)
If you think that is not going to fill you up? Try eating 16 cups of uncooked broccoli (that’s 4 blocks) or 8 heads of iceberg lettuce! I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but it shows that you can eat as much or as little as you like or even trade in 2 blocks for a Heineken at dinner. I think you can be successful in the Zone and boost your workouts just by using the Zone for dummies quick guides.

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