The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently : Reset Your Genetic Code : Prevent Disease : Achieve Maximum Physical Performance
4 Stars easy to simplify
I’m new to this diet and am slowly losing weight. I’m no scientist, but based on all the research (a lot) I’ve recently done on nutrition, this diet seems sound and makes sense to me. For those who are afraid it will be complicated to maintain the ratio, simply get on livestrong.com and plug in everything you eat…look for the colorful pie chart at the bottom right (do NOT go by the percentages listen out at the bottom – I think they are based on 30% fat, 55% carbs, 15% protein.) The pie chart will tell you exactly your ratio, and remember to keep that ratio consistent across the course of the day. As a vegetarian, it was hard to get my protein that high initially, and (surprisingly) hard to get my fats low. It helped to get a high quality soy protein powder, low fat dairy, and lots of non-fat greek yogurt (also low in carbs!) And watch out for (even healthy ) fats, just make sure you break them up throughout the day . (I only eat 1/2 oz of nuts in one sitting and if I have olives or olive oil or avocado or something, I make sure that’s the only fat at that meal. I also use vegetable stock for sauteeing instead of oil). You can eat nearly any healthy food you want to, just keep an eye on the ratios throughout the day. And eat often , small portions, and for this amount of protein, you need to drink lots of water. Livestrong lets you keep an eye on fiber and sugar intake too by the way.
3 Stars Worth checking out
I would give it 3.5 stars.
The basic idea of the book can be summed up by a recommended carb/protein/fat ratio of 40/30/30 for every meal (combined with low overall calorie intake). If you aren’t comfortable with math, this means that basically, you eat equal calories of carb, protein and fat–but you can add a little extra carb.
I think that Sears is definitely onto something here, and many people will be able to easily loose weight by following the advice in this book. The real reason for the weight loss is the very low number of calories that are allowed. The reason why people might be able to not feel like they are starving on this low number of calories is because of the higher protein and fat content.
Although, the basic idea of the book seems sound, there are a lot of questions about a lot of the details. One potential problem is that for someone who doesn’t want to loose weight, the low calorie count advised here may need to be revised upward. I would look to other sources regarding the mythical dangers of saturated fat and cholesterol. I would also tend to question the idea that a single diet plan is really going to be optimal for everyone–other nutrition experts (such as Dr. Mercola) believe that two people of similar body composition and activity level may have different nutritional needs. Other reviewers have questioned the scientific methodology employed by Sears (small sample sizes, etc.).
I think that most unconventional nutritional experts such as Dr. Sears and Dr. Mercola tend to be just a bit crazy. Certainly don’t trust everything you read here, but I think it is an interesting book that would be helpful to a lot of people, and definitely worth checking out.
If you are more mathematically inclined (as one reviewer pointed out), you may notice that the math in the book seems rather fuzzy. For example, if you take the recommended snack consisting of
- 1 block Protein = 7 g = 28 cal (4 cal/g x 7 g)
- 1 block Carbs = 9 g – 36 cal (4 cal/g x 9 g)
- 1 block Fat = 1.5 g – 14 cal (9 cal/g x 1.5 g)
You can easily see that this is not a 40/30/30 ratio because there is not nearly enough fat. However, if you read the potein block food choice examples, it quickly becomes obvious that the typical protein block contains some fat, so Dr. Sears makes a sneaky compromise of having very small fat blocks to compensate for the fat found in typical protein blocks. He doesn’t really mention this detail, and I think he should have.
4 Stars The “right” diet for many of us
I am doing the Zone diet now and am doing pretty well on it. I can’t really comment too much other than to say I’m never hungry, never crave any sugar or other junk food. Since I don’t cook and am not terribly creative in the kitchen, my challenges with this diet is keep it interesting. For those of you who enjoy cooking however, this is a fabulous way of eating for life!
5 Stars This Book Helped A LOT!
This book helped my hubby a lot. After changing his diet, he lost 60 pounds. This book explains nutrition and how it affects the human body in an easy-to-understand way. The guy knows what he’s talking about. Hubby didn’t follow his diet 100% (was even more strict), but did go with a lower carb/glycemic-index regimen (not a frying pan full of bacon grease either). Read the book. It explains it.
4 Stars Review of the Zone Diet
I received the book in a timely manner and the book was in good condition. Although the book has an older copyright than I had originally thought, the methods are still good ones.