Will The Zone Diet Help Me To Lose Weight?

The Zone Diet, Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon, Zone Diet | Photo Courtesy of Neeta Lind (Flickr.com)


The Zone Diet has been written about and publicised by Dr Barry Sears, a Biochemist, in various books since the 1990s.

Dieters apparently have much more energy than before they were on this diet, and feel generally healthier, for being on this particular diet.

But, what is this Zone Diet?  Does it actually work? and if so, how?


Zone Diet Explained

What Is This ‘Zone Diet’?

The theory behind this diet is, if you consume calories from foods with carbohydrates, proteins and fats in a ratio of 40:30:30, this will trigger ‘The Zone’ effect.

The Zone effect is where insulin and glucagon are at their optimal levels, being neither too high nor too low, resulting in the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals, which are good for your heart and overall health.  When this happens your body doesn’t store the extra calories you consume as fat – it doesn’t need to.  Therefore, it can concentrate on burning  the extra fat you are carrying, rather than storing additional fat.  This is what will, ultimately, make you lose weight.

Now that’s the science bit out of the way – how do you go about putting the theory into practice, and constructing meals that are ‘Zone Diet’ proof?

Well, here is a video explaining how to do exactly that – ‘Diet Like a Mathemetician Zone Diet':


How To Plate Up Your Meal ‘Zone Diet’ Way

Firstly, divide up your plate into three equal parts, or thirds, as these represent the protein, carbohydrate, and fat portions, that make up your ‘Zone Diet‘ meal.

Now for the amounts:

  • Protein:  Your protein portion should be equal in size, and in thickness, to the palm of your hand.
  • Carbohydrate:  The size of your carbohydrate portion, should be equal to the size of two loosely closed fists.
  • Fat:  The fat portion size should only be equal to the tip of your thumb.

That’s the portion sizes taken care of, but what foods are allowed, and which should be avoided?

Zone Diet Food List

The beauty of this Zone Diet is that NO foods are disallowed.  You just have to eat certain foods in moderation instead, and make sure that your dinner plate always follows the 40:30:30 ratio of protein, carbs and fat.

Now, that being said, there are some foods that are slightly better for you than others.  I have put together a short list of foods that are considered to be ‘healthy‘ foods, and also a list of foods that should be eaten in moderation.

Healthy Foods

  • Protein:  egg whites, low fat cheese, tofu, fish, veal, low fat pork, beef, chicken, turkey.
  • Carbohydrates:  low glycemic fruits, low glycemic vegetables.
  • Fat:  olive oil, butter.

Foods To Be Consumed In Moderation

  • Foods with a high content of sugar:  pasta, rice, bagels, cereals, bread, carrots, potatoes, peas, corn, figs, grapes, prunes, bananas, raisins.
  • Any food or drink that contains caffeine.


I hope you have found this article helpful.  Its aim was to simply outline the basics of this rather interesting diet.  As ever, before you make any changes to your diet, it is recommended that you go and visit your doctor or nutritionist for advice.

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Filed under: Weight Loss Diets

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