The Zone Diet:

how it was born and how it works

The Zone Diet was created by the American researcher Barry Sears. 

In the Zone, food becomes an ally, thanks to a specific combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

 

The basic formula is 40-30-30 for the 3 main meals and at least 2 snacks. 40% of calories must come from carbohydrates, 30% from proteins, and the remaining 30% from fats. 

 

Following the Zone Diet means eating while feeling fully efficient, both physically and mentally.

Macronutrients in the Zone Diet: which ones are preferred

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the basis of our diet:
the Zone Diet teaches us to select the most beneficial ones.

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the basis of our diet:

the Zone Diet teaches us to select the most advantageous ones.

Carbohydrates

Fundamental to the Zone Diet is the "glycemic index"  of foods. If they contain carbohydrates,  that raises the glycemia, which is the level of glucose (a sugar) in the blood.


This is a completely normal event, but if the quality and quantity of foods aren’t ideal, the increase can be excessive and can lead to fat accumulation. It is therefore necessary to avoid foods based on white flour (pasta, bread and its derivatives, cookies, cakes, etc. ...) and to prefer vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice and the like).

Proteins

Proteins perform countless functions in the human body. For example, they contribute to the formation of muscles, bones, hair, and nails. They also promote the release of various hormones that contribute to the sense of satiety.

 

However, it is necessary to always choose the best sources, making sure that they contain all the most important essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Nine of them are defined as "essential" because our body is not able to synthesize them by itself, and so they must be introduced through the diet. 

 

In addition, we must ensure that the food source of protein has a low content of "bad" fats. Therefore, fish, white meat, egg whites, organic soy, milk and low-fat yoghurt should be prioritized.

Proteins

Proteins perform countless functions in the human body. For example, they contribute for example, they contribute to the formation of muscles, bones, hair, and nails. They also promote the release of various hormones that contribute to the sense of satiety.

However, it is necessary to always choose the best sources, making sure that they contain all the most important essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Nine of them are defined as "essential" because our body is not able to synthesize them by itself, and so they must be introduced through the diet. 

 

However, it is necessary to always choose the best sources, making sure that they contain all the most important essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Nine of them are defined as "essential" because our body is not able to synthesize them by itself, and so they must be introduced through the diet. 

Fats

Finally, fats are of great dietary importance because they enter into cell membranes, are a source of energy, perform a hormonal function, and help protect vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.

But not all fats are equal. The best fats for our well-being are those contained in extra virgin olive oil and dried and oily fruits (which also have an antioxidant action).

Four fundamental pillars

Nutrition

The appropriate combination of calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (in their respective proportions of 40-30-30) must be maintained at all times for the three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and for snacks (at least two per day).

Supplementation

Regular intake of long-chain omega-3 (EPA and DHA) and polyphenols, found especially in fruits and colorful vegetables. 

Physical activity

Engaging in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity is an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity provides significant health benefits and overall well-being for each individual, while contributing to hormonal balance at the same time.

Mental relaxation

The use of certain relaxation techniques can positively influence hormone levels, not least those of cortisol, the so-called "stress hormone."

Benefits of the zone

The 4 pillars of the Zone Diet, when working in full synergy, bring countless benefits to our body.

These benefits derive from achieving a precise hormonal balance, which is the Zone’s first objective.

In fact there is a link between diet and hormones.The objective, in particular, is to maintain the values of specific hormones (primarily insulin and glucagon) within an optimal "Zone".

The Zone in practice

5 easy and practical rules to follow the Zone Diet every day

Have three main meals and two or three snacks every day

Don’t allow more than five hours 

Each main meal and snack should provide about 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from proteins, and 30% from fats

The quantities of food should not be exceeded during every meal

Eat lots of vegetables  (except potatoes, beets, and cooked carrots) and a good amount of fruit (except bananas, figs and persimmons). Limit foods with a high glycemic index (rice, bread, potatoes, sweets)

The EnerZona line

From the balance of the Zone Diet comes EnerZona: the line of balanced 40-30-30 foods and innovative supplements based on omega-3.