Very often we hear that the Zone Diet is a hyper-protein diet, while instead it starts from a diametrically opposite principle: to provide at the body the right amount of daily protein based on its Lean Mass. In fact, the first step to start adopting the Zone Diet is to calculate the available Number of Daily Blocks .
The Number of Daily Blocks is calculated with the following Formula:
No. of Daily Blocks = [(Lean Mass in Kg) / 7] x [Physical Activity Index]
The Physical Activity Index can fluctuate from 1.1 to 2.3 depending on of the intensity of the physical activity that you follow.
Now let's take the example of a Man of 70 Kg with a percentage of Fat Mass of 12% and who trains daily:
- Lean Mass: about 60Kg
- Physical Activity Index: 1.9
- Nr. Daily Blocks (according to the formula for the number of Daily Blocks above): (60/7) * 1.9 = 17 Blocks!
Split of these 17 Blocks throughout the day:
- Breakfast: 3 Blocks at 08.00 hours
- Snack: 2 Blocks at 10.30 / 11.00 hours
- Lunch: 5 Blocks at 13.00 / 13.30 hours
- Snack : 2 Blocks at 5.00 pm
- Dinner: 4 Blocks at 8.00 pm
- 1 Block before going to bed (around 10 pm)
Now some of the guidelines and tips listed in the books of Berry Sears:
- The number of Daily Blocks must NEVER be less than 11 Blocks
- The meal can be considered in the Zone if the Protein / Carbohydrate (P / C) ratio is between 0.6 and 1 ( perfectly in the Zone if equal to 0.75)
- We recommend NEVER create meals greater than 5 Blocks (no more than 35gr of protein per meal)
- It is recommended to compose the meals deriving carbohydrates mainly from fruits and vegetables
- It is suggested to reverse the order of food for a meal. Eat protein foods first and then carbohydrates
- It is recommended to eat 5 to 6 daily meals
- It is recommended to make the next meal between the second and the fifth hour
- It is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day
- It is recommended to always make 1 block before going to bed
- It is recommended 2.5 g of Omega 3 fatty acids per day.
- Constant physical activity is recommended. Mainly Stretching and Muscle Enhancement
Now that we have described the guidelines that regulate the Zone Diet we just have to try it! What I always repeat when someone ask me about the Zone is: try it for about 2 weeks, then eat a meal with only carbohydrates (pasta, pizza, etc.) and let me know how you have been in the 2 hours immediately following. Slumber? Drowsiness? Tiredness?
In fact the most powerful aspect of the Zone Diet is the psychophysical condition in which you are projected when you enter in the Zone, that is when the meals have the Proteins and Carbohydrates ratio between 0.6 and 1. A meal is perfectly in the zone if this ratio is 0.75.
In his books, Barry Sears says that you go into the Zone immediately after a meal in the Zone while going out from the Zone afte a meal not in the Zone. What I just said allow you to change your perspective: it means that we can totally get rid of remorse (or guilt) for not having eaten in the Zone, because we won't be in Zone only a few hours, until the next Zone meal.