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Zone Diet

The Zone diet is a diet popularized in books by Barry Sears. It advocates "hormonal thinking" instead of caloric thinking as an approach to weight loss.

"The Zone" is Sears's term for proper hormone balance. When insulin levels are neither too high nor too low, the human body uses stored fat for energy, causing weight loss. The diet centers around a "40:30:30" ratio of calories obtained daily from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, respectively. The formula is controversial, but studies over the past several years (including a non-scientific study by Scientific American Frontiers) have shown it to produce rapid weight loss.

Hormonal paradoxes

Sears emphasizes a hormonal paradox which "low-fat" advocates were unaware of, namely that low-fat carbohydrates increase the production of the hormone insulin, causing the body to store more fat. He points to the cattle ranching practice of fattening livestock efficiently by feeding them lots of low-fat grain. He and others have noted the irony that human diets in the West for the last twenty years have been full of low-fat carbohydrates, yet people are more obese — Sears claims as a result.

In addition to this, Sears describes fat consumption as essential for "burning" fat. Monounsaturated fats in a meal contribute to a feeling of fullness and modulate the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream. Low-fat diets actually stimulate fat storage, according to Sears, by creating high levels of insulin in the blood.

The "low-carb craze"

Low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet became extremely popular throughout the United States in 2003 and 2004, but Sears claims that they miss the point. According to him, they ignore the importance of hormonal balance, as well as the influence of dietary balance on digestion and hormone production.

More Information

Dr. Barry Sears' Official Website

Dr. Sears ZONE Diet Online

Zone Diet Information

Zone Diet Review

The Low Carb User Site

Zone Diet Guide - Provides information, articles and tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight using the Zone Diet.

Zone Diet Overview - Offers tips, frequently asked questions, and menus for the Zone Diet.

The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet gets its fair share of jokes about its name, but it basically comes down to being a diet that take hormone balance as its starting point. The zone of The Zone Diet is an actual physiological state rather than some sort of state of mind; a state in the bodyís insulin is controlled with the eventual payoff being loss of fat and a general higher state of well being.

How is this zone achieved? How does one actually control a physiological occurrence such as the production of insulin? According to the creators of The Zone Diet, this is accomplished through balance. No, not balancing of the light and dark sides of the Force, but rather balancing one's ingestion of protein and carbohydrates.

Just as in Zen Buddhism, achieving the zone known as Enlightenment requires moderation in all things, so is moderation the goal of the Zone Diet. The diet tries for a moderate balance of consumption of protein, fat and carbs. There is even a ratio to define how much of each of these types of food should be consumed: 40% of your food intake should be carbs with the other 60% divided equally among fat and protein.

The Zone Diet is one of the big three new diet plans that considers carbohydrate control to be the key to weight loss rather than controlling oneís ingestion of fat. Like the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet, the primary goal of the Zone Diet is to limit carbs from your diet. The criticism of the diet is similar to that of those two diets; that weight loss will be temporary and, worse, increase cholesterol and the risks of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association has been one of the most vocal critics of the Zone Diet.

Another criticism of the Zone Diet is that it requires far more effort than most others. In order to meet the ratio of the zone, you have to carefully measure every individual serving of food you eat. Many people simply donít have the time required to dedicate themselves to this aspect and winding up consulting a dietician which, while saving time, costs money.

On the other hand, if you enjoy your daily dose of carbohydrates and arenít in a big hurry to sacrifice them for the payoff of weight loss, the Zone Diet is probably a better choice for you than the Atkins or South Beach diets. With the Zone Diet you can actually consume more carbs per day than with those other two.

What this means is that those people who tend to give up on diets due to the psychological effects of feeling as if they are being unfairly deprived of the food they crave may be more successful with the Zone because it isnít quite as restrictive.

Needless to say, before embarking on the Zone Diet or any diet, it is wise to consult a doctor first.

Author: Matt Garrett - © 2007 Discover which diet weight loss plans, pills and supplements really work and which are a waste of your money and time..




Zone Diet Review - A Review of Dr Barry Sears' Zone Die

If you've ever read one of those magazine stories on "How Celebrities Lose Weight" you've no doubt read about The Zone Diet. Many celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Vanessa Williams, Ali Landry, and Jenny McCarthy have all used Dr Sears' Zone diet to lose weight and maintain their figures.

Is the Zone diet right for you? Here's a quick review to help you decide:

One of the most popular diets on the market, the Zone diet was created by biochemist Barry Sears and is based more on controlling hormone levels than on counting calories.

Sears believes (as do many other weight loss experts) that most people are insulin-resistant. Insulin is a hormone our body makes to balance our blood sugar and, among other things, promote fat storage.

Too many carbohydrates (especially the bad carbs like muffins, pasta, chocolate, cookies, etc.) cause a spike in blood sugar. This in turn causes a high load of insulin to be released and thus, extra fat to be stored.

When someone becomes insulin resistant, this worsens the problem because even more insulin must be released to get the same effects as before. This causes weight gain, health problems, less than peak performance and stubborn fat deposits that just won't budge.

The Zone diet aims to help people lose weight by controlling their insulin levels and giving them optimum nutrition that promotes fat release and peak performance. Unlike Atkins, it is not a low-carbohydrate diet - more of a balanced, good carbohydrate diet.

The diet aims to balance the intake of protein, good (low-glycemic) carbohydrates and a moderate amount of monounsaturated fats.

Zone diet meals follow a strict ratio of 40% good carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein (also referred to as the 40:30:30 ratio). According to Sears, this keeps your insulin levels low and helps your body stay in the Zone of peak performance with maximum fat burning.

Zone followers eat 5 times a day, 3 meals and 2 snacks. Every meal and snack should have the 40:30:30 ratio of low-fat protein, favorable carbohydrates (like vegetables and fruit), and a dash of "good" fat. Sears also advises that you don't go more than 5 hours without eating and that you should eat within an hour of waking.


People who try the Zone have claimed to lose 5 pounds in the first 2 weeks followed by 1 - 2 pounds every week after the initial startup.

Other benefits include more energy and a general improved feeling of well-being. This makes sense since you're not getting the blood sugar swings that can make you feel tired or shaky.

It's also important to note that you don't get the brain fog that many low carbohydrate diets can cause. Eating a diet in the Zone is also reported to help stave off the ravages of aging.


The only problem with following the Zone is that the strict 40:30:30 ratio can be difficult to follow - especially if you don't have a lot of time to devote to meal preparation.

One way many Zone fans get around this is by using Zone Meal Delivery Services. There are several Zone meal delivery services, each offering different prices and different menu plans. If you decide to use a delivery service, make sure you choose one that fits your needs and pocketbook.


For all intents and purposes the Zone Diet is a healthy way to lose weight, allowing a bit of everything in balance. It's not a quick fad diet but more of a way of living and feeling at your best. While it can be a bit labor intensive, Zone devotees say they not only lose weight but have increased energy and well-being when they eat 'in the Zone'.

Vienna Miller writes for Diet Delivery Reviews - a website offering the latest reviews and ratings on Diet Food Delivery services.

For more information including which services offer free meals and deliver to your area, visit

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