The Zone Diet: Getting Into The Zone

February 15, 2011

Diets & Nutrition

What do celebrities like Madonna, Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston have in common? Well, for one thing, they all swear by the results of The Zone Diet.

The Zone Diet was developed by renowned biochemist Barry Sears, and is centered on consuming a 40:30:30 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins and fats to control the insulin in the blood.Sears bases his theory on using diet to control the body’s production of hormone insulin.

Among insulin’s many roles, it helps regulate storage of excess energy as fat. The goal is to keep a balance between fat-storing insulin and the hormone glucagon, insulin’s opposite, whose job is to release the stored glucose from the liver when it is needed. 

In other words, one must be mindful of what you put on your plate, and think of food not as a source of calories but as a control system for hormones.

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The Zone Diet:

  • … features a good amount of fruit and low-starch vegetables and is low in saturated fats.
  • … restricts low nutrition carbohydrates.
  • … allows for steady weight loss if followed correctly.

What can you eat in The Zone Diet?

The Zone Diet does not require you to eat fewer calories than you are consuming, just different ones.

  • A small amount of protein, approximately the size of your palm, and at every snack.
  • Favorable carbohydrates such as vegetables, lentils, beans, whole grains and fruits.
  • A smaller amount of carbohydrates if you have chosen unfavorable ones, such as brown rice, pasta, dry breakfast cereals, breads, papaya, mangoes or bananas.
  • Keep fats to a minimum, but oils such as olive and canola are allowed.
  • Certain dairy products are not allowed, because they release glucose quickly. Egg whites, and egg substitues are acceptable alternatives to cheeses, whole eggs and milk.

The Skinny

The Zone Diet is about balancing your hormones within a specific range to control hunger on fewer calories while still getting the proper nutrients the body needs for long-term health. Exercise is also recommended as part of the Zone lifestyle balance. Studies have shown the Zone Diet certainly produces weight loss at reasonable rates.

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