These are two very well known diets in the CrossFit community. Although they have similarities, their rules and proportions vary. Eating habits of a CrossFit athlete can vary from zone, paleo, to no diet restrictions at all. Below is a quick breakdown of each diet.
Taking it back the “caveman” ages, Paleo focuses mainly on WHAT you eat. The diet consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. It excludes all grains, dairy products, and refined sugars. Paleo focuses on ditching all processed or altered foods. Unlike the Zone diet, there is no limit on caloric intake or serving sizes, unlike. It only suggests limiting your fruit intake to prevent insulin spikes and nut intake due to high fat content.
The Zone diet focuses on HOW MUCH you eat and is all about controlling your hormones. Finding the correct balance of fats, carbs, and protein will ultimately help you control the three major hormones in your diet; insulin, glucagon, and eicosanoids. These hormones regulate fat storage, blood sugar levels, and inflammation. The amount of food in this diet is relative to your gender and body type. Each meal is regulated by “blocks”, and consists of proportions of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
It is important to choose a diet that fits your lifestyle. Some find Paleo to be easier due to its restricted menu, but freedom in proportions. Others prefer Zone because it is easy to prepare and maintain once you learn its block method. There is no one diet that will match every body type; that is why it is important to try out different methods and find one that is tailored for your body!