On Zone Blocks, and my Zone Prescription

Close readers of this blog know that I use Barry Sears’ “Zone” diet system as the foundation of my eating plan. And that, like many CrossFitters who are into the Zone, I eat a high-fat version of the diet. In this post I break down my thinking about how much I am eating, when I eat it, and why.


  1. Great write-up Matt – and I think my experience is very very similar – weight falls off like melting butter on strict 23 block zone (or PZ) and my lean body mass is just a couple pounds more than yours. Now i feel i’m languishing (on 2x or 3x fat) – granted i’m lean but what i really want to show is a consistent year over year small increase in lean body mass. A prescription that did that would qualify as an anti-aging diet in my mind. Since aging, by and large, is a chronic loss of lean body mass (muscle) and associated “support” organs. The last book i read on calorie cycling (i’m gonna send you the title – can’t remember it right now) suggested this cycle: 3 days low carb then hit carbs HARD on last 2 meals of 4th day. Then 4 days low carb and hit carbs HARD on last 2 meals of the day. Then repeat. 9 day cycle. I’m seriously considering it. How will you do your cycles?

  2. Real Estate Finger Lakes
    February 25, 2011 - 11:16 am

    It’s tough, especially over 40, but sticking to the zone, it can happen.

  3. Nicely broken down article, especially explaining the fat component of the zone. Im around your size and its a nice comparison to what I plan on implementing.

  4. Great breakdown of the Zone. One question (if you are still actively monitoring the post) – in your spreadsheet do you subtract the grams of fiber from the carbohydrate blocks? In essence, the 11 g of carbohydrates can be reduced to about 9 (i.e., one zone block) by subtracting the approximately 2 g of fiber.

    • Ralph, one of the weaknesses of my spreadsheet (which, at this point, I’ve abandoned using, although I sometimes think about reviving it) was that I did not calculate fiber grams. I know that my calorie estimates and carb estimates were too high by as much as 50% some days. Still, this never seemed to have a serious impact on my use of the Zone.

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