Myths and facts about the Zone Diet©
By Dave Schreck
Myth: The Zone is too difficult to follow.
Fact: Dr. Sears developed the block method to prove you could balance your hormones (insulin, glucagon) by following a precise method. Many found this too complex. To simplify the calculations of the right combination of fat, protein and carbohydrate, he developed other methods, i.e., Zone at a Glance and the Zone 1-2-3 Method. Good news! You don’t have to be precise to benefit -- you can be within a range.
The Zone at a Glance: on 1/3 of your plate place a portion of lean protein (the size and thickness of your palm), fill the remaining 2/3 of your plate with colorful, non-starchy vegetables and add a dash of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, like olive oil.
The Zone 1-2-3 Method: For every 1 gram of fat there should be 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of carbohydrate (subtract the fiber). A meal for a female would have about 9g of fat, 18g of protein and 27g. of carbohydrate.
Myth: The Zone is only about losing weight.
Fact: The Zone is a sustainable way of life that encourages lean proteins and lots of colorful, non-starchy vegetables. Research has demonstrated that following an anti-inflammatory diet like the Zone may reduce the risk factors associated with chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. Weight loss is a secondary benefit.
Myth: The Zone is not validated
Fact: Did you know that in every carefully controlled research study comparing the Zone Diet to other dietary programs, the Zone was superior in hormonal control, blood glucose control, blood lipid control, appetite suppression, fat loss, and most importantly the reduction of cellular inflammation.
Myth: The Zone is a high-protein, low-carb diet.
Fact: The Zone is a balanced moderate approach to nutrition. A balance of lean proteins (the size and thickness of the palm of your hand), colorful non-starchy vegetables and monounsaturated fat are encouraged at every meal and snack. The amount of protein per day for the average American female is 77g, which is equivalent to two 6-ounce cans of tuna fish. This is not considered high protein.
Myth: The Zone is only for adults who need to lose weight.
Fact: There’s an epidemic of pediatric obesity and childhood diabetes caused by easy access to cheap carbohydrates that consistently elevate insulin levels promoting cellular inflammation and weight gain. The Zone is the most sensible way to address these problems, which may lead to disease states affecting the heart, brain and immune function.
Myth: The Zone restricts calories
Fact: If you have excess body fat (greater than 15 percent for males and 22 percent for females), all the calories you need for energy are already stored on your body. You simply need a “hormonal ATM card” to release your excess stored calories. The balance of the Zone program allows you to reduce calories without hunger, deprivation, fatigue or cravings while promoting fat loss at the fastest possible rate.