The Zone Diet Primer

What started as a challenge has taken a life of its own.  Over 30 Catalyst members and clients are now going to try the Zone ‘as Rx’d’ in June!  30 days of blood-sugar control, enhanced performance, and fat loss.

When the Zone Diet was originally published in the 1980s, it gained a huge following right away, but tapered off.  All ‘diets’ have some degree of followership, followed by a decline when folks realize it’s not a magic bullet, but requires fundamental lifestyle change.  This is not easy stuff; imagine building your house, and then realizing that part of the foundation was flawed!  Major work required.
In his more recent ‘Live Lectures,’ though, Barry Sears highlights the most relevant points of the diet; he shows how to ‘ballpark’ the Zone; he gives tips you can use to test your own insulin level based on your level of fatigue.  It’s great stuff, and it’s no wonder most elite CrossFitters use the Zone.
First off, the Zone isn’t a diet in the traditional sense.  There are no ‘banned’ foods.  It’s a template.  It’s a system for regulating insulin based on macronutrient pairing.  Where those macronutrients come from is another story for another time.

Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Healthy Fats are broken up into ‘blocks.’  Forget grams, calories, cups and ounces; just focus on Zone Blocks.  How much is One Block?  Below, you can download the Zone Block Guide.  

How many blocks of each do you need?  Well, depends on your goals.  If your goal is weight loss, you can figure out your recommended daily Block intake at:

There’s more to fitness than weight loss, though.  As we discuss in our book, Defy Mediocrity, and our CAT Testing Guide, weight is a correlate – not a determinant – of fitness.  Those doing the Zone for CrossFit may find that they lose weight too quickly due to the high demands of the WODs.  Some CrossFit nutritionists recommend as much as double the daily Zone Blocks calculated by the Zone method; Robb Wolf regularly consumes as much as 5x the recommended daily Fat Blocks!

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