Is the Demanding Zone Diet Right For You?
The Zone Diet is quite well known and thousands of people swear by its effectiveness. Created by a biochemist, Barry Sears, this diet focuses on a high fat low carb approach to weight loss.
The Zone Diet doesn’t promise overnight results and you can only expect to lose about 1 to 1.5 pounds of fat per week. It takes a slow and steady approach towards weight loss.
The main drawback of the Zone Diet is that it is pretty technical by nature. There are specific rules to follow. Your meal composition should be in the following ratio – 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs. For people who are new to dieting, calculating all these figures and following the diet will be too much work and compliance to the diet will be poor.
Furthermore, you’ll need to eat 5 meals a day at specific times. Many diets allow you to consume your carbs after your workout or early in the day. The Zone Diet doesn’t give you the luxury of such freedom. Every meal needs to follow the macronutrient ratio that was given above. That makes it very difficult for beginners to come to terms with the diet.
The Zone Diet also has a system: one block meals, two block meals and 3 block meals. The measurements are as follows:
7 grams of protein = 1 block
9 grams of carbs = 1 block
1.5 grams of fat = 1 block
Based on a table that is provided in the Zone Diet, you’ll need to structure your diet in a way that complies with the program. There is also some emphasis on low glycemic foods. While it is not as focused on the GI of the foods as the Glycemic Index Diet, it still favors foods that do not spike blood sugar levels.
Just like most diets, the Zone Diet focuses on eating fresh, nutritious food instead of processed and junk food. People with heart disease and blood pressure issues will see an improvement in their condition by adopting the Zone Diet.
The diet recommends moderate exercise on a regular basis. You’re not expected to wear yourself out with high intensity interval training or spend hours on the treadmill. Daily brisk walking should suffice.
The goal of exercise will be to get your heart pumping and boost your metabolic rate. Since the diet is strict, the pounds will melt off. The ratio of carbs, fats and protein will ensure that you do not end up with nutrient deficiencies.
The Zone Diet recommends a daily calorie intake of 1,500 calories for men and 1,200 for women. For people who are used to consuming much more calories, this may be too hard to follow overnight. They’d be much better off just aiming for a 500 calorie deficit per day and work their way down.
Overall, the Zone Diet is a fad diet and is best avoided. There are too many moving parts and rules to adhere to. Losing weight doesn’t have to be this difficult. Let’s not mistake activity as work.
Figuring out percentages and meal blocks may seem like you’re doing a lot… but none of it matters if you quit after 2 weeks because following the diet was just too time consuming and troublesome. In reality, as long as you eat right, aim for a caloric deficit and exercise consistently, you will lose weight. There’s really no need to overcomplicate things. There are much easier diets to follow.