Zone Plan Review: Beginner Meal Plans and Dietary Guidelines, Does It Work for Rapid Weight Loss - Everything You Need to Know (Foods, Zones, and a Comprehensive Explanation) - Get Your Free Weight Loss App Above

The Zone nutrition program has become quite popular since it was first released. Over the years, even a few celebrities and Olympic athletes have sworn by its effectiveness. So, what’s with all the hype? Have the creators behind this diet truly found something more efficient for dieters?

Let’s discuss this diet’s claims in detail and dissect its recommendation based on current research. You then can decide if it’s the solution you have been looking for.

What Is It?

What Is the Zone Plan?

This Zone program says that it will increase the energy of people and have them feeling more alert and refreshed than traditional diets.

♥ The Zone plan tells its users to retrain their metabolism by changing their diet to 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates.

The material that comes with the Zone program says that this type of diet will turn back heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

On top of this, it is also stated that this diet is good for sports people and will increase their athletic performance.

The author claims that current thinking on diets is flawed. He says that a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat is the wrong answer for most people. He contends that this style of diet has contributed to the risk of serious conditions such as those mentioned earlier.

The diet was designed to combat these issues and to reverse the trend.

As a former scientist, the author uses a lot of theory to prove his assertions.

One of the primary issues centers on how the Zone is a “metabolic state in which the body works at peak efficiency”. This peak state is reached by eating the right quantity of carbohydrates, fat and proteins.

The Recommendations

The Zone Plan Recommendations

The Zone nutrition program does not recommend a lower calorie diet. It gives precise outlines for each meal. It tells you what foods to eat and in what ratio.

♥ For example, inside each meal you are instructed to eat a small amount of protein, about the size of your palm.

♥ The best types of carbohydrates are said to be vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains.

♥ The serving size at each meal should be twice that of the protein ratio.

If you have chosen the “unfavorable” carbohydrates, then you need to consume a smaller amount. The unfavorable carbohydrates are pasta, rice, papaya, mango, banana, dry breakfast cereal, bread, carrots and all fruit juices.

Dairy products are not highly thought of on the Zone plan as they are said to release glucose too quickly. If you are going to eat dairy, then you are told to eat egg whites, and low-fat cheese or milk.

The Theory

The Zone Plan Theory

The theory behind the diet is that it will control the body’s production of insulin. Insulin is used by the body to regulate the storage of excess fat as energy.

The goal of the ratio of foods in this diet is to maintain a balance between fat-storing insulin and the hormone glucagon.

Maintaining this balance is done by the portion sizes of the foods eaten. As such, this helps to control hormones.

The Science

The Zone Plan and Research

Based on the research that I read, there were no specific benefits for dieters even when their plans were different in protein, fat or carbs.

Compliance to a reduction in overall calories, rather than manipulating nutrient ratios, appears to be the most important factor for weight loss.

For example, a person will achieve weight loss if they are in a calorie deficit, regardless of if they are eating 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbs.

What to Guide

The Zone Plan Plan Guide, What to Eat

The main three rules to follow on the Zone plan are:

♥ To properly portion the % of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

♥ To correctly time your meals.

♥ To actively control your meal portions.

While there are no restrictions on foods on this plan, there are foods that are to be consumed in moderation:

Sugar, including some high sugar fruits and vegetables.

Alcohol.

Caffeine.

Starchy foods.

Sample Meal Plan

Simple Zone Plan Meal Plan Sample

Easy-to-follow Zone menu and recipes.

