Eating for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, and Health

FAQ: Do You Recommend a Particular Diet?

It has been said thousands of times before – You can’t out work a bad diet. But what does good nutrition look like? This is an area that can be confusing and downright overwhelming as it seems that every day nutritional science changes. Sad truth, I think it’s just the fact that it’s easier to get into the limelight by bashing a different approach.

In our experience and research, there has not been any nutritional approach that is more effective at both body composition changes (fat loss & muscle gain) AND long term health (disease prevention) than The Zone Diet from Dr. Barry Sears.

Unfortunately, just like everything else in this world, the powerful wisdom that was put into this method has since been muddied by the search for profit. That being said, I recommend avoiding their website unless you are looking for their block calculator or blog.

I’ll try to give you any information that you need to implement this incredibly powerful protocol. If you’d like to dive deeper into the science of it I’ll gladly discuss it either directly or in a later blog (it would have to be a long 1). Or pick up a copy of the original book, “Enter the Zone” by Dr. Barry Sears.

Key aspects to a Zone-favorable diet (the Zone Diet)

  • Everything about The Zone Diet is focused on managing and controlling hormonal responses – and the resulting eicosanoids (which can be incredibly beneficial or detrimental).
  • Because of its hormonal effects, food is more powerful than ANY drug your doctor could prescribe.
  • Each and every meal or snack is a chance to cause a hormonal response (the structure of the snack or meal determines whether it’s a beneficial response or not).
  • Each meal or snack is entirely independent of the 1 before or after. Did you indulge 1 meal and go off the rails, do NOT try to make up for it with the next <- This is a huge difference from most other approaches.
  • Each meal/snack: Every gram of carbohydrate should have a corresponding .75g of protein – or 4:3 ratio. For comparison, what we’re taught as “healthy eating” is more like 7:1 ratio.
  • This balance/ratio is critical as too high of carbs causes a poor hormonal response (insulin) and super low carbs can also cause an insulin response – along with a probability of developing insulin resistance long-term!
  • Among many other things, Insulin signals your body to pull sugar from your blood and store it as bodyfat. This causes a sugar crash later as your brain needs blood sugar to function.
  • Among other things, Glucagon (insulin’s opposite) triggers your body to burn bodyfat for blood sugar – unlimited energy! Each pound of bodyfat is roughly 3500 calories of stored energy!
  • For simplicity, the nutrition strategy is broken down in blocks. Most emphasize eating from a whole foods chart (fewer labels means better traction and easier results!)

If these numbers or portions look small, remember that each of these are the listings for a single block of each macro-nutrient and you’re very unlikely to ever eat a single block meal or snack. In fact…

The overwhelming consensus is that most people struggle to eat enough food when they start. This is because we’re very accustomed to eating garbage calories instead of substantial quantities of quality food.

But what a great problem to have, your diet has you eating so much food that you’re not starving and craving garbage!

For example, this was my lunch the other day (picture was taken to send to a client as an example).

Hopefully I was able to give you enough information to at least get you going. When you have questions, just ask me – email Clint@PenanceGym.com – as I would much rather be sure that you’re getting accurate information than just looking through whatever website has the best Search Engine Optimization…

1 of the aspects that I think make the Zone so approachable for everyone is the concept of each meal is independent. There is no reason to penalize or punish yourself for having a bad meal. We treat food like medicine – if you miss a dose, you wouldn’t double up next time (or at least I hope you wouldn’t).

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