Start-Up Guide To Following Zone & Paleo


Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.


So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.


But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.



This blog post is designed to help any CrossFitter start following the Zone Diet while eating Paleo foods. This is the gold standard among CrossFit athletes both recreational and professional. While this will give you a solid knowledge foundation of how to get the most of your training it will not replace the books. They are…

  • Enter The Zone: A Dietary Road Map by Dr. Barry Sears
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf

By reading those books you will gain more knowledge and understanding of how and why we follow these two diets as CrossFitters.

Both books can be bought here in Midland, TX at Barnes & Noble or online at


What is Paleo?

Paleo is essentially eating the foods we ate before the dawn of agriculture. As a CrossFitter you should look at Paleo as WHAT you eat.

Certain foods and processing methods of modern day agriculture don’t align well with our goals of maximizing health & performance. As a Christian i see it in the sense that the more man has to do with its production then the more inferior it is going to be compared to things that God has made. Some people simply follow just the Paleo diet with no regard for portions (which is what Zone is about) and they still have very good results. That is one option you have. True Paleo-ists don’t eat any grains, dairy, or sugar.

Here is a great video that will give you a brief, simple, rundown on the logic behind the Paleo diet:


What is Zone?

The Zone diet is basically about learning how to put together perfectly balanced meals that promote maximum health, wellness, and performance. As a CrossFitter you should look at Zone as HOW MUCH you eat.

As a CrossFitter that means maximum fat loss with no loss of muscle. AKA faster “Fran” times, heavier deadlifts, your first muscle-up, etc. Reading the book will reveal that A TON of research went into developing this diet. When following the zone diet every meal you eat is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. You also eat a certain number of “blocks” based on how much lean body mass (muscle) you have.  Don’t let the details, numbers, and percentages, scare you. Once you get this down it is much more simple then it sounds.

Here is a video that explains a very simplified version that you can follow:


Putting It All Together

Doing the simple version of zone or eating just paleo is a great way to get started. If this is as far as you want to go for now then that is fine. Following this simplified version will get you results and promote a healthy lifestyle for an active CrossFitter. But to really maximize your results you need to learn the details and how to put the two diets together. This stuff takes some time and effort to learn. If you aren’t serious about making a time/energy commitment to this then you might as well stop reading. If you’re ready to learn, read on! 

  • Step 1: Find out how many blocks you need to be eating.

Here is a block calculator that can determine how many blocks you should be eating:

Simply enter your information from Saturday’s weigh in. (If you don’t remember just text, call or email me my number is: 432-553-7053) Then set your activity level based on how many days/week you are coming to CrossFit. Obviously what we do is medium-hard. lol

  • Step 2: Learn what a block is.

An entire block is composed of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and  30% protein. Here is how it breaks down in grams: 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat.

  • Step 3: Learn how to put meals together!

Essentially you will need to pick a protein and get the amount of you need from that protein. Then do the same with your fat and the same with your carbs.

This PDF has the appropriate serving sizes of most common foods:

-A One Block meal consists of one choice from the Protein List (pink), one from the Carbohydrate List (blue) and one from the Fat List (green).

-A Two Block meal consists of 2 choices from each list.

-A Three Block meal consists of 3 choices from each list…and so on.


Here is also an excel spreadsheet that can be very useful for the same thing:


Here is a decent video that shows a couple putting together a zone/paleo meal:

I plan to make my own video soon without all the little exceptions that they talk about in this video to help simplify it some for you guys.


You can also use your hands to determine approximate serving sizes!




Here are some solid products that are already zoned out for you. You just grab, eat, and go. Both are solid options but keep in mind whole food is always superior.



“But what if i am tempted and i want to cheat?”

Read this post:


Lastly just a little piece of motivation. Two CrossFitters who are AVID zone/paleo followers.

Matt Chan:


And Lindsey Smith



That’s about it… You guys are bound to have questions so don’t hesitate to call/text/email me with any inquiries! I’m excited! Let’s do this thing you guys!

Aside | This entry was posted in Challenge, Paleo, Uncategorized, Zone and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Start-Up Guide To Following Zone & Paleo

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  2. Jenn says:

    I always understood Paleo to be no grains or dairy but the lists on the colored paper include dairy and grains…so if I include those is it more Zone and when I cut those out does it become Paleo? Not sure I am understanding this correctly.

    • coachfms says:

      You are correct that dairy and grains ARE NOT paleo. Zone and Paleo are two separate diets. Essentially, zone is the HOW MUCH you eat and Paleo is the WHAT you eat. Let me know if you still don’t understand.

  3. Sean says:

    Reblogged this on Become UnAfraid and commented:
    A great guide full of tips on how to get started!

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  5. Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a stuff! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.

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  7. Tony jacques says:

    I’m confused. I thought 1oz (a block of protein) equates on my calculator to 28gms yet you say 7gm? Tj

    • coachfms says:

      The actual WEIGHT of the protein source should be 1oz/28 grams per block but the GRAMS OF PROTEIN in the actual protein source is 7 grams per block. I know, it’s confusing. But yes, you are doing it correctly.

  8. sffronx says:

    Amazing! Its actually awesome article, I have got much clear idea about from this
    piece of writing.

  9. Megan says:

    So 4 blocks of carbs would be 12 cups of cooked broccoli?

    • coachfms says:

      Yes. Crazy, i know. It is TOUGH to work in the greens. I rarely do more than one block of veggies in a meal.

  10. Pit says:

    What is the number one best Palio/Zone book to read?

    Shocka Bruddah !

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  12. Joshua wells says:

    Are the blocks given for weight loss, maintenance….?

  13. Penny Stephens says:

    I just started crossfit, and I am really enjoying it. The box I was at was not friendly at all so,I found a new box in Petal. So I hope it goes better. Anyway I wanted to say thank you for explaining the Paloe/Zone diet, I still have questions, but I understand more now than before. Is it easier to do all the blocks in one day for the week, so they will be ready, or just one day at a time.

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  16. Nikola says:

    I don’t understand. A block is composed of 40% Carbs, 30% fat, 30 % Proteins. But 9g carbs, 7g proteins and 1,5g fats doesn’t make those percentages?

    • Dee says:

      In the zone, each macronutrient has it’s own block – each meal (made up of carb, fat & protein) is the 40-30-30 ratio. there are more calories in fats; the % represent the amount of each macronutrient per meal.

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  23. Michelle says:

    Love the post!!! I’m currently on the Zone DIet!! The Zone Diet was the missing piece to the puzzle for me and a pinnacle discovery in my training. I started feeling better both mentally and physically, which allowed me to push harder within my CrossFit training and performance, thus resulting in a leaner, stronger, happier, and fitter me!!!

    This is my story on Zone

  24. Sommer says:

    I am newer to the CF community so far I’m down 54 lbs. however I’m stuck. One of my coaches suggested I start the paleo zone as opposed to just paleo. I have searched the web up and down and all I’m asking is for a 13 block meal plan. Can u help me? I have 70 more lbs to get off and everywhere I look it gives me 1 meal and nothing else??


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  39. Mike says:

    I have been following this pretty closely and have lost almost 20 lbs in the last 2 1/2 months.

    My question is about the chart with examples of appropriate block sizes. For example, in the chart the Red bell pepper requires 2 cups chopped per block of carbs. Which is supposed to be 9g of Carbs/ block. However, I checked the following website and it says that one cup of copped bell peppers is 9g of carbs.

    This makes me call into question how accurate these blocks are and wonder if I am needlessly wasting money because some of the block examples are wrong.

    Also there is no Kale estimate in “Raw vegetables”. Anyone know what a block is for kale?


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  51. sunny shakhawala says:

    Hey everyone! I’m scouring the internet for a meal replacement / supplement bar that is paleo & zone friendly but can’t seem to find one anywhere!! Some bars are Paleo, but the macro ratio is out of whack. Even the bars on the zone website don’t follow the 7/9/3 p/c/f ratio. Has anyone comes across anything that actually follows the zone ratio? has anyone come across anything that is zone AND paleo? If so, please let me know. I’m getting a bit tired of my same old 1 scoop, 1 banana, 9 almond smoothie snack.



  52. Tiffany says:

    This was exactly what I was looking for. I’m ecstatic. Can’t wait to get started. I did something like this about 5 years ago but it wasn’t called the zone diet. I’m sharing this with my fellow crossfit friends asap.

  53. Sharon graham says:

    I’m confused , I’ve been told to eat 215g per day carbs , protein 120g fats 50g how do I convert this into blocks ?

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