The Zone regime is one of the popular diet programs that have been quite practised. As a part of the food program, one is supposed to eat proteins, carbs and fats in specific amounts that are 30%, 40% and 30% respectively. It is essential that the carbs included in the diet should have a low glycemic index, while the proteins should be lean and the fats monounsaturated. The benefit of the diet is to reduce diet-induced inflammation in the body and also get rid of the excess body fat at a faster rate. Some of the other benefits of the diet include reduced risk of chronic diseases, slow ageing, and improved stamina.
How does it Work?
There is no specific pattern in which the diet has to be followed but there are two ways that can prove to be helpful. First, is the hand-eye method and as the name suggests one can make use of the hand and the eye to control what to eat and when to eat. A zone friendly plate consists of one-third lean proteins with size and thickness as that of your palm. Types of food to be included are egg white, poultry, lean beef etc. While the two-thirds carbs can be filled with fruits and veggies. Lastly add a dash of fat to the plate in the form of olive oil, avocado, or almonds.
Zone Food Block Method is another way of following the diet by calculating the grams of protein, carbs and fats that are allowed per day. This completely depends on the complete body stats. On an average 14 zone blocks are consumed by men and 11 by women. Each zone block is calculated to have 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat. One can choose either of the methods depending upon the feasibility.
What to Eat when on this Diet
The food choices to be followed when on the Zone diet include proteins that are lean for example lean beef and pork. Chicken, fish and egg white can also be added. Monounsaturated fats can be derived from products live Avocados, Peanut butter, canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil and olive oil. While the carbs content is fulfilled by adding foods like oatmeal, barley, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, apples, oranges, plums and many more. It is always advisable to avoid foods that have high sugar content or are high on starch. Refined and processed foods like muffins, breakfast cereals are also restricted. Also, avoid soft drinks and coffee to maximize the effect of the diet.
Zone Diet Advantage
The power of the Zone is that the hormone insulin can be controlled by the zone diet plan. Zone Diet is about keeping insulin within a tight range or zone – not too high, not too low. Keeping insulin in a tight zone prevents you from gaining weight and helps you lose it. Maintaining insulin in this same zone produces the following Zone Diet benefits:
• Thinking better.
• Performing better.
• Looking better.
• Living better and longer.
1. Thinking better Maintaining peak mental acuity is a consequence of maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is the metabolic fuel that the brain uses to maintain your mental activity. What controls your blood sugar levels? It is the amount of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin is a storage hormone. Too much insulin drives the blood sugar levels down by sending it to the liver and muscles for storage. When blood sugar levels drop, clear and concise thinking becomes difficult and your mental capacity drops. However, the good news is that if you maintain insulin in the Zone. then your blood sugar levels will be stabilized, giving you peak mental acuity for four to six hours after your last Zone meal. The bad news is that in order to maintain your insulin levels in that Zone, you must eat another Zone meal every four to six hours. In essence, you are, therefore, treating food as if it were a drug, to be taken at the right dosage and the right time.
2. Performing better Do you realize that the average American male and female carry a remarkable amount of energy i.e. more than 100,000 stored calories as fat in their body? This is equivalent to eating 1,700 pancakes for breakfast. The problem is how to access this stored energy for your daily activities. The answer is to lower elevated insulin levels to get into the Zone. Once your insulin levels are in the Zone, you can tap those stored calories in the body. On the other hand, if you have high levels of insulin, there is no way for you to access the stored energy in the body because elevated insulin blocks the enzyme that is required for their release. The bad news about excess insulin is that high levels of insulin decrease oxygen transfer to your muscle cells, thereby building up lactic acid which causes muscle fatigue. So, to achieve optimal performance throughout the day, keep your insulin levels in the Zone.
3. Looking better The loss of excess body fat should be considered a pleasant side effect of being in the Zone. The only way you can lose this extra fat is to lower insulin. To look good and to maintain nice body shape, you need to lose your excess body fat while maintaining your lean body mass. It’s your per cent body fat that indicates how good you look in a swimsuit. The reason why some swimmers look so good in swimsuits is that they have a low per cent body fat coupled with good muscle mass. Again to maintain your good body looks, then you have to keep your insulin level in the Zone.
4. Living better and Living longer Elevated insulin is the primary risk factor associated with heart disease. Excess insulin also decreases the efficiency of your immune system by increasing the levels of certain hormones that depress the immune system and cause silent inflammation. The best way to accelerate silent inflammation is to eat too many carbohydrates because that increases the secretion of insulin. Excess insulin not only makes you fat and keeps you fat, but excess insulin also increases silent inflammation in your body. So, if you want to live better and live longer, then it’s simply a matter of keeping insulin in the Zone
Disadvantages of the zone diet.
Every diet program has a flip side to it as well. Hence the disadvantages of the Zonal Diet include there is no evidence to support the theory of the diet program. There is also no written proof that the carbs, proteins and fats taken in pre-determined quantities are beneficial for weight loss. Lastly, the people who followed the Zonal diet versus people who did not there was not much of a difference between sugar and fat. All the claims behind the theories should be taken with a grain of salt.