Zone diet is a simple method of losing weight while continuing to have delicious meals. Here are some tips on how to follow it.
Zone diet is a program of weight loss through healthy eating, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, a biochemist by profession. According to Sears, a healthy body can be gained through a balanced intake of 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 30% fats. He claims that following this diet prevents a person from having diabetes, heart ailments, and cancer. It also helps in maintaining normal blood pressure and a perfect hormonal balance.
People who want to lose weight, mostly starve or take up schemes that advise less intake of carbohydrates and fats. Studies have shown that this kind of crash dieting has adverse effects on the body. Following a crash diet may make a person lose weight initially, however, this may backfire. One may feel hungry and eat more, thus, gaining double the weight he lost. These kinds of programs may also affect the health of the person, as it contains very less or zero intake of nutrients. One must avoid following such ideas.
This diet has been formulated according to the eating habits of people who lived 100 years ago. Dr. Sears believes that those people consumed small meals containing a lot of fruits and vegetables. They adhered to a balanced intake of proteins and carbohydrates, at regular intervals. It is based on a nutritious food intake program. Instead of having three meals a day, it recommends several small meals: breakfast, mid-day snack, lunch, evening snack, and dinner. An important thing about this method is that, it does not completely restrict a person from consuming any particular kind of food. Following it does not mean that you have to avoid eating your favorite foods. In this fitness regime, you can lose weight by planning your meals and eating anything you like in moderation.
Three main things that should be present in your food are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Dr. Sears also says that our daily intake of food is high in carbohydrates, which causes an increase in insulin levels, leading to accumulation of fat in the body, which in turn may give rise to several diseases. In this plan, the right intake of protein regulates the growth of insulin, and glucagon is produced, which promotes the burning of fat and subsequently, loss of weight.
The total intake per day during this phase is supposed to be 1700 calories, with not more than 500 calories per meal and 100 calories per snack. This program not only aims to help lose weight, but also to bring about a change in the person following it. People who follow it have reported that they feel relaxed, energetic, and more focused at work.
It is very important to formulate your daily menu while following this fitness regime. Your carbohydrate intake should be restricted to whole grains, lentils, fresh fruits, beans, and vegetables. Other foods that are high in carbohydrates are rice, pasta, mango, dry breakfast cereal, carrots, etc. Zone diet does not ask to avoid them totally, but they can only be consumed in moderation.
Protein intake should include egg whites, fish, chicken breast, mushrooms, soy products, and skinless turkey breasts. You can also consume dairy products like low-fat milk, cheese, avocados, and silvered almonds. Desserts can also be consumed, but moderately.
Here are some sample recipes for a zone diet meal.
- Egg, 1
- Egg Whites, 6
- sugar, (grained) 1½- 2 tsp
- Onions, 2
- Carrot, 1
- Salt and Pepper – as per taste
- Olive Oil, 1⅓ tsp
- Pinch of Oregano
Chop the carrots and onions into fine strips. Heat a nonstick pan with ½ tsp. olive oil. Add these vegetables, salt and pepper, and cook till the vegetables become tender. Let it cool down. Beat the whole egg in a bowl and mix with the cooked vegetables. In another bowl, blend the egg whites with sugar. Heat the remaining olive oil and cook the egg white-sugar mixture. Add the cooked vegetables on top of it and allow the omelet to set properly. You can team it with whole wheat bread.
This recipe would be a great choice for your breakfast. You can also include oatmeal, toast and fruits like grapes, strawberries, pear, orange, etc. in your breakfast.
Easy Chicken Recipe
- White Meat Chicken, 3 oz.
- Cabbage, ⅓
- Red Bell Pepper, 1
- Sesame Oil, ½ tsp.
- Fat-Free Ginger Soy Dressing, 2-3 tbsp.
- Snow Peas, ¾ cup
- Silvered Almonds, ¾ cup
Chop the cabbage, bell pepper, and chicken into small pieces. Take a nonstick pan and heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces and fry till they are tender. Put in the cabbage, bell pepper, peas and mix well. After it is fully cooked, add the silver almonds and ginger soy dressing, and let it blend well.
An important thing to remember is that your schedule will depend on your age, gender and medical background. So, it would be beneficial to consult a doctor before following it.
Keeping a track of what one is eating and how much one is eating can be very difficult while following this plan. Following this formula is a safe method of losing weight and is also one of the best ways to lead a long and healthy life.