11 responses

  1. Suz
    October 12, 2011

    Really interesting, well written article. Especially interested in your points about eating too much “Paleo” food. That and going too low carb may be the reasons I’m struggling to lose the last bit of weight I suspect…

    Reply

    • julianne
      October 12, 2011

      Chris Kresser especially talks about people’s results hitting a plateau on low carb, and getting better results when they increase them.
      Reframing the obesity debate: cause/effect, genetics & robot clones

      Reply

    • Phil
      October 12, 2011

      Suz, I would have to back that up. Only been paleo “template” a year and just over the last month noticed a bit of a creep in fat gain. Unfortunately I think I have bought into the eat all real food and body comp will take care of itself. While I think the calorie in/calorie out argument has been well put to bed, the total calorie consumption, say over a week, still counts. Yes it maybe all about hormones, but if they dont have the material to play with (calories) then it changes the playing field as far as fat gain goes.

      Thanks Julianne for a good sum up, not only of Zone, but also a number of paleo related issues.

      Phil

      Reply

  2. Steve Parker, M.D.
    October 12, 2011

    Thanks for explaining the evolution of “Paleo Zone.” Interesting.

    Back when Sears was putting together the original Zone, very few folks were talking about anti-nutrients like phytic acid. It was barely, if at all, on the radar screen. Yet he did cite the Agricultural revolution, so could have anticipated the lack of grains throughout human evolution.

    -Steve

    Reply

  3. Heidi
    January 4, 2012

    Thanks for the great article. I follow a low oxalate, Zone/Paleo-inpspired diet and feel very indebted to Dr. Sears for helping me on the right track for blood-sugar control (I have severe hypoglycemia issues) and weight maintenance (I’m active and athletic with little weight problems until I had twins at 40 years and put on 30 pounds of very stubborn pregnancy fat. Oy!). I’ve been following a Zone Diet for almost 15 years and now Paleo for about three months. I’ve tweaked the ratio a little — pulling my carbs down to 20% while actively trying to lose weight. Both the better quality of food and the lower carb ratio are helping me immensely (I need a slightly lower ratio for control of hypoglycemia even when not trying to lose weight). And cutting out the grains and legumes and reducing dairy has been the key for me, too! It just makes everything finally click! Thanks for saying it all so well above.

    Reply

  4. maniuni
    January 14, 2012

    I read about carb refeeds when you are on a low carb diet. Have you tried this? Can you compare it with a moderate carb diet?

    Reply

    • julianne
      January 14, 2012

      This isn’t an area I’ve looked at sorry. I generally advocate a lowish, (but not very low carb) to moderate carb diet depending on each individual’s situation. I’ve seen a lot of people have problems with a very low carb diet. So in general most people do better on 100grams carbs a day or more. Except for those with diabetes, then lower can work better for blood sugar management.

      Do you have a link to what you read?

      Reply

      • maniuni
        January 15, 2012

        Thanks, here it is:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread31459.html

        My family started paleo an year ago and until now it was pretty easy until my husband decided to try the zone because everybody in the crossfit gym were doing it. I thing something in the middle may be better. We’ll try the paleo-zone approach but the carb refeeds also sounds worth trying.

        Reply

  5. Sara Lake
    October 13, 2013

    The Zone was crucial for me also. It taught me how to eat properly, and what to eat. Basically it gave me permission to actually eat! Before then I was just so very confused, always trying and failing to **eat less** (juice fasts, water fasts, veganism, raw food diet) so that I’d lose weight. The hunger always did me in. The Zone gave me my sanity back because it is doable anywhere, I wasn’t starving, it ACTUALLY WORKED. I think the zone may have the advantage over paleo for people that handle grains because it is very user friendly and easy to fit with any food culture. I travelled the world and it was easy to stay ‘in the zone’ because you’d usually just cut back the carbs a bit (ever done the ‘throw away half the bread’ thing?) to get the ratio right. After ‘The Zone’ I did ‘Body for Life’, which is actually very similar, except that in the first version, there were no instructions regarding fat intake – you just balance your proteins and carbs at every meal. Both are 5-6 meals a day.

    Paleo works best for me, but I always think in terms of balance protein/carbs/fat and that came from the zone. It is fully possible for me to overeat, even on unprocessed food. Even on a ketogenic diet, I gained fat. I’m just… well, I love eating. It’s really my favourite hobby. I always remember from The Zone that if you are hungry soon after a meal you should increase either the protein or carb or both, depending on how you feel mentally. It’s very useful for tuning in your energy with what you are eating.

    Reply

  6. Casey
    July 16, 2014

    I can’t express how wonderful and helpful this article is. I have been eating paleo with various degrees of success (namely too much sugar at times) over the past 3 years. Sugar is my problem. I find that when I “clean it up” i.e. go lower carb, my mood stabilizes, but I start having major insomnia after a week or two and then my recovery from exercise starts to suffer greatly. When I start eating sugar junk again, all this magically goes away, but of course, I end up with acne and depression. Either way, I never lose weight.
    I am in the middle of a long paleo challenge with my Crossfit box, and since this is the first time eating lower carb paleo while doing Crossfit, I am suddenly suffering BIG time with recovery and insomnia. I realized that I can’t keep this up the way I’m doing it, so I started researching what is going on. Somehow, I ran across the paleo zone diet and ideas similar to what you’ve posted. I started making sure to eat starchy carbs at each meal and post workout. (Can you believe I dropped fruit and almost all starchy carbs doing Crossfit and walking 10 miles a week, plus being at home with two young, active kids?! No wonder!!!) The first day of doing this, I slept through the night. The next day, I worked out and had no problem recovering. HUGE difference.
    But, your blog post explains to me why this happened and I very much appreciate that. You get fed so much “carbs are evil” from the paleo world to the point that you feel like a failure when you don’t lose weight/sleep perfect/turn into a fitness model just “doing paleo.” I don’t ever lose weight eating paleo, feel like I’m starving even after eating a ton of protein or fat, and then I crash and burn every couple of months into a huge sugar binge that goes on for weeks or months. I am going to try these portion recommendations and play around with this to see what happens. And, do so without feeling like I’m doing paleo wrong. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Julianne
      July 16, 2014

      Hi Casey,
      I’ve found women doing CrossFit need at least 100 , if not 150 – 200 grams carbs a day. 100 grams is at least 3 cups of starch veg or fruit like berries.
      Keep me posted on how you get on.

      Reply

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