In Nutrition, Videos

November 24, 2009

Video Article

Shortly after his live presentation to the CrossFit community, Dr. Barry Sears led Tony Budding on a tour of the Zone Labs. The cameras caught up them in the “Cone of Silence,” where the famous creator of the Zone Diet sifts through 300 - 500 articles a week seeking common themes related to inflammation. In this first of several parts, Dr. Sears explains how a major change in direction over 25 years ago brought him to the Zone Diet.

When the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for work on inflammatory hormones, Dr. Sears decided to use his research on drug delivery to address a new problem.

“I stopped my work at MIT, where I was kind of the boy genius of drug delivery, and said, ‘I’m now basically going to transfer the work and work on nutrition to treat inflammation,’” he explains. “I really went from being boy genius in drug delivery to boy charlatan in six months’ time. It was a very humbling experience.”

Dr. Sears’ work on controlling inflammation led him to fish oil and the realization that he needed a complementary diet to help manage insulin levels. Sears created the Zone Diet to fill that role. His groundbreaking program has helped thousands of athletes maximize performance and move from sickness to wellness to fitness. Video by Again Faster.

5min 40sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Weekend Edition 15, first aired June 2, 2009.

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10 Comments on “Boy Genius to Boy Charlatan: Part 1 of the Conversation”


wrote …

More i want more! When is part two coming out!?!?!!??


wrote …

Thank-you, this promises to be an interesting series.
And The Zone came after fish oil! I did not know that.


wrote …

This is awesome stuff, thanks for posting this!!


Jesse Gray wrote …

This is great stuff, more nutrition info please! It would be great if we could get some CF Journal entries on the Paleo diet as well, I've been trying to do a hybrid of zone/paleo but I just don't understand the Paleo stuff that well.


wrote …

this is very interesting, patiently waiting for part 2


Julianne Taylor wrote …

I have been a Zone Diet instructor for 10 years now. I used to do straight Zone but with minimal grains and some legumes. Due to starting work with CrossFit - I too changed to a Zone / Paleo diet with fantastic results, mainly because I suffer some mild auto-immune issues, which has a raft of health symptoms. Grains, legumes, dairy and even eggs seem to flare things up and cause malabsorption issues. I would say the Zone plus fish oil fixed my health issues 80%, adding paleo choices gave me the icing on the cake - I'm about 98% no symptoms now, and still working on tweaking food choices and supplements to see if I can get 100% fixed.

The easiest way to do the Zone with Paleo choices is just to cut grains, legumes, includes soy and peanuts, and dairy - just eat all the other foods. Look up Loren Cordain's website and work. It will explain a lot.


wrote …

I have never seen anything posted about Paleo eating or any reference to Loren Cordain. It is obvious the Zone and Dr. Barry Sears are the source of CF nutritional info. Still, I see so many people eating Zone/Paleo. They all seem to have improvement over Zone only prescription. Interesting.


wrote …

CF has somehow decided to go with a "zone" only prescription. These seems contradictory to the generally espoused philosophy that "if it works, we will use it". Just look at the recent drama re: Robb Wolf. Hence, no reference to Cordain. The Paleo prescription works for me as well. I zoned for about 7 months and was simply not getting enough food. I switched to a "quality over quantity" approach, ate quality foods to satiety and my performance has continued to go up. Besides, weighing and measuring is borderline disorder behavior or can trigger previous disorder related behaviors as has already been highlighted by a number of respected people in the community.


Julianne Taylor wrote …

Having taught the Zone for years, and having done a couple of courses with Sears, I see the Zone 30:40:30 ratio as a starting point. As I believe he does too. He suggests for most people to use the eyeball method which I find many clients do - because they can't be bothered weighing and measuring. This method is so close to Paleo. Palm size of meat, lots of fibrous veggies, a dash of fat and maybe a piece of fruit.
Despite Sears meal replacement products, he still recommends the lean meat / protein, good fat, and low GI fruit and veggies.

However average people like myself and more often females and those who have a tendancy to put on weight easily, find the the accuracy of the block method provides great portion control and better results. People of course are individuals and Sears says people need to adjust the ratio depending on their insulin secretion, exercise levels etc.
I need less carbs than the 30:40 ratio, to get ideal blood sugar and insulin levels, it's all about individual insulin control, and I find often people need less carbs and to only stick to very low GI carbs to achieve better insulin control.

Not everyone can eat to satiety with quality without putting on weight, it certainly makes it easy if you can. I for one can't - that's why I love the portion control of the Zone. Not that I weigh or measure, I just judge the portion size and use the hand eye method, although I know all the food block portions by heart as well.

I've also emailed Sears and let him know about the additional benefits I got from adding paleo choices. I've found they are always appreciative of feedback.


Phillip Sarris wrote …

Great stuff, can't wait for part 2. Keep'm coming....

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