Zone Diet 101

After giving a talk about the Zone Diet, I thought it would be best to follow it up with a blog post, so here goes.

“The Zone Diet is a more precise way to measure food to optimise performance”

Barry Sears’s is the the guy behind the Zone Diet. The diet was born from his desire to break the trend in his family of men dying from heart attacks.


What is the Zone?

The zone diet gets it’s name from the zone in with the diet keeps blood sugar levels in order to support exercise, burn fat and increase energy levels. Its all about the insulin control!!!

It give’s each person a scientific method to intake food that will support exercise, but not body fat. Without a structured approach towards a diet we are just taking a shot in the dark.

The Zone Diet is based on eating a certain amount of ‘Blocks’ per day made up of Protein, Carbs and Fats to optimise performance.

1 Zone Block = 9g Carbs, 7g Protein and 1.5g Fat

So how many blocks do I need?

Zone Block prescription = ( lean body mass (lbs) * activity level) / (7g Protein block)

To find out how many block’s we need, we first need to calculate the individuals lean body mass. This is calculated by:

Lean Mass = weight in lbs – (weight in lbs x body fat %)

Activity Level

Sedentary : 0.5

Light Activity (e.g Walking) 0.6

Moderate Activity (1.5 hrs per week) 0.7

Active: 1.5 – 2.5 hrs per week) 0.8

Very active (greater than 2.5 hrs a week) 0.9

Elite Athlete 1.0


here is an example:

Mark is an Elite CrossFit Athlete who trains 5 times a week and has a regular job who is on his feet all day. He weighs 180lbs and has a body fat percentage of 8%. His activity level is 0.7.

Marks lean mass = 180 – (180 * 0.08) => 165.5 lbs

Zone Blocks = (165.5 lean mass * 1 (activity level) ) / 7 =>  24 Blocks (rounded up)


What does this mean?

Marks calculated Zone requirements means he needs to eat 17 blocks per day to promote athletic performance and lean body mass. These 17 Blocks will be broken up over the course of the day as follows:

7.30am – 5 Block Breakfat ( 5P, 5C, 5F)

10.30 am – 3 Block Snack (3P, 3C, 3F)

1.30pm – 5 Block Lunch (5P, 5C, 5F)

4:00pm – 3 Block Snack (3P, 3C, 3F)

6.30-7:00pm – 5 Block Dinner (5P, 5C, 5F)

9.30pm – 3 Block Snack (3P, 3C, 3F)

Total = 24 Blocks


Food Examples

5 block Breakfast

Breakfast Quesadilla
2 corn tortillas
1/2 cup black beans
1/3 cup onions (raw), chopped
5/8 cup green pepper (raw), chopped
3 eggs (scrambled or fried)
2 oz. cheese
5 tbsp avocado


5 Block Lunch

Grilled Chicken Salad
5 oz. chicken, grilled
2 cups lettuce
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper (raw), chopped
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup kidney beans
5 tbsp avocado


5 Block Dinner

Fresh Fish
7-1/2 oz. fresh fish, grilled
1-1/3 cups zucchini (cooked), with herbs
Serve with large salad with 1/4 cup black
beans and 2-1/2 tbsp salad dressing of
2 cups strawberries



– Drink Plenty of water

– Never go 5hrs without eating

– Preparation is key

– Dont eat more than 5 blocks at a time


What’s Next?

Now go get into the Zone and see what a difference it has on your athletic performance. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. For further eduction and reading try these books:

Entering the Zone:

Mastering the Zone:

A week in the Zone: