The struggle is real.
I have officially survived the first two weeks of the Zone diet, and if there’s anything that I’ve learned it’s that I need to make some drastic changes if I plan to survive the next two. There’s been some positives and some negatives (one more than the other which shouldn’t be too hard to figure out) but overall I love the science of it all – the minute details. It allows my inner nerd to come out and my overbearing need to have everything make sense come into focus. Overall, here are a few things I learned about the Zone diet (and myself) from the past two weeks.
1. I’m always hungry
Let me elaborate on that, I’m not always hungry but I’m never full. I don’t think I ate a meal this past week and when I finished thought to myself “well I feel full.” And understand the difference, I’m talking about feeling full, not feeling like I overate or stuffed to the brim – that wasn’t even the realm of possibility. I never felt satiated. Perfect example, every night before I went to sleep all I could think about was being excited about waking up so I could eat again. Which leads me to my next point…
2. The definition of Hangry
This pretty much sums it up, Mae wanted to write an article herself about the Zone diet and my hanger issues (hunger+angry). I’ve without a doubt been more on edge/short tempered the last two weeks. It goes without saying there is a direct correlation between my hunger issues and change in attitude. Everyone gets hangry from time to time, being hungry 24/7 certainly doesn’t help.
3. Eating out is nearly impossible
As of right now, eating out is impossible – unless it’s a dedicated cheat meal and I can eat whatever and however much I want (and by eating out I don’t just mean at a restaurant, I mean anywhere that isn’t my home). Unfortunately, I don’t have a portable scale I can tuck away in my man purse. But even if I did, the thought of having to weigh everything on my plate then look through my phone to find the nutrition facts seems a bit over the top. I guess the end goal is to eventually get to the point where you can just eyeball your proportions and hope for the best, but I’m definitely not there yet. On the plus side, it’s definitely saved me some money, as I had to turn down a few invitations to go out to eat – which just added to my hangriness.
4. Motivation/energy was at an all time low
My motivation, especially by the start of the second week, took a big hit. I’m not talking about my motivation to keep up with the Zone, I’m talking about my motivation to do anything – especially workout. I felt fine during the workout, but everything leading up to it felt awful. Especially, all the early morning extra work I do by myself – at least in the night class I had the rest of the class to push me – everything in the morning became a real grind.
5. Realistically, I probably ate more before than I thought
Before I started Zone, I had convinced myself that I was more than likely under eating and this was affecting my weight/performance/everything. But in reality, I was probably eating more than I thought. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think I was under eating – just not by as much as I though I was. Zone, above anything else, has showed me what proper normal human being sized proportions look like. Unfortunately, ‘normal human being sized’ isn’t my goal.
6. Sleep drastically improved
Finally, a positive! I am not a good sleeper – most likely due to working out so much that my cortisol levels are all out of wack. I wake up constantly during the night, toss and turn into every position imaginable, and wake up tired most days. The biggest Improvement I’ve noticed since starting the Zone is my sleep patterns have improved drastically (I put it in bold so you know how serious I am). And it happened almost immediately as well. Only a few days after starting Zone, I damn near slept through the entire night only waking up once or twice – and this trend has continued. To most people this may not seem like much, but to me this is mind-blowing stuff. I would have multiple super vivid dreams each night and wake up actually feeling refreshed – usually before my alarm would even go off. If this is how normal people sleep, then I’m all for it.
So by this point your probably saying, “Zone? No bueno. Back with the old tried and tested method, right?” Well, not necessarily. Despite everything I’ve said thus far, I still believe Zone has some serious value – same with any weighing and measuring program. I really do believe that if you have any intention of being a serious athlete/competitor, that it all starts in the kitchen. It’s no coincidence that all these professional athlete’s have personal chefs. Having a better grasp on everything you put into your body can only help you in your athletic endeavors – and hopefully enhance your performance come game day/competition.
So what’s the next step? If it seems like I only had mostly negative things to say about the Zone diet, well then your right. But I honestly feel like a simple solution can resolve most of the issues listed above: I have to eat more. Big surprise there. For the next two weeks I plan to increase my block count from 20 to 25 blocks per day – essentially I’ll be eating a quarter more food than I had been eating previously. Hopefully, this will help regulate all the negative side effects of my diet.
See you in two weeks. Wish me luck.