Average Weight Loss: One to two pounds a week.
Type of Diet: Balanced diet, lower-glycemic, and controlled fat, carbs, and protein based on ratios.
About The Diet
If you have a hard time surviving low-carb diets like Atkins, but want to reduce carbs the Zone might be a good plan to try. The Zone permits generous food quantities that include a wide variety of fruits and veggies and limits protein (unlike on Atkins, you don’t just eat all you want) to certain portion sizes known as “blocks.”
The Zone is more about combining healthy foods in certain proportions or ratios than restricting foods so it does require thought and planning and weighing and measuring, but is relatively easy to follow and more important, this diet may be easier to stick to over the long-term than more restrictive diets that modify carbohydrate intake because it factors in your activity and fitness level.
Both The Zone Diet and Paleo Diet are popular among CrossFitters (CrossFit is a program that involves high-intensity interval training) because these programs offer macronutrients necessary to fuel high-performance activities that require fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Eating Zone “blocks” of foods may help control insulin response in the body — insulin is a fat storing hormone, as well as a hunger trigger because fluctuations in insulin levels also impacts blood sugar levels. Many low-carb diets also make this claim, however, the Zone also addresses two other hormones: glucagon (which helps stabilize blood sugar in conjunction with insulin) and eicosanoids (hormones that fight inflammation and regulate other complex hormones.)
You will choose blocks of food for snacks and meals based on your gender and body type, which makes The Zone customizable for just about anyone. For example, a small woman would consume about 10 blocks per day, a larger female up to 13 blocks and a woman who is fit and athletic could consume 14 blocks.
Another customizable aspect of this diet that many people find appealing is you can mix blocks — you might want more at breakfast and less at dinner — or eat smaller at breakfast and have a big lunch. This makes the diet more adaptable to individual lifestyles and can be adjusted based on your daily schedule.
One block consists of one choice from a list of foods from each macronutrient group: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. A two-block meal means you choose two from each group, a three-block meal lets you choose three foods from the list, etc.
You can also eat prepackaged foods, protein, bards, etc. as long as you balance them out in blocks. A single block would consist of:
- 7 grams of protein
- 9 grams of carbs
- 1.5 grams of fat
At first, creating blocks can be a little confusing, but once you get the hang of it you should be able to eyeball (or count) many types of foods and eat without worry.
** Provided for information only. This is not an ad but an excerpt from Amazon.com so you can read more about this book. **
The Zone Diet
By Barry Sears
The complete Plan to Revolutionize Your Diet and Your Life THE ZONE is the revolutionary diet plan based on Nobel-prize winning research that has been adopted by celebrities including Madonna, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Demi Moore, Caprice Bouquet, Barry Mannilow, and more. Copies of Sears’s books ENTER THE ZONE and MASTERING THE ZONE have sold more than 2 million copies. Finally, this plan is being adapted to the British palate and cupboard. All 150 recipes in this book will be anglicized and will make The ZONE more accessible than ever before. Dr. Sears is writing a new introduction for the UK marketplace. In short, THE ZONE goes against recently received wisdom about the health benefits of low-fat high-carbohydrate diets and suggests that if we continue to eat a lot of grains we will simply get fatter. Sears contends that too much carbohydrate (which converts to sugar) upsets our delicate hormonal balance and throws us into a constant sugar-craving state and gives rise to a diabetic-like condition. By balancing our diet and eating more protein and fat we enter a Zone of optimum metabolic function and peak performance. Eating in THE ZONE will not only burn fat but it will also fight heart disease, diabetes, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and more.
This diet is well-balanced and probably safe for most people. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting and weight-loss diet or making major changes in your lifestyle, especially if you are trying to change your diet as part of an overall plan to improve your health or control an existing medical problem.