The Zone Diet Basics

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There are a number of rules regarding how to eat, that the Zone diet recommends for weight loss.

These are the eating rules for the Zone diet:

  1. Eat 1g of fat for every 2g of low-fat protein and 3g carbohydrates
  2. Eat no more than 500 calories at any meal
  3. Eat only as much low-fat protein that you can fit in the palm of your hand (main meals)
  4. Women need to eat approximately 3 blocks each of protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal and snack
  5. Men need to eat approximately 4 blocks each of protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal and snack

The Zone diet has many rules about which foods are considered “good” and which are considered “bad”, about how many “blocks” of protein, carbohydrates and fats that you need to consume each day and how many meals to eat.

The Zone Diet was created as a way of keeping people in the correct “hormonal zone”, for which the diet was named

The Zone diet has several layers of rules, which are explained and listed below. These rules are only part of the set of rules that the Zone diet requires:

Level 1 Bronze - What Your Grandma Told You

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables each day
  • Eat less breads, pasta, grains and starches each day
  • Eat more frequent meals with fewer calories
  • Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks each day
  • Eat small amounts of low-fat protein at every meal and snack

The outcome: to stop gaining any excess body fat

Level 2 Silver - Begin to Pay Attention

  • Work out how much protein you need to eat each day
  • Use common sense to work out ratio of protein:carbohydrates
  • Add some extra monounsaturated fat to every meal
  • Drink a glass of water half an hour before meals

The outcome: to start losing excess body fat

Level 3 Gold - Hormonal Thinking

  • Always have a Zone breakfast within one hour of waking up
  • Never go without food for more than 5 hours
  • Always eat your meals even if you are not particularly hungry
  • Ensure most carbohydrates eaten come from fruits and vegetables
  • Eat little of grains, pasta, starches and breads
  • Ensure grains, pasta, starches, bread are only 25% of total carbs

The outcome: to be in the Zone and doing everything possible to achieve SuperHealth*


  1. Sears B. Mastering the Zone: The Next Step in Achieving SuperHealth and Permanent Fat Loss. HarperCollins Publishers, 1997, p47-48



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