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Why do I reference paleo and zone diet principals for designing a diet?


The Paleo diet (also called ancestral, primal, native, or hunter-gatherer diets) is eating today’s food in a way that mimics the best diet of our Hunter Gatherer or Paleolithic ancestors. This diet is not just following the diet we imagine our ancestors  would have eaten, (e.g. caveman recreation) we also use current clinical studies, genetic / environment studies, and our knowledge of human biochemistry to inform our choices. We make choices from today’s every day food that gives us the healthiest possible human diet, so we eat food that our bodies are best adapted to eating and thrive on. As a general rule food that you can’t imagine hunting or gathering is not paleo. The paleo diet is primarily focussing on eating high nutrient, non toxic, unprocessed food that nourishes the body. People are individual, while some benefit greatly from a strict paleo diet, others are genetically different and do not need to cut grains, dairy or legumes.


However everyone benefits from whole, unprocessed food.


Please note: My own experience has shown that basing a diet on paleo or real whole food principals, and eating an amount and balance that supports individual needs (Zone diet principles) works exceptionally well. I am however not wedded to the notion that everyone must follow a strict paleo, zone, or low carb diet.


Each person must find what works best for them and each person needs to eat for their body size, nutrient needs, intolerances, and activity requirements.


Paleo Nutrition Principles

You will find extensive information about Paleo eating on my blog- here are links:

Paleo Eating & Lifestyle: The Rules

Paleo Basics and Links

10 Ways our diet today differs radically from the diet that best suits our genes

What to eat on a paleo diet - Paleo food list

Portion control and eating for weight loss

Paleo is not just about food, lifestyle is important too - Sun, sleep and movement


Do you have any further questions?


Please feel free to call or email me.

juliannetaylor@xtra.co.nz

I am more than happy to answer your questions

 

Julianne Taylor

NZRN, Grad Cert Sci (Nutrition)

09 3781573


Zone Diet FAQs

 

What is the Zone diet and who designed it?

What results do people get by using Zone diet eating principles?

How do you know if you will benefit?

How does the Zone diet differ from other programmes?

How easy is it to follow?

Are there studies supporting this programme?

Do you have to use supplements as part of the programme?

Do you have to exercise to lose weight on the Zone diet?

Is the Zone diet like high protein, low carbohydrate diets?

I have a family, will I be making separate meals for myself or family members?

What are typical meals and food like on this programme?

Can I follow the Zone diet if I am vegetarian or vegan?

Can I eat anything on the Zone diet, what about chocolate, ice-cream and wine?


What is the Zone Diet and who designed it?                                    Barry.jpg

 

The Zone Diet is an eating plan developed from cutting edge research by American biochemist Dr. Barry Sears, PhD.

Dr Sears’ research over the last 30 years led him to the conclusion that food is the most powerful drug that we put into our bodies. Each time we eat, the food in our meal causes the release of a number of different hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that have powerful effects on our body, they tell your body whether to release or store fat for example. There are dozens of hormones in your body and many are affected by the food you eat. Sears found that eating food (protein carbohydrates and fat) in an ideal ratio at each meal elicited the most favourable balance of hormones where your body works at its best. 

 

In this state, which Sears calls the Zone, blood sugar levels are stable and healthy, mental and physical performance is enhanced, health improves and as a bonus you lose body fat safely at the fastest possible rate, without losing valuable muscle tissue.


If you would like to find out more about Dr Barry Sears and the Zone diet have a look at his websites

www.drsears.com

www.zonediet.com

 

 

 

What results do people get by using Zone diet eating principles?

