The Zone Diet
The Zone diet, developed by Dr. Barry Sears, has many similarities with the Paleolithic diet, one of which is that both do a good job of controlling insulin levels in the human body. Dr Sears contends that breakfast cereals, potatoes, rice, and bread are not good for you in the long run. However, contrary to the paleolithic diet his diet doesn’t exclude them completely.
Zoners are mainly concerned with how these carbohydrates can elevate your insulin level, whereas paleo-dieters exclude them partly because of the insulin issue but mainly because they are not considered part of optimum human diet dictated by our biology. The zone diet is concerned with reducing cellular inflammation which is a result of the bodies reaction to the massive levels of sugar and other carbohydrates that we now consume. It basically controls inflammatory hormones through the use of the correct food.
For simplicity sake you could view the Zone diet as a less strict version of the Paleolithic diet. The diet is mainly aimed at weight loss but better health is an important side benefit. The basic theory is that the more carbohydrates you eat (especially concentrated carbs like grains) the more insulin you produce and the fatter you will become. Pretty much true. A lot of runners also use this diet to maintain their energy levels.
How do you do it?
• Eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks (have one snack before you go to bed)
• For main meals divide your plate in thirds. Fill one third with lean protein and the rest with fruit and vegetables
• Use ‘good’ fats like olive oil
• Cut down on pasta, bread, starches and grains (limit them to less than 25% of your diet).
• Drink plenty of water
It is a good diet and well suited to the majority of the population as it still includes some concentrated carbs. Since these carbs act like a drug, and there is often an urge to eat more of them once you start, it can be difficult sometimes to not over-eat carbs.
Sometimes the carbs can trigger a binge eating frenzy where you polish off a pack of biscuits, tub of ice-cream and a family block of chocolate as the carb roller-coaster takes effect.
That is why I stay away from the concentrated carbs completely. However, if you can avoid these urges then it is a very good diet and has many health benefits.
If you want to try it the best way to start is to buy one of Dr Sear's book by clicking on one of the links below. Good luck.
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