Are You “in the Zone” with the Zone Diet?
What Makes a Diet “In The Zone”?
The Zone diet exploded into the weight-loss world with the best-selling book Enter the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears, a former researcher in biotechnology, and Bill Lawren. The overall goal is to reduce the inflammation that occurs in our body that then causes us to gain weight.
So what is the Zone diet? Being “in the zone” means hitting the optimal hormonal levels so your body drops fat, maintains and builds lean mass. Another important aspect is a proper Omega 3 and Omega 6 balance, which also impacts your hormone levels. We have talked about that quite a bit around here. There are a few things that you can do to achieve that.
The focus is on how you construct your plates at every meal. The Zone diet has it’s own ratio known as a 40-30-30 zone ratio that consists of carbohydrates, lean protein, and fats in that order.
What Will I Be Giving Up with The Zone Diet?
The Zone diet plan restricts the consumption of sugar and high-starch foods. Dr. Sears believes that these foods cause internal inflammation and a slows a person’s metabolism. He believes that ingesting these foods is what primes the body for chronic and long-term illnesses and fosters an environment for diseases to run rampant.
What Do I Get?
The creators of the Zone diet do not recommend that you eat fewer calories, just different ones. The diet even goes so far as to allow the consumption of high-fat ice cream because it supposedly slow down the rate of carb absorption (not sure about that).
Every meal should be structured around ⅓ of the plate being a low-fat protein and ⅔ being carbohydrates commonly in the form of fruits and low-starch vegetables. The amount of fat that should be consumed is minimal, unsaturated, and normally only suggested as a condiment or flavoring such as olive oil.
What Else Should I Know?
Along with books, the ‘Zone Diet’ has created a complete line of products that include fish oil, snacks, cereals, supplements, shakes and even skin care. The Zone diet creator, Dr. Sears, also has his own website where he posts all about his revolutionary “Anti-Inflammatory diet” – the Zone diet’s new name.
What’s the Skinny?
So what is the conclusion of my Zone diet review? I think the Zone diet can be rather solid and lot of people have gotten in great shape using it. I like the inclusion of fruit, vegetables, protein, and fats and the exclusion of sugar.
I think there are some situations where starchy vegetables can work like yams and sweet potatoes to help with post-workout recovery.
I also get concerned with the ratio. I am a big believer that one size doesn’t fit all. Robb Wolf, Charles Poliquin, Mark Sisson, and others talk often about how the Zone diet doesn’t give you enough protein, especially if you are working out. Often more protein can give you faster recovery from exercise and can help your lean tissue grow faster.
I am also not a big fan of grains as I mention in the Grain Series. Many people don’t respond well to grains, even whole grains and can cause the gut irritation issues, which in turn hurts the hormonal zone that Sears is trying to help you achieve.
It’s time for what I think may be the weirdest named diet.