Around this time of year, it isn’t surprising to hear a lot of people talking about weight loss. What they mean is that they want to lose the fat. As a coach, I’m always asked by people what their nutrition should look like to lose weight, gain muscle, and or increase performance. I almost always recommend “Enter the Zone,” by Dr. Barry Sears. I was first introduced to the Zone diet sometime around 2005, and since then I have seen the Zone work for myself and countless other people.
What is the Zone?
Being in the Zone means that at each meal you are eating macronutrients in the quantities of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Your size and activity level will determine how much you eat. The measurement for how much a person eats is then broken down into blocks. A block of Carbs is 9 grams, a block of fat is 3 grams, and a block of protein is 7 grams. So a 4 block zone meal would look like 36 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat, and 28 grams of protein. Your size and activity level will determine the amount of block you eat throughout the day. Typically between 10 and 24 blocks. This balanced consumption keeps insulin levels regulated and to promote energy usage and not storage. I myself have eaten between 19 and 21 blocks depending on how active I am.
You will lose fat eating in the Zone
When you are in the Zone, you are eating for performance. The food you eat is used as fuel for your system instead of being stored for later in the form of fat. This works for your grandma and elite athletes. The only thing that changes is the amount of blocks a person consumes.
Losing weight is just the tip of the iceberg
Not only will eating in the Zone help with your waistline, but more importantly it will help you keep you away from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, “mental” diseases, and numerous other health defects.
You still eat carbs, fats, and proteins
A well-balanced diet like the Zone that will give us the energy to workout and think clearly is the answer. So many diets out there eliminate fats or carbs. Years ago everyone was saying that we needed to avoid dietary fat. That was when the explosion of low-fat this and low-fat that came around. Now it seems to be all related to carbs. No doubt that excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates is leading the levels of chronic disease that we see today. But completely eliminating carbs isn’t the answer either. The zone provides carbs, fats, and proteins. All the macronutrients that are necessary for a healthy life.
I wouldn’t promote something that I didn’t actually think worked. I know the Zone works. I’ve tried it on countless clients and have had numerous gym challenges throughout the years. The challenge would be based off of performance metrics in workouts and not necessarily how the body looked. They would eat in the Zone for 30 days and we would then retest the same workouts. The results were amazing. Not only would their performance increase in the workouts, but as a side benefit they would be leaner, have more energy for the day, and feel better emotionally.
Buy “Enter The Zone“ and give it a try! What do you have to lose?