All about the Zone Diet plan, Zone Diet tips, sample of Zone Diet menu plans, easy Zone Diet recipes
You’ve probably heard the expression about being in the zone, especially applied to athletes, well the Zone Diet is about obtaining your optimum metabolism with just food and nothing else. The health benefits of the Zone Diet claim to be immense, depending on your current weight and health, i.e. depression, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, atherosclerosis, cancer, obesity are just some of the health issues it claims to improve by reducing excess body fat.
Dr Barry Sears, authored the Zone Diet plan. He was born in 1947, and his books on this diet began appearing in the late 1990’s. Dr Sears realised that the men in his family were not living a long healthy life. After completing his PhD at the Indiana University he undertook research to learn more about lipids. This led him to realise that our hormones are crucial to controlling our well-being.
The Zone Diet plan sets out to reduce cellular inflammation, this is inflammation inside our body, inflammation we don’t even realise we have. If we have high cellular inflammation, well, it demands to be fed often. So, if you look after your hormones, they in turn will look after you by controlling and reducing the inflammation. The hormones insulin and glucagon balance each other out. Insulin lowers our glucose levels and glucagon raises it, so when our hormones are balanced this is what is referred to as being in ‘the zone’.
In practice the Zone Diet plan is quite straight forward. On your dinner plate, a third is made up of low fat protein. The other two thirds are for colorful fruit and carbs, but we want good carbs not those bad ones. If you’re not familiar with good vs bad carbs then you can read more here. Also on your plate, and maybe surprisingly, we need a little fat. So, some monounsaturated fat such as almond (oil), olive (oil), avocado (oil), sesame oil and even nuts. Remember just a small amount of fat. Now being sensible, we are not going to put fruit on our dinner plate, so let’s eat that portion for dessert. Eating the right balance ensures our hormone levels are correct.
The Zone Diet requires that we eat several times a day, i.e. little and often, as that keeps our metabolism boosted. The size of the portions will depend on your body type. If you are serious about following this diet, we’d highly recommend one of the many books by Dr Sears that goes into a lot more detail and make-up of the Zone Diet plans.
You’ve probably just realised that this is not one of those high protein low carb diets. This is about getting a good balance of the two, and of the many fad diets we’ve come across, this one certainly makes a lot of sense.
The Zone Diet meal plans are broken down into blocks. Your body type determines how many blocks you can eat for your body type. The foods you can eat are categorized under carbohydrates, protein and fat with portion sizes equal to 1 block. So, for example, if your body type allows you to eat 3 blocks for breakfast, you can choose 3 portions each of carbs, protein and fat. So if you are feeling creative you can make up your own menu, or use the recipes detailed in the books.
Here is an example Zone Diet meal plan. A medium framed woman is allowed 3 blocks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally she is allowed a 1 block snack for the afternoon and the evening. Therefore an example menu for the day could be:
|Breakfast:||Lunch:||Afternoon Snack:||Dinner:||Evening Snack:|
|3 eggs – scrambled:|
1.5 slices of toast,
3 tbsp avocado.
1 slices of bread,
1 tsp butter,
3 small apricots.
Asparagus – 12 spears,
Broccoli – 1 ½ cups,
Blueberries – ½ cup,
Cashew Nuts – 9.
|1 ½ oz feta cheese,|
1tsp light mayo,
½ cup blackberries.
Zone Meals in Seconds will help you to cook delicious, quick and easy family meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tips on snacks, the Zone Diet foods for all occasions from packed school lunches to barbecues.
Zone Perfect Cooking Made Easy: 150 recipes from Gloria Bakst. It is easy to stay on a Zone Diet with these simple daily and weekly menus.
The Top 100 Zone Foods: a summary of nutritional benefits of the top 100 Zone foods with yummy recipes and the Zone Food Block break down on every food. Learn how to mix and match foods for the perfect Zone Meal.
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