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— Kristen Clever CrossFit Games Champion

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 Zone Blocks

Understanding Zone Blocks

A “Zone Block” is a unit of measure used to simplify the process of making balanced meals.

7 grams of protein = 1block of protein
9 grams of carbohydrate = 1 block of carbohydrate
1.5 grams of fat = 1 block of fat (There is an assumption that there is about 1.5 grams of fat in each block of protein, so the total amount of fat needed per 1 block meal is 3 grams.)

When a meal is composed of equal blocks of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, it is 40 % carbohydrate, 30 % protein and 30% fat.

Below you will find the CrossFit Amundson recommended foods, their macronutrient category (protein, carbohydrate or fat), along with a conversion of measurements to blocks.

To make a Zone meal, simply choose 1 item from the protein list, 1 item from the carbohydrate list, and 1 item from the fat list to compose a 1 block meal. Or choose 2 items from each column to compose a 2 block meal, etc.

Here is a sample 4 block meal:

4 oz. chicken breast 1 artichoke 1 cup of steamed vegetables w/ 24 crushed peanuts 1 sliced apple

This meals contains 28 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbohydrate, and 12 grams of fat. It is simpler, though, to think of it as 4 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of carbohydrate, and 4 blocks of fat.

Zone Protein Blocks

Chicken Breast = 1 oz
Cottage Cheese = 1/4 cup
1 egg (whole egg)
2 egg whites
Fish = 1.5 oz
Ground Beef = 1.5 oz
Canned Tuna = 1 oz
Protein Powder = 1 oz
Cheese = 1 oz
Lean Beef = 1oz

Zone Carbohydrate Blocks (Recommended – use these as much as possible)

Apple = 1/2
Banana = 1/3
Kiwi = 1
Broccoli = 1 1/4 cup (steamed)
Broccoli = 2 cups (raw)
Oatmeal (steel cut) 1/3 cup
Grapes = 1/2 cup
Strawberries = 1 cup
Blueberries = 1/2 cup
Spinach = 4 cups (raw)
Spinach = 1 1/2 cup (steamed)
Pear = 1/2
Orange = 1/2
Baked Sweet Potato = 1/3

Zone Fat Blocks

Almonds = 3
Avocado = 1 tbs
Macadamia nuts = 1
Peanut butter = 1 tbs
Olive oil = 1/3 tbs

Zone Carbohydrate Blocks (Use in Moderation!)

Wheat bread = 1/2 slice
Baked Potato = 1/3 cup
Brown rice = 3 tbs
Pasta = 1/4 cup
Bagel = 1/4

Additional Resources

CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part I [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part II [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part III [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part IV [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar – Part V [video] CrossFit Journal Article #21 on Nutrition & Zone Diet [article] Diet Secrets of the Tupperware Man [article]

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