Zone Diets Work!

The Zone diet is all about balancing carbohydrates and protein at every meal to achieve the correct hormonal response. This balance of protein and carbohydrates is very important to lowering insulin and keeping the weight off.

The only way to lose excess body fat is to lower insulin, and soy helps you lower insulin more quickly than animal protein does, assuming you’re still balancing protein and carbohydrates at each meal. One of the main reasons for adding soy to your diet is the fact that it has a lower impact on insulin. Therefore, the more soy you consume, the easier it is to stay in “the zone” and of course this makes it easier to keep your insulin at the correct level, neither too high nor too low.

A really good diet enables you to eat everything in moderation and if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables and have some protein at every meal you will see results. It is the balance of hormonal responses that occurs every time you eat. It also it gives your skin a more tone, tight appearance, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your bones, improves your agility, increases your flexibility, strengthens your immune system and gives you more energy and a brighter outlook on life.

In the Zone, you think better because being in the Zone you are maintaining stable blood sugar levels. You also perform better, because being in the Zone allows you to increase oxygen transfer to your muscle cells. Another great thing is that you are never hungry between meals, because staying in the Zone means your brain is being constantly supplied with blood sugar which is its primary fuel.

But the best reason to want to stay in the Zone on a lifelong basis is to achieve SuperHealth. You can expect lower body fat (of course), increased muscle mass, increased metabolism, increased the sense of well-being, more energy, lower bad cholesterol level, increased good cholesterol level, decreased risk of heart disease, deeper more restful sleep and most important, increased self-confidence.

If you have a high level of body fat, or you have never been able to successfully lose fat, you should consider trying a program that not only focuses on dieting, but also includes adequate cardiovascular activity and weight training. So, the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are losing fat and not muscle. Ideally, you should aim to lose no more than 1lb to 2 lbs per week that’s it. If you are obese, then you should try to lose no more than 1% of your bodyweight per week.

Women do tend to lose fat at a slower rate than men, but don’t let this discourage you. Women simply store fat more efficiently than men because it is needed during and after pregnancy. The most difficult fat to lose usually centers around the waist, belly and lower back areas for men, and the upper thigh and buttocks, area for women. The fat in these areas are the most difficult to totally get rid of.

Zone Solutions: Burn Fat Faster

Looking for a way to burn fat faster and safeguard your health? Dr. Sears says that taking fish oil helps accelerate your rate of fat loss and will help balance the hormones that fight silent inflammation — which can help ward off future health problems. DHA one of the fatty acids in fish oil, is also food for your brain.

However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal — the type you take can make all the difference. Dr. Sears recommends ultra-refined EPA/DHA concentrates, because they are free of toxins and don’t cause the gastrointestinal side effects associated with health food brands. Though the fish oil found in health food stores is cheaper, it also contains fewer beneficial fatty acids and is less pure, which can cause a buildup of toxins in your body over time. So be sure to take ultra-refined fish oil — it’s worth the extra cost. And in the end you will get more beneficial fatty acids for your money. Dr. Sears says that taking 4 capsules or 1 teaspoon of ultra-refined fish oil will give you approximately 2.5 grams of these beneficial fatty acids, which will help maintain good health and mental clarity.

For most people, health is defined as the absence of disease and the Zone will lead you to better health as well as weight control. There are many paths to your goal but you will never reach it unless you consistently put one foot in front of the other and stay in the zone. You must find the determination and drive within yourself to see this through. You can have the greatest program in the world, but if you cannot implement it then it is worthless. 

The Zone Diet

Foods You Eat on this Diet 
Low-fat protein foods such as skinless chicken breast, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, some fruits and vegetables, and small amounts of olive or canola oil.

Emphasis is on eating a specific balance of foods at every meal so that you stay in “the zone” for peak efficiency and energy. The focus is on eating on low-glycemic index foods.

Can you keep it off on this type of diet?
This diet is quite low in calories (800-1200 Calories), designed for short-term, quick weight loss, not long term.

Positives: Good amounts of fruits and low starch vegetables, and low in saturated fat. Restricts refined carbohydrates that are low in nutrition.

Drawbacks: Meals must be calculated with the exact balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate for proper “zone”. Diet is very restricted in calories, so it is difficult to stay on long enough to lose weight, especially if you exercise. 

Safety and Health Issues
Basically safe on the higher calorie level (1200) but too low in essential nutrients. 

