The zone diet has been very popular over the last ten years.It is based on establishing a balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats. According to Dr. Barry Sears, PhD, the proper ratio would 40% carbohydrate: 30% fat:30% protein. This ratio keeps the hormones insulin and glucagons in their own proper balance which enables you to maintain a hormonal equilibrium. As such, it has the ability to reduce the body’s inflammatory process which can be helpful in naturally reducing pain, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Stay in the Zone: Balance Your Meals
Sears claims that in order to get the best results from his diet, you should keep to this delicate balance of carb:fat:protein, even if you only want to eat a simple snack.
Balance Your Meals
There are actually three ways to measure the dietary ratio. One is to actually take a scale and measure your foods in ounces, but a simpler way would be to measure with the palm of your hand. Each meal should contain a piece of chicken or fish (or even soy such as tempeh or tofu,) about the size of your palm. Measure your carb to the size of you palm as well, and then add a small amount of oil such as butter, olive oil etc. The third portion on your plate should consist of vegetables, either raw or cooked. Sears says that when you eat a balanced meal, you are: ‘in the zone’.
Tips on Getting In the Zone
However, getting the correct balance can be quite tricky, and Sears gives you a way to determine if you’ve eaten ‘in the zone’. If you feel tired after the meal, chances are you had too much carbohydrate causing your insulin to rise too high. The way to correct this is to eat some more protein to buffer the sugar in the blood, or you can drink water which can lower your blood glucose levels. The good part of this diet is that even if you decide to ‘binge’ for one or two meals, you can always get back into the zone by your next meal. People who stay on the zone diet tend to feel good and there is an internal monitoring ability to know when you’re eating just right.
Pros and Cons of the Zone Diet
There are many pros to this diet: People find it relatively easy to stay on this diet long term since they are satisfied from their meals. There have been studies done on the zone diet showing that weight loss can be accomplished quite regularly. Dr. Sears wrote quite a few books on the zone diet, and one book discussed the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oils. Our standard American diet is too high in Omega 6 fatty acids which leads to inflammation. By taking what he call ‘pharmaceutical grade’ fish oils, you can increase the Omega 3’s which can be beneficial for your heart as well as a whole number of other systemic ailments.
Even Vegetarians Can Get Into the Zone
The zone diet can be followed even if you are vegetarian. You must make sure that you are getting enough protein, so if you are a vegan, you can use soy products as your main supplement source. Soy has lost a lot of its popularity as of late due to some studies showing that its high phytic acid content can create significant memory loss, as well as intestinal disorders. As with any diet, I believe that there is something to be learned from every diet. Try on your own to experiment with the zone diet. Change the amount of protein and carbs per meal. Add a little fats and see how you feel meal after meal.
Keep Your Carbs Low
Even though Dr. Sears does not place emphasis on which carbs you eat, I would recommend keeping to the low glycemic carbs such as whole grains, and legumes, and even some winter squash and yams if you wish. Your diet should be enjoyable, satisfying, and successful at consistently improving your health, both in the way you feel, and in being able to see positive changes in your bloodwork. Learn more diet tips with my Free Report