Day 1
♥ Breakfast
Breakfast burrito & berries.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Sauté green pepper and onion in a small amount of olive oil until tender.
Add egg and scramble to desired consistency.
Top with cheese and remove from heat.
Place into tortilla and add the cilantro and hot sauce, if desired.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Breakfast burrito:
1 whole wheat tortilla.
2 eggs.
2 tablespoons green pepper, diced.
2 tablespoons of onion, diced.
1 tablespoon Monterey Jack cheese, shredded.
A few dashes of hot sauce, optional.
Fresh chopped cilantro, optional.
Berries:
1/4 cup fresh blueberries or strawberries.
♥ Snack
Mozzarella cheese & an apple.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
A large apple.
♥ Lunch
Broiled chicken breast, salad & fruit.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Preheat broiler, place chicken on broiler pan and rub chicken with the white wine Worcestershire, and pepper.
Place on broiler and broil about five minutes each side or until juices run clear.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, palm sized.
2 tablespoons white wine Worcestershire, to marinade.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, optional.
1 cup spinach.
1 large apple.
♥ Snack
Pudding & walnuts.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1 package of sugar free pudding.
5 walnuts.
♥ Dinner
Salmon, sauté & blueberries.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Mix juice and garlic, marinated salmon 15-30 min.
Grill or broil 3-5 mins. Or until it flakes with a fork.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Salmon:
1 piece of salmon.
1/2 cup of orange juice.
1 clove of garlic, minced.
Sea salt.
Freshly ground Pepper.
Mushroom, asparagus sauté.
Blueberries.
Day 2
♥ Breakfast
Egg & bacon.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup Egg Beaters.
1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese.
1 slice turkey bacon.
1 large orange.
♥ Snack
Yogurt with berries.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.
1/2 cup of blueberries.
♥ Lunch: Turkey sandwich & spinach salad.
Turkey sandwich & Salad.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Turkey sandwich, with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Spinach Salad; made with baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and broccoli. Toss with vinegar and olive oil dressing.
♥ Snack
An orange & spinach salad with dressing.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1 large orange.
1 cup of spinach salad.
1 tablespoon of oil and vinegar dressing.
♥ Dinner
Steak, salad & berries.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Grilled steak, seasoned with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
Strawberry and blackberry spinach salad topped with a red wine and olive oil dressing.
Day 3
♥ Breakfast
Omelet, oatmeal & berries.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Whisk eggs, salt and pepper until foamy with a fork.
Add to a hot, oiled skillet and prick with a spatula every couple seconds to allow heat to reach the entire egg.
Once it begins to cook on top, stop pricking.
Place spinach and cheese on top of egg in skillet.
Flip one side of the egg over to form an omelet shape.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Spinach omelet:
2 eggs.
1/4 Cup fresh baby spinach.
2 tablespoons Farmer’s Cheese (or mozzarella), shredded.
Salt and pepper.
1 packet of oatmeal.
1/4 cup of fresh strawberries.
♥ Snack
Chicken salad on a piece of toasted whole wheat bread.
The Zone recipe.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1/4 cup of chicken salad.
1 piece of toasted whole wheat bread.
♥ Lunch: Chicken fajita & avocado smoothie.
Chicken fajita.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Place all ingredients into the tortilla. Wrap and enjoy.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into slices.
2 tablespoons tomato, diced.
1/4 cup lettuce.
1 teaspoon diced green chilies, optional.
1 tablespoon Monterey Jack cheese.
Whole wheat tortilla.
Avocado smoothie.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted.
1/4 cup skim milk.
3/4 cup ice cubes.
1 tablespoon honey.
♥ Snack
Yogurt with berries.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.
1/2 cup of blueberries.
♥ Dinner
Shrimp stir-fry & cottage cheese.
The Zone recipe.
Directions:
Place all the olive oil in a wok or skillet. Stir fry for 3-5 min.
Number of Servings, 1.
Ingredients:
Shrimp stir-fry:
6 shrimp, I use frozen, cooked, peeled and deveined.
1/4 Cup snow peas.
1/4 Cup shredded carrots.
1/8 Cup water chestnuts.
1 garlic clove, minced.
Sea Salt.
Pepper.
1/4 cup of cottage cheese.

The Verdict

Zone Plan Verdict

The Zone program can work for you; however, based on the research, it’s because you will be reducing the calories consumed daily and eating a healthier diet.

  • ♥ Not due to adjustments in ratios and numbers.
  • ♥ We do not believe in any diet “system” that makes the same recommendations to all.
  • ♥ People are different, and so should their fitness and nutrition plans.

Help Me

The Best Nutrition Meal Plan App

Using the latest science and research, the team at changingshape.com offer plans developed by certified nutrition and fitness professionals that shape exercise and meal plans based on the specific calories and nutrients a body needs to achieve real results. Join the changingshape.com calorie counter app free today.

In the News

Get your position on the beta-tester waitlist today.

The waitlist is an exclusive, limited time offer. Seats are numbered. Enter your details below today.