Eatology

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Weight loss is hard. Laurah Hawkins, owner and brainchild behind Eatology, understands that as well as anybody. While working with a local fitness program, Hawkins was mystified by the lack of results both she and some of her clients were experiencing. “People were working out but just couldn’t get the results, and we couldn’t figure out why,” says Hawkins. 

By Carolina Keating

We all know the cycle.  Your pants are getting a little snug and you come to the sobering realization that it is time to shed a few pounds. Maybe you overhaul the contents of your pantry and spend a couple of days eating nothing but vegetables and lean meat. A few days after that, your self-restraint starts to crumble. Before you know it, the number on the scale is right back to where it was when you started. You feel defeated. 

Weight loss is hard. Laurah Hawkins, owner and brainchild behind Eatology, understands that as well as anybody. While working with a local fitness program, Hawkins was mystified by the lack of results both she and some of her clients were experiencing. “People were working out but just couldn’t get the results, and we couldn’t figure out why,” says Hawkins. 

After determining the problem must be diet related, Hawkins tried out a paleo-based diet and immediately saw results. “I lost 25 pounds in five weeks, but all I ate for five weeks was asparagus, fish, and almonds and sometimes cucumber. I mean, it was absolutely horrible. It was not sustainable.”

Hawkins came up with an idea to create a more sustainable way to eat clean, which led to the creation of Eatology, a diet system based on paleo and zone foods. At Eatology, Hawkins works with chefs to create healthy, clean meals that are then frozen and can be shipped across the country.

According to Hawkins, the combination of using both a paleo and a zone approach to eating offers much more flexibility, which makes it more sustainable. 

With the paleo theory, the best food to put in your body is food you could easily find in nature. Although there can be a lot of variations, the paleo diet usually involves sticking to clean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, which Hawkins admits can be difficult sometimes. 

The zone theory focuses primarily on the portions of the food you eat as opposed to the content. With the zone diet, the goal is to achieve a hormonal balance to avoid peaks and drops in energy level by eating specific amounts of protein, carbs, and fat at each meal.

“Paleo is very restrictive – you can only do this or eat this with paleo. With Zone, zone is very freeing. You can eat anything with zone because you put it in the right portions,” says Hawkins. “With paleo-zone, ideally you eat really good food in the right portions and get results.”

But Hawkins says the point of Eatology is not just convincing people to buy her meals. “I don’t expect people to always eat my food,” she says. “Teaching people is the most important part to me. How do I make sure that they still get that result when they aren’t eating my food?” Hawkins tours the nation every few months to teach people how to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. 

 “I’m trying to change the life of somebody who might be overweight.  Can they walk? Can they get around? I want to change their life, and that is why I got into this,” says Hawkins. “How do you get to the regular person?”

Hawkins works to dispel the idea that healthy food can’t be delicious. Victoria Matus, the chief of operations at Eatology, says this is a serious problem in the diet industry. “People don’t associate good food with healthy,” she says. “Or they think things are healthy that are actually not healthy, so there is just so much misinformation.”

Recent menu items have included pizza and Shiner Cheer pot roast.  “How do you get [people] to eat vegetables? You hide them and make them taste like chili cheese fries,” Hawkins says with a laugh. Although she is laughing, this is not a joke; just recently Hawkins successfully created a paleo-zone chili cheese fry basket. 

Texas Chili Meatballs with sweet potatoes and okra-carrot hash makes the point. “We roll our own meatballs and make a lot of our own sauce by hand,” she says. 

Although the specific meals are a surprise every time, clients can work with Eatology to customize the meals to avoid food they dislike or may be allergic to. 

At the end of the day, Hawkins says what they do at Eatology is make people happy. “I want people to recognize that having clean food and being able to have a clean healthy lifestyle and being happy with themselves…it gives you happiness on a different level.”