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The Benefits of the Zone Diet




 Physicians complain about the zone diets lack of theoretical backing and nutritionists tell us to pay attention to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. As a general rule, it is wise to obtain professional advice before embarking on the zone diet.

Zone dieters are encouraged to explore the meat-free protein options such as. , soy-based meat substitutes, and low-fat dairy products. Sears’ recommends that each meal contain no more protein than can fit in the palm of a person’s hand, or approximately 3 to 4 ounces. Zone-approved carbohydrates to incorporate into meals include all vegetables except corn, which is considered too starchy;. ; and most fruits, excluding. Cereal, bread, pasta and potatoes are all to be avoided, as these carbohydrates are absorbed more quickly by the body and result in a faster release of hormones into the bloodstream. In a typical zone meal, approved carbohydrates should make up about two-thirds of the food consumed.

Zone dieters are said to experience more energy and decreased hunger within the first week. Weight loss is slower than that experienced on the atkins diet, but most people lose about four pounds the first week and up to two pounds a week after that. The zone diet’s approach to weight loss is based on hormonal responses to foods eaten with a focus on the hormone insulin. The more carbohydrates eaten, the more insulin the body releases. Too much insulin in the system leads to carbs being stored as body fat. With this in mind, the zone diet also restricts carb intake and encourages protein consumption which kindles the hormone glucagon. The goal of the plan is keep these two hormones balanced while eating less and keeping your hunger in check. While both diets are low-carb, high protein diets, one of the biggest differences between the atkins diet vs. Zone diet are the foods allowed.

Zone dieters are instructed that every meal and every snack should consist of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fats. This produces what sears considers the ideal ratio of protein to carbohydrate. The protein to carbohydrate ratio of. 75, sears says, allows the body to function at optimal level. He refers to this optimal functioning as being “in the zone. ” being in the zone claims to boosts energy, delays signs of aging, helps prevent certain chronic diseases and allows the body to function at peak physical and mental levels. The zone diet is less concerned with people reaching a specific weight than with reducing body fat. The goal is for men to have only 15% body fat and women 22% body fat. The amount of food a zone dieter consumes is based on that person’s protein needs. Protein needs are calculated based on height, weight, hip and waist measurements, and activity level. The amount of carbohydrates and fats allowed on the diet derives from the calculation of protein needs. The result is a daily diet that usually ranges from 1,100–1,700 calories. Dietitians consider this a low calorie diet. To simplify meal planning, portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are divided into zone food blocks. Instead of eating a certain number of calories, the dieter eats a specific number of zone blocks in the required proportions.

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