"The Zone Diet"

The word Be in the Zone Always

The Zone Diet is about keeping your insulin in check. Insulin in your body needs to be controlled so that it is not too low, nor is it too high. When it isn't either of those two, it is in the zone. The Author of "A Week in the Zone," Dr. Barry Sear's research supports the fact that when insulin is within the zone, you experience drastically improved health and you prevent a wide variety of diseases. 

The Zone and being in it is described as being on a drug. This diet is a drug. When you are on this drug, the author states you automatically receive the following benefits: 1) Permanent loss of excess body fat, 2) dramatic reduction in the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, 3) improved mental and physical performance and 4) a longer life. 

The author states that food should be seen as Hippocrates described it when Hippocrates said, "let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food." That is a great way to think about it. If before you took every single bite of food you currently eat, if you thought to yourself, what medicine am I ingesting, it would probably lead to healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables packed with antioxidants. 

Fruits and Vegetable rectangles in a straight line one right after anotherFruits & Veggies

The Zone diet has six basic rules to follow

1) Always eat a Zone meal within one hour after waking. 
2) Try to eat five times per day: three Zone meals and Two Zone Snacks
3) Never let more than five hours go by without eating a Zone meal or snack, regardless of whether you are hungry or not. In fact, the best time to eat is when you aren't hungry because that means you have stabilized your insulin levels. Afternoon and late evening snacks (which are really mini-Zone meals) are important to keep you in the Zone throughout the day. 
4) Eat more fruits and vegetables (yes, these are carbohydrates) and ease off the bread, pasta, grains, and other starches. Treat breads, pasta, grains, and other starches like condiments. 
5) Drink at least 8-ounce glasses of water every day. That's about a gallon of water per day. 
6) If you make a mistake at a meal, don't worry about it. There's no guilt in the Zone. Just make your next meal a Zone meal to get you back where you (and your hormones) belong. 

Other benefits of the Zone diet

A pink breast cancer ribbonBreast Cancer Ribbon

1) You will be protected from arthritis and osteoporosis. Lowering insulin can alleviate tissue inflammation because reduced insulin levels also mean reduced levels of the building blocks of pain-producing eicosanoids

2) You may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A number of studies have shown that high insulin levels correlate with an increased risk of breast cancer. In addition, more protein (and less carbohydrates) a woman consumes, the better her survival rate after breast cancer. 

3) You'll get fewer infections. Adequate protein leads to a proper functioning of the immune system. Excess insulin does the opposite predisposing you to infection. 

Eating the Zone diet way 

Eating the Zone way is about moderation and balance. Begin with a portion of protein, which should be a low-fat source. A portion is the size of your palm or 4 ounces for men and 3 ounces for women. One-third of your plate is reserved for your protein choice. 

Carbohydrates are next and should take up two-thirds of your plate. Carbs are defined as favorable and unfavorable. Unfavorable carbs are the ones that spike your insulin levels while favorable carbs (fruits and vegetables) don't cause such a spike because they have a lower glycemic load. 

A dash of fat is needed to complete the Zone meal. Preferred fats are monounsaturated fats and long-chain omega-3 fats. Examples of good fats are olive oil, almonds, avocados and fish oils. Bad fats are processed foods (rich in trans fats), organ meats, egg yolks and fatty red meat. 

15 almonds clumped together on a white backgroundA dash of fat is ok

A typical day in the Zone diet for an American female

Breakfast:  A 6-egg white omelet mixed with some asparagus and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. The breakfast would also include two-thirds cup of slow-cooked oatmeal and a cup of strawberries.

Lunch: A grilled chicken salad with 3 ounces of chicken breast, some olive oil and vinegar dressing, and fresh fruit for dessert. 

Late-afternoon snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs in which the yolks have been removed and replaced with hummus (mashed chickpeas and olive oil). 

Dinner: 5 ounces of salmon covered with a tablespoon of slivered almonds, two cups of steamed vegetables, and a cup of mixed berries for dessert.

Late-night snack: 1 ounce of soft cheese and a glass of wine (or a small piece of fruit if you don't drink). 

The calorie content is 1200 calories for a woman and for a male each meal would be 25 percent larger to supply about 1500 calories. 

Summary of the Zone diet

The Zone diet is about insulin. Keeping insulin at the right amount throughout the day provides numerous benefits. When insulin isn't too high or too low, you are within the Zone.

Zone meals are to be five times a day with two of the meals being snacks. The diet is heavy with fruits and vegetables (favorable carbs) and contains a portion of protein and suggests a little healthy fat. Water intake is suggested to be a whole gallon a day. Eating when not hungry may be necessary to keep you within the Zone throughout the day. 

The diet seems fine to me. I don't see why you wouldn't be losing weight eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Insulin seems to be a major problem this 21st Century especially with diabetics that become resistant to it and with type I diabetics that don't secrete enough of it. Too many carbs are very bad but some insulin is needed to shuttle nutrients into the cells. The diet is also written by a Medical Doctor which is always a bonus. 

Get A Week in the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears Today from Amazon.com. Another recommended resouce about this diet is Barry's Bestselling "The Zone: A Dietary Roadmap" with over 3 million books sold.                                       

› Zone Diet
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