Zone, The

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Product Description

Barry Sears looks at why Americans still have dietary problems in spite of following the advice of experts. Challenging the current recommendations for a high carbohydrate diet, Sears looks into man's history as well as the diets athletes succeed best on, to build a new dietary picture. Anyone looking for better health through an improved relationship to what they eat should put this book on their list.

For years experts have been telling Americans what to eat and what not to eat. Fat, they told us, was the enemy. Then it was salt, then sugar, then cholesterol... and on it goes. Americans listened and they lost -- but not their excess fat. What they lost was their health and waistlines. Americans are the fattest people on earth... and why? Mainly because of the food they eat. In this scientific and revolutionary book, based on Nobel Prize-winning research, medical visionary and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Dr. Barry Sears makes peak physical and mental performance, as well as permanent fat loss, simple for you to understand and achieve. With lists of good and bad carbohydrates, easy-to-follow food blocks and delicious recipes, The Zone provides all you need to begin your journey toward permanent fat loss, great health and all-round peak performance. In balance, your body will not only burn fat, but you'll fight heart disease, diabetes, PMS, chronic fatigue, depression and cancer, as well as alleviate the painful symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and HIV. This Zone state of exceptional health is well-known to champion athletes. Your own journey toward it can begin with your next meal. You will no longer think of food as merely an item of pleasure or a means to appease hunger. Food is your medicine and your ticket to that state of ultimate body balance, strength and great health: the Zone.

Customer Reviews:

  • It works for me
    First of all, it's not for everyone. No diet is, I suspect. If you hate having to keep track of portions or if you freak out about the fact that all the recipes are "4 block" but you need a "3 block" meal and you don't like to multiply the amounts by 3/4, you will hate this diet. Save your money and try something else.
    I'm a 35 year old woman. I've been on the Zone for about 2 months. I've lost 20 lbs (all of it fat), my blood pressure has dropped and I feel great and have lots of energy. For the last 5 years I've been struggling with excess weight that I couldn't lose with a combination of exercise and (mostly unsuccessful)attempts to eat less. I was kind of dubious at first about the Zone, but it has done wonders in terms of helping me eat sensibly without getting hungry between meals. My skin looks a lot nicer as well.
    There are many misconceptions about the Zone. It's not Atkins, it's not South Beach (although they do share some similarities), and it's not a magic diet in which you eat unlimited amounts of food. (And in response to the previous reviewer, glycemic index is mentioned many times in the book.)
    It is a portion control diet. You will need to eat appropriate amounts of protein, carbs and fat at every meal. It seems weird at first. It takes work. You will need to do more food preparation than before, or at the very least you will have to learn about portion sizes. Exercise is strongly recommended. You will probably be consuming fewer calories than before unless you were already on a very low calorie diet. Yes, you lose weight because you eat less, same as any other diet. (I never understood why some reviewers seem to think that this is a bad thing) If you do it right, however, you will be eating quite a lot of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. It is not difficult to stay in the Zone when you go out to eat. You probably won't get the Atkins bad breath or constipation. Yes, it's a bit of a pain keeping track of amounts, but it's not really that different from counting carb grams or fat grams. And once you know the amounts, you really don't have to do much measuring.
    I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the recipes in the book, so usually I just find appropriate recipes in other cookbooks or cook without recipes. There are a lot of good low fat, low carb meat recipes - all you have to do is add enough fruits and vegetables and you have a good meal without the annoying 'everything mixed together' aspect of some of the book recipes...more info
  • A comparison of Diet Books
    Like many of you, I found myself wondering what the differences were between the various diet programs. What I discovered is that all of the major diet books are well written and share many similarities. None of them offered an "silver bullet" to weight loss - it primarily comes down to keeping your calories burned greater than your calories eaten. There are theories presented about glycemic index, good vs. bad carbs, etc., but at the end of the day it's about calories and exercise.

    In this review, I've summarized Consumer Reports evaluations to offer brief summaries of each diet book/program in hopes that it might help you pick out the one that would work best for you. Don't pay too much attention to the number of stars, as it's my own subjective rating based on effectiveness, ease of use, and ability to stick with the diet. Instead, try to discern which diet might fit your lifestyle better.

