1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

The Zone Diet

By

Updated January 01, 2013

Let's look at some of the basic pro's and con's of choosing The Zone as your eating program:

Pro's

  • Pro: Portion control leads to a significant calorie reduction for just about anyone. So, even if you don't choose to continue following The Zone program, learning the skills of balance and moderation will serve you well, regardless of your eating plan.
  • Pro: There is a good focus on reducing sugars, something we could all probably stand to do. Again, this is a skill you can apply to your lifestyle, even if you don't follow this plan.
  • Pro: You will learn to practice mindful eating by monitoring your food intake.
  • Pro: You can still have a lot of variety in your diet following this program. Choosing foods from the different lists and mixing and matching them will help keep you from getting bored. The recipes in the book and at Dr. Sears' Web site are varied.
  • Pro: Most people find an improvement in their energy levels and general alertness. Any fatigue you may feel the first few days will likely dissipate and be replaced with renewed vigor.
  • Pro: Many Zone dieters have said their cravings for sweets and junk food are much less of a problem after their bodies adjust to this new way of life.
Con's
  • Con: Most people lose weight rather quickly, which is good if you need to lose the weight by a certain date, but which may be a con if you want to keep it off. Often, weight lost quickly returns just as speedily. However, many successful Zone dieters say staying "in The Zone" ensures weight maintenance.
  • Con: Perhaps The Zone is not always practical? One of our community members, LONGTIMLOSER, made the following comments:
    "The Zone ... has the right idea in general. I like the idea that it is balanced. It just took far too much advance planning and I didn't find it practical for real life."
  • Con: Requires commitment -- if you're not ready to monitor your diet and devote a significant amount of time to planning your meals, this diet probably isn't for you.
  • Con: Some experts have suggested that not enough vegetables are included in this diet (even though it does incorporate some), and that by reducing "bad" carbohydrates, we as a result may miss out on "good" ones as well.
  • Con: This diet has not been without its opponents in the media, either. For example, Self magazine rated The Zone as a D+ in its "Ultimate Diet Guide".[/a]

References
Zone Outline http://www.eicotech.com/outline.html (No longer available.)
Self "Ultimate Diet Guide" (online source: phys.com)      http://www.phys.com/loseweight/diet_guide/bigname.html (No longer available.)
Sears, Barry. The Zone: Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent      Weight Loss . New York: Harper Collins, 1995.

Additional Reading
There is a new paper back book that you might wish to read before, or in addition to, The Zone called A Week in the Zone which is also by Dr. Barry Sears. This book provides a summary of the basics of the program, examples of meals, and information on how to incorporate foods you already eat into the plan.

Related Video
Essential Gadgets for College Students
How to Choose Pain Medication

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.