Discovering The Zone Diet

Celebrities such as Madonna, Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston swear by the results of the Zone Diet created by Barry Sears, PhD. The Zone Diet contains 40% protein, 30% carbohydrate and 30% fat and is also known as the 40-30-30 plan. The Zone Diet works on the basic idea that 100,000 years ago, we were essentially meat eaters and our bodies was designed to handle the demands of a meat-based diet.

As we have evolved, more carbohydrates have been introduced into our daily diets, causing an imbalance. The reason for weight gain could therefore be attributed to the many grains and starches in our diet (pasta, rice, breads, and potatoes). The Zone Diet’s strategy calls for a return to the diets of our ancestors where meat, fruits and vegetables were the main dietary items.

How Does The Zone Diet Function?

The Zone Diet functions by working the right ratio of carbohydrates to proteins and fats in order to control the insulin in the bloodstream. Excess of that hormone (insulin) can increase fat storage and inflammation in the body (conditions that are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease). Sears asserts that through using the Zone Diet, you will be actually optimising the body’s metabolic function. Through the regulation of blood sugar, you will allow your body to burn excess body fat.

The Zone Diet doesn’t actually prohibit you from any particular food group. However, food with high fat and carbohydrates such as grains, starches, and pastas must be avoided. Fruits and vegetables are the preferred source of carbohydrate and monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil, almonds, avocados) are the ideal choice of fat. The Zone Diet claims to use food as a medicine for overall good health, weight loss and prevention or management of heart disease and diabetes.

Sears says that you can test to see whether you are ‘hormonally’ correct by testing the Zone diet and see how you feel four hours later. To simplify the Zone Diet, you may fill one-third of a plate with low-fat protein, and then two-thirds with fruits and vegetables.

Promoters of the Zone Diet

Promoters of the Zone Diet include certain celebrities and also some health experts who say that the Zone’s recommendations don’t stray far from the USDA’s (United States Dietary Association) dietary guidelines. Critics have nevertheless argued that the Zone Diet has flawed ratios but Sears argues that the Zone diet is really a low glycemic-load diet that has adequate protein. Sears also defends the criticism that the Zone Diet is complicated. He believes this is a misconception. The reason for it was that his first book on the Zone Diet was targeted to cardiologists who were more scientifically-oriented.

Criticizing The Zone Diet

The AHA (American Heart Association) classifies the Zone Diet as too high in protein and does not recommend the Zone Diet for losing weight. They assert that the Zone Diet hasn’t been proven effective in the long term for weight loss. They even issued an official recommendation warning against diets such as the Zone Diet.
They believe that the Zone Diet is hazardous because it restricts the intake of essential vitamins and minerals present in certain foods.

They are concerned that the protein ratio in the Zone diet is too high even if the minimal fat ratio is alright. Robert H. Ecker M.D of the A.H.A., finds the Zone Diet’s theory on insulin flawed and argues that there is no scientific proof that the hormone insulin plays a big role in the regulation of weight.

John Rifkind is a contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Some Weight Watchers Recipes

Weight Watchers weight loss recipes, using real and everyday foods that you can find anywhere, are popular because they taste good! These offerings come from

Chicken Rice Casserole with Mozzarella


Two teaspoons olive oil.
Half cup chopped onion.
One clove minced garlic.
One and a half medium red bell peppers, diced.
One cup frozen corn, thawed.
One cup low-salt chicken broth.
One and a half teaspoons dried thyme.
One quarter of a teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Two cups cooked brown or white rice.
One quarter of a cup plus 2 tablespoons non-fat sour cream.
Two tablespoons Dijon mustard.
Eight ounces skinless, diced cooked chicken or smoked turkey.
Three ounces part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded.
One quarter of a cup chopped parsley.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 1-1/2 quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until hot but not until smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the bell peppers, corn one quarter of a cup of the broth, the thyme and black pepper, and continue cooking until the bell pepper begins to soften, for 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining three quarters of a cup of broth, the rice, sour cream, and mustard. Add the chicken, remove from the heat, and stir until the ingredients are well combined. Stir in one-third of the mozzarella and then the parsley.

Blend the mixture to the prepared casserole. Spread the mixture evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and bake for twenty to twenty five minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and the cheese has melted.

Microwave Shortcuts:

In a two quart microwave safe casserole, mix the oil, onion, garlic and bell peppers. Cover and cook at high for four minutes, or until the peppers and onion begin to soften. Stir in the corn, half a cup of the broth, the thyme, black pepper, rice, sour cream, mustard, and chicken. Stir in one-third of the mozzarella and the parsley. Re-cover and cook at high for seven minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cook at high for three minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.

Yields: 4 servings

Serving Suggestion: Slice tomatoes and sprinkle them freely with fresh basil. For dessert, serve crisp almond biscotti with freshly brewed coffee.
Each serving provides: 1/2 fat, 3 proteins, 1/2 vegetable (adjusted to new program), 1-1/2 breads, 20 optional calories.

Nutrition Information:

Values are approximate per serving: 378 calories, 28 g protein, 12 g fat, 39 g carbohydrate, 63 mg cholesterol, 557 mg sodium.

Credits – Recipe from: Ralph’s Market

John Rifkind is a contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.