    The Abs Diet, ****
    This book is written by David Zinczenko, the editor of Men's Health Magazine. The diet likes the number 6 - promising "6 pack abs in 6 weeks," by eating 6 meals a day. Each meal is built around the "power 12" foods. There is a strong emphasis on whey supplements. The fitness program was easy to follow but perhaps too strenuous for beginners and seemed better suited to men. Strong points are excellent nutritional content and strong exercise. Weak points are questionable claims about rapid weight loss and "6 pack" abs, and mediocre meal plans. Average recommended daily calories are 1,890, with 7 fruits and vegetable servings.

    The South Beach Diet ****
    The SB Diet is a slightly more permissive version of the Atkins low-carb diet. It is based on the premise that eating low-glycemic foods (foods that don't raise blood sugar) decreases cravings for sugar and refined carbs. Like many of the diets, there are two phases. In the first phase, fruits, sugar, and grains are banned outright. Phase 2 allows some fruit, high-fiber grains, and dark chocolate. The simplicity of the diet might appeal to many busy dieters. However the emphasis on the glycemic index and insufficient exercise sections are a drawback. Recipes are easy to prepare, but some called for unusual ingredients (a clever cook could make substitutions). Average recommended daily calories are a mere 1,340, with 13 fruits and vegetable servings (mostly veggies).

    The Sonoma Diet ****
    The Sonoma Diet is an updated low-carb diet with a Mediterranean theme. Again, it is broken into two phases, called "waves." In "Wave 1," the dieter is banned from eating most sweet or refined foods. The much longer "Wave 2" permits fruits and wine. It has a unique method of calculating portions by filling sectors of small plates with specified food categories. The diet is healthy but complex. It is also very restrictive, which makes it more difficult to stay on. Also, the book doesn't offer enough on exercise. The recipes were tasty but elaborate to prepare. Average recommended daily calories are a mere 1,390, with 10 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Ultra-Metabolism ***
    The Ultra-Metabolism Diet is designed around the assertion that people get fat because their body's systems become toxic, inflamed, and imbalanced. Again, this is a two phase diet. Phase 1 is an initial "detox" period. The longer Phase 2 is a "rebalancing" period. Overall, the dieter must eliminate white rice, refined grains, most red meats, and caffeinated beverages. The theory of your body requiring detoxification goes beyond any scientific evidence and rings a bit of late night television "miracle detox bowel-cleansing pills." The diet is fairly restrictive and complicated. The exercise section was brief but practical. Average recommended daily calories are 1,660, with 12 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Volumetrics, ****
    The Volumetrics Diet is based on Penn State research. It aims to maximize the amount of food you can eat for a given caloric intake. This is done primarily by eating reduced-fat products, adding in lots of vegetables, and using low-fat cooking techniques. It encourages eating a first course of broth-based soup or low-calorie salad (not heavily laden with dressing, cheese or bacon) to take the edge off your appetite. Recent clinical studies have shown this diet to be very effective. The recipes are appetizing but time consuming. Average recommended daily calories are 1,500, with 14 fruits and vegetable servings.

    The Zone Diet, ****
    The Zone Diet was designed to keep your blood sugar and hormones at optimal levels so that you can better fight obesity and diseases. It requires that each meal consist of 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs (based on calories). The diet allows many fruits, but almost no grains except oatmeal. The meals are simple to prepare and nutritionally balanced. But having to keep to the 30/30/40 balance is very tedious and requires lots of preplanning. Recent studies showed that the overall weight loss was below average. Average recommended daily calories are 1,660, with 17 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Eat More, Weigh Less, ***
    The Eat More, Weigh Less (Ornish) Diet is a low-fat vegetarian diet that bans all meat, fish, oils, alcohol, sugar, and white flour. Their clinical studies suggest that strictly following the diet can prevent or reverse some diseases. Ornish argues that it is easier to make drastic changes to diet rather than small ones. The diet offers the most food per calorie of any of the diets. It is actually lower in fat than current USDA guidelines recommend. Studies have shown good long term weight loss, but a relatively high drop-out rate. Average recommended daily calories are 1,520, with 17 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, ***
    The Atkins Diet is the grand daddy of them all. As with many of the other diets, it is divided into two phases. The first phase is a two week induction period that bans nearly all carbs. The second phase is only slightly less restrictive, but does slowly add more vegetables, fruit, and wine. Research has suggested that Atkins' dieters are less hungry than on many other diets. But the diet is difficult to adhere to and has a high drop-out rate. Long term weight loss has been shown to be average. The single most glaring concern with the Atkins diet is that the nutritional profile is far outside conventional dietary guidelines. (We've all known people eating handfuls of bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast, claiming they were on a diet). Average recommended daily calories are 1,520, with 6 fruits and vegetable servings.

