The Zone Diet was developed by Barry Sears and is based on the assumption that improper nutrition is the reason for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. Dieters consume carbohydrates, protein, and fat in a balanced ratio.

Basics and Recommended Foods

The plan recommends that followers consume fat, protein, and carbs in a ratio of 30: 30: 40. In the view of Sears, a diet that emphasizes carbohydrates and limits fats and protein is unhealthy. The goal is to make the body perform at its peak efficiency, and the right balance between different food groups contributes to this end. In the view of proponents, this is a balanced diet that contributes to steady weight loss. The average weight loss is between 3.6 and 4.5 kg (8 to 10 pounds).

There is a difference between favorable and unfavorable carbohydrates. Foods with unfavorable carbs include fruit juices, bread, and brown rice. Those with favorable ones are products such as whole grains, beans, and vegetables. Dieters have a protein source at every meal. Basically, the plan limits the intake of foods that are high in carbohydrates as well as dairies, red meat, and processed foods. The list of banned foods includes egg yolks, bread, and cakes and sweets. Vegetables that are high in starch should be avoided. Foods such as bananas, corn, and carrots are off the list. Chips, snacks, and fast food are also on the taboo list. Basically, the menu is based on fiber-rich foods, fat, protein sources, and complex carbohydrates. Fish is also on the list of recommended foods. In fact, Sears highlights the benefits of ultra-refined fish oil in that it helps reduce the risk for inflammation.

Daily Intake and Menu

When it comes to the daily menu, it is a good idea to take into account your body type, whether athletic, large, medium, or small female or male, large hard gainer, x-large male, etc. The daily menu may include sources of protein such as ground pork or lamb, beef, veal, and turkey or chicken breast. Dieters also consume carbohydrates and fat. The type of vegetables to include in your menu depends on whether you want to have them raw or cooked. You can choose from cooked vegetables such as eggplant, chick peas, cabbage, and others. Or you can have raw vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, and bean sprouts. In addition, there are sources of fat and combo items. Good sources of fat are vegetable and olive oil, butter, and almonds. The so called combo items are products such as soybeans and yogurt. Dieters can have fruits and fruit juices as well as snacks and breads.

Drinks and Beverages

It is recommended to drink plenty of water, and this should be your first choice. Juices and drinks that are laden with sugar should be avoided. Alcohol is made from fruits and grains and is high in sugar and carbohydrates. It is best to avoid coffee and substitute it with decaf and tea.

Using Supplements

The plan recommends taking supplements as a way of supplying essential macronutrients. This contributes to proper nutrition and allows the body to perform at its optimal efficiency. There are different metabolic digestive, micronutrient, cardio, weight loss, and other supplements.

Pregnancy and Dieting

While the Zone Diet is said to be a balanced plan, pregnant women should consult their physician. Pregnant women should avoid foods that are gassy and difficult to digest. Dr. Sears claims that his plan is suitable for moms-to-be, but it pays to consult your doctor before you start dieting.

Benefits of the Plan

While the diet limits the daily calorie intake, calorie counting is not the main idea. Dieters consume foods in a balanced ratio to stay healthy and lose weight. The plan is said to reduce the risk for cellular inflammation and contributes to improved mental, emotional, and physical performance. The right foods are also medications for different illnesses.

Dieters eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, mushrooms, peaches, and blueberries. This means that they consume products that are high in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.

Another benefit is that the plan emphasizes the importance of frequent meals and snacks. The goal is to maintain stable blood sugar levels and good hormonal balance. In the view of Sears, high insulin levels are to blame for inflammation, chronic conditions, and overweight. An obvious benefit of the diet is that people lose weight. Finally, this plan is suitable for people with different dietary requirements. It accommodates organic, vegan, paleo, and other regimes.

Celebrity Followers

The plan has many celebrity followers such as Jennifer Anniston, Demi Moore, Madonna, and others. Professional hockey players, actresses, pianists, and football players favor the Zone Diet.

Meals and Recipes

Followers can try many recipes that are considered in-the-Zone meals. They can have baked eggs with spinach, barley and beef stir fry, chicken and broccoli casserole, beef stew with red wine, and many others. You can try deli sandwich with avocado and meat, tuna sandwich, turkey and greens, or grilled chicken sandwich. You can also prepare easy lunches, dinners, breakfasts, and snacks. An easy breakfast combines almonds, cottage cheese, and fruit.


While some people think that the plan is difficult to follow, it takes about one week to learn how to estimate portions.