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.