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The Zone

The Zone Diet was created by Dr. Barry Sears, PhD. This is a low carbohydrate that claims to balance protein, carbohydrates and fats in a 40%-30%-30% ratio. It is designed to optimize the body's metabolic function by regulating blood sugar levels. By regulating insulin production in the Zone Diet claims to maximize fat loss and reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease.

The Zone's eating plan is a combination of a small amount of low-fat protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. Proteins should be eaten in every meal and snack. Carbohydrates should be twice the size of the protein portion. These include vegetables, beans, and whole-grains. "Unfavorable carbohydrates" such as brown rice, pasta, bananas, bagels, etc. should be eaten in smaller portions.

The main problem with the zone diet is that the 40%-30%-30% ratio is very strict and hard to follow especially as the meals also have to be split into blocks within your own unique combination. As this plan is so complicated it has over the years been simplified. However, Barry Sears is quite adamant about having the correct amount so by doing a simplified version you are not really following the zone. The whole diet plan is low in calories (typically 800-1200) which is probably the most likely cause for weight loss rather than regulating insulin levels.

Zone Diet: Reasons for

Good amounts of fruits and low starch vegetables
Low in saturated fats
Restricts low nutrition carbohydrates
Steady weight loss if followed exactly

Zone Diet: Reasons against

Restricted calorie intake means it is difficult to stay on it
Eliminates some highly nutritious foods and is low in whole grain and calcium
Expensive to follow if you purchase all the pre packaged zone products
Time consuming as you should have six meals a day

Zone Diet: Verdict

The diet tricky at first to follow and most weight loss is due to the low calorie intake. The higher calorie versions of this diet are safe although all versions are low on some nutrients. It can be a worthwhile short-term diet for those dieters that enjoy a bit of routine in their diet.

Click here to visit the official Zone Diet website

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