  • Low in whole grains and calcium
  • Low in carbohydrate – eliminates many highly nutritious foods without proven scientific rationale

Diet Surf Recommendations
Not recommended

Dietitians comments:
The challenge of combining certain foods may be too complex and a hassle for many people to follow for an extended period of time.  Amounts of carbohydrate-containing foods (even the good ones like whole grains and beans) are restricted so that it may be difficult to stay on this diet long enough for long-term results. Overemphasis is placed upon the notion that carbohydrates promote fat storage due to increased insulin levels, and that reducing carbohydrates is the solution to obesity. Restricting total calories and amounts of food cause weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity, not just restriction of carbohydrates. Any diet that restricts calories (of any source – fat, carbohydrate, and protein) will cause weight loss. There is no magic in restricting carbohydrates and it is unnecessary to limit the “good” carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Barbeque Chicken – The Zone Diet Recipes


Barbeque Sauce

  • 4 tsp cornstarch [1C]
  • 1 cup tomato puree [2C]
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce [1C]
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke flavoring
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup strong chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  • 1 pound of chicken breasts [16P] 
  • Zone salad (prepare individually or in a large bowl)
  • 2 heads Iceberg lettuce 6-inch diameter [1C]
  • 2 tomatoes -3-inch diameter cut into slices or wedges [1C]
  • 2 1/2 green or red peppers, diced or strips [1C]
  • 1 pear, sliced into small wedges [2C]

Salad dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil & 1 tbsp vinegar [12F]
  • Zoned Mashed “Potatoes”
  • 10 cups cauliflower [3C]
  • Dessert Fresh fruit of choice totaling [4 C]
  • choose from the following:
  • 2 apples [4C], 4 plums [4C], 4 kiwi [4C], 4 peaches [4C], 4 tangerine [4C]


Barbeque Sauce

  1. Combine all barbeque sauce ingredient in a small saucepan to form a sauce. (Mix corn starch with a little cold water to dissolve it before adding to the saucepan.)
  2. Heat sauce to a simmer, constantly stirring with a whip until mixture thickens.
  3. Transfer sauce mixture to a storage container, let cool and refrigerate. (Sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance.)


  1. Marinate chicken in barbeque sauce for at least 1 hour
  2. Grill chicken over the hot barbeque grill


  1. Individual instructions: divide all ingredients equally on 4 plates.
  2. Zone Mashed “Potatoes”
  3. Boil cauliflower until cooked.


  1. In a food processor, mix until desired consistency.
  2. Salt and pepper to taste.


Remember, only choose one. Example: You can create a fruit salad by combining 1 plum, 1 kiwi, 1 peach and 1 tangerine.

Total: 16 Protein, 16 fat and 16 carbohydrates.

Antipasta Salad with Grilled Chicken & Grapes – The Zone Diet Recipes


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1c. prepared corkscrew pasta (1/2c. dry) [4 C]
  • 2T LF Sour Cream [2 F]
  • 1T LF Plain Yogurt
  • 2T chicken broth
  • 1T + 1/3 tsp olive oil [10 F]
  • 1 1/3 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 8 c Romaine lettuce, torn [2 C]
  • 1/2 c rinsed & drained artichoke hearts, chopped [2 C]
  • 1 c sliced red peppers [1/3 C]
  • 6 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced [2 F]
  • 1/2 c sliced red onion [1/2 C]
  • 1/2 c kidney beans, drained & rinsed [2 C]
  • 4 oz LF Monterey Jack cheese, cubed [4 P]

Serve with:

  • 10 oz. grilled chicken [10 P]
  • 1 1/2 c green and/or red grapes


  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions, rinse, set aside.
  2. Combine first 9 ingredients except pasta, stir to combine.
  3. In large bowl or rectangular container line bottom with Romaine, artichoke hearts, red peppers, kidney beans, red onion slices and olives. 
  4. Add pasta and cubes of cheese, toss with dressing. 
  5. Serve with chicken and grapes on the side.

Yield: 2 – 3 blocks & 2 – 4 blocks

Hint: If preparing ahead of time, add red onion slices, cubed cheese and dressing just before serving.

A Quick Lunch Soup – The Zone Diet Recipes


  • 2 2/3 tsp. Canola Oil [8F]
  • 6 cups Red pepper [3C]
  • 6 cups Asparagus [3C]
  • 8oz. Deli Baked Ham (cut into 1/2′ strips) [8P]
  • 1/2 Cup Egg Noodles (cooked) [2C]
  • 15 oz. Can of Fat-Free Chicken Broth


  1. Heat 3 cups of water, and the can of Fat Free Broth until boiling, keep simmering until step 4.
  2. In non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add red pepper and asparagus until vegetables are tender-crisp (approx. 7 minutes).
  3. Stir in ham and cook one minute or until ham is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Stir noodles into water, cook until tender.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat, do not drain the water. Stir in ham and vegetable mixture.