spinach salad

The Zone Diet Plan

Created by a biochemist, the Zone Diet revolves around eating a specific ratio of macronutrients at each meal to help control and manage inflammation and blood sugars and provide vitamins ACE and K.

Barry Sears believed that by regulating and stabilising your blood sugar you can maximise your metabolic rate and therefore manage your weight more easily. According to the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2010 the Zone diet may help you get the increase levels of vitamins A C E and K. So it's not just a supposition.

The Basics

The Zone diet follows a diet that balances food intake into proportions as follows - 30% fats, 30% carbohydrates, and 40% protein.

Eat your first meal within an hour of waking up, then you eat the rest of your food/meals at 4 - 5 hour intervals in order to prevent getting too hungry and snacking.

Your body will burn more fat if insulin levels are controlled. An excess of insulin will contribute to an increase of fat stored around your body.

How Does it Work?

By creating a balance of carbohydrates and proteins, you can be expected to have a continual weight loss. When following the Zone diet women typically eat around 1200 calories a day and men 1500.

Of the carbs you do consume, the Zone diet recommends that they are mostly vegetables and fruits (i.e. low Glycemic Index) and that startchy carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, pasta and bread be eaten sparingly or eliminated entirely. As the diet is also low in saturated fat it can help to decrease heart disease risks.

How Do I Lose Weight?

The loss of weight that comes from using this plan comes mainly from the reduced calorie intake. When following this program, you only are meant to eat 1200 - 1500 calories per day. You must make sure to maintain the right amount of the essential nutritients and vitamins to keep your body healthy and strong.

If You Must Snack

Eating lower calories will make a lot of people hungry in between the large meals. Why not have some snacks handy. Having two snacks, they must be small compared to your meals. These will provide the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

  • Two hard-boiled egg whites, stuffed with 1/4 (60ml) cup hummus.
  • 30g low-fat cheese served with 1/2 cup (120ml) grapes and three olives.
  • 45g turkey with 1/2 cup (120ml) grapes and three peanuts.
  • 1/4 (60ml) cup low-fat cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh or canned pineapple and 1 tsp slivered almonds.
  • 30g cheese with 125ml wine, OR a 330ml bottle of beer, OR 45ml shot of spirits.
  • A cup of skimmed milk and three macadamia nuts.
  • One Ryvita with 30g low-fat cream cheese and three olives

Our Opinion

A little more complicated than some diet plans, the Zone focuses on balancing the carbohydrates, protein and fat in your food in order to stabilise insulin levels in your body. Within about 2 or 3 days of starting the plan you will probably experience a considerable reduction in your carving for carbohydrates.

After 5 days many people see a loss in hunger throughout the day as well as actually feeling more energetic. After 2 weeks on the diet you are likely to then see weight loss and feel the difference with your clothes.

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