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A healthier diet and a slimmer me

Zone Diet inspired meal

You know when you’re young and you think you’re invincible? Well, I always used to think I’d never be at risk of being considered overweight, but with my waistline slowly climbing to 36 inches and with a history of diabetes in the family I decided it was time to take action before my hand was forced.

I’ve never been one to diet. Always active with regular gym visits and badminton amongst other things, I’ve pretty much been able to eat what I like when I like despite a desk-bound occupation. A combination of a new baby arriving, badminton partners dropping out and moving further away from the gym has meant I’ve not been able to maintain the same level of physical activity over the past couple of years.

As it happens, my martial arts instructor, Eugene, is also a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist. I turned to him for some advice and he provided me with my own personal nutrition guide based upon the well-known Zone Diet by Dr. Barry Sears.  There didn’t seem to be any craziness involved like you see in the ultra-low carb Atkins Diet and yet Eugene was telling me his approach could lead to me losing as much as an inch off my waist in just a week.  It all sounded great so I decided to give it a go.

It’s now day 16 for me on my new way of eating and let me cut to the chase by saying I’ve lost anything between 4-7lb in weight and 1.5-2 inches off my waist depending on the time of day.  The first inch literally dropped off within a matter of days so I’m guessing this was due to bloat rather than actual fat loss.  Not only was I seeing great results, but I was also feeling some benefits such as having more energy and without any additional physical activity on my part or having to go hungry!

Have you ever felt sleepy after lunch?  I’ve had that a lot over the past few years and just put it down to getting on and not getting enough sleep, but with my new diet that post-lunch drowsiness has gone.

Encouraged by what I’d experienced, I delved a little deeper into the Zone Diet and found that it’s based upon the idea of maintaining stable hormone levels within the body; primarily preventing insulin surges which can lead to that dreaded sugar crash and also helping to prevent conditions such as diabetes.

For years, I’d suffered from occasional ‘weekend headaches’ which really knocked the wind out of my sails and neither I nor my GP could identify the cause. Today, after being two weeks free of post-lunch drowsiness I had some dried ramen noodles together with a few won tons for lunch. Not long afterwards I was lying down on a couch, feeling groggy and with a headache on the way. I now understand that ramen noodles are made from refined wheat, are high in carbohydrates and have a high glycemic index value which means they’re digested very quickly. This likely caused a blood sugar spike followed by a consequential insulin spike and subsequent blood glucose crash.  A couple of small satsumas later and I could feel my headache easing.

Ramen, say hello to my bad carbs list.

I have to say that I love this new approach to eating.  Yes, there are changes that have to be made, but they’re not drastic changes and I can still have foods which are considered bad.  It just means controlling portions and spending more time preparing meals so I’m not forced to resort to the bad stuff.  I will admit that I’m not being as strict as the Zone Diet states, but it’s early days still and I’m able to apply the main principles with success without much in the way of hassle.  By the way, the photo in this blog is what I had for dinner tonight.  It’s typical of what I’ve been eating and even 2 hours later I’m comfortably full and I still have a snack left to eat before I retire for the evening!

If you’re in the Merseyside area and you’re looking for health, fitness and nutrition advice, I’d highly recommend getting in touch with Eugene at Evolution Fitness & Nutrition or on Facebook.  For me, my results speak for themselves.

Will

Husband, father, photographer, systems developer and all-round gadget and tech fan.