The Zone Diet, otherwise known as the 40-30-30 Diet Plan, was developed by Dr. Barry Sears, a biochemist, more than 30 years ago for the purpose of reducing diet-induced inflammation. Dr. Sears believed that inflammation, as a result of eating the wrong foods in the wrong proportion, was the key to the high incidence of obesity, ill-health and faster aging in the modern age.
The diet essentially espouses a pattern of eating which is low carbohydrate and emphasizes a ratio of macronutrients (40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat) at every meal. Inflammation-promoting hormones stay in “The Zone” if this balance is maintained.
Benefits of the Zone Diet
The Zone Diet is considered by many to be a healthy eating plan given that none of the macronutrients essential to the body are off limits. It also encourages healthy eating in the form of lean proteins, unsaturated fats, and carbohydrates which have a low glycemic index, therefore releasing sugar slowly in the body and preventing tiredness and fatigue.
Since the diets are capped at a maximum of 1200 calories daily, people on the diet are able to achieve faster weight loss and see a significant reduction in fat, ultimately resulting in reduced overall levels of inflammation. The meal plan is spaced out into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 2 snacks, which means that you are eating every few hours and therefore are less likely to feel hungry.
Is the Zone Diet Right for You?
As the Zone Diet requires specific proportions of macronutrients, daily meal planning can involve calorie counting and pre-planning.
Also, the low amount of calories may not be insufficient for everyone’s lifestyle or activity level. A typical healthy male requires approximately 2500 calories daily, while a typical healthy adult female requires 2000, give or take. The amount of calories in the Zone Diet is particularly low for endurance athletes or high-intensity exercisers. So you may need to increase the calories to fit your needs.
The diet also comes with some rules for optimal results. For instance, the majority of carbohydrates should come from fruits and vegetables, with traditional starches such as bread, pasta, and rice occupying no more than 25% of the total daily carbohydrate intake. Breakfast should also be consumed within an hour of waking up. A snack should be consumed 30 minutes before exercise.
Sample Zone Diet Meal Plan Under 1200 Calories
- Breakfast – Egg white omelette with vegetables
- Lunch – Skinny Chicken Sandwich
- Dinner – Shrimp Caesar Salad with low-fat dressing
- Snack 1- 1 sliced apple with a string cheese
- Snack 2 – Banana with 1 tbsp hazelnut butter
If you put in the effort required to maintain the Zone Diet, there is no reason why you cannot be successful at it. Remember to follow the rules, engage in light exercise daily, drink lots of water, consult a doctor before starting if you have any medical condition, and stop at any time if you start to feel discomfort.
Experts suggest you consume at least 30% protein in every snack or meal, the same ratio found in every PureFit Nutrition Bar.