Zone diet foods are simply based on the 40:30:30 formula. Each and every meal in this diet consists of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 30% protein. According to Dr. Sears, the creator of Zone diet, food should be treated as a prescription drug. It should be taken in a fixed quantity and at a fixed time. After all, we all will be taking food three times a day for the rest of our lives! Food requires to be consumed in the Right Proportion and in the Right Portion.
The carbohydrates we select for our diet should consist of low starch fruits and vegetables; the proteins should be lean; and we should add a dash of heart friendly monounsaturated fat. Followers of the Zone diet are allowed to have 3 Zone meals and 2 Zone snacks each day, all meals strictly in the 40:30:30 ratio. Each meal is determined by the number of Zone blocks you are allowed to eat. A man is generally allowed 14 Zone blocks and a woman 11 Zone blocks every day, but this may vary from individual to individual.
Every Zone block has 3 mini blocks each of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Each mini block has 9 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; and 1.5 grams fat. Based on your weight, height and a couple of other measurements, the Zone diet calculator tells you the number of Zone blocks of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you are supposed to consume in a day.
Lean proteins are recommended. These would include, among others:
· Skinless chicken or turkey breast
· fat free cottage cheese
· egg whites
· soy burgers
· soy sausages
Low starch carbohydrates would include, among others:
· Black beans
· Raw Broccoli
· Shredded and boiled cabbage
· Boiled mushrooms
Fats would include, among others:
· Macadamia nuts
· Olive oil
· Peanut butter
Chicken and fish are the main foods recommended in the Zone diet. Vegetarians can substitute this with Soy and Soy products. Dr. Sears’ ‘Zone At-a-Glance’ method makes it easy for you to fix up your plate. He recommends that a third of your plate be filled with Protein; two thirds with fruits and vegetables; and round it off with a dash of Olive Oil or Almonds.
Zone diet foods follow the ‘Zone 1-2-3 Method.’ This simply means that the diet consists of one gram of fat, two grams of protein and three grams of carbohydrates.
Certain proteins, carbohydrates and fats are considered unfavorable by Dr. Sears. These are to be avoided at all costs. A few among such unfavorable foods are: pork, duck, bread, pasta, butter, cream, and vegetable shortenings.
If possible, avoid sugar in all forms. Avoid fruits and vegetables that have high sugar content. These are: bananas, prunes, grapes, potatoes, carrots and corn, among others. If you opt to drink alcohol then reduce your carbohydrate intake in your meal.