Have a question?
Below are popular inquiries about the Zone 1-2-3 Program and products. Simply click on the question to view the answer. If your question isn’t listed, contact us and we'll be happy to help.
I have failed countless times to lose weight and keep it off. Why will this be different?
Answer: Losing weight is relatively easy if you are willing to endure hunger and deprivation. Keeping the weight off is the real challenge. The Zone 1-2-3 program is based on hormonal balance, not calorie counting. If your hormones are balanced, then your appetite is suppressed. If you are not hungry, then cutting back on calories is easy. If you are always hungry, willpower will never be enough for long-term weight control.
Do I have to eat Zone products for the rest of my life?
Answer: No. In fact, our goal is to teach you how to eat so that you never have to use our products again. However, if you are overweight it's because you are probably not genetically designed to eat bread, pasta, pizza, or desserts. The only way you can do that in the future is to use their Zone equivalents to maintain the necessary macronutrient composition that lets optimize hormonal balance.
How come eating less and exercising more has never worked for me?
Answer: If you have an active fat trap, then you will not be able to effectively use stored body fat for the chemical energy that you need to survive and move around. If you begin to eat less and exercise more, the body starts cannibalizing your muscles and organs for the necessary calories to keep you going. This sets you up for rapid weight regain. To lose excess fat, you have to relax your fat trap. This requires lowering insulin levels and control hunger following the Zone 1-2-3 Program.
Do I have to cook different meals for my family?
Answer: The Zone 1-2-3 program is ideally suited for the entire family. It helps improve mental focus, increase physical performance, and relax your fat trap. It's not a diet; it's a way of life.
Are Zone meals good for children?
Answer: Zone Foods are a great choice for children who love to eat just pasta and bread. Zone meals ensure parents that their kids will be getting a balanced meal with adequate protein for their growth. Since the meals using Zone Foods are so easy to prepare, older kids can do it themselves instead of reaching for high-carbohydrate snack foods that generate constant hunger and decrease their mental focus.
Shouldn't the real goal be improved wellness instead of just weight loss?
Answer: Of course it should. The beauty of the Zone 1-2-3 Program is that you achieve both simultaneously. Fat loss reduces the levels of Toxic Fat in your body that accelerates chronic disease. Since overweight individuals are genetically predisposed to produce toxic fat, the Zone 1-2-3 program will be a life-long program for them.
Why do the Zone products keep my blood sugar so level?
Answer: The new Zone Foods were develop help manage blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Balancing the hormones generated by the foods you eat can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which leads to improved appetite control. The design of each of the Zone Foods enables you to maintain maximum blood sugar control for the next four to six hours. Your success is measured by your lack of hunger and maintenance of metal focus and clarity.
I have diabetes. Will the Zone products make my blood sugar go up?
Answer: You will see only a minimal rise in blood glucose levels two hours after each Zone meal or snack. Zone Foods were developed to help diabetic patients better manage their condition. Before the products were made available to the general public, they were clinically tested in diabetic patients with excellent results.
Should I contact my doctor if I want to start the Zone 1-2-3 program?
Answer: Yes, it is always a good idea to contact your doctor prior to changing your diet especially if you are taking any prescription drugs. Any change in your diet may affect the metabolism of those drugs. It is typical for people who lose weight to require less of many common medicines. Discuss with your doctor how together you might better mange your existing condition with fewer prescription medications.
Do I have to keep a food journal for this program to work?
Answer: Keeping a simple food journal will provide you with the feedback to understand how the food you eat affects hunger. The continued lack of hunger and improved fit of your clothes is your indication that the Zone 1-2-3 program is working.
Can I just substitute Zone Foods for the foods I am eating and see results?
Answer: That's the beauty of Zone 1-2-3 Program. Simply substitute the Zone Foods for the typical ingredients in your favorite meals. In the process, you will get considerably greater appetite suppression. By controlling hunger when you use the Zone Foods, you will find that cutting back on calories in general will be much easier.
What is the shelf life of the bread products?
Answer: We recommend that you put the fresh Zone bread products in the refrigerator as soon as they arrive to your home. The shelf life of Zone bread products is approximately one week at room temperature, 30 days in the refrigerator, and six months if frozen. Because of the high protein content of the Zone breads, freezing and re-thawing of the products will have no adverse effect on their taste.
I have experienced some constipation even though I'm already adding more vegetables to my diet. What do I do?
Answer: Make sure that you are consuming adequate amounts of water. Even with a large increase in vegetable consumption, you are probably still taking in much fewer carbohydrates than in the past. Since carbohydrates cause the body to retain water, with a lower total carbohydrate intake, you require extra water. Plan to consume at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day.
If I go to a restaurant, what are my best choices?
