The Zone diet is based on a 40:30:30 ratio of calories obtained from the 3 macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Concept of the Zone Diet was originally put forward in 1997 by an Italian physician, Aronne Romano. He had successful experiments with the diet on patients and athletes. Later, Barry Sears popularized this nutrition style with his books written about the topic, and the books have become quite popular.
The popular term "The Zone" is is Barry Sears' term for "proper hormone balance". He claims that at a 40:30 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, specific anti-inflammatory chemicals (eicosanoids) are released, which is beneficial for our health. When the human body is in caloric balance, it becomes more efficient, and reduces its need to store calories as fat, thus promoting weight loss.
The Zone Diet is popularized in books by Barry Sears. The diet is based on a 40:30:30 ratio of calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The key to this diet is to “enter the zone”, where you are at a peak mental and physical performance where you can lose body fat, and achieve better health. To “enter the zone”, you need to make the right food choices based on the ratio of 40:30:30.
The Zone Diet offers a hand-eye method of measuring your food intake where you divide your plate into 3 sections. A third of your plate is for lean protein, two thirds for fruits and vegetables, and a tiny section for healthy fats.
The Zone Diet claims that the diet will give you the power to "turn some genes on and turn other genes off. As a result, you feel your energy soar, watch your waistline shrink, and say goodbye to hunger." It is a diet designed to promote hormonal balance throughout a lifetime, and the word "Moderate" is best used to describe this diet. The diet suggests consuming moderate amounts of low fat proteins, low glycemic carbohydrates (consisting mostly of vegetables and fruits), and healthy monounsaturated fats.
The diet claims that using this correct balance of proteins, carbs, and fats, you have control over the major hormones generated by the diet including insulin, glucagon, and eicosanoids.
The Zone Diet starts off with making sure that your diet has adequate amounts of low fat protein, which are essential to sustain your muscles and your immune system. Proteins stimulate the release of Glucagon, which tells the body to release store carbohydrates from the liver to maintain blood sugar levels. This also helps prevent too much insulin from being released. About 1/3 of your plate should be used for low fat protein foods.
Next, your meals should be balanced with 2/3 of your plate used for fruits and vegetables, which should be the main sources of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should have a low glycemic load, which would have a low capacity to stimulate the release of insulin.
Finally, limited amounts of "good fats" should be added to your meals. These include monounsaturated fats, and omega 3 fats. Foods such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados are good sources for monounsaturated fats. Fish and fish oils are good sources of omega 3 fats.
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