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ZONE DIET PRINCIPLES

Welcome to the section where we will report the guidelines and principles of the Zone Diet. First two recommendations:
  1. Nutrition is a very important factor for one's health, therefore it is essential to consult your doctor before changing your diet. It is well known that nutrition can affect many aspects, therefore, not only if you are healthy people, but even if you are in treatment or undergoing medication, it is essential to get the approval of your doctor. We accept no liability due to improper use of our Easy Zone Diet APP and the decision to change your diet. Those who use it are aware of the risks due to incorrect feeding and do so only and exclusively under their own responsibility.
  2. Before starting to adopt the Zone Diet it is suggested to read at least one of the books by Barry Sears that describe the principles and how it works.
Let's start!
First of all, we must not be fooled by the word "Diet". As I always say, the slimming process generated by being "in the Zone" can identify it as a "side effect", because the Zone Diet is a diet aimed at making the mind and body at the best! And weight loss? Well, as we are no longer invading our body with insulin, the game is done: we lose weight!
Following many discussions on the Zone Diet I have found that very often there is also confusion over the definition of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat, therefore, as an example, I will give some examples of foods for every macro-nutrient:
  1. Carbohydrates: fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, desserts, legumes (yes, in the Zone Diet, even legumes are Carbohydrates);
  2. Proteins: meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, soy;
  3. Fats: oil, dried fruit, butter, lard.
Let's start with some basic principles, what is the Zone Diet, how and why does it work?
The Zone Diet is a diet where it is established that each meal must be composed of a correct proportion between Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats (also called Diet 40-30-30). To implement this proportion the Zone Diet introduces the concept of Block.
Each Block consists of 1 mini-block of Proteins, 1 mini-block of Carbohydrates and 1 mini-block of Fats.

Let's take another step forward:
  1. 1 mini-block of Carbohydrates contains 9 grams of Carbohydrates
  2. 1 mini-block of Protein contains 7 grams of Protein
  3. 1 mini-block of Fats contains 3 grams of Fats
Furthermore, we remind you that:
  1. 1 gram of Carbohydrates develops 4Kcal
  2. 1 gram of Protein develops 4Kcal
  3. 1 gram of Fats develops 9Kcal
Therefore, each mini-block of Carbohydrate is equivalent to 9 grams of Carbohydrates, each gram of Carbohydrate develops 4Kcal, so each mini-block of Carbohydrate develops a total of 36Kcal.
Furthermore, each mini-block of Protein is equivalent to 7 grams of Proteins, each gram of Proteins develops 4Kcal, so each mini-block of Protein develops a total of 28Kcal.
Finally, each mini-block of Fat is equivalent to 3 grams of Fats, each gram of Fats develops 9Kcal, so each mini-block of Fat develops a total of 27Kcal.

Summarizing in tabular form:
Mini-block Grams macro-nutrient
for each Mini-block
KCal developed
for each gram
Total Kcal % on the Meal
Carbohydrate 9 grams 4 Kcal for each gram 36 Kcal 40%
Protein 7 grams 4 Kcal for each gram 28 Kcal 30%
Fat 3 grams 9 Kcal for each gram 27 Kcal 30%
Exactly 40-30-30 of the Zone Diet.

For instance: the composition of a block is shown in the first column:
Meal Mini-block Proteins Mini-block Carbohydrates Mini-block Fats
27gr of Chicken 0,9 0 0,1
12gr of Pasta 0,1 1 0
3gr of Oil 0 0 1
Meal Total Blocks 1 1 1,1

Perfectly in the ZONE!!


We always keep in mind that every food is never perfectly just Carbohydrate or Protein or Fat, but (more or less) every Protein food also contains a minimum of Carbohydrates and / or fat and each Carbohydrate food contains a minimum of Protein and / or fat .
Our APP calculates the sum of the proteins of the foods in the meal, the sum of the carbohydrates of the foods in the meal and the same for fats.
The Zone Diet is not a hyper-protein diet, but provides at the body the right daily amount of protein based on its own Lean Mass.
The first step to start with the Zone Diet is to calculate the number of blocks per day:

Nr. Blocks per Day = [(Lean Mass in Kg) / 7] x [Physical Activity Index]


The Physical Activity Index can range from 1.1 to 2.3 depending on the intensity of our physical activity.

