We can compare foods to drugs; You need to take the right dose at the right time to benefit the body. For example, Omega-6 fatty acids taken in large amounts can cause weight gain by increasing insulin levels. Because these are believed to be the chief culprit of the obesity epidemic as they produce other hormones that promote inflammation.
The goal of the Zone diet is to eat the right proportions of foods at each meal to ensure that insulin levels and levels of hormones that promote inflammation do not stay too high or low. In Zone diet; 40% of the daily calories taken are carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. These nutrients need the right balance for the body to remain healthy and weak and to function at peak performance.
Well, can you continue to burn fat by balancing the foods you eat without feeling hungry? Proponents of this diet think this is possible with the Zone diet. This diet does not promise sudden or dramatic weight loss. In the first week, you can only lose 0.5 to 1 kg. However, the diet guarantees that the weight lost will be entirely from fat. With this diet, as your body changes, your clothes will look better, even if you do not see a significant difference in weight at first.
Nutrition Rates in Zone Diet
In Zone diet; 3 main meals and 2 snacks are served a day. At each meal; low-fat protein sources such as skinless chicken, turkey, or fish; carbohydrate sources from fruits and vegetables; Oil sources can also be obtained from foods such as olive oil, avocado, walnut and almond.
On this diet, no food is completely prohibited. However, it may take a little longer to get used to if you are a carbohydrate lover. Bread, pasta, cereals, and other starches should be considered a side dish rather than a main dish.
Fruits and vegetables with relatively high sugar content (such as corn, carrots, bananas and raisins) are on the low-consumption list. Fatty red meat and egg yolk are included in the “bad fats” section of the Zone diet. In this diet, each meal has the same proportions;
- %30 protein
- 30% fat
- 40% carbohydrate
What appears on the plate; palm-sized protein, non-starchy vegetables and fruits, monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. In the Zone diet, calories are also calculated. It is recommended that an average of 1200 calories per day for women and 1500 calories per day for men.
How to Make a Zone Diet?
Dos and Don’ts
- Have 2 snacks a day
The Zone diet recommends that women limit 1200 calories per day and men to 1500 calories per day, in line with dietary recommendations to manage obesity. This is on average three-quarters of the recommended daily calorie intake for healthy people.
- 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat balance with each meal
The only measuring tool you will need is your hand and your eye. For example; When preparing dinner, divide your plate into three equal parts. Put a low-fat protein like chicken or fish in one portion. The amount should not be more than what can fit in the palm of your hand.
Next, fill the other two sections with colorful carbohydrates. First, put non-starchy vegetables and a limited amount of fruit. Add a dash of healthy oil (olive oil, nuts, avocado) and you’re ready!
- While no food is prohibited, focus on specific food groups.
Among the best protein options; There are options such as skinless chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, soy meat and tofu. Among the carbohydrates, it is recommended to choose those with a low Glycemic Index.
Carbohydrates with a Low Glycemic Index are said to keep blood sugar and metabolism stable. This makes you feel full for longer. High Glycemic Index carbohydrates do the opposite. The best is vegetables, fruits except bananas, oatmeal.
Avoid pasta, noodles, white bread, bagels, cereals and potatoes. Include a small amount of healthy fat in each meal. Avoid fatty red meat, egg yolks, and organ meats such as liver and processed foods. Because all of them are very high in saturated fat.
Timing of meals and snacks is also very important in the Zone diet. If you do not eat often enough; your blood sugar levels drop, which causes hunger pangs. You should never stop for more than five hours without eating. Have your breakfast within an hour of waking up. For example; If you wake up at 07:00, have lunch at noon, snack at 15:00, and dinner at 18:00. You can have another small snack at 21:00.
Zone Diet Advantages
- The diet encourages you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. This, in turn, eliminates junk foods such as sugary drinks and candy.
- It is flexible as it allows for a wide variety of foods.
- People with other dietary restrictions may adapt to this diet more easily.
- You should eat similar sized meals 3 times a day. However, it doesn’t make a big difference as many people are already eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Meal planning is not too difficult. Because there are many combinations of meals suitable for this diet.
Does the Zone Diet Lose Weight?
Limited studies on the Zone diet; shows that it has a moderate effect on weight loss. 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat are not a magic bullet. In fact, the scientific evidence cast doubt on its effectiveness.
In a study conducted among approximately 300 obese women in 2007, women; The Atkins diet was divided into a low-fat diet and a diet containing equal amounts of protein-fat-carbohydrate. After eight weeks, women on the Zone diet lost about 4 pounds. In another 2005 study involving 160 people, weight loss was found to be quite modest on the Zone diet.
In a study published in a scientific journal in 2014; The researchers compared the South Beach, Atkins, and Zone diets to find out which diet was most effective. Results; showed that none caused any significant weight loss and there was no significant difference with the others. In the short term, each was found to lose an average of 5% of their initial body weight. However, it was seen that those on the Atkins diet regained weight within 2 years.
Zone Diet and Exercise
Exercise is recommended during this diet period; however, it is not required. Exercise is more important for weight control than weight loss.
When it comes to general health or weight loss, doctors recommend that you do an average of 2-5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Regardless of your diet choice; The more you move, the faster the weight goes away and the lower your risk of chronic diseases, heart and diabetes.