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By Julianne Taylor
Certified Zone Instructor

How to eat to get slim, increase energy and increase your tolerance to pre wedding stress.

You've set your wedding day, it's several months to go and you've made a resolution to be slim and gorgeous. You also need the energy to handle the stress, and you don't want to feel drained and tired by cutting down on your food.

Julianne Taylor

 

There is an eating plan that will achieve both these goals and set you up with a healthy eating plan for life. It's the Zone diet or Zone Nutrition Programme as I prefer to call it. 

I will outline the main benefits you can expect to achieve on this programme and show you how to easily put it into practice, so by your wedding day not only will you look great but you'll feel great too.

Typical results you should expect

Weight loss - safe weight loss is achieved by losing fat and not muscle - you should lose between 400 to 700 grams per week. This is the average, some people lose more. In measurements you should reduce by a dress size about every 8 weeks

 

Energy - the Zone diet has been shown in clinical studies to reduce fatigue by 44% and increase energy by 16% when compared to conventional high carbohydrate diets.

 

Health - the Zone reduces PMT and improves quality of sleep. Many people report the following improvements:- reduction of headaches, asthma, allergies and high blood pressure, an increased tolerance to stress and increased sense of wellbeing.

How to lose weight successfully

Weight loss is achieved by eating less calories than you need and then using your body's stored fuel (fat) to supply energy needs. The key to successful weight loss is to maximise your access to stored fat, maintain good blood sugar levels (to keep your brain happy and stop cravings), while cutting down on the amount of calories you are eating.

The Zone Diet changes your metabolism from fat storage to fat burning.

To understand how you can switch your body's metabolism from fat storage to fat burning we have to look at each food group and their effect on your body's hormones (chemical messengers).

Food is made up of three different groups: carbohydrate, protein and fat.

Each group has a unique role in the body.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates come from things that are grown in the ground. They include starches, grains, fruit, vegetables, sugars and syrups. All carbohydrates are composed of sugar molecules.

 

All carbohydrates are broken down into sugar before they can be used by the body for fuel. It is important to remember that all carbohydrates turn into sugar whether they taste sweet or not! And if you don't use all the sugar / carbohydrates you eat for energy they get turned into fat.

 

Many of my clients tell me they can't understand why they've put on weight - they've cut out fat and sugar. But then I point out that 1 cup cooked rice breaks down into 3 1/3 tablespoons of sugar, and one serving of instant noodles breaks down into 4 tablespoons of sugar and over 1 tablespoon of fat!

 

The other role that carbohydrates have is to tell your body to release insulin - the storage hormone. The more insulin you send out after a meal the quicker you store your food away and the quicker you get hungry again, so keeping this hormone from going too high plays a key role in appetite control, and stops fat storage.

 

Have you ever wondered why some people put on weight so easily and others can eat anything they want? Part of the reason seems to be that some people send out a lot of insulin and others only a little when they overeat carbohydrates.

 

The key to controlling the amount of the storage hormone insulin secreted after each meal is to eat less carbohydrates and to eat the types of carbohydrates that break down slowly into sugar.

 

So how do you stop yourself from eating too many carbohydrates? Eat more fruit and vegetables - especially the fibrous veggies (grown above the ground) and eat less starches, root vegetables, processed grains and fruit juices. Fibrous fruit and vegetables break down into small amounts of sugar, to give you an example - 1 cup of broccoli breaks down into only ½ teaspoon of sugar.

Rule # 1 for Zone Eating

So here is the first rule for Zone Eating - fill your plate (2/3rds full) with lots of low density carbohydrates (especially vegetables grown above the ground). Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms, salad veggies, courgettes, etc.

 

Go easy on the dense carbohydrates - cereals, starchy vegetables, breads, cakes, bananas, sweets and fruit juices - a good rule of thumb is to have only a small portion per meal - around 1/3 fist in volume - if any.
Go easy on dense carbohydrates ...

Protein

Protein comes from things that move around; lamb, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese. The exception is tofu made from Soya beans.

