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Old 01-21-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
Vikram Swamy
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Default Zone protein prescription question

I have a question about the Zone protein prescription and I've been unable to find a definite answer. I currently am doing Starting Strength to get my baseline strength level up. After I am done, I plan to return to Crossfit WODs and will measure my body fat, use the .7 activity level, etc. to get the protein prescription for my lean body mass.

My question is, the Zone diet is always referred to as a "maintenance diet". Does the Zone block prescription provide enough calories, protein, etc. for further strength and mass gains? Actually, I'm not so concerned with mass - I just want to continue to get as strong as possible. But it seems that the Zone block prescription is more for maintaining your current state, and I was wondering if it is suitable for people who are looking to continue to get stronger?

Does the 2x-5x fat provide the excess calories needed for further strength gains, etc.? I'm not that lean, and as per my understanding, the increased fat should wait until desired leanness is reached.

But then, if lean body mass does increase, does the Zone protein prescription need to be re-calibrated periodically (perhaps every few months) to take into account the increase in protein needed to sustain that increased lean muscle mass?
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
George Mounce
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To answer simply, no the Zone doesn't support gains in its normal form. You have to add blocks of protein and fat to do it. Personally if you want gains in strength, you should give up the Zone and eat.

As much as people want to say otherwise, the Zone is touted and works great as a weight loss diet. It works ok as a maintenance diet. It works horribly (in my humble opinion of 2 years playing around with the Zone and IF in my own life) as a mass/strength gain diet.

2-5x fat works ok for maintenance. But if you just ate normally without the Zone....you'd be eating pretty darn close to the same way you would as the Zone with extra fat blocks. You just wouldn't have to go through the pain of measuring things.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:42 PM   #3
Vikram Swamy
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Thanks George.

I'm not looking to gain mass necessarily. It's just that when I go back to Crossfit WODs, I want to be able to continue to get stronger, even if it is at a slower pace. I'm just confused between Zone as maintenance vs. Zone as a generally good diet that will allow me to continue to get stronger and develop as an athlete.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
Emily Mattes
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The Zone is a very calorie-restricted diet. It is great for losing weight. It is probably not great for people who desire any sort of strength gains, don't like feeling hungry all the time, or get sick of trying to figure out how to add extra blocks and 3x fat and whatever other modifications. Take it easy on yourself. Go Paleo, get protein at 1g/lbs bodyweight and keep your carb intake under 30-40%.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
Grissim Connery
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i don't zone, just paleo.

my opinion on protein intake during maintenance without measuring anything (assuming you're already eating plenty of fat) - if you're having bad carb cravings, you should eat more protein. i feel that if you try to ignore carb craving pangs for too long, you're gonna end up binging hard.

Last edited by Grissim Connery; 01-21-2009 at 11:34 PM. Reason: needed to be clearer
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:43 AM   #6
George Mounce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikram Swamy View Post
Thanks George.

I'm not looking to gain mass necessarily. It's just that when I go back to Crossfit WODs, I want to be able to continue to get stronger, even if it is at a slower pace. I'm just confused between Zone as maintenance vs. Zone as a generally good diet that will allow me to continue to get stronger and develop as an athlete.
Try www.fitday.com. Go Paleo and track what you eat. You might be surprised at how Zonish you'll be without doing the Zone.
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