Note: This is a review. Click here to visit The Zone Diet Site.
The Zone Diet weight loss program emerged several years ago in the form of a best-selling book written by Barry Sears, PhD., a former researcher in bio technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and continues to be an extremely popular plan today. Let’s take a look and see if it’s right for you.
What Is It?
The book, Enter The Zone is not just a weight loss book. Some of the other benefits according to the author include reversing heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Also, athletic performance is supposed to increase while on this plan.
By revamping your metabolism with a diet that is 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrates, Sears claims you will not only lose weight but your overall health and performance will improve (where was this when I was in high school?). As a former scientist, Sears spends a great deal of time discussing the science on which he based his theory. In layman’s terms (what the heck is a layman anyway?), the Zone is a “metabolic state in which the body works at peak efficiency,” and that state is created by eating a set ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Let me give you some idea of what you can eat. Zone Diet does not recommend that you eat fewer calories than you’re currently consuming, just different ones. Here is the breakdown: A small amount of protein at every meal (approximately the size of your palm or one small chicken breast) and at every snack (one in the late afternoon, one in the late evening). Hopefully you have large hands! “Favorable” carbohydrates twice the size of the protein portion — these include most vegetables and lentils, beans, whole grains, and most fruits. A smaller amount of carbohydrates if you have chosen “unfavorable” ones — these include brown rice, pasta, papaya, mango, banana, dry breakfast cereal, bread, bagel, tortilla, carrots, and all fruit juices.
Milk and other dairy products are not forbiden, but not recommended either. Sears prefers egg whites and egg substitutes to whole eggs, and low-fat or no-fat cheeses and milk. The diet avoids most saturated fats so no french fries! Certain unfavorable carbs are not recommended including: grains, breads, pasta, rice, and other similar starches. Sears is strict concering the amount of protein/fat/carbohydrate we need, and takes the reader through a short course in determining your protein need, based on size, age, and activity, which then determines the amount of fats and carbohydrates you should be eating. Luckily, he does allow a half-cup of ice cream as an allowable food but man that is what? Two spoons full?
- Expense-this diet will only cost you the price of a book!
- Health-with the amount of vegetables and low fat foods, your health will improve!
- Lifestyle-your life will not change dramatically as you will not be forced to live on too few calories.
- Easy-The 40-30-30 ratio applies to all meals all the time, and there is a broad range of foods that are allowed, so there is no confusing schedules or conditions that need to be memorized (great for a simpleton like me!).
- No direct studies on the benefits of The Zone Diet have been performed so we have no “scientific proof” that it works.
The Zone Diet focuses on a healthy approach and lifestyle changes, two things I think are absolutely necessary to lose weight. This is a very good plan for all levels of obese people. I highly recommend it.