“Diet is not a dirty word. It comes from the Greek root meaning ‘way of life’.”

-The Zone Diet website

Above: In the Zone Diet, you balance 3 macronutrients–protein, carbohydrates, and fat–at every meal and snack to regulate your insulin levels.

This past week, you might have heard Kimo and I say that we are “zoning”, and asked, “What is the Zoning?” Well, the Zone Diet by Dr. Barry Sears, is the only measurably, observably, and repeatedly successful approach to moderating your insulin production by moderating your carbohydrate intake. The bottom line, if you take in too much carbohydrates, you have hyper-insulinimia, which is too high insulin levels. Hyper-insulinimia is BAD! Chronic hyper-insulinimia is BAD! Therefore, avoiding hyper-insulinimia will make a dramatic difference in your health, fitness, and appearance.

According to the official Zone Diet website, “the Zone Diet is about balancing your hormones within a specific range…” When you balance your hormones, health and performance come naturally.

The Zone Diet Explained (http://www.zonediet.com/)

Diet is not a dirty word. It comes from the Greek root meaning “way of life”. This is what the Zone Diet is. It’s a way of life to help control gene expression to give you the longer and better life we all aspire to.

The Zone Diet gives you the power to turn some genes on and turn other genes off. As a result, you feel your energy soar, watch your waistline shrink, and say goodbye to hunger. In the Zone you are now taking wellness into your own hands.

Any diet that uses the word high or low to describe it is hormonally unsustainable. The only diet that can maintain hormonal balance for a lifetime must use the word moderate to describe it. That’s what the Zone Diet is.

It’s moderate in:
• Low-fat protein
• Low glycemic-load carbs(mostly fruits and vegetables)
• Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats

The Zone Diet is about balancing your hormones within a specific range to control hunger on fewer calories while still getting the proper nutrients your body needs for long-term health. The Zone Diet can best be described as a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, moderate fat diet that has approximately one gram of fat for every two grams of protein and three grams of carbohydrates (the Zone 1-2-3 Method™). These ratios represent the newest dietary recommendations from the Joslin Diabetes Research Center at Harvard Medical School for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
With the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can control three major hormones generated by the diet – insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids.

Insulin – A storage hormone. Excess insulin makes you fat and keeps you fat. It also accelerates silent inflammation
Glucagon – A mobilization hormone that tells the body to release stored carbohydrates at a steady rate, leading to stabilized blood sugar levels. This is key for optimal mental and physical performance.
Eicosanoids – These are the hormones that ultimately control silent inflammation. They are also master hormones that indirectly orchestrate a vast array of other hormonal systems in your body.

I’ve been on STRICT zoning for a week now and can see a change in my appearance as well as feel a change in my fitness. The other day, when I could only do 20 Kipping Pull-Ups in a row, I did 27 in a row. When I could only do 3 mediocre Handstand Push-Ups in a row, I did 5 perfect head to ground Handstand Push-Ups. Last but not least, I’ve been able to do things that I couldn’t do since high school (when I was 10 lbs. lighter and 7 years younger), like an Ariel (no-hand cartwheel). In fact, I did 5 Ariels! You might be thinking, I don’t need to be doing a no-hand cartwheel, so why should I go on the Zone? Well, for those of you who aren’t “performance whores” like me, the Zone Diet will still benefit you in so many ways outside of CrossFit. If you can get through the first 2 weeks without cheating, including weighing and measuring (WAM-ing), you will notice a significant difference in the way you look and feel. I’ll be honest, its not easy, especially if your body is used to chronically elevated insulin levels, but it is so worth it. There really is no sacrifice too large for a lifetime of health, not to mention a longer life in general. So don’t put this on hold, make it your pre-holiday goal to be a Zoner, build some courage, be strong, be disciplined, (you can do it) and break that addiction to hyper-insulinimia!

Really awesome Zone sources:
Zone Block Calculator – RARE CrossFit
The Zone: Quick Start Guide
CrossFit Journal: Meal Plan – really great source for block breakdowns
“Mastering the Zone” by Barry Sears, Ph.D.
“A Week in the Zone” by Barry Sears, Ph.D.
“Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes” by Barry Sears, Ph.D.

Get your CrossFit on!

Today’s Workout:
“In the Zone”
For time:
650 M Run
3 Rounds, of:
25 Wall Ball
25 Tire Jump
25 Push Press

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