Surprising Events on the Zone Diet Plan

About 6 weeks ago, my wife and I started making sure our 6 year old daughter was eating zone proportioned meals. We gave her zone breakfasts, zone snacks to take to school, zone evening meals and educated her and encouraged her to make zone favourable choices for her school lunch.

One of the supposed benefits of being “in the zone” is improved concentration, attention span and mental acuity. Because of picking up and dropping off times, we rarely get to actually speak to her teacher, so about 2 weeks ago, I mentioned that next parents evening we should ask her teacher if she’s noticed any changes in our daughters behaviour. Though I’m sure every parent says this, our kid is pretty well behaved and does quite well at school anyway: she’s in the top groups for English and maths, and never gets told off (as far as I’m aware) so I wasn’t sure that there would be much to say. She can sometimes be a bit slow and distracted, but that’s about it.

Anyway, it so occurred that we picked our daughter up early one day last week, and her teacher was there. Upon seeing us, she stopped what she was doing and crossed the room to talk to us. What she said astonished me:

“I just wanted to say, how well your daughter has been doing recently. Her work has noticeably and significantly improved. She’s working hard and faster than ever before. I don’t know what’s happened, it’s like she’s suddenly turned a corner and everything’s clicked into place!”

I was and still am astounded by that! She had no idea that we had changed our daughters diet. In fact when I mentioned it, she’d never heard of the Zone diet and was really quite interested in what it’s all about and how it works. It appears that we could have another zone convert on our hands. I asked the teacher when she noticed this seemingly amazing change, she replied: “About a month ago, give or take a week or so.”

So I decided to quiz (and praise!) my daughter about the things her teacher had said, and I asked her what difference she had noticed, she said: “I don’t know, I just want to work.”. That from a 6 year old! So it seems that the Zone diet really can and does have an effect on the mind as well as the body.

One other interesting thing happened to me last week. I had breakfast as normal around 8am, but by 10am was hungry. This was a very surprising event as I’m normally never hungry in the morning any more. It was only when I thought back to what I’d eaten: cold sliced turkey, grapes, an apple and a satsuma; that I realised I’d forgotten to have any fat! I’d planned on some peanuts, but just forgot basically. The upshot was, I was hungry much earlier than normal. It just goes to show, that on the low fat zone diet, having small quantities of fat with every meal really does help to stave off hunger.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • amy 9 October 2007, 5:44 pm

    That’s really encouraging news about your daughter on the Zone! My daughter is 5 years old and I’ve often toyed with the idea of “Zoning” up her meals. If you have any tips about Zone meals for kids, I’d love to hear them. Thank you!

  • Colin McNulty 9 October 2007, 6:41 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Zoning is easy for kids if they have a good palette already, but in essence I feed my daughter exactly what I eat, which we have done since she was 1 years old. I ensure it’s the right proportions, and she can eat as much or as little as she likes. The only rule is that if she doesn’t finish, the left overs have to be the right proportions too (meaning she must have eaten a balanced meal).

    This approach has the benefit of being an educational point as to what is protein, carbs and fat, something my daughter has grasped surprisingly easily, I don’t think we give kids enough credit sometimes. It also reinforces her choices outside of the home, with school meals for example, as to what are well proportioned portion sizes.

  • Alison 24 February 2012, 6:00 pm

    Great post all around!

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