Zone foods are delicious, but do they work?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Zone Food
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Enjoying foods from the Zone diet is easy. The foods are delicious, and leave no desire for more food. Cravings seem to be gone. On a scale of one to ten, the Zone diet scores at the top for food satiety and palatability. But do Zone diet foods work for weight loss?

Like most women, gaining and losing a few pounds almost daily is anticipated. Sticking with foods from the Zone pyramid for a week did not add any pounds, and left me with no cravings for extras. In essence, it was easy. If it works for weight loss that could be sustained, I can honestly report it is an eating lifestyle that poses no problems in terms of hunger or cravings.

The Zone food came prepackaged, and marked “breakfast”, “snack”, “lunch” and “dinner”, delivered fresh from Zone Delivery USA. Every meal was savory.The lobster bisque may have been my favorite. Steak, broccoli, lentils, chicken with a little bit of rice, asparagus, fruited oatmeal, turkey bacon and pancakes, a small portion of lasagna and Zone bars made for a very satisfying eating experience. Included were two very large salads – one with shrimp, and one with chicken and real green leafy lettuce.

Zone foods consist of 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrates. The idea goes beyond just weight loss. According to author Barry Sears, PhD. Sears, a former researcher in bio technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and co-author Bill Lawren, eating Zone foods is about being well.

Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases are triggered by inflammation. Foods consumed as part of the Zone diet are purported to curb inflammation because it focuses on beneficial carbohydrates that include lentils, fruits, and whole grains.

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Rather than banning sweets altogether, the diet allows high fat, but small portions of desserts. The Zone diet is not about calories or fat intake – it is about balancing hormones, many of which are released by our own fat cells. Dr. Sears suggests we think of food not as "a source of calories but as a control system for hormones."

The Zone diet is rated as acceptable by researchers from Center for Science in the Public Interest. Bonnie Liebman, MS, nutrition director for the center's publication, Nutrition Action Healthletter says, “If you ignore the scientific rhetoric, the diet isn't bad”, but it may be a bit carbohydrate restrictive.

The essence of the Zone diet is to restrict carbohydrates that cause rapid release of glucose. It includes more protein than most diets. The Zone diet is easy to follow, satisfying, and easy to live with. As with any diet, it may not be right for everyone.

Dr. Sears says eating the right foods is a powerful way to control hormones – the effect can be stronger than any drug. He spent fifteen years helping us find the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat for optimal health. You can make your own meals at home with the help of Zone recipes.

I cannot say whether the Zone diet will help you lose weight or maintain health for life, but I can say it is worth a try. The Zone diet really is a delicious and satisfying dietary approach that could indeed reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Diets often fail to deliver. You will not feel hungry, nor will you experience food cravings, a pitfall that leads us to overeat. In fact the Zone diet is not designed for weight loss, even if it turns out to be so – according to Dr. Sears’ website, the Zone is “a healthy balanced lifestyle”.

Reference: Zone Delivery USA

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