The Zone Diet balances carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake. In the Zone, you learn to think about foods in terms of those three nutrients and their unique hormonal impacts. The Zone is about hormonal thinking more than calorie thinking. You count grams of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For every 1 gram of fat consumed, you should add 2 grams of low-fat protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrates to each meal. As a rule, you should never eat any more low-fat protein than fits in the palm of your hand. Then, add favorable carbs (low glycemic loads) and good fats (monounsaturated and omega-3) to round out your plate.
1. Diet Rule #1: Balance your carbs, proteins, and fat by 40:30:30 ratio.
2. Diet Rule #2: Eat a Zone meal within 1 hour of waking up.
3. Diet Rule #3: Eat 5 times per day (3 Zone meals & 2 Zone snacks).
4. Diet Rule #4: Never let more than 5 hours go by without eating.
5. Diet Rule #5: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less breads, pastas, and starches.
6. Diet Rule #6: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Popularized in books by Barry Sears, “The Zone” refers to proper hormonal balance. Sears claims that low-fat diets increase hormonal insulin production causing the body to actually store more fat. His research supports that a fat-burning diet needs to include monounsaturated fats. He suggests dividing your meal plate into three sections. One-third of the plate should be low-fat proteins like skinless chicken, turkey, and fish. The other two-thirds should be filled with favorable fruits and vegetables. Finally, add a dash of good fats like olive oil, almonds, or avocados.