I received the following question that is in response to an earlier post of mine:
“Calorie restriction doesn’t work and just feeds into neurosis.”
I don’t get it. I thought you recommended the Zone? If not that, or your own variation of the zone, what are you recommending?
I ask because the Zone is a calorie restriction diet. That is what Barry Sears said many times in his book, “Enter the Zone”. I don’t have it with me, but off the top of my head, I remember three explicit parts where he said this. Lets see, 1) in the summary chapter, page 204 (did a search), he directly said that the Zone works by caloric restriction (“A Zone-favorable diet is a low-calorie diet that supplies adequate amounts of protein, essential fat, and micronutrients …”), 2) in an earlier chapter, he showed a chart that he said was the quantities of carbs, fat, and protein that the average person ate on different diets; the number of grams of fat and protein were constant on all the diets, but the number of grams of carbs were the least on the Zone; when you add it all up, the graph tells you that the Zone restricts calories more than every other diet he compared it to, even the ones that are considered low calorie, and 3) he has a chapter extolling the benefits of caloric restriction, which I took to mean that he thinks caloric restriction is a good thing (“Chapter 16: The Zone and Life Extension”).
So I recommend the Zone…AND I said calorie restriction does not work…what the heck is going on? Most people approach “dieting” as some kind of calorie restriction…typically low fat, high carb (as a percent of calories) and a hellish application of meal skipping. This is the “prudent” eating approach that dooms people to ffailure, stripping away muscle mass and generally reinforcing bad eating habits. By contrast if we get people changing the composition of their food towards the low-ish carb paleo direction we control insulin levels and by extension hunger. This is what Barry Sears talks about in the Zone and is what you quoted above. I think the Zone is fantastic but it can be a pretty heavy change for folks to not only change the composition of their diet but to also start weighing and measuring. That’s why I recommend a basic paleo approach at first. This will reverse metabolic derangement and get people moving in the right direction. From here, if one wants or needs further refinement, be it for bodycomposition or performance, the Zone awaits.
That shopping and food guide you pulled that quote of mine from is written in response to questions and excuses of our clients who are…lost.I’m not trying to be a dick or elitist but getting our clients to understand what constitutes solid nutrition is a daunting task at times. Here is an example: One of Nicki’s clients came in with his son the other day. The son (about 6 years old) is gnoshing on a bag of microwave popcorn! We grilled the dad why he was feeding the kid this stuff and he was just stunned…”is’nt this a good snack?” The dad is in his early 40’s and has some ragging metabolic derangement…he is a mess and we have been hammering him on his nutrition for nearly a year and it just does not uptake. So that food& shopping guide is an attempt to educate and motivate, without getting overly technical or making the buy-in a deal breaker for 99.999% of the folks we work with.
Hopefully that clears up the seeming contradiction there.