The Zone Diet by Barry Sears PhD, follows a formula of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats.
This must be followed at every meal. Considered by some to be the perfect diet, the Zone diet has helped many people lose weight and improve health.
Over the years, the Zone has experienced surges in popularity as various fads come and go. However, it remains a solid and reliable way of eating for many. It is one of only a few diets that have undergone rigorous clinical trials. One such trial found the higher protein Zone diet "may be the most appropriate overall approach to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes."
More recently, Dr Sears has produced a Mediterranean version of the Zone diet.
The Zone Diet is all about 'meal ratios'. It can be considered 'reduced carb' rather than low-carb due to the fact that the average person consumes about 50-60% carbohydrates in their diet, and the Zone dieter consumes 40%.
The good thing about the Zone diet is that it encourages a combination of all the nutrients in each meal - and it stresses the risks of processed carbohydrates (white pastas and breads etc). The downside is that the recommended calorie intake for the diet may be too low for some dieter to stick to. A diet that is too low in calories can set you up for a rebound later on.
There are number of confusing issues in the Zone diet, such as "blocks" of carbohydrates. There are also certain carbohydrates that are not encouraged (some of these are questionable). It is some of these factors that have made the diet difficult to follow for some.
Protein amounts are calculated by multiplying your lean mass (your weight minus body fat mass) by an activity amount.
This is one diet where you WILL DEFINITELY benefit from an online meal planner and support.
There is one option:
The official Zone Diet site now servers primarily as an information site.
FormulaZone also offers an enormous amount of recipes, fully searchable, submitted by ordinary people. See example recipe below:
The growth in home delivered diets has been huge over the last few years. Please browse our extensive list of Diet Delivery services for those that serve Zone-compliant food.
The Zone Diet has been (in some respects) vindicated due to research. However, Dr. Sears' calorie level recommendations may be a little low for some - however the principles are good. It is arguably one of the more balanced popular diets out there today.
The diet also has assisted many in improving general health (not just weight loss). It is also very good for anyone with hypoglycemic problems. Due to the levels of proteins, it is possible to gain muscle on this diet (provided weight training is carried out). However the calorie levels will definitely need to be upped.