NEXT PALEO CHALLENGE: SEPT. 10th-OCT. 8th
You may have heard those words thrown around in the CrossFit community. “Paleo” and/or “Zone.”
Both of these diets and lifestyles have gained rapid acclaim and attention from the CrossFit community.
What exactly are they? Everybody’s doing it?
Want the simple version?
Eat lean meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.
Paleo Diet Defined:
The Paleo diet is eons old: It’s essentially all about eating the foods that have been available to humans for most of our evolutionary history: meats raised on their natural forage, seafood, eggs, fibrous vegetables and greens, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and some fruit — all things that would have been recognizable as food to our most primitive ancestors
Under the Paleo plan, you obviously must avoid sugar, processed foods and most conventional dairy products. But the plan also excludes all grains and legumes, which seems contrary to what you might think. Whole grains and legumes, such as beans, are supposed to be healthful, right? Well, Paleo proponents say that these foods are relatively new to the human species and that we are generally quite ill-suited to consume them.
Paleo: What can I eat?
Meat (particularly grass-fed, which has healthier fats, is better for the environment and mimics the kinds of meat humans have been eating for millennia)
Seafood (particularly wild)
Poultry and eggs (particularly pasture-raised)
Healthy fats (particularly coconut oil, avocado and olive oil because they have omega-3s)
Fibrous vegetables and greens
Legumes/beans (includes soy and peanuts)
Dairy: If your body can tolerate dairy, some full-fat, raw milk sources can be included. Best choices: cultured products such as yogurt and kefir, goat and sheep’s milk, and butter, cream or ghee from organic, grass-fed sources.
Zone Diet Defined:
The Zone Diet was created by Dr. Barry Sears, based similarly off the Paleo method of eating foods in their most natural states and limiting starch consumption.
Dr.Sears asks us to look around; after 30 years of trying to eat low fat foods we have got fatter, rather than leaner. We have got exactly the opposite result. Over 50% of the UK´s and USA´s populations are overweight.
The more carbohydrates (carbs) we consume the more insulin we secrete. Insulin turns excess carbs into stored fat. Dietary fat does not trigger insulin secretion.
Insulin production can be controlled if we eat low-density carbs, dietary fat, and protein in the right proportions. If we can maintain insulin levels within what Dr. Sears calls a “therapeutic zone”, it is easier to burn off excess body fat – and to keep it off permanently. Dr. Sears says it is possible, through the Zone to improve mental focus, enjoy increased energy and vitality.
Keeping your insulin levels within the therapeutic zone means staying in The Zone – hence, the name Zone Diet.
Put simply, the Zone says your intake of food should consist of 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 30% protein. If you can make sure that each meal you consume is roughly within those parameters your health and weight will improve.
The Zone Diet´s basic guidelines
Have a Zone meal or snack no later than one hour after you wake up in the morning
Interval between meals should be between 4 to 6 hours
Have a meal between 2 to 2.5 hours after a snack – regardless of how hungry you are
Before every meal or snack, assess your hunger level. If you are not hungry and your mind is clear, you are in The Zone
Consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day
Start the meal/snack with low-fat protein. Then add good carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as vegetables and fruits, plus good fats, such as olive oil or avocado
Typical meal protein should weigh about 4 ounces for men and 3 ounces for women
The CrossFit journal published a great article on the nuts and bolts of the Zone diet, here: (http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf)