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The Zone Diet

Mar 15, 2008
Developed by Dr. Barry Sears, the Zone diet is one of the most successful diet plans around today. The Zone diet works by proportioning the daily intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Dr. Sears coined the term " the zone" to describe proper hormone balance, which he claims, is the result of closely following his diet regime.

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart When insulin levels are balanced (meaning the blood sugar level is in the median range); the health effects are numerous. Dr. Sears claims that his patients lose weight, improve their heart health, mood, and mental abilities. One such positive effect of insulin balance is the body's production of anti-inflammatory chemicals called eicosanoids. Eicosanoids have anti-inflammatory effects similar to the effects of aspirin (thus, lowering the risk of heart disease and heart attacks) but without the side effects of aspirin (i.e. gastric bleeding).

Faster = Better Dr. Barry Sears claims that dieters using his method loose more weight and gain more muscle fat more quickly than other dieters. The reason for this, Dr. Sears explains, is because The Zone diet enables the body to work more effectively, resulting in the body not having to store as many calories as excess fat. The human body cannot store fat and burn fat at the same time. It takes a great deal of time for the body to switch its' processing from fat storing to burning. By keeping the body balanced, the body is able to more quickly use up stored fat.

Fat Consumption is not evil! The Zone diet does not advocate low fat dieting. Dr. Sears points out that cattle are purposely fed low fat grain and feed in order to fatten up the livestock. Low fat diets actually increase the production of insulin, thus causing the body to store much more fat. According to Dr. Sears, fat consumption is essential for fat burning. Dr. Sears says that monounsaturated fats in a meal contribute to a feeling of fullness while effectively decreasing the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Carbohydrates : Another health factor in the absorption of carbohydrates is the increase of insulin in the body Increased insulin results in a tired body and a slower metabolism. High insulin levels also deplete the brain of glucose which the brain needs to fuel its' processing. The result of a brain deprived of glucose is irritability, moodiness, and slow thinking processes.

The Critics: The Zone diet has its' critics, namely The American Heart Association, which contends that the Zone diet has too much protein and lacks essential nutrients. They also note that there has been no research done on the long-term effects The Zone may have on a body. The Zone diet has been shown to be effective at weight loss without the fatigue and hunger associated with many other diets The show Scientific American Frontiers did their own research study in which several people each tried a different popular diet. Those participants on The Zone experienced the most weight loss during the least amount of time. These participants also gained the most muscle mass.
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