    Again, please don't worry too much about my ranking of the diet books - it's completely subjective. My suggestion is to simply find a program that seems to fit your lifestyle best.

    Please be kind enough to indicate if reviews are helpful.

    Written by Arthur Bradley, author of "Process of Elimination" - an intense thriller in which a martial artist, a greedy corporate attorney, and a sexy conspiracy theorist team up to stop a world-class sniper from killing presidential candidates....more info
  • The diet is complicated, and the claims are unsubstantiated.
    I read the book, and decided before even trying the diet that it was way too complicated. I didn't want to spend three hours per day planning and preparing meals. I also didn't want to buy those high-priced Zone meals at the supermarket.

    As to the author's claims of how following his diet will make you live forever and never get sick, where are the citations to the body of credible research which backs up his claims? Mr. Sears follows the same "this is true, because I'm an 'expert' and I say it's true" approach that plagues popular health and wellness literature.

    The program will work to lose weight, since it is, after all the fluff is scraped away, essentially a calorie-cutting diet program. But there are easier ways to cut calories than "the Zone."...more info

  • Eh.
    "The Zone" is a good instructional manual for people who have extremely poor diets, but for the average person with a modicum of common sense, it's quite useless. This is the first diet "manual" I've read and no doubt it will be my last. I picked up a lot of good information reading "The Zone," and indeed, I did loose three pounds in about three weeks. Many of the recipes are tasty - if you have an hour to cut up eight cups of fresh broccolli, that is. But counting out the various "blocks" took an inordinate amount of time and energy from my already busy schedule. Once I replaced the time I spent planning Zone menus, grocery shopping, prepping my meals, and other minutiae with daily cardio exercise, *that's* when I started to notice results! Now I just follow a simple routine of limiting my caloric intake. One thing that was very misleading about "The Zone" is that the authors claim that the dieter should not feel hungry. Not so. Make no mistake: this diet hinges on portion control and calorie counting, and I, like many people I know who are on the Zone diet, was famished beyond belief, particularly during the first two weeks. Bottom line is, if one is healthy and fit, nixing carbs from your diet doesn't matter, 'cause ultimately, it's about how many calories you put in your body and how many you work off....more info
  • Impossible for the average reader to understand
    The good doctor has a point. If only I could figure it out....more info
  • Easy Diet
    I did it with the body for life and it made it easy and a no brainer! Great diet!...more info
  • Eye-opening Read
    I found this book to be fascenating. The diet is easy to follow, but it takes a few days to get used to it. By following it I am also saving $$$$ because I am not grabing lunch or breakfast from the fastfood drive through. I have been on the diet for 3 weeks and I have lost 6 pounds. I am very pleased with it so far. My fiance actually switched from Atkins!...more info


  • The Zone principles are true but....
    The Zone premise is that the portions of Carbs, Proteins and Fats you eat can affect your production of good or "bad" eicosanoids and therefore lead you into The Zone.

    That is true but it is overemphasized. The influence that you exert on your insulin levels by means of your food intake is much lower than for example, your stress level, mood, exercise and overall mental attitude, not to mention your genetic disposition.

    Conclusion: The potential benefits expected following the zone does not justify the pain of following the strict principles of 40:30:30 in every single meal...more info

  • If you want to lose weight, learn about nutrition & exercise
    It has been known for years that if calories in < calories out you will lose weight. That's it. There is nothing magic or special about eating 30-40-30 or about low-carb diets or negative calorie diets.

    Anyone can lose weight by following a balanced diet and either limiting the number of calories they consume or exercising more.

