Living healthfully is a lifelong process requiring effort in the gym and the kitchen. Nutrition and exercise together can accomplish what neither can alone. Measuring our food for our lifestyle and goals is important.
If you understand or have used the method “calories in, calories out,” you have the tools to be successful using the “Zone.” Zone is what CrossFitters use to determine how many calories in each macronutrient will benefit the body in the most impactful and successful way, while also creating lifelong habits that will continue to work after a weight goal has been met. “Calories in, calories out” is a very simple way to start a weight loss journey, but many times can be challenging to adapt after the journey starts or has been successful. “Calories in, calories out” assumes that the body processes and uses all calories the same way, but our bodies are not that simple (for a quick article on this, click here). Zone takes “calories in, calories out” and adds human physiology to determine the most perfectly balanced meals based on your goals.
Like having a balanced training program, our food, and energy from that food, should come in balanced amounts too. Zone uses your general activity level and body type to calculate how many “blocks” of food you can eat per day. The “blocks” are balanced between protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Using “blocks” to represent the food you are measuring is a helpful tool in visualizing the process but is not mandatory. Some tinkering is necessary over the first few months as everyone’s bodies are different, but a good starting point is 30% fats, 30% proteins, and 40% carbohydrates.
We will break down Zone more in future blog posts. Whether you are just starting your nutrition journey, or are a seasoned pro, we encourage you to go back to the basics for a week or so – continue getting comfortable in the supermarket and reading food labels (see our previous post about supermarket tips). If you have some extra time, use the “calories in, calories out” method to become familiar with those food labels and how eating to your needs affects the body. Check back over the next few weeks to stay updated on minor changes you can make to the “calories in, calories out” protocol to continue to refine your nutrition to meet your goals.
Your mindset is what will keep you going in your health and nutrition journey. We have some tools that, if applied correctly and consistently will enhance your experience along the way. Have questions? Feel free to send us an email at info@CrossFitAFK.com. We would love to help in your journey to health.
Our blog will update daily with different workouts and other content regarding nutrition and fitness.