Smartdiet – Zone Diet Plans
The Zone Diet is best known as a weight loss diet (although it remains popular with many crossfit athletes who are looking to maintain or gain weight for sport performance purposes). To follow the diet you need to stick to a set ratio of 40% of your daily calories coming from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and the remaining 30% from fats. Although we allow you to choose how many meals and snacks you wish to have the diet recommends that you have 3 main meals and 2 snacks or 5 smaller meals each day.
What is the Zone Diet?
OK, tell me the basics
The Zone diet is part of the low carbohydrate diet family. It’s a diet that is based mainly on seeking a balanced and high quality diet that proved your body with the power and protein it needs to work efficiently. Popular among people who are advocates of cross fit, the Zone Diet is one that can help you increase strength and shed fat. For this reason it is also a great diet for people interested in weight loss and fat loss.
As with all good diets there is a set of rules to follow in the Zone Diet. The diet is principled around a balance between high quality protein and low GI carbs such as fruit and vegetables. The rest of the rules are simple, repeat with every meal and spread these meals equally every 5 hours.
A little more detail..
On the Zone Diet website Dr. Shears says you need 3 things to be a successful Zone dieter are a watch, a hand and an eye.
1) A watch – space your meals equally every 5 hours
2) A hand – 1/3 of your meal should be made up of low fat protein, which is no thicker than your hand.
3) An eye – For filling the rest of your plate with low GI colourful carbohydrates.
That sounds simple enough but more detailed digging into the diet shows a set of slightly more rigorous rules. Here we break them down for you:
- 40:30:30 – the calories from each of your meals should come 40% from carbohydrates 30% from protein and 30% from a fat.
- Low GI carbohydrates relate to produce such a vegetables and fruits. The more of these you eat the less high GI or starchy carbohydrates you will eat.
- Low fat protein includes foods such as fish, eggs and white meat, which are the best choices.
- The diet caters for vegetarians, vegans and people on other food restrictive diets. Tofu or dense soy products are acceptable protein sources in the Zone Diet
- Grains and starches like potatoes, rice and pasta are seriously discouraged.
To help Zone dieters in adhering to the zone diet Dr Shears has produced a series of blocks, which helps dieters understand how much of a food type you can eat to keep calorie intake balanced.
The Zone Diet isn’t so much your traditional diet with do’s and don’ts on which foods you can eat but is more a way of life seeking to reduce the level of insulin in your body into an ideal zone. A window, which results in minimal inflammation, maximum, weight loss and peak performance. Dr Shears, who developed the programme, talks about how being in the zone is hard work but worth the tangible rewards of a longer and healthier life. The diet is based on volume rather than specific foods so there is a lot of room for variation to keep your meals interesting.
The zone diet, while it seems quite simple, is a rigorous way of life. Messing up the odd meal is acceptable but the diet will only produce long-term results if you stick to it. Critics of the diet don’t questions it’s weight loss credentials but rather state it takes the fun out of eating.
Is it for me?
If you are serious about a change in the way you eat, and eating in a way that is regimented suits you then this diet could be for you. The freedom to eat a large variety of food is extremely attractive and can keep the diet interesting. You just need that desire and commitment to stick to the one guiding rule.