The Zone Diet was created by Doctor Barry Sears. In this diet hormones play an important role in controlling your weight. It works to maintain hormonal equilibrium between insulin and glucagons, which both control the level of blood sugar. The diet also controls the equilibrium between good and bad eicosanoides, hormones with an impact on cardio-vascular illnesses. Because the insulin production is stimulated by glucies and glucagons are stimulated by proteins it is necessary to control the balance between these two. Here are some of the diet principles.

In general you should consume three grams of proteins for each four grams of glucides. A typical Zone diet meal contains 40% glucides, 30% proteins, and 30% lipids. Reduce the calories in your meals and place the accent on nutritional foods. You’ll need one half gram of protein per pound of body weight (not including fat) if you are sedentary and twice that amount if you engage in sports. In general a serving of proteins is 7 grams (which is approximately a fourth of an ounce.) It’s better to get your proteins from meals rather than from snacks. Get your glucides from foods with a low glycemic index. Your fats should be monounsaturated, such as can be found in olive oil and avocados. Enjoy an afternoon snack. Take food supplements. Exercise to increase your heart rate; exercise moderately but for a long time. Examples include 6 hours of walking or 3 hours of running per week.

The Zone Diet is said to be beneficial for people suffering from high levels of insulin, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, or with cholesterol problems, It may help fight against certain cancers. Its disadvantages include the difficulty of calculating portions and constantly making sure to eat more glucides than proteins. Only three afternoon snacks are suggested.

Here are two sample menus, which both provide 10 protein portions:
Menu 1
Breakfast: An apple. 85 milliliters (about 3 ounces) of cooked corn porridge. 90 grams of fat-free cheese. 15 milliliters of almonds.
Lunch: Tomato salad (2 tomatoes) with a thin stream of olive oil and vinegar. 90 grams of skinless chicken breast. 250 milliliters of broccoli. 3 apricots. The mid-afternoon snack is a 120 gram skim-milk yogurt.
Supper: Spinach salad. 45 gram tuna steak. 50 milliliters of brown rice. 4.5 milliliters of olive oil. 60 milliliters of fat-free cottage cheese.

Menu 2
Breakfast: An orange. A rice cake. 250 milliliters of partially skimmed milk. 2 egg whites. 30 grams of fat-free cheese. 4.5 milliliters of olive oil.
Lunch: 2 tablespoons of humus. 90 grams of lean beef. 60 milliliters of chick peas. 4.5 milliliters of sesame seed oil. 125 milliliters of fruit salad.
The mid-afternoon snack is 60 milliliters of cottage cheese accompanied by half a fruit.
Supper: Soy spout salad (750 milliliters). 90 grams of skinless chicken breast. 4.5 milliliters of olive oil. 250 milliliters of turnips. 125 milliliters of grapes.

Some of the information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Regimes, written by Jenny de Jonquieres and published by Amerik Media. Her book describes more than 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and a whole lot more. La Bible des Regimes is presently available in French only.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but would rather drink fine French wine with friends. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel, wine, and food website and his global wine website featuring a weekly review of $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines.
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