December 1st is only two days away. That’s hard for me to believe. It seems like it was just Christmas, and I was in the middle of planning our wedding for the summer. Now, I’m planning every bite of food that will go into my husband’s and my mouths next week.
I’m starting to think only a crazy person would decide to start a diet and exercise program right in the middle of holiday season, when goodies are endless and get-togethers are often. Why not just wait until January and make it a New Year’s resolution, right?
Well, there’s no time like the present. Procrastinating leads no where – except maybe that’s how I got to where I am – with 35 pounds to lose.
So Saturday, the husband and I start P90X and the Zone Diet.
The P90X part doesn’t worry me too much. I’ve already done all the workouts at one time or another, so I know what to expect. I’m prepared to be sore…and annoyed with Tony Horton.
On the other hand, the Zone – I’m already intimidated. We decided to take it up since Crossfit is big on it, and in 92 days, when we’ve completed P90X, we’re going to get back – or really get into – Crossfit. I’ll definitely need the 92 days to workout how we’re going to eat on the Zone. I’ve read what Crossfit has to say about it, and I picked up Enter the Zone by Dr. Sears from the local library. There may be a lot of good information in the book, but I couldn’t get past the first 5 pages, where every sentence includes the words “in the zone”.
So here’s what I know:
Dr. Sears, much like Tony Horton, annoys me.
30% of my daily calories need to be protein; 30% also need to be healthy fats; and the remaining 40% need to be “good” carbs (aka complex carbs).
The Zone breaks foods into “blocks”. A block of protein is 7 grams; a block of fat is 1.5 grams; and a block of carbohydrates is 9 grams.
I get “3-block” meals and “2 block” snacks. This means for a meal, I need 3 blocks of protein (21 grams), 3 blocks of fat (4.5 grams), and 3 blocks of carbs (27 grams). I get “2-block” snacks because at 155 lbs, 29” waist, and 40” hips, I’m considered a “large female”; I’d hate to see what Dr. Sears calls women above their healthy body fat range. The husband – as a “hard gainer” – gets “5-block” meals and “3-block” snacks.
There are 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. I’m pretty sure the diet specifies what time you eat them, but we’re not going to be that strict. This is the Zone for Real Life – not lab testing or dreams.
Planning is a necessity. In the 5 months that we’ve been married, I’ve developed a knack for weekly meal planning – to keep us on budget and make life easier – but the Zone Diet takes planning to a new level. It is hard, especially when I get so little food and the husband gets so much. I have yet to figure out how to combine a 3-block recipe and 5-block recipe so that we get the correct portions except to cook them separately…or how to I convert a 3-block recipe into a 5-block recipe…. or how to figure out what block a recipe is when the book doesn’t say!?
I also already know that there are some things with which I don’t agree. For starters, I don’t think that all foods can be separated into only one of the categories. There’s a handy chart that lists most foods in one of the three categories – protein, carbs, or fats. The carbs are even farther broken up into “favorable” and “unfavorable” carbs. But I don’t think it’s that simple. For example, ½ teaspoon of peanut butter equals 1 block of fat. Say I wanted to eat all 13 of my fat blocks by having some peanut butter – which would be about 2 tablespoons (in my opinion, in a normal serving). 2 tablespoons of peanut butter also contains 8 grams of protein – 1 block. Do I use that as 1 block of my protein as well as my 13 blocks of fat? The same with milk. It is listed as a “combo” – 1 block of protein + 1 block of carbs. Unless they mean skim milk, which they don’t specify, what about the milk fat? How about black beans, ¼ cup listed as 1 block of carbs? If I eat two servings, do I ignore that they included 1 block of protein?
The book may explain this, and it probably also suggests not eating all 13 blocks of fat at the same time (but again, the Zone Diet for Real Life here; sometimes I’m going to want more than 1.5 teaspoons of peanut butter). I’ll try to bear through at least the chapter that talks more about how to eat on the diet, but right now, my pre-diet thoughts are that this is way too complicated to last. I better shed pounds fast and start seeing results if I’m going to have to go through the trouble of cooking our meals separately and taking 6 hours to plan a week’s worth of meals and snacks.
I’ll give it a fair chance – 12 weeks…but if I’m putting in the work, it better also.
12 weeks. Conveniently the same amount of time as P90X.