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Have you ever heard of the zone diet? Even those who are experts in slimming paths often don't know this important food plan aimed at losing weight to feel good through a specific breakdown of nutrients.

Hence its name, sometimes also simply called "zone diet".

We've certainly piqued your curiosity and you can't wait to find out more to decide if it's right for you, right?

Then it's time to delve into the subject and tell you everything you need, starting from its functioning and its objectives, to then discover the Zone Diet foods with you and how to introduce them into your daily menu, from breakfast to dinner .

But we warn you: it is by no means an easy regime to deal with and plan, so follow us well and very carefully.

What is the zone diet and what is it for?

Fruit of the genius of Barry Sears, an American biochemist, the Zone diet was born in the nineties and has since become a cult of the most promising, and also among the most complex, food plans.

The Zone Diet is a particular high-protein food program low carb which serves three purposes:

  • Lose weight faster
  • Prevent some diseases
  • Improving mental processes.

Its strong point that distinguishes it from other dietary paths is a different balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or, as some critics point out ... an imbalance, which must be monitored in order to have no contraindications.

At the word zone diet you immediately think of a diet that can make you lose weight only in some areas of the body. We bet that you too immediately thought about the zone diet for legs and buttocks?

Yet it was not born with this purpose, but has a much more general meaning.

We talk about zone instead to indicate a state of physical fitness characterized by both psycho and physical well-being, ideal for the body to feel good at 100%.

The Zone Diet: Does It Work? How?

If from the nineties to today its popularity has never ceased, it must be admitted that it has its effectiveness. So yes, the Zone Diet works.

Well, but how?

Everything revolves around the zone diet foods, which must be divided according to a precise scheme that divides the calories to be taken by nutrient:

  • 40% of calories from carbohydrates;
  • 30% calories from fat;
  • 30% of calories from protein.

The aim is to guarantee a hormonal balance precisely by placing the emphasis on hormones such as insulin and glucagon which are responsible for well-being and weight.

The effects are evident both in weight control which is therefore monitored, but also in any inflammation and blood sugar control.

But why put the emphasis on hormones? Simple, each nutrient stimulates a different hormone production, for example carbohydrates stimulate more insulin, while proteins more glucagon.

So you need to know the zone diet foods well in all their characteristics and not just for the calories they contain.

Zone diet foods: what to eat

zone diet foods

Does this sound like a rather cumbersome food system to you? Let's try to simplify everything by talking about zone diet foods, to understand in practice what you can and should eat and what instead you need to avoid or reduce.

Green light to proteins and Omega3 fats, while attention to the intake of carbohydrates that raise the blood sugar level: it is still a low-carb diet and therefore reducing them is a necessary condition to achieve satisfactory goals.

So here is the list of zone diet foods to eat without fear:

  • Vegetables 
  • Fruits (except the sugarier ones, such as bananas and grapes)
  • White meat
  • Fish
  • Egg
  • Legumes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
  • Avocado
  • Fish oil

Zone diet foods: what not to eat

And now we come to the list of zone diet foods to avoid or reduce in your weekly and daily planner:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Refined grains
  • Sugar
  • Sweets
  • Fruit juices
  • Sodas
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Fat cheeses
  • Red meats

Have you noticed that these are foods that are high in glycemic content or high in saturated fat? Let's say that consuming less in general is a good rule of thumb for everyone regardless of the zone diet!

And now let's look at some examples, in order to understand how to distribute these nutrients over the three most important meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast zone diet

Breakfast is certainly essential to recharge your batteries and leave energetic to face the day. But this does not mean that we need to exaggerate, with the risk of weighing ourselves down unnecessarily.

According to the dictates of the zone diet (and the permitted foods mentioned above) it is sufficient to consume a yogurt, perhaps accompanied by a fruit that stimulates the production of insulin in the morning.

Do you prefer dried fruit in yogurt? This solution is also perfectly fine, but we always recommend varying it day by day.

Zone diet lunch

Lunch and dinner are the meals that require greater attention, above all to avoid consuming too many carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and rice, often a fixed presence on the table in our homes.

The advice is to differentiate the nutrients: if you choose meat for lunch, cook fish for dinner, or vice versa. This way you can vary your diet and guarantee the body all the necessary macronutrients.

An example of a zone diet lunch? A single dish with grilled chicken breast accompanied by a side of mixed salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Zone diet dinner

And here we are at dinner, the final meal at the end of the day. The golden rule that always applies is not to choose foods that are too heavy (such as fried or saturated with fat) which often, in addition to being unhealthy, also create difficulties for falling asleep and sleeping well.

What to eat? If you chose meat for lunch, now it's time to prepare some healthy fish, with a side dish of mixed vegetables (without bread!).

zone diet foods

But you also have other opportunities depending on your tastes or the shopping you have at home at the time. If you find yourself some eggs you can make a delicious omelette, perhaps with vegetables to be tastier and healthier.

Or choose to eat legumes, tofu or even cereals such as spelled or barley.

One more tip: rely on an expert!

Is everything clear about the Zone Diet diet and foods? Well, now you certainly know the salient aspects and some basic indications, but it is always advisable to be followed by a professional in the sector before starting because, being a rather protein regimen, it can also lead to contraindications if not followed in the most correct way.