What Is The Zone Diet Plan?
Created by Barry Sears PhD, the Zone diet is based on the fact that humans were meat eaters in the prehistoric age and that a large addition of carbohydrates like bread, pasta, wheat and rice has disrupted the hormonal balance in the human system.
It is this balance that the Zone diet tries to restore with a diet plan that mimics the food consumed by the prehistoric man to the extent possible.
What is the Zone Diet?
The Zone diet is created in such a manner that each meal consists:
- 40% carbohydrates
- 30% protein
- 30% fat.
It also sometimes called the 40-30-30 diet. In keeping up with the philosophy, the main foods that can be consumed in the Zone diet are meat, fruits and vegetables.
It is therefore a diet that is low on saturated fats. The diet however, is complicated and may be difficult for people to conceptually comprehend it.
Zone Diet Meal Sizes
The portions that are allowed in the Zone diet plan are small. A typical meal is of about 500 calories and a snack is of about 100 calories. Therefore, the Zone diet may be a sustainable diet for those who want to continue it for a long time. However, creating the diet plan, purchasing the right food and preparation does tend to be expensive and time consuming.
Foods that are encouraged in the Zone diet are fresh vegetables, leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts and a fair amount of meat. Consuming 8 glasses of water everyday is also highly recommended. All processed food is prohibited because the concept of processed food was unknown to our ancestors.
How the Zone Diet Works
The ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that is recommended by the zone diet aims at controlling insulin levels in the blood. Insulin is responsible for processing the sugar levels in the body and converting it into storable glycogen.
Large amounts of insulin in the blood stream can result in high levels of fat storage. In fact, Sears claims that the Zone diet helps in achieving optimum levels of metabolism.
This in turn, helps in maintaining the right level of fat in the body by keeping the insulin levels in a tight ‘zone’. Given the low fat content, the Zone diet is beneficial for those who have a heart condition too.
Will I Lose Weight On The Zone Diet?
For weight loss, the Zone diet allocates some zone blocks to each meal. The Zone Food Blocks that are right for an individual are calculated based on certain factors such as gender, age, waist-hip ratio and height.
Taller or heavier people are allowed more food blocks in a day. However, each block that is consumed needs perfectly to follow the 40-30-30 ratio.
The Zone diet website helps in arriving at the correct estimate of proportions for each meal. The proponents of the Zone diet claim that it can help in loosing 5lbs in the first two weeks.
The nutritionists also agree that with low levels of saturated fat and carbohydrates, the weight loss that following the Zone diet results is expected and possible.