T Nation

The Zone Diet


Whaddaya think? Good? Bad? Ugly?

I looked back at the training logs from my pre-injury (2 years ago) glory-days of biathlon training with 8-10 hours of long-slow-distance training a week with 4-5 hours of strength training. Race simulation every few weeks.

Now I have nowhere near those energy levels. I try training, but it just doesn't work out too well. The only difference I can really see is that back then I was following "The Zone" diet to the letter. I'm thinking about going back to it.

Any serious objections?

40% carbs, low-glycemic.
30% protein, mostly from food sources.
30% fat, monounsaturated + fish oil.

The only change I might make is to include some high-GI carbs and quickly-absorbed protein during and right after my workout.


If it works for you, go for it.

Honestly the macro levels seem to be just above a maintenance type level, don't see anything wrong with them.


It's a good diet, but most people who train require significantly more calories than the book calls for. The ratios are good, but make sure you're getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of LBM, then calculate from your grams of protein.


Thanks. Maybe in a few months I'll post a pic of the results or something. :slight_smile:


It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I don't like it for cutting nor bulking. I think the best cutting diet is mostly protein and fat and the best bulking diet is mostly protein and carbs. I also disagree with combining nearly equal parts protein, carbs, and fats in every meal. John B's on the money with macronutrient combinations.


most people who train require significantly more calories than the book calls for.

Well it says that once you reach your optimal bodyfat% you're supposed to keep adding fat until the weight stops coming off.


Pretty solid overall. Actually when it was first introduced there was a huge buzz over it. MM2K back in the good ol' days had a three-part interview w. Dr. Sears about his diet. I do think the recommended kcals are too low though and I like Berardi's version (30/40/30) better along with using the P/C and P/F meals.

The funny thing about the Zone diet is a lot of the so-called experts refer to this as a "low-carb" diet.


100% Alberta Beef:

The "just add fat" part isn't right for most people who seriously train. That's what I mean about the calories being too low. Most athletes or lifters who follow Zone-style diets do far better calculating their daily caloric requirements and following the 40/30/30 protocol.


Alright. I'll try that. Daily caloric requirements and then 40/30/30.