- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Carbohydrates: fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, desserts, legumes (yes, in the Zone Diet, even legumes are Carbohydrates);
- Proteins: meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, soy;
- Fats: oil, dried fruit, butter, lard.
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 mini-block of Carbohydrates contains 9 grams of Carbohydrates
- 1 mini-block of Protein contains 7 grams of Protein
- 1 mini-block of Fats contains 3 grams of Fats
- 1 gram of Carbohydrates develops 4Kcal
- 1 gram of Protein develops 4Kcal
- 1 gram of Fats develops 9Kcal
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:
for each Mini-block
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%|
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:
- The number of Daily Blocks should NEVER be less than 11 Blocks;
- 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).
- It is recommended to NEVER make meals with more than 5 blocks (no more than 35gr of proteins per meal);
- It is recommended to obtain carbohydrates mainly from fruits and vegetables;
- It is recommended to eat Protein foods first and then Carbohydrates;
- It is recommended to eat 5 or 6 time per day;
- It is recommended to eat not before 2 hours (and no after the 5 hours) respect the previous meal;
- It is recommended to drink (at least) 2lt of water per day;
- It is recommended to always eat 1 block before go bed;
- It is recommended 2,5 gr of Omega 3 fatty acids per day;
- 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:
- Lean Mass: 60Kg
- Physical Activity Index: 1,9
- 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:
- Breackfast: 3 Blocks at 08.00 am
- Snack: 2 Blocks at 10.30/11.00 am
- Lunch: 5 Blocks at 01.00/01.30 pm
- Snack: 2 Blocks at 05.00 pm
- Dinner: 4 Blocks at 08.00 pm
- 1 Block before bed (about 10.00 pm)