the zone diet

The Zone Diet
The Zone diet is another one of those diets which became a huge sensation (amongst Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet) after the book became a big best seller. Why did I decide to write an article on the Zone Diet? Well simply because I was researching the plan that Jennifer Aniston is on and noticed that she has been following the Zone Diet for quite some time now. Let’s see how this diet plan measures up.

The Zone Diet Plan Summary
The Zone Diet is created by biochemist Barry Sears whose background included heavy research on blood sugar/insulin levels. He developed the zone diet because of his strong belief in eating a set ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat. According to him, this ratio creates the ability for our body to work in peak efficiency in a metabolic state he calls the “Zone.”

His reason for focusing on the hormone insulin is strictly because its role as regulating blood sugar levels and storage as fat.

Sears implies that we think of food not as “ a source of calories but as a control system for hormones.” Blah, how boring does that sound. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to think of food as a source of calories, I want to enjoy what I eat even if it is healthy and nutritious.

Phases of the Diet
There are no specific phases in this diet, it is all a consistent guideline that you must eat a 40/30/30 ratio of carbs/proteins/fat in that order for every meal. In the book he takes the reader through a short course in determining their specific protein needs based on activity level, size and age.

The Zone diet does not focus on eating fewer calories, bur rather different foods to complement the perfect ratio. A small portion of protein in every meal and snack plus only of what he calls the “favorable carbs.” These include most vegetables, beans, lentils, fruits and whole grains.

Foods to avoid or eat less of include: brown rice, pasta, mango, banana, cereal, bread, bagel, tortilla, carrots and all fruit juices.

Claimed Diet Benefits
Amongst lower body fat, the Zone diet claims that you will also eliminate heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Sears also notes that you will have an advantage in better athletic performance.

Possible Diet Dangers
Most scientists agree that there are no real dangers with the Zone Diet. The only problem is that no direct and real studies exist to back up his conclusions.

My Personal Conclusion:
My perspective is that the Zone diet isn’t one of the worst ones I’ve read. Just that it’s limitations are a little harsh and unrealistic. It kind of takes the fun out of eating when you are so focused on this perfect ratio.

Short term it can be ok if you want to drop a few pounds and you need some guidance with your diet intake. However, long term I really believe that you need to have a balance of the healthy fruits and vegetables with proteins such as low fat dairy products and lean meats.

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Have you tried the Zone diet? What were your results?