The ZOE Method
At ZOE, we don't prescribe you with calorie targets. As you've learned in previous chapters, not all sources of calories are equal in how they impact your metabolism and gut health. Instead, the ZOE Method is focused on the quality of those calories, and how they impact your body.
To help you master the ZOE method, we created a 4-week plan. Over the next 4 weeks, you'll begin applying all your insights and learnings to start avoiding dietary inflammation, improving your gut health, and finding your own sustainable way of eating in the quantities that help you feel energized and satisfied. No food is off limits, and we believe there is a place for all foods in a healthy diet with lifelong balance.
Your 4-Week Plan Overview
Your plan is split into 4 parts, 1 part per week, each designed to help you hit new goals:
- Week 1: Go for Green! You'll learn about all the foods that are great for your metabolism and gut health. In this week, you'll eat as many 50+ scoring foods as you can. The more, and more variety, the merrier!
- Week 2: Master Combining Foods. This week, you'll learn all about how to combine foods that score 75+. These combinations can help you feel satisfied and sustain your energy levels.
- Week 3: Eat For Real Life. There's a place for all foods in a diet that's great for your metabolism and gut health! This week you'll learn how to balance your choices throughout the day, by eating to a 75+ day score.
- Week 4: Boost your gut. Feed your gut bugs the foods they love. You'll continue to practice eating to a 75+ day score, and add in your personalized gut boosters.
Do I have to track?
To meet your weekly goals, you can use the in-app daily journal to track what you eat. The purpose of the tracking is to help you learn about the best foods for your body, experience building satisfying meals, and of course to balance all the foods you love everyday. Once you feel you've mastered your food scores and this balance, there's no need to continue to track.
Set yourself up for success.
We recommend that you take some time to get ready prior to starting the plan. Below are a couple of steps that you might find helpful:
1. Get familiar with your 50+ foods
Use the ZOE Insights app to browse through your personalized foods under the "Foods" section. Your food recommendations are organized by food group. Go through each food group, and select at least 5 foods that you would like to eat during Week 1. Save it to your Favorites by tapping the ♥️ in the top right corner.
Repeat this process for all the food groups that are relevant for you. You'll end up with a wide variety of items in your "My Favorites" section of the app that you can refer back to.
2. Select some 50+ meals
The ZOE Insights app also has meal recommendations in the "Foods" section. Use the ZOE Insights app to browse through the meal categories that are relevant for you. You can filter out the meals by your food preferences and cuisine. Select at least 5 meals that you like the sound of, and tap on "Add to my recipes" at the bottom left of the screen. Once you've done this for one meal category, repeat the process with the others. You'll end up with meals you can prepare throughout the week.
3. Preparation is half the job
Our most successful customers find planning ahead is the best way to benefit from their plan. Pick a day to start your plan that works for your schedule, and allows you enough time to prepare your kitchen and pantry. For some, that's as simple as a trip to the grocery store. For others, it might include batch cooking or light meal prepping to take the pressure off during the week.
4. Stock up your kitchen
It's time to take a trip to the grocery store! Stock up on 50+ scoring foods to have on hand for the week. The best part is, you've already got your shopping list in your "Favorites" lists in your ZOE Insights app. Though many of our customers love taking the barcode scanner through the grocery aisles. Fill your kitchen with foods you're excited to enjoy this week so that great options are always on hand.
5. Bear your cycle in mind
If you have periods, then keep your cycle in mind. Many people who have periods find it best to start their plan after their period has finished, as it can be easier for their body to adjust to a new routine.
Over 90% of people who have periods regularly experience some form of PMS or PMDD symptoms (physiological changes due to cycle-related hormonal changes). Symptoms include changes in appetite, weight, bowel habits, energy levels and general emotional and physical discomfort. Everyone is unique and you might experience symptoms to a lesser or higher degree over time.
These symptoms can start up to a week before your period is due and can last for several days after your period has finished. Making big changes at this time can feel like fighting against your own body. We encourage you to reflect on your own experiences when it comes to your cycle and plan around it. We are planning to roll out further tips and advice on this topic. If you have feedback or ideas you'd like to share, you can do it here.
Preparation is half the fun!
We hope you're excited to put your insights into action! If you have any questions at all, we would love to help. Just drop us a message using the chat feature of the ZOE Insights app.
Let's get started!