The Zone Diet was developed by biotechnology researcher Barry Sears. The Zone Diet is becoming increasingly popular, but the Zone Diet is not a low-carb or a low-fat diet per se. “The Zone” is a physiological state of proper hormonal levels. This is when insulin and eicosanoids, which are controlled by the foods you eat, are in zones that are neither too low nor too high. The Zone Diet maintains that one can benefit from controlling insulin because they can increase fat loss. They will also be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. When you control the eicosanoids in your body you will experience less inflammation and more blood flow.
The Zone Diet pertains to consistent control of insulin. The diet also includes supplementing high-dose fish oil. You can control your insulin by balancing protein and carbohydrates at each meal. This diet can really be thought of us a moderate-carb, moderate-fat and moderate-protein diet. When you are on the Zone Diet the amount of low-fat protein in a meal should not be any larger than the thickness of the palm of a hand. The thickness is equal to about 3oz for women and 4oz for men. If you are on the Zone Diet, most of your carbohydrates should be from fruits and vegetables. Starches like bread, rice and pasta should be eaten sparingly. The fat you eat on the Zone Diet should be mostly monounsaturated fat.
When using the Zone Diet, you also supplement with high-dose fish oil. Having high-doses of fish oil without gastric difficulties is no possible. Pharmaceutical-grade fish oil is not available. When you are on the Zone Diet, you are trying to maintain a balance between fat-storing insulin and Glucagon. The hormone glucagons, releases stored glucose from the liver. The goal is to essentially keep insulin in a tight zone. This means you do not have insulin levels that are too high or too low.
If you are using the Zone Diet you are to eat small amounts of low-fat protein, carbohydrates and fats. The carbohydrates should be fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. You should eat protein at every meal and also when you eat a snack. Your Zone Diet carbohydrate portion should be twice as large as the portion of protein. The carbohydrates you should be eating most are vegetables, whole-grains and beans. Other carbohydrates like brown rice, pasta, bagels, etc should be limited.
The Zone Diet basically consists of a plan where 40% of your diet is carbohydrates, 30% lean protein and 30% monounsaturated fats. This combination should allow you to control insulin and hormone levels. The goal of this balance is so that your body releases stored fat and you should have plenty of energy.
Supporters of the Zone Diet list several benefits to the diet. This Zone Diet can help you lose fat and maintain a healthy body weight. They also say the Zone Diet is an excellent diet for people who have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.