The Goldilocks Zone is a concept derived from the popular children’s tale of a young girl who intrudes on the house of 3 bears whilst they are out in the woods and eats their porridge. The first bowl is too hot, the second bowl is too cold but the third bowl is just right.
The idea of an optimal dose is nothing new yet as humans we are pretty good at seeking out extremes. If something is good then the default thought is often more must be better. Vice versa for things deemed to be negative.
Unfortunately this mode of thinking can get us into trouble and food intake is a prime example. Most of us are aware that to lose weight we need to eat fewer calories. However, this does not mean the less we eat the better.
Our metabolism is a dynamic system which reacts to its inputs. Consistently eat too little and our metabolic rate slows to match the new intake. Eat too much and our weight creeps up. The goldilocks zone for sustainable weight loss is found somewhere between these extremes.
The sweet spot for optimal results can easily be missed in other areas of health and fitness too. For example;
- Eating too much or too little of a single macronutrient
- Overdosing or underdosing on vitamins and minerals
- Suicidal exercise volumes or complete inactivity
- Chronic sleep deprivation or the resting schedule of a sloth
It doesn’t make for great media headlines but often the goldilocks zone in the middle is where we should be aiming.