Hormone Control = Fat Control
The concept behind the Zone diet is that our DNA hasn’t changed much since our pre-historic ancestors once roamed the earth. For thousands of years, we existed on lean protein and natural carbohydrates (fruit and vegetables). Grains didn’t enter into our diet until about 8,000 years ago. Barry Sears, a biochemist and the inventor of the Zone diet claims that we have not evolved to the point where our bodies can adequately and efficiently absorb excessive amounts of high carbs found in pasta, bread and grains and that our bodies tend to react negatively to their input.
How does the Zone work?
The basis for the Barry Sears’ Zone diet is that if we eat the correct ratio of carbohydrate to protein to fat (40/30/30), we will improve our overall health, weight, and athletic performance, because certain hormones will be balanced and therefore in the preferred “zone.” The hormones Sears focuses on are insulin (necessary for glucose to enter our cells) and eicosanoids (hormone-like substances that regulate inflammation. Some eicosanoids are by-products of metabolism.).Sears claims that we as a society are overweight due to a high intake of carbohydrates, and that this style of eating causes an over-production of insulin. In addition to causing weight gain, excess insulin leads to an imbalance in eicosanoids that he links to other aspects of ill health, such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. The solution therefore is to eat a lower carb, higher protein, and moderate fat diet to balance these hormones within the preferred “zone.”
Arguments for and against the Zone
Some critics says the “zone” calculations are too difficult to master and many who start the program give up after several months. Others claim the Zone diet appears to work because it is actually a low calorie diet. For instance, the sample meal plans for an average woman totaled approximately 1200 -1300 calories a day. Most women would lose weight at this level of caloric intake, regardless of the source of these calories.
The Zone and other low carb diets (The Atkins Diet , Eat Yourself Slim, The South Beach diet) promote the idea that foods with a high Glycemic index ( potatoes, bread, corn flakes, dates etc.) raise blood sugar levels. In theory, these foods cause large amounts of insulin to be secreted, leave you feeling hungry, and make it more difficult to lose fat. The Zone diet and others concentrate on including a number of healthy foods – low Glycemic fruits and grains, vegetables, lean proteins, and monounsaturated and omega-3 fats. Foods with a low Glycemic index don’t cause blood glucose levels to increase quickly, and therefore require lower levels of insulin than higher Glycemic foods. The Glycemic index is an effective tool in any weight loss program but following any diet regimen requires discipline. Some will have no trouble mastering the Zone. Others can refer to helpful sites like ediet.com, that simplify the principles of the Zone and offer daily eating plans.
Summary of the Zone Diet
It is based upon insulin control coupled with the supplementation of fish oil in order to modulate the production of arachidonic acid. By balancing protein and carbohydrates at each meal you control insulin production. This keeps insulin levels in a healthy range – not to high and not to low. This combination controls hunger and the storage of fat.
The Zone diet combines small amounts of low-fat protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits.
Diet Tip: To maintain energy and your metabolism take a good quality multivitamin. see What to Look for in the Best Multivitamin
Eat More, Weigh Less- the Zone Diet
|The Zone diet – combines small amounts of low-fat protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits to control hormone levels. The Zone diet reduces fat storage and controls hunger.|
To maintain energy and your metabolism take a good quality multivitamin. see What to Look for in the Best Multivitamin
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