Finding focus: Here's how ZOE helped Wayne fuel his body better.

November 5, 2020

Hi, I'm Wayne! I’m an avid reader about health and have always known that the gut microbiome was important but I've never really done anything about it before. I joined ZOE because, as an older person, I wanted some guidelines on how to improve my health and weight through nutrition.

Recently, I had gained a lot of weight due to stress and I was kind of depressed about it. I also suffer with high blood pressure, which is something I was struggling to keep under control, even with my medication.

I wasn’t quite sure about the ZOE plan at first, but I was motivated to lose weight and get healthy, and so I decided to really give it a try to see if it would make a difference for me.

Following the ZOE plan has allowed me to not worry about calorie counting, but to focus on how my body responds to the nutrients (or lack thereof) in food and to have a guideline to foods that really optimize my health and well-being.

The ZOE difference

Before the ZOE plan, I had tried calorie counting apps and exercise programs, and I’ve had some limited success with weight loss, but not so much success with actual health and well-being.

I am fairly healthy, but following ZOE showed me where I could really improve. Seeing the scores of my meals during the testing period was a real eye-opener! I thought I was doing pretty well, but the numbers were really low!

When I first saw the plan I was a little concerned, the ZOE guidelines were so different from the way I had been eating, but I was determined to give it a go!

I used to wonder how anyone ate so many fruits and vegetables in a day. Now I crave them instead of the high-processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods I used to eat to get a temporary boost, followed by a huge crash. Since the ZOE plan, I’ve tried so many new fruits and vegetables! Who knew rutabagas were so tasty? I’m really grateful that I decided to follow ZOE's personalized advice.

My 'aha' moment

My ‘aha!’ moment was about three weeks in when I stepped on a scale. I hadn’t really been weighing myself. I had dropped almost ten pounds! That loss of weight “without even trying” was quite a surprise!

Having switched to the ZOE plan and seeing how much more energy I have really makes me feel like the personalized attention to understanding my biology has had a very positive effect.

I didn’t realize how my old diet was really contributing to inflammation and the reduction of good bacteria in my gut microbiome. Because the ZOE plan is so personalized, I have really been able to feel the impact it’s had on me. I’ve lost weight, but even more important to me, I’m healthier and feel a whole lot better!

“It feels like knowing exactly what type of fuel to put into a high-performance sports car. I feel like I’ve got better fuel now, so my body is running stronger and more efficiently.”

What does ‘understanding your biology’ mean to you?

Before ZOE, I had no idea that I had almost no good bacteria in my gut microbiome. That was eye-opening. Knowing that my body doesn’t process fat or sugar very well was also amazing to me.

The focus on gut biome and eating foods that don’t cause inflammation has seemed to help my blood pressure. Before I was on the plan my numbers weren't great, even when I was on blood pressure medication. Since starting ZOE, I’ve had some really great numbers! The expression, “Trust your gut!” has even more meaning now!

Overcoming obstacles

At first, I didn’t know how I was going to cut out all of the snack foods I was eating before I started the plan. The way I was eating before left me hungry and craving sugary and high-carb snacks at night. I really thought this plan would never help me with that, but it did!

Another concern I had was that my family wouldn’t support what I was doing or be able to accommodate my new way of eating, but, to my surprise, they’ve enjoyed this new way of eating and have received benefits, too! We make regular trips to local farms to get fresh produce grown nearby and that has been a great thing, too.

Even when I was away with my family, and they were eating meals that were not great for me, I just adjusted my other meals that day to balance it out. I actually missed having my usual servings of plant foods and didn’t feel as well when I ate the food offered. Avocados to the rescue!

“As soon as I started really following the ZOE plan closely, my nighttime hunger and cravings for sugar just disappeared. Really!”

Focusing on foods that work for me

I had previously thought of plants as the “boring things I have to eat a little bit of” on my plate. Now I see that they are the fuel that keeps our minds and bodies running at top performance. The lower score foods just clog up the works! I really enjoy trying to figure out how to get as many plants and high score foods into my day as I can now.

I made sure I did some really good combining to get those scores up on days that I was struggling. I went to my 100 foods and added them into my day.

The database and being able to check food instantly at the grocery store with the scan feature has also been a revelation! I get really excited seeing that high number and I pop it right into my shopping cart to try to work into my meals.

“As I learned about food combining to get higher scores, it became more fun and more of a challenge to figure out a way to boost my health.”