 

Here are results that people frequently report following a plan along paleo and zone princpals, these have been gathered from feedback from my own clients: (Note: although clients have reported these results, there are always other factors besides diet that cause health issues for people)

  • Loss of body fat without feeling hungry or fatigued – typical fat loss 1/3 to 1 kilo per week, while maintaining or increasing muscle tissue.
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved blood sugar levels (especially noticed in people with diabetes or reactive hypoglycaemia)
  • Decreased fatigue, greater stamina
  • Faster recovery from exercise
  • Improved mental focus especially in the afternoon
  • No carbohydrate cravings
  • Better sleep patterns – less waking during the night, a more sound sleep, refreshed and alert on waking
  • Decrease in menopausal symptoms
  • Reduction or elimination of PMS
  • Improvements in digestive problems, i.e. decreased indigestion and bloating, improvement in Irritable bowel issues.
  • A greater sense of well-being, less depression.
  • A reduction in asthma, allergies and sinus problems.
  • Reduced pain and inflammation – arthritis
  • Improvements in dry, flaky skin, eczema and psoriasis



How do you know if the Zone diet will benefit you?


If you suffer from any of the health issues above, I recommend trying the programme as a way to decrease these problems. As a nutritionist, I can also recommend certain foods to eliminate, or supplements to take to maximise health benefits. And as mentioned - diet is just one factor that contributes to health problems, please consult your doctor if you have health issues, are pregnant or on medication, before you change your diet.



Many health problems respond to altering the amount, ratio of macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) and quality of food in your diet.Many people respond to removing foods that cause them problems such as gluten.



How does the Zone differ from other weight loss programmes?


The Zone diet was originally designed by Dr Sears as an eating programme to decrease a person’s risk of heart disease. His father and many male relatives died in their 50’s from heart disease and he was looking for a way decrease this risk. He used his background as a researcher and biochemist to look for an answer. He eventually discovered that the only way to control risk factors such as high levels of inflammatory hormones, high blood sugar and insulin levels, and high cholesterol was to eat the right type and ideal balance of foods. When this programme was tested on real people, inflammation, high insulin levels, high cholesterol and body fat all decreased. Dr Sears also tested his programme with elite athletes competing at world class level and their performances increased, as an example the US Olympic swimmers who trained while following the Zone diet won 8 gold medals at Barcelona and another 8 again at Atlanta. More Olympic gold medals and world titles have been won since.

So rather than a weight loss programme the Zone diet is an eating plan designed to decrease inflammatory hormones, stabilise blood sugar, allow the release of stored fat to be used for fuel and maximise mental and physical performance.

All this is possible if we eat in the way that we are genetically designed to eat. Lean protein for muscle building and repair, add to this carbohydrates from mainly vegetables and fruits, for a steady supply of glucose, nutrients & antioxidants, plus quality oils including fish oils to make important hormones, especially those that decrease inflammation. At each meal these foods are eaten in their ideal amount and balance for your body so it can work at its best.



How easy is it to follow?


Think of the Zone diet as an eating philosophy rather than a prescriptive diet. Although it takes some concentration at first (as any change in eating plan does) you will find after a short time that it becomes a new habitual way of eating. Many people become highly motivated to keep to this new way of eating because of new found energy, and improvements in health and performance.

 

If you find you need help to work out meals, I am only a phone call away. Or you could book a consultation where I sit down with you and work out a simple doable menu that fits in with your preferences and lifestyle. See services for details.

 


Are there studies supporting this programme?

Yes there are many – see our article in the features section for an overview of some of these studies. As well, the Joslin Centre for diabetes in USA recommends the same balance of foods as the Zone diet, they have extensively researched diet studies to come to this conclusion.

 


Do you have to use supplements as part of the programme?

The foods recommended on the Zone diet are high in nutrients and should give you all the vitamins and minerals to reach RDA levels. However top researchers such as those at Harvard University recommend everyone take a vitamin and mineral supplement to cover any deficiencies in our diet.


Another supplement that Dr Sears recommends people take is high quality Omega 3. Due to the dramatic reduction in Omega 3 levels in many of our foods, and the risk on mercury and toxins in fish, it is much safer to take omega 3 as a supplement – unless you are eating several servings of low mercury cold water fatty fish per week.

 


Do you have to exercise to lose weight on the Zone diet?

