To figure out how to get in the Zone click HERE
The Zone Diet sets your body up to BURN FAT as a primary source of fuel while you retain your LEAN BODY MASS (LBM). How? By regulating the amount of INSULIN your body produces. Insulin is released by the pancreas after you eat carbohydrates, and while it assures that your cells receive the necessary blood sugar, it also inhibits fat burning, converts almost half of your dietary carbohydrate directly into fat and causes hunger. The Zone Diet moderates the insulin response by limiting the intake of refined sugars and keeping all other carbohydrates to about 40% of the diet.
The concept of the Zone is simple - every time you eat it must be in the correct ratio of Protein to Carbohydrate to Fats. That ratio? 40/30/30 - 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Protein, 30% Fat. The maximum control of insulin occurs when this ratio is met.
The idea of 40/30/30 has been around for a number of years. The difference the Zone makes has to do with Zone Blocks, of which there are two types. The first is the Individual Block: an individual block of Carbohydrates (C) is 9 grams, an individual block of Protein (P) is 7 grams, and an individual block of Fat (F) is 3 grams.
Put one of each of those individual blocks together and you have the second type, a Complete Block. The idea behind the Zone Diet is to have a certain number of Complete Blocks at each meal or snack. So when I talk about a 4 Block Meal, I am talking about 4 Complete Blocks, or 4 individual blocks of protein, 4 individual blocks of carbs, and 4 individual blocks of fat.
The CrossFit dietary prescription is as follows:
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load.
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.
What Should I Eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That's about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. Search "Google" for Paleolithic nutrition, or diet. The return is extensive, compelling, and fascinating. The Caveman model is perfectly consistent with the CrossFit prescription.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora's box of disease and disability. Research "hyperinsulinism" on the Internet. There's a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and consequently severely blunts the insulin response.
Caloric Restriction and Longevity
Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake. “Caloric Restriction” is another fruitful area for Internet search. The CrossFit prescription is consistent with this research.
The CrossFit prescription allows a reduced caloric intake and yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity.