Zone Diet Plan
Zone diet plan involves eating a certain amount of protein, carbs and fat in every meal to reduce inflammation in the body.
The zone diet has a specific ratio of 40% carb, 30% fat and 30% protein.
Thanks, Dr. Sears, for the Zone Diet!
Thirty years ago, the theory of the zone diet was presented to the world by a biochemist called Dr. Sears, It was more than theoretical for him because he was motivated by the early loss of his family members due to heart attacks.
He had to find a practical way to solve it, and that birthed the “zone diet”.
What is the zone diet plan?
Simply put, the zone diet is a system that reduces/prevents inflammation in your body by regulating the amount, type, and blend of food you are to eat as a whole ratio.
The followers of the zone diet are instructed to eat a percentage of carbs (40%), protein (30%), and fats (30%).
The carbohydrate components must have a low glycemic index, the low glycemic index ensures a slow release of sugar into the blood and stables your appetite (you feel full).
The protein must be lean too (i.e. contains a very low amount of fat), and the fat must be monounsaturated to lower cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Following the Zone Diet Plan
To follow the zone diet plan, you must enroll to be a student of either of the two ways the zone diet offers you.
You are either enrolling (choosing to follow) for the Hand-Eye Method or the Zone Food Blocks.
If you choose to follow this method of the zone diet, it is required you to:
- Use your hand to evaluate your food portions size
- Use your five fingers to remind you to eat five times daily at intervals of five hours.
- Use your eyes to keep watch of time because you must not go without food for five hours
- Use your eyes to estimate food portions
It is a simple method of following the zone diet. The Hand-Eye method is symbolic of reminding you always of what your diet plan is without checking a journal/diary.
To follow this method effectively your plate must be divided into three parts. This is to ensure 40% of your plate gets served with carbs, 30% with lean proteins, and 30% with monounsaturated fat according to the zone diet’s recommendation.
You could easily eat out anywhere as far as your eyes and hand can estimate the right portions and food with this method.
The Zone Food Block Method
The zone food block method is a more advanced zone diet method. Followers are required to measure their: weight, height, hip, and waist measurements to determine the number of zone food blocks they can eat per day.
The zone food block allots 3-5 zone blocks to main meals such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A snack, on the other hand, is allotted a standard of 1 zone block. Each zone unit comprises a protein block that contains 7g of proteins, a fat block that contains 1.5g of fat, and a carb block that contains 9g of carbohydrates.
The zone food block method has made it’s standard clear. After measuring yourself, you align to the standards of food blocks that suit your situation.
Foods to Avoid During Zone Diet Plan
The zone food chart restricts you from this food because it can cause inflammation. Take a rundown on this list of foods as a guide for your diet.
- High-sugar fruits: bananas, grapes, dried fruits, raisins, mangoes, etc.
- Refined and processed carbs: like bagels, bread, noodles, pasta, and any white-flour products.
- High-sugar or starchy vegetables: corn, peas, potatoes, carrots, etc.
- Other processed foods: not excluding breakfast cereals and muffins.
- Soft drinks: sugar-sweetened drinks and sugar-free drinks must be avoided.
- Coffee and tea: minimize your intake of these drinks. You at meant to rely solely on water.
- Foods with added sugar: foods like cakes, candy, cookies, etc.
Foods to Eat
Let’s take a rundown on the food the zone diet recognizes.
For a monounsaturated fat diet, look at these lists.
- Peanut butter
- Nuts: like peanuts, macadamia, almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc.
- Oils like sesame, canola, olive, and peanut oil.
The Zone Diet supports foods/vegetables with a low glycemic index and a little fruit from the list below.
- Vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow squash and more
- Grains, like oatmeal, barley, and more.
- Fruit like apples, berries, plums, oranges, etc.
Your protein option for the zone diet must be strictly lean. Take a look at these options as a guide.
- Lean pork, beef, veal, and more
- Fish and shellfish
- Tofu, vegetarian protein, and other soy products
- Egg whites, low-fat cheese, low-fat milk and yogurt, etc.
A Typical Food Block Sample for Men and Women
The average guy consumes 14 food blocks, while the lady consumes 11 food blocks per day. Below is a typical sample for men and women based on the average standard.
Breakfast (Men:4 food blocks; women: 3 food blocks)
Scrambled eggs with turkey bacon, vegetables and fruit
- 2 Scrambled eggs
- 3 strips of turkey bacon
- 1 ounce of low-fat cheese
- 1 apple
- 3 1/2 cups (630 grams) of spinach, cooked
- 1 cup (156 grams) mushrooms, boiled
- 1/4 cup (53 grams) onions, boiled (not necessary for a woman)
- 1 1/3 teaspoons (6.6 ml) olive oil
Lunch (Men: 4 food blocks; women: 3 Food blocks)
Grilled chicken and egg salad with fruit.
- 3 ounces (84grams) grilled skinless chicken (women 2 ounces weighing 57g)
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- Up to 2 heads of iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup (70 grams) of raw mushrooms
- 1 cup (104 grams) raw cucumber, sliced
- 1 sliced red pepper
- 2 tablespoons avocado.
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vinegar dressing.
- 2 plums (1 plum for women)
Mid-Afternoon Snack (1 food block for both sexes)
Boiled egg, nuts and fruit.
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 3 almonds
- 1/2 apple
Dinner (Men: 4 food blocks; Women: 3 food blocks):
Grilled salmon, lettuce and sweet potatoes.
- 6 ounces (113 grams) grilled salmon (women: 4 ounces weighing 113 grams).
- 2/3 cup (67 grams) of sweet potatoes, baked
- Up to 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 cup (37 grams) raw tomato
- 1 cup (104 grams) raw cucumber, sliced
- 2 tablespoons avocado
- 1/3 teaspoon (3.3 ml) olive oil
Pre-Bedtime Snack (1 food block for both sexes)
Cottage cheese, nuts and fruit.
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) cottage cheese
- 6 peanuts
- 1/2 orange
It is important to note that the outline is a man’s food block diet, but the information in the bracket are the only change made when setting up the outlined diet for women.
Pros and Cons Zone Diet
The benefits of sticking and following the zone diet inspire by its flexibility are:
- You remain healthy even in Old age
- It’s a good way to slow down your aging
- Improved body performance
- Loss of weight and extra body fat
- It is flexible and doesn’t restrict any food choice but recommends against them.
The disadvantages of the Zone diet include the following:
- There is little evidence to prove its benefits
- It is not proven how it reduces inflammation
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is “the zone”?
Answer: The zone is a state of stable/good insulin blood level in the body. It is measured by your good HDL and low LDL.
Question: Can I try the Zone diet?
Answer: Yes, you can. Although it has a lot of unproven theories, it would help you eat often and depend less on processed food which can be harmful.
Printable Zone Diet Plan
|Breakfast||Lunch||Snack||Dinner||Total calories for the day|
|Sunday||Oat meal spiced with vanilla extract and cinnamon Calories:157||Tuna sandwich Calories:250||2 slices of swiss cheese Calories:160||Beef stew seasoned with garlic worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper Calories:185||752|
|Monday||Breakfast sandwich with 2 macademia nuts Calories:254||Tacos served with tabasco Calories:238||Half grape fruit Calories:52||Turkey and greens with 1 peach slice Calories:136||680|
|Tuesday||Steak and eggs Calories:978||Grilled chicken salad Calories:370||Strawberries Calories:32||Fresh fish served with large salad Calories:198||1578|
|Wednesday||Fruit salad sprinkled with 9 chopped almonds Calories:160||Deli sandwich Calories:560||1 hard boiled egg, 1-2 oranges and 6 peanuts Calories:128||Chili served with fresh cilantro Calories: 404||1252|
|Thurday||Smoothie blend of milk, protein powder, frozen strawberries and blueberries with 12 cashews Calories:138||Quesadilla served with 1-2 Oranges Calories:478||2 slices of cheddar cheese Calories:140||Chicken breast with 1 orange and 2 macademia nuts Calories:250||1006|
|Friday||Breakfast Quesadilla Calories:400||Grilled chicken Calories:120||1 poached egg with half slice bread and half tbsp of peanut butter Calories:137||Ground beef with 1 tomato sauce and spaghetti squach Calories:218||875|
|Saturday||1 cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup of cottage cheese and 12 almonds Calories:280||Turkey burger Calories:349||Sliced apple Calories:30||Taco salad Calories:530||1189|
Damla Sengul, a seasoned Food Editor at Dietsmealplan.com, boasts a 5-year worth of expertise as a digital editor, with a specific focus on authentic recipe content. Her expertise extends to various crucial aspects of the cookery world, including in-depth research on renowned chefs worldwide and innovative recipe development. Additionally, Damla is an enthusiastic baker who dedicates part of her time crafting delightful celebration cakes for her friends.