The Zone diet is a weight loss plan of Barry Sears biochemist who has written several books on this topic. Some of them were bestsellers.
His theory is that we should consume the right type of food at the right time. He believes that the food we eat has serious effects on the hormone level of the body which can cause weight loss or gain. But with proper eating we can keep a healthy hormone and insulin level which support weight and fat loss.
He claims that there are hormones that help to maintain the blood sugar on an optimal level. While there are hormones that can cause inflammation. He believes inflammatory is one of the main reasons of weight gain and obesity. He suggests that dieters should keep this “bad” hormones on the optimal level or as he says in the right “zone”.
How can we achieve this? By eating the right portion and types of foods at the right time. He recommends that there should be three meals and two snacks.
Every meal should include 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates. He claims that this is the optimal distribution of the nutrients that helps your body to keep a healthy metabolic level.
The Zone diet plan is not about losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Barry Sears says with the help of it we can drop 1-2 pound per a week.
Moreover, that amount mainly comes from fat loss instead of water and muscle. He also recommends 30 minutes exercising 5-6 times a week which obviously has a positive impact on health and fitness.
Watch the video below for more details
What can you eat and how?
Almost everything can be eaten which has low fat and unbeneficial carbs level.
Each of the meals contains a good amount of protein that you should take in by eating low-fat meats such as chicken, turkey, fish, egg white, etc. Meats and other protein sources which are high in fat, for example, yolk, chicken with skin or fatty red meat, should not be consumed.
In order to take in the right amount of carbohydrates, you should consume foods that contain beneficial carbs mainly fruits and vegetables. However, there are several unwanted greens and fruits which are high in sugar just like bananas, corn or carrots.
The fat intake mostly comes from unsaturated fats by consuming olive oil, avocados or some types of nuts. Things that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
As you see, there is not so serious limitation on what you eat. However, if you like eating foods that are high in carbs such as grains, pasta, bread and others, you may find it hard to follow.
Finally, you should focus on the number of calories if you follow this diet. Men should have 1500 calories while women 1200 per a day.
Zone Diet Blocks
Within the following document you can learn the recommended foods you should consume, so you can easily create your zone diet meal plan. You can also find a lot of recipes online and there are several recipe books.
- This diet consists valuable meals that are high in beneficial carbs, vitamins and minerals, lean protein and good fats.
- You should not eat low quality, mainly processed foods that are rich in sugar or salt.
- The diet is not so boring since we can choose from several types of foods.
- You are allowed to eat five times a day which is good for keeping a healthy metabolism and gives enough energy for the entire day.
- You need to exercise almost every day for a short time. Physical activity is vital for long term weight loss.
- There is bit modified version of this plan called CrossFit zone diet that is great to build lean muscles mass and provides energy for the hard workouts.
- Some nutritionists agree while others disagree with high protein diets. The American Heart Association has stated that high protein intake is not the optional method to lose weight, or at least in the long run.
- You should spend time on meal preparation.
- The amount of calories are too low.
What do we think?
The Zone diet is maybe a good way to achieve weight loss that mainly comes from the lack of sugar and saturated fat intake, as well as the regular exercising. However, I think the calorie intake is a bit low.
Since the protein intake is high it suitable for those who want to build muscles, though the amount calories should be increased.
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Nutritious meals, but not so easy to follow and low calories.