Created by Barry Sears, the Zone diet plan was devised to maximise the body's metabolic rate through stabilising and regulating blood sugar levels.
Controlling insulin ensures that the body burns fat more efficiently, as excess insulin makes us fat. When following the Zone diet you must balance food intake by consuming food in the following proportions - 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, 30% fats.
A steady weight loss can be expected through this balancing of proteins and carbohydrates. The Zone Diet plan recommends that the majority of carbohydrates consumed should be sourced from fruit and vegetables, with starches like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta eaten sparingly. This means that the Zone diet is predominantly healthy, promoting consumption of fruits and vegetables. As the diet is low in saturated fat it can help to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Weight lost through following the plan is probably a result of the restricted calorie intake of the diet. When following this program, calorie intake is reduced to between 800 - 1,200 calories per day. The diet is difficult to follow as portion control is extremely regimented rendering the diet complicated and time-consuming. It is also extremely difficult to accurately measure consumption of the various food groups. Following the plan for a prolonged period may lead to deficiency diseases like anaemia and osteoporosis as it lacks some of the body's essential nutrients.