Answer: These can be summarized as always replacing starches and grains on your plate with vegetables, and never eating any more low-fat protein that you can fit on the palm of your hand. Read our Dining Out Guide for more details.
How does the Zone 1-2-3 program suppress appetite so effectively?
Answer: Zone Foods have a consistent balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate that helps stabilize insulin, which is the hormone that makes you hungry. In addition, our patented baking technology greatly increases the lifetime of the protein in the digestive system that stimulates the release of the hormone PYY, which suppresses hunger. Zone Foods control these two hormones that leads to significant appetite suppression for 4 to 6 hours after a meal. Add the Daily Essentials to reduce inflammation and hormonal balance necessary to control hunger is dramatically improved.
If I use the recipes in various of Dr. Sears’ books instead of ZoneFast™ Recipes, will it slow down the weight loss process?
Answer: No, the recipes in the in Dr. Sears’ books use the same 1-2-3 proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate as found in ZoneFast™ Recipes. However, when you use the new Zone Foods, appetite control is dramatically enhanced. The key to losing excess body fat at the fastest possible rate is simply not being hungry between meals.
If I go to a restaurant, what are my best choices for making Zone meals?
Answer: Dining out is simple. Simply divide your plate into thirds. Fill one-third of your plate with lean protein the size and thickness of the palm of your hand. This could be chicken, turkey, or fish. Fill the rest of the two-thirds of your plate with colorful non-starchy vegetables and then add a dash of heart healthy monounsaturated fat like olive oil. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. The Tools section on this Web site will give you a number of tips for dining out in any type of restaurant and still maintaining a Zone balance. However, the best tip for dining out is to have Zone snack about 30-45 minutes before going to the restaurant. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and quell your appetite so you will make far better choices at the restaurant.
If I dine out and eat a meal that is not Zone favorable, how long will it take to get my body back into the Zone?
Answer: Even if you make a dietary disaster of a meal, it will only take your next Zone meal to get your body back into hormonal balance. As a quick dietary rescue, think of having a Zone snack within a few hours after a bad meal to minimize the negative hormonal consequences.
How do I know what other ingredients I can and cannot use in making ZoneFast meals and in what quantity?
Answer: The Grocery List in the Tools section will give you a wide number of choices and the appropriate amounts that can be used.
Is it all right if I have bagel chips with salsa in place of an actual meal?
Answer: Typically lunch and dinner are the best ways to ensure you are reaching your goal of most of your vegetable needs. When using the Zone bagel chips with salsa can be used as a meal replacement, try making a homemade salsa containing chunks of fresh vegetables.
When preparing my Zone Pasta, can I add any additional protein, such as chicken or shrimp?
Answer: Of course you can. You don’t have to add much additional protein because of the high protein content in the Zone Pasta. If you are adding roasted vegetables to your Pasta and Orzo, then adding one to two ounces of protein to the pasta and orzo will maintain the desired Zone balance.
I understand that I should have breakfast within an hour after waking up. If I don't, how will that affect me?
Answer: Yes. If you think about the word breakfast, it means “break the fast”. Your body has been fasting for at least 6 to 8 hours so it is in need of dietary energy upon waking. This is why breakfast is your most important meal of the day. Eating within one hour of waking helps to maintain hormonal control from one meal to the next. It also gives you that mental acuity and energy to get you through your day. You should always eat a Zone meal or have a Zone snack every five hours to control hunger so you are in complete hormonal control prior to your next meal.
I find that I am never hungry and have begun to skip meals. Will that affect my weight loss?
Answer: The best time to eat is when you aren’t hungry. Eating small meals throughout the day will keep your hunger under control. This is the key not only for safe and consistent weight loss, but also long-term weight maintenance. If you are not hungry between meals, then you might want to consider skipping a Zone snack. Skipping a meal will have little overall effect on your total weight loss, but it might increase hunger (as well as potentially increasing calorie consumption) at your next meal.
If 2% milk has a good Zone balance, may I drink a glass if I want to?
Answer: Of course. Remember that two 8-ounce glasses of 2% milk would provide the same amount of protein and carbohydrate as a typical Zone snack (cookies, bars, granola, or bagel chips).
When adding cheese, whether it is to my bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch or with a glass of wine, should the cheese be low fat?
Answer: Low-fat cheese is always the best choice. The definition of low-fat cheese is one that contains at least twice as much protein as fat. However, having 1 ounce of soft or hard cheese with a glass of wine or as a condiment to a bagel or a sandwich will not upset the benefits of the ZoneFast™ program.
Are there any frozen entrees that I can use when not having my Zone meal?
Answer: The quality of most frozen meals leaves a lot to be desired. If you do want a frozen meal, always look for a 1-2-3 balance on the back of the package. If you aren’t hungry for the next 4-6 hours after eating that meal, consider it suitable as a meal replacement.