    It terms of overall health, there is no one-size fits all diet. Some people will do better on this diet than on a high carb diet for example, but certainly not everyone.

    Save your money and buy a good nutrition book or gym membership. Educate yourself about your daily nutritional needs, count calories and stay active if you want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

    I can't speak for the truth to the claim that this diet helps put you 'In the Zone' of peak mental and physical performance. If that's is what you are after, rather than the weight-loss, It may work....more info

  • the only book on diet that ever made sense
    This book changed my life. Several years ago I become chronicaly ill. For six months I had one terrible case of flu-like symptoms after another. My health was breaking down. I went to one kind of doctor after another, including increasingly wacko new age therapies. These might work in general, but I wasn't getting better. Then someone put this book in my hands. I read it in about two days. I thought the science and the studies that applied it to diabetes, athletic peak performance, and the like made enormous sense. I threw out all my old food, went to the store, and bought strictly zone food. In a week, literally, I was well. Not only that, I weighed myself and discovered I'd lost ten pounds. I ended up losing forty pounds and maintaining my health. I recommended the book to others who had similar experiences. This book isn't just for losing weight, it's a way of life. You learn the science of food, and you live a different way. I've learned how to stay on the zone and still "cheat". That is, enjoy my food. Basically you eat a balanced protein, carb, and fat diet. And you watch what kind of protein, carb, and fat you eat. What could be simpler? Then I bought all the rest of the books, too. The zone has become part of the rest of my life....more info
  • An easier book to understand 40-30-30 Fat Burning Nutrition
    I returned my copies of Barry Sears books because they were so dry and boring (and I like science!). Instead I found the book written by Joyce and Gene Daoust to be more concise and easier to understand. The book is 40-30-30 Fat Burning Nutrition. Joyce and Gene Daoust also worked with Barry Sears....more info
  • First diet I have ever been on with no hunger
    This is the 1st diet in 10 years I have been on that I'm not hungry or craving food. That has been the key to my success with this diet and feel most other people also fail due to this reason. Dr. Sears says in the 1st chapter you will not feel hungry after day 2 or 3 and I thought it was BS but it really works.

    I have failed on every other diet I have been on, since I started The Zone 6 weeks ago I lost 26 pounds. A drawback some people may have on this is I seem to eat the same things over and over for me it's not a problem. I need to lose 50 pounds I put on during the last 10 years why not take 12 weeks to lose what took me 10 years to put on with no hunger.

    Another added bonus is that I feel great most of my intake is fruit, vegetables, turkey and chicken. Just follow the recipes and weight the food and you can't lose!! For dinner I usually have 5 OZ chicken, 2 cups broccoli, 1 cup asparagus, 1 cup peppers and onions, Garlic, and the food almost doesn't fit on my plate there is so much all under 400 calories.

    I recently had 2 friends try the diet and they are thrilled. They both lost over 10 pounds feel great and think I'm a genius.

    Waist size 34 here I come.

    Good luck all...more info

  • The Zone is where you wanna be!
    Get in the Zone now. I have never felt better in my whole life!

    While Dr Sears likes to exagerate things a little bit, The Zone is surely the best diet there is. Being a bodybuilder, The Zone helped me gaining lean mass....more info

  • Enter the Zone
    The 1st of many Dr. Barry Sears'excellent books on secret to health and optimal physical performance - a must read for everyone who is serious about getting well and to perform at the highest level thru what we eat!...more info
  • Diet For Life Guide
    This is probably the simplest way to eat. It makes sense, and it works. I have already lost about 6lbs in 2 weeks time. The meals are easy to fix and the ingredients are simple. Once you are in the "zone" you will never go back. ...more info
  • One of the best weight loss books around
    I love Barry Sears' books. He has put many people on the right path to weight loss and as a nutritionist I devoured the first "Zone" book when it came out several years ago. Some books are landmarks in our understanding of human metabolism, and this is one of them. Controlling insulin and blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do to avoid laying down body fat, and Sears offers very practical advice to help you do this.
    Linda Lazarides
    Author: The Waterfall Diet; Treat Yourself with Nutritional Therapy...more info
  • The Zone is like a miracle - it works!
    The Zone really works! I was always a thin child and as an adult have never really learned how to maintain my weight. At the rate of a pound or two most every year, over a period of 20 or so years I found myself in a size 16 in my mid 40's. My energy level was low, clothes didn't fit right and I felt really out of control. I tried dieting but the awful cravings I'd get caused me to reach for something sweet and give up after a day or two. When my husband brought home a copy of the Zone, I opened it up and started reading. The book is educational and approaches eating and nutrition more from an overall health perspective, rather than as a fad diet. I decided to give it a try. Yesterday I went shopping for some new suits as I'm now 25 lbs lighter. I found I now fit beautifully into a size 10! I look better, have a much higher energy level and, the best part is, I know I can eat this way the rest of my life. I've finally learned how to maintain my weight! You can't imagine how good that feels.