 

Protein is made of amino acids. These are the building blocks of your body; they build and repair muscle tissue, organs and your immune system. Your body must have a certain amount every day or you will lose muscle tissue and your immune system will run down.

 

Many people are confused about the amount of protein they need and many women on diets eat less than their body requires. This leads to a loss of muscle tissue and reduced metabolism.

 

Protein has another important role - it tells your body to release a hormone called glucagon. This is the mobilisation hormone. It helps your body release stored fat and tells your liver to release stored sugar back into the bloodstream. If your brain is getting good sugar supplies it has no need to tell you to eat more carbohydrates. This is why having a moderate portion of protein at each meal is critical for controlling hunger.

Rule # 2 for Zone Eating

Have a portion of lean protein at every meal. How much? Use your hand as a guideline - the volume should equal the size and thickness of the palm of your hand (no bigger). Eat very lean protein only, remove the skin off chicken and cut the fat off meat. Go easy on cheese - it's high in fat.
The size and thickness of your palm.

Tofu and fish are the very best types of protein and give better fat loss than animal protein.

 

Getting protein into breakfast is a problem for most people - the easiest way is to have a protein shake or mix protein powder with milk and pour over a small portion of fruit and muesli.

Fat

Unfortunately fat has been given a bad name with people on diets, but it is an essential nutrient and used properly can actually help you lose weight. Fat plays two important roles in the body - it gives your brain a message of satisfaction and so helps stop you overeating. It also helps slow down how quickly food is digested therefore making the meal last longer.

 

Fat is a crucial nutrient that is incorporated into all you cell membranes, your brain and nervous system. It is very important to eat the right types of fat. The very best type of fat to eat is monounsaturated fat - this is the fat found in avocado, nuts and olive oil in particular.

Rule #3 for Zone eating

Have a little fat at each meal. About a teaspoon of pure oil or a tablespoon full of nuts or avocado.

 

You can have a couple of snacks per day in addition to meals - in fact we recommend it.

 

Each snack should also be a balance of the three food groups. An example of a snack is a matchbox size piece of protein, and a small piece of fruit.

Listed below are some sample recipes. Follow these and in no time you will look better, feel better and think better.

Breakfast

Zone breakfast

Carbohydrate: 
1 ½ cups fresh fruit salad 
OR 1 cup fruit salad and 1 tablespoon muesli

Protein: 
Protein drink made with 2 scoops protein powder (e.g. sculpt by Horleys) mix with ½ cup Sun Late milk (this milk is high in protein and low in sugar) You can pour the protein mix over the fruit or drink it separately 
OR ¾ cup low fat cottage cheese

Fat: 
5 teaspoons sliced almonds.

Breakfast

Carbohydrate: 
2 slices Burgen soy mixed grain (this bread breaks down very slowly into sugar so stops you getting hungry)

Protein: 
Protein drink as above
OR scrambled eggs - 1 whole egg plus 4 egg whites - season and scramble to taste
OR ¾ cup low fat cottage cheese
OR 85 grams tinned fish (salmon, tuna or sardines)

Fat: 
1 teaspoon olive oil or canola oil spread

Lunch

Zone Lunch

Tuna or chicken salad

Carbohydrate: 
1 large mixed salad plus 1 apple or fruit of choice

Protein: 
90 grams tuna, salmon, or chicken breast (no skin)

Fat: 
Olive oil and vinegar dressing 1 tablespoon

Dinner

Zone dinner

Carbohydrate: 
4 cups stir-fry vegetables (any vegetable grown above the ground) season to taste - garlic, ginger, soy sauce, herbs etc.
Plus 1 small piece of fruit (kiwifruit)
OR 1 small glass of dry wine 
OR 1 small potato

Protein: 
90 grams or 1 palm size very lean meat 
OR chicken breast 
OR 125 grams fish

Fat: 
1 teaspoon olive oil

Snacks

Zone snack

Matchbox size piece of low fat cheese (Galaxy Aria is the best) or other protein e.g. ham

½ cup grapes 
OR ½ apple 
OR 2 Ryvita (soy linseed)

 

More information about The Zone +click here