Now some guidelines and suggestions:
  1. The number of Daily Blocks should NEVER be less than 11 Blocks;
  2. The meal is "in Zone" if the ratio beetwen Protein and Carbohydrate (P/C) is between 0.6 and 1 (perfectly in Zone if equal to 0.75).
  3. It is recommended to NEVER make meals with more than 5 blocks (no more than 35gr of proteins per meal);
  4. It is recommended to obtain carbohydrates mainly from fruits and vegetables;
  5. It is recommended to eat Protein foods first and then Carbohydrates;
  6. It is recommended to eat 5 or 6 time per day;
  7. It is recommended to eat not before 2 hours (and no after the 5 hours) respect the previous meal;
  8. It is recommended to drink (at least) 2lt of water per day;
  9. It is recommended to always eat 1 block before go bed;
  10. It is recommended 2,5 gr of Omega 3 fatty acids per day;
  11. Constant physical activity is recommended. Preferably stretching and muscle strengthening;

According to the guidelines in the books of Barry Sears, it is common belief that fats are the cause of fattening, therefore, removing fats, it should magically begin the weight loss process. Now, I am not a doctor, so I will limit myself to providing some aspects reported by Barry Sears on his books (which we suggest you read if you want to go into more detail on the subject), but the zone diet aims to regulate insulin in the body.
The Zone Diet in fact, is based on the hormonal control obtained by putting in right proportion Proteins and Carbohydrates (glucagon and insulin). To maintain insulin in the Zone, the ratio between proteins and carbohydrates must be (at best) 0.75. Fats do not affect the balance of regulatory hormones, but they are essential to keep the body efficient and to allow the fat-soluble vitamins to circulate and reach the destination.
Now that we have described the guidelines that govern the Zone Diet we just have to try it! What I always repeat when someone asks me about the Zone is: try it for about 2 weeks, then make a just carbohydrates meal (a pasta dish, a pizza, etc.) and let me know how you were in the next 2 hours. Drowsiness? Fatigue?
The most powerful aspect of the Zone Diet is, in fact, the psychophysical condition of when one is "in the Zone": when the meals have a ratio between Proteins and Carbohydrates between 0.6 and 1. A meal is perfectly in Zone if the ratio is 0.75.
In his books, Barry Sears says you enter in "Zone" immediately after a "in Zone" meal, while leaving the Zone after a non-Zone meal. This seems to be a banality, but from another perspective, it means that we can totally get rid of remorse (or guilt) after a non-Zone meal, because this condition lasts only a few hours , until the next meal "in Zone".

Now let's take the example of a 70 kg man with a 12% fat percentage and who trains daily:
  1. Lean Mass: 60Kg
  2. Physical Activity Index: 1,9
  3. Daily Blocks Number (according to the formula for calculating the number of Daily Blocks shown above): (60 / 7) * 1,9 = 17 Blocks!

Subdivision of these 17 blocks throughout the day:
  1. Breackfast: 3 Blocks at 08.00 am
  2. Snack: 2 Blocks at 10.30/11.00 am
  3. Lunch: 5 Blocks at 01.00/01.30 pm
  4. Snack: 2 Blocks at 05.00 pm
  5. Dinner: 4 Blocks at 08.00 pm
  6. 1 Block before bed (about 10.00 pm)

Howto: New Food Form

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Forest
Enter the name of the food you want to add to the food list of the App

Forest
Based on the "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" table that you can found on the packaging of each Food, copy the value found under "Carbohydrates". In this case the table of "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" shows that the Sea Bream has ZERO grams of Carbohydrates for every 100 grams, therefore we enter ZERO within the Carbohydrates field of the APP.

Forest
Based on the "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" table that you can found on the packaging of each Food, copy the value found under "Protein". In this case the table of "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" shows that the Sea Bream has 18,40 grams of Proteins for every 100 grams, therefore we enter 18,40 within the Protein field of the APP.

Forest
Based on the "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" table that you can found on the packaging of each Food, copy the value found under "Fat". In this case the table of "Average Nutritional Value per 100gr" shows that the Sea Bream has 5,89 grams of Fats for every 100 grams, therefore we enter 5,89 within the Fat field of the APP.

Forest
If the table of "Medium Nutritional Value per 100gr" shows a value for the fibers, it must be entered within the fiber field of the APP.

Forest
This field is very important because allows to calcutate the block of the meal, because it represents the percentage of edible food: skin, head and bones of a fish are obviously not eaten. Removing skin, head and bones what that we actually eat, is about 60%, the remaining 40% is discarded and not eaten. By setting a percentage lower than 100% in this field, the APP performs the calculations considering (in this specific example) 60% of the weight that we will set in the "Food Weight" field in the "Make Meal" form (see number 10 in the "Guide to the Create Meal Form"). Then in the "Food Weight" field in the "Make Meal" form, we will set the total weight of the fish (suppose 300gr), but the APP, for its calc, will consider only 60%: only the edible component ( = 180g)!