    My tips for the Zone are: Don't worry about eating exactly Zone perfect! For me I now know which foods are good and which are high carb and I know about how many calories and grams are in the foods I eat most of the time. Since I need about 3 to 4 zone blocks for each of the meals and a small snack at 5:00, I just know that means 27 grams of carbs and 21 protein grams. The fat grams come in many of the meals I buy (such as a little dressing on the salad), but if they don't I eat a few almonds.

    I recommend this book for everyone. It could change your life....more info

  • I this really what's right for you?
    The system MIGHT work for you. There is no plan which is right for everyone, regardless of what the author tells you.

    The zone tends to work for athletes who have large enough protein requirements that they will get sufficient calories under the diet formulas prescribed here.

    For most people who are sedentary or only moderately active, this plan is simply not sustainable in the long run. It's just not possible to count your proteins at every meal and ensure the ideal fat:protein:carb ratio. Plus if you are sedentary, this plan results in calorie deprivation and you will be HUNGRY!

    Even the biggest supporting reviewer here reported "weight fluctuation" and "intense carb cravings" on this plan. Huh?! Few people have the willpower to live with the latter in the long run.

    This system encourages you to focus on the macro-ingredients in your diet (fat, protein, carbs) at the expense of the micro ingredients (vitamins, minerals, essential fats).

    This book has interesting info but the plan just won't work for most people in the long rung. Look for a system which lets you make long term sustainable changes or accept that when you get off this plan you will gain back all the weight you lost and probably a bit more.

    If you plan to buy only one diet book, skip this one. If you are building a fitness library then include this in your collection along side Atkins, Eat Right 4 Your Type and all the other popular diet plans out there. Knowing more doesn't hurt - just apply healthy scepticism to all diet "gospel."...more info

  • Makes sense
    I have just completed The Zone and cannot wait to get started on revamping my genetic code. The book is highly informative and provides detailed information as to why this diet works and others do not. This is the first diet that I have researched that actually makes nutritional sense. I am eager to begin changing the way I eat. Sears' writing is intelligent, inspirational and never condescending. Being a sufferer of Epstein Barr, I look forward to feeling a boost in energy. I cannot wait to buy his recipe book!...more info
  • The Zone: A Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently
    This book is extremely comprehensive. The theory is very detailed.The author comes with excellent credentails. You will have to do a lot of reading...some of which is very technical, but well explained if you stay with it!
    It does explain EXACTLTY why this eating program works and HOW TO DO IT. Well documentated Athlete results. I have friends on this program and it worked for them.
    I would have preferred less detail and technical information. Still, well worth the read....I learned a lot....more info
  • It works
    More an eating lifestyle change than a "diet" and certainly not to be confused with Atkins, the zone works.

    I was diabetic and weighed 247 @ 5'10" and my "numbers" from bloodwork were so terrible they were scary.
    I got this book on a recommendation from a medical student, read it all (it's very technical/scientific in its approach and requires some persistence to read it all). In 4 months I have lost 40 lbs, but more than that, my bloodwork numbers for glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol are incredibly good. My doctors were thrilled and wanted to know the secret.

    It's no secret, it's the zone.

    If you're conservative, careful, diabetic, and willing to take direction for changing your eating habits and getting some sensible exercise, this book could change your life.

