Zone Diet Overview
The Zone diet advocates a strict ratio of nutrients consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. This 40:30:30 formula is meant to balance the daily intake of carbohydrates with other nutrients, which helps to control insulin production - a fat retaining hormone - in the body.
The ultimate goal of The Zone diet is for the body to metabolize fat efficiently, assisting with weight loss and boosting energy levels.
Each day, dieters consume a certain number of Zone diet "blocks." Blocks are units that measure a combined serving of proteins, carbohydrates and fat. One Zone diet block, for example, might consist of 1 ounce of chicken for protein, 3/4 of a slice of bread for carbohydrates, and 1/3 of a tablespoon of olive oil for fat.
Most meals have a total of two to four Zone blocks. Women typically require 11 Zone food blocks per day to meet their fitness goals, while men can consume about 14.
When invented: Dr. Barry Sears first began to study the ideal ratio of nutrients in the 1970s. His work came to fruition in 1995 with the release of his book, Enter the Zone.
Who invented it: The Zone diet was established by Dr. Barry Sears - a former biotech scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Length of diet plan: The dietary principles followed in The Zone should become part of a lifelong commitment. The 40:30:30 rule should be applied to all meals.
The Zone is appealing to both athletes and actors. Jennifer Aniston reportedly followed The Zone while on Friends, as did all-star hockey pro Brian Leetch while playing for the NFL.
Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Janet Jackson, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Renee Zellwegger, Sandra Bullock, Madonna, Howard Stern and tiger blood enthusiast Charlie Sheen have also tried The Zone during their careers.