The author of the Zone, Dr Barry Sears, said the following about the GI diet: “Finally, the glycemic index (GI) is being recognized as a key component for permanent weight loss and the treatment of chronic disease. Rick Gallop’s book (The g.i. diet) is an excellent introduction to this major area of nutrition”
40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein to gain proper hormone balance
As the biochemist, Barry Sears, published books about the Zone, the diet rapidly became very popular. Barry Sears’ term for proper hormone balance is The Zone. With the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can control the three major hormones generated by the diet: insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids. These hormones have effects on the metabolism, blood sugar level and cholesterol deposits on your coronary arteries. If you balance your food to 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein you will control your body’s insulin production.
The Zone diet doesn’t forbid meal or snack but it is against eating one-dimensional meals. Instead you should balance the basic food to obtain a hormonal balance. It encourages foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts, leafy green vegetables, sufficient protein consumption, and eight glasses of water everyday. Mono-unsaturated fats are preferred since it makes you feel full. You should not eat processed foods and meals that contain too much salt and also stay away from caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
The specific anti-inflammatory chemicals eicosanoids, mentioned above, have similar effects to aspirin, but without downsides such as gastric bleeding. Sears claims that these natural anti-inflammatories are heart and health friendly.
The Zone is based on a low Glycemic Index (GI). A slower carbohydrate diet (means the same as a low GI diet) will give you a lower insulin level which means less stored fat and a faster transition to fat burning.
If the body needs energy and can’t burn fat because of high insulin levels, a person feels tired as their brain starves and metabolism slows to compensate. This occurs because the brain runs on glucose and high insulin levels deplete blood glucose levels. Such condition, rebound hypoglycemia causes sweet cravings (starting the high-insulin cycle all over again).
Monounsaturated fats are preferred in the diet and contribute to a feeling of fullness and decreases the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream.
The Zone diet reduces hunger and compulsion to eat but losing weight is not the only reason to follow the Zone diet as there are other benefits. It has been said to enhancing health, giving more energy and mental clarity. The Zone diet is also perfect for someone with type 2 diabetes.