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How Healthy Is Zone Diet Weight Loss Program

Aug 17, 2007
Most of us have heard of Atkin's diet which calls for almost a complete carbohydrate cut from our diet for the first 2 weeks (induction phase)and then to add carbohydrate to our meals progressively thereafter. Whilst there are many success stories for this weight loss diet, there are also many criticisms claiming that Atkin's diet weight loss program is very unhealthy.

Well, to me, most weight loss diets are unhealthy. Anyway, I find Doctor Barry Sear's zone diet as one of the better or healthier weight loss diet. Please do note that I am not advocating dieting alone as a weight loss plan and strategy. I believe to lose weight and to keep the extra weight off permanently, we must combine healthy eating habits with regular exercise.

So what is the Zone Diet weight loss program?

The Zone Diet plan advocates protein-carb-fat balance in our meals. Very much like eating balanced meals.

Protein In Zone Diet

Our body needs a constant supply of protein as proteins are our body's building blocks. This is the reason why zone diet meals start with low-fat protein. Proteins stimulate glucagon production, a hormone that helps our body to release stored carbohydrates (glycogen) from our liver to maintain blood sugar levels for the brain. However, we should not consume protein in an amount bigger than the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, said Dr Barry Sears.

The protein serving should occupy one third of our dining plate because our body cannot use more protein than that (for ordinary folks who are not into building muscles).

Do choose the leanest protein as there are likely fats in your meal and saturated fat in any weight loss diet program should be kept low.

Carbohydrates In Zone Diet

The protein portion of a zone diet meal must be balanced and on par with the carbohydrates. Do note that not all carbs are equal. Fruits and vegetables are good carbs with a low capacity to stimulate insulin production, while other vegetables (such as carrots and potatos etc) and grain-based or refined flour products (white bread, pasta, white rice, cakes etc.) are bad carbohydrates as they are high glycemic carbs. Since the Zone diet's goal is insulin control, we must make sure that most of the carbohydrates are of the low glycemic types.

So one third of our meal should come from protein source and two thirds from good carbohydrate source like green leafy vegetables.

Fats In Zone Diet

A Zone diet meal requires fat. Good fats come in two forms: monounsaturated fats and long-chain omega-3 fats. Monounsaturated fats come from olive oil, some type of nuts aznd avocados etc. Long-chain omega-3 fats can come from fish oil.

Limit bad fats like saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fat comes from animal meat and high-fat dairy products. Trans fats are artificial fats created by the food industry, commonly listed as partially hydrogenated oil.

Then there is a type of omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid, found mainly in fatty red meats, egg yolks and organ meats. We do need some arachidonic acid in our diet, but too of this acid much can be damaging to our health just like any other fat.

Conclusion Of The Zone Diet Weight Loss Program

Sounds like common sense balanced meals isn't it? Would you include The Zone Diet plan into your weight loss program?
About the Author
Chris Chew is a fitness personal trainer and author of "Burn Fat Build Muscles Fast". More free articles at his site and blog Lose weight get toned muscles fast and
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