by Alan Cleaver
The Zone diet is an exceptional diet plan based on the 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 30% fat formula. Created by Dr. Barry Sears who believes that food could either be your greatest friend or your greatest enemy, he insists that the 40:30:30 is the optimum ratio. Your Zone diet meal plan needs to ensure that your daily intake should vary between 1000 to 1600 calories. This, of course, depends on individual case and whether you are a male or a female.
Plan your diet to consist of proteins and carbohydrates that are considered favorable to your health. The proteins must be very lean and have no or very low fat. Chicken, egg whites and fish are preferred choices as compared to pork, bacon and duck. Similarly, carbohydrates from low starch fruits and vegetables are preferred to carbohydrates from breads, pastas, and fruits and vegetables having high starch content, such as bananas, prunes and grapes. These fruits have high sugar content. Fat recommended is of the monounsaturated type and you can include almonds, peanuts, and olive oil in your meal plan, with butter and vegetable shortenings totally disallowed.
Planning You Zone Diet
Plan your diet around the number of Zone blocks you are required to intake. Each Zone block is made up of 3 mini Zone blocks that are made up by carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Each mini block has 9 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; and 1.5 grams fat. Through a Zone block calculator you can find out the number of Zone blocks you are allowed to consume.
For calculation you need to furnish your weight, height, and other measurements. An average man normally gets to eat 14 Zone blocks and an average woman 11 blocks. You can revolve your Zone diet meal plan around the 40:30:30 formula and use foods that are considered ‘favorable.’ This excellent diet allows you to eat 5 times a day – 3 Zone meals and 2 Zone snacks.
The Zone Theory
Dr. Sears has based his diet on hormones in the body. Your body has Insulin, Glucagon, and Eicosanoids – the three major hormones. Excess Insulin keeps you fat. Glucagon helps in stabilizing the levels of blood sugar in your body, whereas Eicosanoids control other hormones in the body. It is important that these hormones are kept at an optimum level. This is done through this diet where through the 40:30:30 principle your body is always at its peak performance level.
When fixing your plate at meal times, it is advisable to follow the ‘Zone At-a-Glance’ method by Dr. Sears. It simply states that fill a third of your plate with favorable proteins. The thickness of the meat should not be more than the thickness of your palm. The balance two third should be filled up with carbohydrates. Your fat should consist of almonds, peanuts, or macadamia nuts.
The advantage of Zone diet is that it is not just a diet. You can use this to make a lifestyle change.
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