For convenience's sake, you can also eat at fast food restaurants: A couple of cups of chili at Wendy's or chicken tacos at Taco Bell are completely acceptable. (You can find more fast food suggestions at DrSears.com.)
Snacking is a "Do"
You are allotted snacks as part of this diet. Your two snacks per day can include treats ranging from Waldorf salad to chips and salsa. Plus, The Zone allows you to occasionally sneak in some of your old favorites by pairing them up with the appropriate amount of protein. For example, you can enjoy 1/2 cup of Haagen-Dazs so long as you also eat 4 ounces of sliced turkey or 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese.
"I can Burn Toast Very Well."
...That's where my culinary skills begin and end. That said, the ability to use convenience foods is always key to any diet I choose. I am pleased to report that lack of convenience definitely is not an issue in The Zone. You can easily build your "blocks" around items available pre-prepared at your local market or deli. There are also acceptable selections of frozen entrees recommended in the appendix.
Now that's Convenient!
Yet another option for sticking to your eating plan is to purchase the pre-prepared meals, supplement bars, and other Zone-friendly foods, to be delivered directly to your doorstep via ZonePerfect.com.
What Can't I Eat in The Zone?
While no one food is literally forbidden for the duration of The Zone, there are definitely particular foods you'll want to avoid as often as possible in order to achieve success. Foods you will find on the "unfavorable" list are sweet vegetables like sweet potatoes and sweet fruits like bananas. Say sayonara to starches as staples. So, if you're a carb-lover, forgoing bread or pasta as diet mainstays may be your biggest challenge.
Ready, Set, Stick to It!
One caveat that is important to consider is that this plan is best thought of as a lifestyle change, not a diet. Most people I have heard from who have maintained their weight loss on The Zone have stayed on the program once they met their goal weight. With that in mind, if you are ready to commit to a lifestyle change, rather than hold "the diet mentality," your odds of long-term success are increased significantly.