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 - offering the latest reviews & ratings on Diet Food Delivery services.