Meals are spread out throughout the day so individuals feel full and satisfied. By staying in the zone, this diet can also increase one’s energy level and improve overall health. The Zone Diet is a lifestyle change, and is ideal for those who wish to use food as a method to permanently keep the fat off as well as slow down the aging process. By selecting the right foods and regulating meal times, this easy plan is not only for those wishing to build lean muscle mass, but also prefect for those with diabetes.
Zone Diet Overview
Unlike the Scarsdale Diet the Zone Diet was not specifically designed for the sole purpose of weight loss. Rather, it is a lifestyle change that uses food to manipulate one’s hormones by regulating and stabilizing the amount of insulin production to help one become energetic, lean, and healthy. Beginning with a standard-sized dinner plate, participants are advised to use a hand-eye technique to determine how much to eat. Lean protein comprises a third of the plate. This serving should be approximately the same dimension as one’s palm, both in size and thickness. Fill the remainder of the plate with carbohydrates, mostly vegetables and fruits. Then top everything off with some monounsaturated fat, such as a small amount of avocado, a handful of nuts, or a drizzle of olive oil. As those on the Zone Diet eat at least three meals and two snacks carefully planned throughout the day, they are always full and satiated.
Foods You Can Eat on the Zone Diet
The Zone Diet focuses on eating a moderate amount of a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day. The foods the plan concentrates on are mostly low density carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits, followed by lean, low-fat proteins, and a very modest amount of monounsaturated fats. Since carbohydrates enter the bloodstream slower with the presence of fats, the Zone Diet requires that every meal contain some monounsaturated fats such as almonds, guacamole, macadamia nuts, and olive oil. There are specially formulated recipes and grocery list ideas to help give the dieter ideas on what they can eat. In addition, the Zone Diet is flexible enough so that dieters can even dine out while following the regimen.
Foods You Can’t Eat on the Zone Diet
One should avoid eating carbohydrate-laden foods such as breads, grains, noodles, rice and other starches. These foods are very easy to overeat, and fall in the category of high density, or fat-free carbohydrates. Foods that have too much carbohydrates lead to excessive production of insulin, when unused, will not only store fat in your system, but may be hazardous to one’s health.
Eating Options on the Zone Diet
Other than eating lots of fruits and vegetables, a moderate amount of lean proteins, and small amounts of food with monounsaturated fats, Zone Diet participants are encouraged to eat throughout the day, beginning one hour after waking up, in intervals of four or five hours. This is so that insulin levels stay constant in the zone that they can be optimally utilized. In addition, dieters are advised to eat at least five times a day and set an eating schedule which ought to be adhered to as much as possible.
Exercise Recommendations While on the Zone Diet
While it is recognized that physical activity is a good supplement to any diet, the Zone Diet does not recommend any specific type of exercise. Even without any exercise, the one can expect to lose a maximum amount of one and a half pounds of fat per week. As lean muscle will be developed to replace the original body fat, weighing oneself on a scale will not be truly indicative of progress.
Number of Dieters on the Zone Diet
The Zone Diet was developed by Dr. Barry Sears in 1990 while he was researching on heart disease, a health concern prevalent in his family. His idea of using food as a remedy was based upon research that won the Nobel Prize in 1982 on how health and hormones could be influenced by dietary fats. The Zone, on the New York Times bestseller list, was the first book written by Dr. Sears on the diet. Since then, Dr. Sears has published ten more books on the plan, and millions worldwide have taken part in the Zone Diet.
Post Diet Weight Maintenence Plans
The Zone Diet, instead of being a diet, is more of a lifestyle change, so the process never ends, as one should always been watching when and what he or she eats on a day-to-day basis. Weight loss will occur on the Zone Diet due to a decrease and stabilization of one’s insulin production level, so once lifestyle modifications are made, one should expect to keep the fat off and experience an overall improvement in health.