    Highly recommended....more info

  • A little too scientific for the average reader
    The great thing about the Zone is that you CAN have carbs, just as long as you balance them with protein and fat. Everything in the 40-30-30 ratio. Every meal, every snack. Sounds simple enough. I read the book and found it all very informative. They discuss insulin levels and balancing your hormones. A lot if it was geared toward physical performance, like that of Olympic swimmers who got better times when they were "in the Zone." I didn't feel like the book was confusing. But putting it all together and actually doing the diet was another story. It requires a lot of planning and seems to require a lot of math. The ratio business sounds easy, but trying to use it when eating an actual meal and not just a cup of this and 3 ounces of that is very difficult. If you're truly committed to the principles and theories presented here, then you can make it work, lose weight, and look great. But I think that the average reader will get too frustrated to really make a go of the Zone....more info
  • Good idea, but too complicated
    I purchased The Zone diet book a few years ago in many an attempt to loose weight. While it was part of the "low carb" diet craze and does provide some good insights, it's too complicated. Everything has to be eaten in percentages, and your diet has to be limited from the bad carbs (bread, pasta, sweets, etc.). You need to limit portions, eat fruit and vegetables, and not live so strictly, otherwise you will be unhappy....more info
  • Boring read but has good info
    My God. This book is so dry! I'm sure he is correct in what he writes, but I actually received information on his gospel from The Diet Doctor on FitTV when he was a guest.
    If you are going to read his book, have a PDR and some espresso available. ...more info
  • Surface dieting
    I bought the book because I read that Jennifer Aniston uses the Zone, and she looks great. So.... I don't recommend this book for a variety of reasons. One is that I tried to follow the Zone perfectly and I found that it was very difficult to do so. Unless you have someone preparing the meals for you, it is hard to strictly adhere to the portions and the ingredients that the Zone suggests. Secondly, I found the Zone to be unrealistic. I love bread and carbohydrates. All my life I have learned that it is necessary to eat carbohydrates if you want any energy. Our bodies need to burn the sugars in order for us to function effectively throughout the day. I didn't feel that the Zone paid enough attention to this fact, and I found that I had little energy to do thing I normally enjoy doing - like bike-riding. To me, I find it healthier to eat what I want in moderation and to exercise 3 to 4 times a week. This way I have my dessert and eat it to, plus I found I had more energy.
    I don't recommend this book. If you are serious about losing weight, seriously analyze your eating habits, get off your butt and exercise....more info
  • Reponse to I.H. of Sacramento, CA
    Hi I.H. (and to other women who get hungry every three hours),

    It's okay to eat every three hours (actually it's better to eat smaller, more frequent meals anyway). I eat 12 blocks daily, so I eat 6 mini meals consisting of two blocks per meal. I eat them every two to three hours. This increases your metabolism. Because you're constantly eating, you become one of those people others "hate"-- people will constantly ask you, "How do you stay so thin? You're always eating!"

    What I like about The Zone versus other diet books is you do not have to eliminate certain foods from your diet. You are allowed to eat them in moderation.

    I will follow this plan for life!

    Zonefan :)...more info

  • Dr Sears isn't in great shape, so why follow his advice?
    I have a huge problem taking fat loss advice from a man who's not in good shape. I tried his diet, but after about a month on it, I became very tired and I only lost one pound. I was eating 12 blocks a day (based on my active lifestyle that was how many I was supposed to eat). Get advice from a lean personal trainer or a fit nutritionist....more info
  • Quick service
    I am pleased with the prompt reply to my order and prompt delivery. The book was as described....more info
  • Eye Opener
    This book was an eye opener to me. I was recommended this book by a couple who I hadn't seen in at least 6 months who both dropped a significant amount of weight. I was skeptical when they brought the book to my attention because I don't believe in fad diets and thought this book may just be one of the many "diet" books out there. I went ahead, however, and bought the book.

    I was totally impressed with this book. The book did provide some information that I already knew about for eating healthy (thereby, confirming that it knew what it was talking about), but it mostly provided information that totally opened my eyes, like how our body reacts to the types of foods we eat. I was also surprised on what was considered good vs bad foods (carbs-, fat-, protein-based) for our body. I was also impressed by the approach that Dr. Barry Sears took with eating, and treating food like medication. All in all, the book made sense! The book not only provided information that taught a different approach to eating healthy, but it also acted as a motivational tool. It provided positive reinforcement for following the Zone philosophies and for staying "in the zone".