No you don’t have to exercise to lose weight, 80% of weight loss comes from eating in way that your body is able to release stored fat. This is exactly what the Zone diet is designed to do. By decreasing your insulin levels (the storage hormone) and increasing glucagon levels, and decreasing inflammation, this allows you to release stored fat that can be used for energy.

 

Of course we do recommend exercise! It increases your muscle mass and fitness, and makes you feel a whole lot better, as well as decreasing  your risk of many diseases.

 


Is the Zone diet like high protein, low carbohydrate diets?

No, the Zone diet is not a high protein diet. The amount of protein you eat is worked out by finding out how much lean body mass you have and how much exercise you do. The amount of protein is specific to each person. The daily amount spread throughout the day and eaten at each meal and snack.

 

Many high protein diets allow unlimited amounts of protein and fat, particularly saturated fat. Even though these have give short term weight loss they have been shown to be unhealthy when continued longer than 6 months, increasing both inflammation and cholesterol levels.

The Zone is also not a low carbohydrate diet, rather it is moderate – it gives you enough carbohydrates for energy, plus plenty of fibre and nutrients, yet does not allow ketosis.


 

I have a family, will I be making separate meals for myself or family members?

As a mother myself, I can say absolutely no. After 12 years on the Zone diet and 8 of those with children and a husband, it is easy to follow Zone principles while making meals that the whole family will eat. In fact many of the meals in the booklet “The Zone diet for New Zealanders” were designed with family meals in mind.


 

What are typical meals and food like on this programme?

At each meal you will have a portion of protein typically 90 grams for women and 120 grams for men. This is about the size of a deck of cards (bigger for men). Add to this fruit and  vegetables, particularly the non starchy colourful kind, and perhaps a small portion of starch, e.g. root veggies, whole grain bread, grainy crackers or even legumes. You also add a little good fat – ideally olive oil, nuts or avocado.

 

At breakfast you might have scrambled eggs, and a slice of grainy toast with a little spread.

Or a smoothie with protein powder, fresh or frozen fruit and a teaspoon of flax oil.

 

At lunch – a salad with tinned fish and some fruit, or possibly a couple of thin slices of whole grain bread, shredded chicken and salad, with pesto spread.

 

At dinner, either fish, lean meat or poultry, plenty of stir-fry veggies, some salad, a glass of wine or a bowl of fresh fruit salad.

 

In between your meals you can have 2 – 3 snacks, such as a slices of cheese on whole grain crackers or some fruit and nuts.

 

In fact there are unlimited food combinations, and often you can adjust favourite meals to fit the Zone balance.


Can I follow the Zone diet if I am vegetarian or vegan?

Yes you can, however your protein choices will be different. Each meal and snack needs to have a portion of high quality protein in order to achieve the results the Zone promises. Vegetarian choices include tofu and soy products, eggs, low fat dairy such as cottage cheese, and protein powders. Vegan choices are a little more limited, soy products, and protein powders such as rice protein, soy protein and pea protein isolates. The benefits are worth the effort, as many vegans in particular find they have increased strength and energy as a result of increasing their protein consumption. In my experience quality protein is typically low in vegan diets.

 


Can I eat anything on the Zone diet, what about chocolate, ice-cream and wine?

Yes you can eat just about anything. However due to the truly anti-nutrient quality of some foods we recommend you cut them out, particularly refined carbohydrates and sugar, certain types of fat, and other highly processed foods with chemical additives. Using paleo i.e. pre-agricultural food choices gives by far the greatest benefits, and in some health conditions are a priority.


There are healthy alternatives to most favourite treat foods, and chocolate, alcohol and ice-cream can even be fitted into meals.

 

If you do truly mess up a meal, we encourage you not to beat yourself up, but just get back to healthy eating at your next meal.

 

 

Do you have any further questions?

Please feel free to call or email me.

juliannetaylor@xtra.co.nz

I am more than happy to answer your questions

 

Julianne Taylor

NZRN, Grad Cert Sci (Nutrition), Zone diet instructor.

09 3781573

 

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