The Zone Diet

"You’ll drop 1 to 2 pounds weekly."

The Theory-

Barry Sears, PhD, the biochemist who created this best-selling diet.

"You can expect to lose just 1 to 1.5 pounds in the first week. But the plan pledges that the weight you lose will be all fat, not muscle or water."


The Science

  • Achieving proper hormone balance and keeping your blood sugar stable.
  • Elevated levels of insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar, and other hormones cause you to pack on pounds because they promote inflammation,
  • By controlling portions of your food based on protein, fat, and carbohydrates you will be in optimal health.

How it Works

  • Women get 1200 calories a day, men get 1500. (two thirds of the amount generally recommended for healthy people)
  • You eat five times a day: three meals, and two snacks. However, every time you eat you must include these proportions.
  • 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
  • You can divide these portions by using you hand. For example the protein should be able to fit in your hand. (for women this is 3 ounces, for men this is 4 ounces.) and then the rest you measure with your eye.
  • Timing is important, you should not go more than 5 hours without food, as this will trigger hunger pangs.
  • Every meal, even snacks must have this ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat.
  • You need to eat within an hour of waking up.

Rankings

Zone Diet is ranked:

*These diets were ranked by experts

Pros

  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Lose fat.
  • Eat what you want.
  • No high cost.
  • No hunger.
  • Though you do not have to buy their meals to be successful, The Zone Diet offers recipes and packaged snacks that meet the 40-30-30 ratio.
  • Vegetarians, Vegans, Gluten intolerant, and those with Diabetes will find this diet doable and beneficial.
  • You can eat out, although preparing meals at home are better.
  • Does not restrict any foods, but it does discourage some. So you can eat what you want, within the correct portion and ratio.
  • Though you won't shed pounds quickly, it does promote better nutrition, reduced inflammation, and overall better health,

Cost: None beyond your shopping.

Exercise?

Though it is not required, The Zone Diet does recommend moderate but consistent exercise. "For example, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day (brisk walking is recommended) along with 5 to 10 minutes a day of strength training."

Cons

  • Because time management is crucial to the diet, some might find it hard to manage
  • Some say that portioning every meal you eat can be tedious.
  • If you love your pastas and breads, this diet will be difficult for you.
  • Depending on how much you used to eat, this diet does count calories so it might be difficult to cut back
  • Because it focuses on nutrition, and reducing inflammation, it does not promise to make you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.