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What is it?
The zone diet is an EXTREMELY popular diet which many celebrities currently use.
So, how does the zone diet work exactly? Well, it is based upon the theory that when you have higher glycemic index carbohydrates such as sugar, your blood sugar levels increase and an insulin response kicks in When your insulin levels are high there is a better chance that by eating any more calories they will be stored as fat and you will gain weight. The zone diet uses the term “The Zone” to indicate not raising your blood sugar levels. To stay in the zone throughout the day the zone diet suggests a certain amount of low carbohydrate, high protein and high fat foods. That sounds great, doesn’t it!? Well, you would be surprised how hard it is to cut out cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, noodles, bagels, muffins, pastries, sweets, bread and other sugary foods. The creator, Barry Sears suggests to have:
40:30:30 diet: 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
How fast can you lose weight?
Many zone diet advocates suggest that you can lose 3 – 5 pounds in the first two weeks, followed by 1 – 1.5 pounds a week thereafter.
Most studies show surprisingly good results; such as the following:
- Quick weight loss
- Triglyceride levels are reduced
- HDL levels are increased
- Indices of fasting insulin-sensitivity are improved
- Epileptic children showed an adverse effect on blood lipids
- Ketosis may pose a rick of cardiac arrhythmia
- Constipation and headache (because of the reduced fruit, bread and cereal intake)
- Muscle cramps and diarrhea
Some nutritional experts suggest that the weight loss may be due to a calorie deficit rather than from ‘staying in the zone’.
Is the zone diet expensive?
That depends on your definition of expensive because pastas and breads are usually the cheapest foods to purchase, but if you are referring to supplements and drugs then it is not expensive. There are no drugs or supplements required on this diet.
However, the Zone sells a ton of products to help you stay in the zone on the go. If you wish to purchase all their daily granola bars and such it can get VERY pricey. Our recommendation is that you read the book and eat the right foods.
While most of the research conducted on the zone diet has shown positive results in the first 6 months, more research needs to be conducted after that initial 6-month period. There appears to be a slowing down in weight loss. Comparing the zone diet with a balanced diet of high protein, high fibre, lots of fruit and vegetables and exercise I believe the latter is the more healthy route. If you are looking for a good community and quick weight loss this might be a good solution provided you focus on trying to learn how to adjust your daily nutrition habits for the long term.