The Zone Diet: Pros and Cons

Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Perry, Brad Pitt and even Bill Clinton are said to be among the followers of the Zone Diet. Certainly, such a galaxy of Hollywood celebrities among the fans of the Zone eating principles could be a weighty argument pro this diet. However, when choosing a diet, one should not treat the fabulous figures from TV screen as the only and decisive argument. In-depth study of the diet and evaluating all known pros and cons is important to make the right choice.

So, let us start with the Zone Diet features, which are most frequently criticized by weight-loss experts or dietitians.

The Zone Diet is not well-balanced. According to the traditional approach to eating, a diet is considered to be well-balanced if 60% of calories are derived from carbohydrates, 30% - from fats and 10% - from proteins. In this regard, the Zone Diet is not well-balanced because it recommends reducing the share of carbohydrates up to 40% and increasing the share of proteins up to 30%. The long-term influence of the Zone Diet on the human organism is not known, because no scientific researches were conducted.

The Zone Diet is difficult to follow. Though the official web-site says that dieting with the Zone is as easy as 1-2-3, it is not really so. The key principle of the Zone meal preparation is ensuring the right proportion of carbs, protein and fats in one meal. So, a dieter should be very accurate in weighing and mixing the products. To make the process easier, the Zone food blocks were developed, though they are likely to make the process of meals preparation even more difficult.

In general, following the Zone Diet is easy when you have your own head-cook, but for those people, who are going to try preparing the Zone dinner after the hard working day, cooking may become a real challenge.

Following the Zone is expensive. When following the Zone eating recommendations, a dieter may be faced with additional expenses for buying some of the Zone products, such as chocolate bars, cereals, vitamins and mineral supplements, and, of course, fish oil concentrates.

The Zone Diet is too low in calories. The daily caloric intake within the Zone is approximately 1100 - 1400 calories, which is extremely low in comparison to the official recommendations. For example, the American Medical Association says that the average caloric intake for active people should be within 2200 2800 calories per day. With two-fold reduction of calories, it is not a big surprise that Zone dieters really lose weight :)

The Zone is not friendly for kidneys. The Zone Diet is not recommended for people with kidney problems, since the increased amount of proteins in the eating regimen requires kidneys to work harder to eliminate all the waste products from protein digestion.

The advocates the Zone Diet mostly emphasize the following aspects of the Zone Diet.

The Zone Diet promotes eating healthy products. Undoubtedly, consuming fruits and vegetables as the major source of carbohydrates, and nuts, avocado and olive oil as the source of fats is a healthy approach to eating. Moderate consumption of complex carbohydrates, such as grains and cereals are also considered to be beneficial for general health.

Zone Diet promotes fish oil consumption. Adding fish oil concentrates to the daily eating regimen is usually mentioned as the advantage of the Zone diet. Many scientific studies have already proved the health improvements, ensured by fish oil.

Zone Diet is not too restrictive. In comparison to the other eating plans, the Zone is said to be less restrictive, because there are fewer foods in the black list. In fact, all food groups are represented within the Zone eating program. A dieter is recommended to consume practically all food groups, so the feeling of hunger and deprivation is likely to be out of the Zone.

Zone Diet regulates the insulin level. Maintaining optimal levels of certain human hormones, such as insulin, is one of the major goals of the Zone Diet. Keeping insulin level stable, when it is neither too low, nor too high, is very important not only for ensuring weight loss, but for preventing diabetes and other insulin-related diseases.

If you still find the above mentioned advantages of the Zone diet unconvincing, think about Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore or other above mentioned celebrities; perhaps, their perfect bodies will increase your motivation to enter the Zone :)

Nick