The diet style that I really want to look into first is the Zone. This is the meal plan prescribed by CrossFit and definitely is effective for losing weight. The Zone also does not strictly prohibit the consumption of any particular food. The two biggest components of the Zone are portion control and balance.
The Zone diet works off of a block system; each food is categorized in a particular macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, fat) and assigned a serving size. Each serving size is one block. The blocks are designed to provide each meal and snack with a macronutrient break down of 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
Each carbohydrate block will provide you with 9 grams of carbs, each protein block provides 7 grams of protein, and each fat block provides 1.5 grams of fat. The assumption is that each block of protein also provides 1.5 grams of fat, making each meal 3 grams of fat. If you are eating a meat with little to no fat, make sure you adjust accordingly.
To determine the amount of blocks you should be consuming for each meal and snack you need to determine your body type.
The most common body type for females would be medium female and for males is large male. There are three meals and two snacks required for each day, preferably in the order listed above. There should be 4-5 hours between meals and 1-2 hours between snacks. The number below the meal/snack is the amount of blocks for each macronutrient group that you will consume (i.e.- 3 blocks of carbs, 3 blocks of protein, and 3 blocks of fat for breakfast, the same for lunch, 1 of each for a snack, etc...)
Below is a list of recommended favorable blocks. The number in the corresponding box is one block.
Use this article for the remaining list of suggested blocks .
An example of a 3 block breakfast could be:
1 egg and two egg whites scrambled (use cooking spray which does not affect the blocks) topped with 1 tablespoon of avocado and 1 banana with a glass of milk (8oz).
For a 3 block lunch you could have:
4 cups of spinach with 1/2 of a sliced apple, 3 oz of chicken breast, 9 almonds, topped with 1/2 tablespoon of honey and squeeze of lime juice (for flavor).
For a 1 block snack:
1/2 cup yogurt with 3 crushed up cashews
Get the idea?
The biggest learning curve with the Zone is measuring out your food. However after just a few weeks you will find that you can just look at something about know its measurements! Until you get to that point, though, make sure you measure.
Now what you've all been waiting for... This is a super simple pulled pork recipe that will serve nicely as a protein source. Eat it along side some roasted Brussels sprouts with a nice bowl of cut fruit for dessert. The meat will generally be a little higher in fat so cut out the additional fat blocks for this meal.
Garlic Pulled Pork
- 1 pork shoulder cut; about 3-4 pounds
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic poweder
- 4-6 cloves of peeled garlic
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- 1 bay leaf
Mix the salt, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder; mix in lime juice
Press all over meat
Let meat come to room temperature for about 30 min to an hour
Cut relatively deep slits in the meat and insert garlic gloves (do not want the garlic to fall out)
Put the onion wedges in the bottom of a 6-7qt crock pot
Place the meat on top
Put a bay leaf in the bottom
Cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for about 6 hours
- The internal temperature will be about 190 when done and the meat will fall off the bones
Shred in liquid
Alternatively, you could do it in the oven at 250 degrees for about 3-4 hours.
This recipe came out of The Primal Blueprint Reader Created Cookbook from Mark's Daily Apple. I highly recommend and support his site.