The Good, The Bad, and The Results (part 2)

Following a Diet can be hard. In this three part article, we will discuss the Good, the Bad, and the Results of following a Zone diet. The first installment covered The Good parts of eating in the Zone – what makes The Zone Diet a good diet to follow compared to other programs out there. In this installment, we take an honest, hard look at the Bad – the downsides to following this nutrition program. And in the final installment, we present real life result for people that have been in the Zone for months or even years.

The Zone requires that you pay attention to what you eat

While keeping track of what you eat is a good habit to get into, many people find that it can be difficult. A common complaint is “I don’t want to count calories”. You may not want to keep track of what you are eating, but your diet habits are just like your finances: either you can control your budget, or your budget can control you.

It can be complicated to figure out if a recipe is 40-30-30. It’s also difficult to know where the foods you are eating fall on the glycemic index. Who has access to the glycemic index of every food you might eat, and more to the point, who wants to look it up? The fact is, it can be complicated if you calculate the balance of a meal using traditional methods. But, that’s exactly why was created- to take all of the complication out of the Zone diet.

Less restrictions doesn’t mean no restrictions

There are some foods that you will cut back on, or maybe even eliminate, in order to stay in The Zone. Learning to do without some of the less favorable carbohydrates such as white bread, chips, and other high glycemic foods can be difficult. On the up side, once you starve those cravings, they tend to go away. Plus, there are so many choices in The Zone, that you can certainly find alternatives that satisfy those cravings and are Zone friendly foods.

It’s not low fat, either. To the traditional dieter, this doesn’t make sense. While it can be a pleasure to enjoy foods with some fat in them, is it really a good thing? There is merit to the fact that eating too much saturated fat can cause health problems. But before you condemn the Zone because it actually calls for fat, consider, the traditional diet in America. The Zone calls for less fat than most people in the U.S. eat. And don’t be fooled when it comes to fat and high cholesterol – fat isn’t the only thing that affects your cholesterol levels.

The Zone is also low in carbohydrates, at least according to some dietitians. Many argue that you don’t get enough good carbohydrates- fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Granted, the Zone does not comply with the USDA guidelines which call for 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 25% fat (vs. the 40-30-30 of the Zone). What is interesting is that the USDA guidelines are virtually identical to the ratio fed to cattle to fatten them up… (61-29-10).

What is also interesting is that the ratio of the Zone is very similar to what you would receive in a hospital if you were being fed through an IV. Further, the Zone does specifically recommend good carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which is in contrast to where many people get their carbohydrates from today like breads, pasta, and other sources that those same dietitians would tell you are less favorable.

The Zone is not a traditional diet

Some people go so far as to claim that the Zone recommends a candy bar over a high glycemic carbohydrate food such as a carrot. Unfortunately, those people just don’t understand the Zone, and make false assumptions. Taken out of context, a Snicker’s bar does in fact have a lower glycemic index than a carrot. The Zone doesn’t just consider that; it looks at it in a bigger context. The glycemic load of a Snicker’s bar is higher, plus the candy bar is very high in fat. You would actually have a very difficult time fitting a candy bar into a Zone Friendly meal.

So The Zone has some of the same down sides as many other diets. You’ll need to keep both pay attention to and keep track of what you eat. However, while it can be more complicated to follow a Zone diet than other diets, the foods that you get to eat make it much easier to stick with it.

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