Great stuff. The Zone is good )IMO) for helping to dial in what reasonable portion sizes are AND it provides very exacting feedback and control. Need to gain muscle? We can ratchet one up to a 5x5 (5 meals per day, 5 blocks per meal, 5x fat) and i think that comes out to 5,200 cals! Most folks will grow on that or some permutation of those numbers. If need be we could even go 6 meals at that ratio. That is a mountain of food...if the training stimulus is there, we will see growth, especially if we allocate a large number of those carbs to the PWO period.
Conversely if we need to lean someone out really easily and precisely with the Zone works pretty damn well. I'm the first to admit that the counting is a pain in the ass, even once one has dialed in the eyeball method. The zone fits into intermittent fasting if one wants to bring in some additional precision but is by no means necessary. Apologies if I'm re-stating the obvious...just rambling here.
Regarding the study...its interesting and I think telling about our metabolism. The PM eaters still lost weight but more was fat. They mention some exercise was performed, I'm guessing it was cardio. Resistance training will spare muscle mass even at significant caloric restriction levels so long as there is not overt insulin resistance (muscle will virtually melt away under these circumstances as it gets converted to glucose via gluco-neogenesis). So...I think your plan is good. Eat later in the evening, hit a dose of carbs post WO...use intermittent fasting to foster insulin resistance and whatever goodies it has to offer...and no counting of the Zone.
I remember Shaf posted a link to some studies showing that shifting most of ones protein allotment to the PWO period was better than spread through the day. This punctuated approach with significant variation in intakes and timing makes sense. Most effective strength training protocols have a strong intensity element. It has always made sense to me that an intensity and variability element with regards to nutrition would also be optimum.
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."