By Dave Schreck
- The Calorie-is-a-Calorie Mantra Is Wrong! Following this advice may provide you with frustration and failure. The central theme of the Zone is understanding the importance of thinking of food hormonally, rather than calorically. Once this sinks in, you’ll realize that virtually every dietary recommendation is incorrect! An example of caloric thinking is, “If no fat touches my lips, then no fat touches my hips.” Hormonal thinking says that “insulin makes me fat and keeps me fat.” The Zone Diet controls insulin in a tight Zone, not too high and not too low. It’s even endorsed by Harvard.
- Your Stomach Is Politically Incorrect Your stomach acid breaks down all food into its basic components for absorption into the bloodstream. It doesn’t discriminate. One Snickers bar has the same amount of carbohydrate as 2 oz. of pasta. Now you probably wouldn’t consume four Snickers bars, but you could easily consume 8 oz. of pasta. The stomach can’t tell the difference. Remember, the more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin you produce; and the more insulin you produce, the fatter you become, plus, you increase your risk factors for all chronic diseases, including, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.
- Not Everyone Is Genetically the Same You know who they are. They can eat anything and never become fat because they have a low insulin response to carbohydrates. About 25% of the US population is genetically lucky. Are you one of the lucky ones? Probably not because as you increase the amount of carbohydrates in your diet (bagels, chips, processed foods, pasta, rice, cereal, etc.), you increase your levels of insulin. Remember what excess insulin does.
- The Number-One Predictor of Heart Disease: High Cholesterol? High Blood Pressure? Neither! It’s elevated levels of insulin. How can you tell you have elevated levels of insulin? Look in the mirror. If you need to lose weight or are shaped like an apple, you could be setting yourself up for a future of chronic disease, e.g., cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia.
- Weight Loss Has Little to Do with Will Power What you need is information based on science. When you change what you eat, you won’t have to be focused on how much you eat. Consuming a balanced Zone meal (lean protein, colorful non-starchy vegetables and a dash of monounsatured fat) allows you to eat enough to have physical energy, good mental focus and no hunger or deprivation.
- Carbohydrates Are a Drug Your body needs a certain amount of carbohydrate for optimal brain function. Over consume any drug, and you’ll experience toxic side effects. An overdose of carbohydrates results in the excess production of insulin, which is toxic.
Bottom Line: The key to reducing your risk factors of chronic disease and weight loss is not based on counting calories but on controlling insulin in a tight Zone, not too high and not too low. Welcome to the Zone!