Forest
This field allows you to configure a default weight of a food so that, when it is chosen within a meal, the "Food Weight" field in the "Make Meal" form will be automatically filled with the value set within the "Weight Default". As an example, we know that the weight of a can of tuna of 80 gram is equal to 52 grams, therefore in the "Default Weight" field we will set the value 52.

Forest
We must pay very attention to set the Protein Source of a food because it is the key field that the APP uses to calculate the value of proteins within the meal.

Forest
The quality of a food is linked to some aspects that we will report below. The quality of a Carbohydrate is linked to its glycemic index, if it is low it will be Favorable, if it is medium it will be Less Favorable, finally if it is high it will be unfavorable. The quality of a Protein or Fat is linked to the quality of the fat that contains: it is favorable if there are few harmful fats in the body, while it is unfavorable if it is saturated fat and / or a lot of arachidonic acid.

Forest
Finally, this button saves the food inside the APP, making it available for all our future meals. Furthermore, all the foods added to our food list will also be automatically saved in a shared list with all users who use the APP. This allows you to have a second list of Foods, always expanding, from which you can draw in case of lack of food on our personal list. These shared foods with all users are used by the APP automatically, but we can also consult the list by going on "Tools" from HOME and then on "Foods of Users using the App".

Howto: Make Meal Form

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Forest
It shows the number of Mini-Blocks per Macro-nutrient
  1. P represents the Proteins
  2. C represents the Carbohydrates
  3. G represents the Fats

Forest
It shows the number of Blocks of the Meal

Forest
Shows the ratio between Proteins and Carbohydrates. Remember that a meal is in the Zone if this ratio is between 0.6 and 1, perfectly in the Zone if this ratio is equal to 0.75

Forest
With these 2 buttons "+" and "-" the App automatically sets the weight of the food (at point 10) making the meal in Zone (Protein and Carbohydrate ratio between 0.6 and 1). To use the "+" and "-" buttons you must FIRST enter all the foods that will have to compose the meal and THEN use the "+" or "-" buttons

Forest
Even though the Zone Diet introduces the concept of Block and does not use Kcal to create a meal, we have also included this information following a lot of requests from the users who use our App

Forest
This message infor the user that the mail is in Zone or if Carbohydrates or Proteins are missing

Forest
This button shows the list of all the foods available within the App for the composition of your meal

Forest
It informs the user that the food will be considered (during the calc to set the meal in Zone) in NET mode (This feature will be described below)

Forest
Shows the weight (in grams) of each food chosen for the meal

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Shows the Nutritional Values (per 100 grams) of the specific food

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It shows one of the foods of the meal

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This button allows you to remove all the foods of the meal

Howto: Net Feature

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As described above (point 6 of the "howto: New Food Form"), this field is very important because allows to calcutate the block of the meal, because it represents the percentage of edible food: skin, head and bones of a fish are obviously not eaten. Removing skin, head and bones what that we actually eat, is about 60%, the remaining 40% is discarded and not eaten. By setting a percentage lower than 100% in this field, the APP performs the calculations considering (in this specific example) 60% of the weight that we will set in the "Food Weight" field in the "Make Meal" form (see number 10 in the "Guide to the Create Meal Form"). Then in the "Food Weight" field in the "Make Meal" form, we will set the total weight of the fish (suppose 300gr), but the APP, for its calc, will consider only 60%: only the edible component ( = 180g)!

Forest
When, within the "% NET" field of the "Food Detail" form, a value less than 100% is set, on Make Meal form, on this food, the label "NET" is set in order to remind us that this food will be calculated not on the totality weight inserted (point 10 of the "Howto: Make Meal Form"), but only on the percentage set in point 1 of this section "NET Feature"
Recapping:
  1. Point 1 of this section "NET Feature": Set a % less 100% In this example we have to set 60%.
  2. Point 2 of this section "NET Feature": it will shows the "NET" label on the food
  3. Point 10 of section "Howto: Make Meal Form": we set the real weight of the food
  4. The App, to make the meal in Zone, calc using the 60% of the weight set on NET Feature

Forest
In ogni momento si può comunque decidere di non usufruire della funzionalità NET. Facendo swipe (per IPhone) o tenendo premuta per qualche secondo (per dispositivi Android) la riga che mostra l'alimento all'interno del form "Crea Pasto" saranno disponibili due azioni: At any time you can not use the NET functionality. Making swipe (for IPhone) or holding for a few seconds (for Android devices) on the food of the meal on "Make Meal" form will be available two actions:
  1. NET: Using this button you can disable (or re-enable) the NET function. By disabling the NET function, even if a % NET has been set (see Point 1 of this section "NET Feature"), the calc will be made on 100% of the weight that we will set as food weight (point 10 of the "Howto: Make Meal Form" section).
  2. Delete: to remove a food from a meal

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