What is the Zone Diet?
It’s called the zone diet plan as keeping insulin levels within the healthy zone means staying in “The Zone.” Zone diet foods need to be taken in the right proportions to help to control insulin production.
The Zone diet plan aims for a nutritional balance of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fats, and 30 percent protein in each meal. The focus is also on controlling insulin levels, which could result in more successful weight loss and body weight control than other approaches.
The Zone diet encourages the consumption of high-quality carbohydrates – unrefined carbohydrates, and fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
It has been used celebrities including Madonna, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Demi Moore, Caprice Bouquet, Barry Mannilow, and more.
For every detail on the The zone Diet plan here is book and ebook which walks you through it all step by step: The Zone Diet book
- • The individual should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
The meal or snack should start with a low-fat protein. Then the person can add good carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as vegetables and fruits, and good fats, such as olive oil or avocado.
Typical meal protein should be about 4 ounces for men and 3 ounces for women.
Before every meal or snack, a person should assess their hunger level. If they are not hungry and their mind is clear, they are in “The Zone.”
Benefits of the Zone Diet
- • The diet teaches good eating habits such as portion control and sugar reduction
- • The diet does allow for a fruit and vegetable rich diet
- • Dieters report that cravings for processed carbs begin to disappear after a few days
- • Research has shown that this diet causes rapid weight loss
Meal plans for The Zone Diet
For a book and ebook full of 150 detailed menu plans and how to make them click here: The Zone Diet cookbook
6-egg-white omelet mixed with asparagus and 2 teaspoons olive oil
2/3 cup slow-cooked oatmeal
1 cup strawberries
Grilled chicken salad with 3 ounces chicken breast, olive oil and vinegar dressing
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup pineapple
1 teaspoon slivered almonds
5-ounce salmon with 1 tablespoon almonds
2 cups steamed vegetables
1 cup mixed berries
1 ounce cheese
8 fluid ounces red wine
Guidelines include eating three meals and two snacks every day. Each meal must have some protein, about the size of a small chicken breast, and each snack should contain some protein.
The more carbohydrates people consume, the more insulin they produce. Insulin turns excess carbohydrates into stored fat. Dietary fat does not trigger insulin production.
As a result, the Zone diet meal plans focus on eating:
- • low-density carbohydrates
- • dietary fat
- • protein
The Zone diet plan has four “pillars,” or aims that a person has to bring together to make it part of their way of life. They are to:
- • restrict calories without hunger or fatigue
- • maintain appropriate levels of inflammation in the body
- • use dietary polyphenols (which are in certain foods such as cloves, dark chocolate and chestnuts) to activate genes for improved wellness
- • control the inflammation caused by gut microbes
People who follow the diet should balance carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the following proportions:
- • 40 percent carbohydrate
- • 30 percent fat
- • 30 percent protein
The idea is that by roughly balancing these three things in each meal, a person’s health and weight will improve.
In the Zone diet plan, calorie intake does not have to go down, but what the person is eating has to change.
A lot of the favorable Zone Diet food choices are similar to those of the Mediterranean Diet, which is one of the healthiest diets on the planet.
What Foods to eat on the Zone Diet
Protein options in the Zone Diet should be lean. Good options include:
- • Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal and game
- • Skinless chicken and turkey breast
- • Fish and shellfish
- • Vegetarian protein, tofu, other soy products
- • Egg whites
- • Low-fat cheeses
- • Low-fat milk and yogurt
The Zone Diet encourages choosing a type of monounsaturated fat. Good options include:
- • Avocados
- • Nuts, such as macadamia, peanuts, cashews, almonds or pistachios
- • Peanut butter
- • Tahini
- • Oils such as canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil and olive oil
The Zone Diet encourages its followers to choose vegetables with a low glycemic index and a little fruit.
Good options include:
- • Fruit such as berries, apples, oranges, plums and more
- • Vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash, chickpeas and more
- • Grains, such as oatmeal and barley
What foods not to eat on the Zone Diet
Nothing is strictly banned on the Zone Diet. However, certain food choices are considered unfavorable because they promote inflammation.
- • High-sugar fruits: Such as bananas, grapes, raisins, dried fruits and mangoes.
- • High-sugar or starchy vegetables: Like peas, corn, carrots and potatoes.
- • Refined and processed carbs: Bread, bagels, pasta, noodles and other white-flour products.
- • Other processed foods: Including breakfast cereals and muffins.
- • Foods with added sugar: Such as candy, cakes and cookies.
- • Soft drinks: Neither sugar-sweetened nor sugar-free drinks are recommended.
- • Coffee and tea: Keep these to a minimum, since water is the beverage of choice.
Risks of the zone diet
Potatoes and whole grains are important sources of fiber, as well as of carbohydrates. Fiber in these foods, and many others, feed healthy gut bacteria and promote long-term health.
A vegetarian diet would be very difficult to follow using the Zone diet’s guidelines. However, they are higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein than the Zone diet, also result in significantly lower chronic disease and obesity.
The Zone diet’s recommendation to avoid certain fruits and vegetables has been questioned. Most fruits and vegetables are thought to play a valuable role in a balanced diet. The American Heart Association urges people to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and to include, for example, bananas and raisins with breakfast.
Diabetes U.K. lists as a “myth,” the idea that certain fruits are bad, noting that “grapes and bananas, like all fruit, make a very healthy choice.”
Consequences of processed carbohydrates
According to the Zone diet theory, the consequences of eating a high proportion of processed carbohydrates include:
- • weight gain
- • insulin fluctuations
- • pre-diabetes and diabetes
- • heart disease
- • poor overall health
Does The Zone Diet Work?
There is no specific research to prove that eating a certain ratio of protein, carbs, and fats is going to speed up your metabolism and increase weight loss. But it is a proven fact that eating a calorie-restricted diet, such as The Zone Diet, can help you lose weight. The claim that the weight loss will be all fat and not muscle or water, however, may not be as true.
The Zone Diet sets a realistic and healthy weight loss goal of 1 to 1.5 pounds a week. Most health experts also recommend this proven strategy for a sure and steady weight loss. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in their guidelines recommend that a good weight loss program should aim for a loss of 1 to 2 pounds each week.
There is also a lot of proof that adding in behavioral techniques, such as The Zone Diet’s tools and journals, is likely to help you lose weight and keep it off.
If you are still considering trying the diet here is a book and ebook which will walk you through it all to help you make up your mind: The Zone Diet book
But remember the only person who can make change happen is you, so I highly recommend you at least try it for yourself.
Anyone who is considering a major change to their diet should always talk to a doctor first.