The other day on Mizfit, she had an interesting post about The Zone diet. This quote from Dr. Sears kinda gives a good explanation of what its all about.
The Zone Diet is based on awareness and moderation. The awareness comes from the realization that every time you eat you will cause powerful hormonal responses that can either result in lack of hunger and peak mental acuity for the next four to six hours (this is good) or the rapid onset of hunger and fuzzy thinking within a few hours (this is bad). To achieve the optimal hormonal response, you have to think of moderation and use your hand and your eye as a guide. All you need is to divide your plate into three equal sections. On one-third of the plate put some low-fat protein that is no larger or thicker than the palm of your hand. Then fill the other two-thirds of the plate with colorful carbohydrates (vegetables and fruit). Finally you add a dash (that’s a small amount) of heart healthy fat like olive oil, slivered almonds, or guacamole. Now you have a meal that is moderate in low-fat protein, moderate in low-glycemic carbohydrates and moderate in monounsaturated fat. That combination will keep you in the Zone where your hormones are balanced for the next four to six hours.
But it was this comment from my blogger friend, Lori, that caught my eye: “I do try to eat very “Zone” when I can. It was a huge thing for me to give up the lowfat and embrace fat.”
Wow, EMBRACE FAT? Could it be–my dream come true?
So, a little back conversation. I have been going to Weight Watchers for 4 years come January 19 (minus a 6 month period that I quit.) Lost a total of 100 pounds. But I really haven’t lost anything in the past year and a half. In fact about a year ago I gained 8 pounds back and have been ‘maintaining’ there in spite of greater and lesser attempts at weight loss. Now, I just have to say, that I will be forever grateful to w.w. for what they taught me about how to eat differently. I always said Weight Watchers were not an end in themselves, but just a tool to help me learn how to eat and live for the rest of my life. And they did their job well. The point of the points system was to ‘reward’ you for eating low fat-high fiber (you can eat more food that way.) And I was a good learner. Like I said the other day, I can spot fat from 50 yards. I can take almost any recipe, and tweak it to decrease the fat and increase the fiber, AND make it taste good.
And I have to say, I really don’t believe I could have lost the weight if I had started right in with something like the Zone diet, or South Beach, or one of those. There were just too many bad habits to change, and for me it had to be a gradual process.
But along the way, in the last year or so, there have been some nigglings that I could be eating better. So when I saw this comment from Lori, I wrote and asked her if she would give a little more information about the way she ate. Lori is the real thing. She has lost weight slowly, eating really healthily, but well, and is a true athlete–running and weight lifting. And she wrote a most excellent blog about how she eats, and how she changed her eating habits, including adding more fat into her diet.
All this makes sense to me. I know that the two big roadblocks for me in the past were wanting to have more food volume, and my love of sweets. But I have noticed changes in my diet in the last few months that make me think that forging this final frontier might be possible. For one thing, when I pack my day’s food for work (I have to take a complete days food to work with me) the volume is much smaller. Before it would hardly fit into my lunch box. But my food choices are simpler now. And I am still satisfied with them. The other big thing is that I really notice that high sugar content foods, while they still taste VERY GOOD to me, only leave me unsatisfied, because I want more. I am much happier when I have one of my ‘healthy’ sweets or snacks, because I am satisfied, and feel done when they are gone. Does this make sense to anyone but me?
Anyways, in my ongoing quest to make this a lifetime change, I am going to try to incorporate some of Lori’s ideas into my diet. But it is going to be hard to forsake my beloved points and to start over, looking up calories, and fat, protein, and carb percentages. I think I need a spreadsheet instead of my little points book.