Zone Diet


The Zone diet is a diet popularized in books by Barry Sears. It advocates “hormonal thinking” instead of caloric thinking as an approach to eating. It is not a weight-loss “diet” (though it can be used quite successfully for that purpose); rather it is a way of eating the intake of food that produces the best results within our bodies based on a hypothesis of how the human body has evolved to cope with the food intake throughout history.
“The Zone” is Sears’s term for proper hormone balance. When insulin levels are neither too high nor too low, the human body is not busy storing excess calories as fat which means that those stores are available when needed. The human body cannot store fat and burn fat at the same time, and it takes time (significant time if insulin levels were high because of unbalanced eating) to switch from the former to the latter. Using stored fat for energy causes weight loss. The diet centers on a “40:30:30” ratio of calories obtained daily from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, respectively. The exact formula is always under debate, but studies over the past several years (including a non-scientific study by Scientific influence of dietary balance on digestion and hormone production. In addition, high-protein/low-carb diets cause the production of some “bad” hormones that the body tries to flush from the system. Much of the initial weight-loss from such diets is water loss.
The Zone in Italy
In Italy the Zone has been “translated” by Gigliola Braga, a biologist who applied Sears’ method to the local food and habits.