The Zone Diet is one of the simplest diets to follow, because you match your carbohydrate intake with your protein intake, keeping both of them in balance. The preferred ratio is 1:1, one block of protein matched with one block of carbohydrate. A protein block is 7 grams, while a carbohydrate block is 9 grams. A good example of a protein block is an ounce of raw chicken breast or about 1.5 ounces of sliced deli meat. A carbohydrate block is usually 1 cup of greens, vegetables, or fruit. The key is to always combine these two blocks at every meal. The other key is to have 40 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat in the diet. This is the “magic” formula that combines to make weight loss possible.
Timing is Everything
Another key to the Zone Diet plan is timing when you eat, because the Zone Diet keeps everything in your body balanced, and that helps keep you from getting hungry. You should eat a zone diet meal or snack about every 4 to 5 hours after your last Zone meal, and about 2 to 2 1/2 hours after your last Zone snack, and you should have a Zone snack about 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Zone Diet Menu Plans
You can find numerous Zone Diet menu plans online and in print that will help you follow your Zone Diet. You have to remember that each person is different, so to begin the Zone Diet plan, you’ll need to determine your specific protein needs. Typically, a man needs about 4 protein blocks a meal, while a woman needs about 3 protein blocks a meal.
Meal plans are built around these needs, and protein blocks can include items like chicken, turkey, deli sandwich meat, pork, and even Canadian bacon. Carbohydrate blocks can include fruits, vegetables, salad greens, and an occasional slice of wholegrain bread.
Zone Diet No-No’s
You don’t have to count calories or carbohydrates on the Zone Diet, but there are some things you should avoid. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and caffeinated soft drinks are out, and so is alcohol, only one glass of wine per day is permitted. There are also food lists in the Zone Diet menu plans that should be avoided, such as pasta, bread, and potatoes, and high-sugar foods like corn, carrots, peas, bananas, raisins, and grapes. You can have these foods in moderation, but certainly not every day. Some low-carb foods like bread and pasta are OK occasionally on the Zone Diet, as long as they are created specifically to be low-carb.
Zone Diet Benefits
One of the benefits of Zone Diet menu plans is that you can eat just about any food; you just have to monitor some items. It also encourages energy and discourages hunger because of the timing of meals. You shouldn’t be hungry on this diet, and it encourages healthy eating habits that can stay with you a lifetime. So, check out the Zone Diet today, and create a healthier you, tomorrow.