So ever since I made the switch over to Paleo Zone I’ve been getting a lot of questions (mostly if I’ve wanted to pull my hair out yet) but also about the specifics of the program. I figured this was probably the best forum to answer those questions considering they usually fall into one of two camps: how do you know how much (aka how many blocks) you’re suppose to be eating or what the hell is a block? Allow me to explain.
- How did I find my Zone prescription – WARNING: Prepare for Math.
So currently I am on a 20 block/day prescription. The way I arrived at that number took some (gulp)… calculating. There’s this simple formula that Zone uses to evaluate each person individually and ‘customize’ the diet to that person’s needs. The formula is as follows:
(Lean Body Mass x Activity Level) /7 = Zone Prescription
Not too complicated. All you have to do is plug in two numbers. Your lean body is your body weight minus your body fat. Thankfully I have one of those handy scales that tell you your body fat percentage (which more than likely is completely inaccurate). So for me personally, I weighed in Day 1 at 173.8 with a body fat percentage of 17.1% – which means my LBM = 144lbs. Plug it in.
The second number, the “Activity Level”, is a little more subjective. Basically you chose a number between .7 and 1 (.7 would represent someone not very active and 1 would be someone extremely active). I chose to go with the highest activity level because I work out multiple times a day and my job requires me to be on my feet and active as well. To give you some perspective, Matt Chan said (if you don’t know who Matt Chan is feel embarrassed) your average 1 wod/day athlete would probably use a .75 activity level if your job doesn’t require you to be super active – if it does than you would bump it up another .05.
The last number isn’t that important but just so you understand where it came from, you divide that equation by 7 because there are 7 grams of protein in 1 block – but more on that later.
So if my math is correct, I would arrive at a 20 block Zone prescription. That means I get to eat 20 blocks spread out over the course of a day. Now on to question number 2.
- What the hell is a block –
Since you’re all like little baby birds and require me to spoon feed you everything rather than look up the answers yourselves – I have no choice but to help you out (making fun of your readers line one always a good idea). I don’t blame you necessarily, from everything I’ve read online it seems much more complicated than it really is (primarily because they use the same term block in two different ways).
1 Block = 9g Carbohydrate + 7g Protein + 1.5g Fat
So, for example, when I have a 5 block breakfast it means I’m having 5 times that amount or more specifically 45g CHO + 35g PRO + 7.5g Fat – and that’s where all the weighing and measuring comes into play.
The reason it can become slightly confusing is because if I have, for example, 9g of CHO they call that 1 block of carbohydrate. So just to simplify instead of saying I’m having 5 blocks of CHO, 5 blocks of PRO and 5 blocks of FAT – instead you just say I’m having a 5 block meal.
The food needs to be eaten/prepared in this ratio. That’s the whole point of the Zone. Research has shown that when you eat your macronutrients in a balance similar to this it creates a hormonal balance – have a meal every 4-5 hours – and you should be hormonally balanced throughout the day.
That’s all I got for now. If you have any other questions, whether they’re super specific or huge broad questions, feel free to ask anytime you see me. Thanks.