    Now at the time prior to purchasing the book, I wasn't very obese. I was, however, overweight and normally felt sluggish. I started practicing Dr. Sears' approach by following his philosophies (such as the number of times to eat, eating more of the recommended fats, proteins, carbs, not letting more than 5 hours pass between meals, etc.) moreso than his highly structured regiment of breaking down all foods into its appropriate zone blocks. I knew that block counting would probably get me into the zone alot quicker, but because I'm a busy person I figured I can take a slower approach so as long as I eventually see results. Just by taking this approach and exercising as Dr. Sears recommended, I shed about 5 lbs the first month, 10 lbs the second month, and 5 lbs the third month -- 20 lbs total in three months! This brought me closer to my ideal body weight. I'm guessing I lost about 25 lbs in body fat and gained 5 lbs in muscle during that time. Just as important, I don't feel sluggish at all anymore, and don't have the cravings for alot of the bad food I used to have. Now the important thing I can tell anyone is that I don't totally deny my favorite "bad" foods. The book doesn't say "don't"; it just recommends that you minimize eating the bad foods. What I do is that I eat my favorite bad foods on occasion, but always remember to get back on the zone thereafters. Based on my results, I'm truly convinced that this book lived up to its hype.

    Whenever I tell people of my results, they're totally astounded. I always let friends and colleagues who are interested borrow my book and I recommend to them that they read chapters 2 & 3 before deciding if this book is for them. Almost always, they agree with the book, read the rest of the chapters, and buy the book for themselves....more info

  • Resetting the genetic code?
    The question whether this book can be considered serious or not is already answered by one of its claims on the cover page: "reset your genetic code". This is ridiculous. One should know that the genetic code is inherited and cannot be positively changed by food or anything else....more info
  • This works and it makes sense!
    I bought this book a little over a week ago, even though I was skeptical of some of the reviews in Amazon. After a week I have already lost 3 pounds! I'm 28 years old and exercise every day, yet I was always stuck with about 5-7 extra pounds that didn't budget. I didn't understand why - I had cut my calories down to about 1300 a day and exercised religiously but nothing changed.

    After reading this book, I realized that I eat little protein - my diet is mostly carbs (and not the good ones either). This theory makes sense - dieting isn't just about creating a calorie deficit, as some people say in their review, it's about eating the right foods. If all we needed was a calorie deficit then we could all live on candy bars as long as we created a deficit, right?! And yet I bet we'd all be severely undernourished.

    This way of eating (it's not really a "diet" in the traditional terms) allows carbs and even says we need them, unlike the popular Atkins diet. It also recommends eating fat! The basis is to eat a 40% carb, 30% protein and 30% fat ratio at every meal as well as 2 snacks a day. I have not been at all hungry and have noticed sleeping a little better and feeling a little more alert during the day (and not famished by 5 p.m. like I was before). And figuring your unique protein, carb and fat requirements are not difficult at all, even though some reviews on Amazon will tell you differently. If you can read and understand 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat are a "block" you can understand this diet.

    I would recommend it without a doubt. I've already asked for one of the cookbooks on Amazon for my birthday next week because it helps to have the recipes laid out for you instead of trying to create them all the time. Basically, the food possibilities are endless, the weight loss is practically guaranteed if you follow the instructions and you may feel better. The way I see it there's absolutely nothing to lose, except excess fat, by at least trying this diet....more info

  • Inadequate and out-of-date
    "Sears proposes consuming meals combining foods high in protein but low in saturated fats with foods composed of complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, while reducing the amount of carbohydrate such as pasta, and bread."

    What Sears doesn't realize is that the new terminology regarding carbohydrates has switched from "complex" and "simple" to using the glycemic index. There are many "complex" carbohydrates that are high on the glycemic index...the term "complex" is very relative. And now he's saying that pasta is not "complex"???? Pleeeease...don't buy this book. It is inadequate and out-of-date. Sears needs to simplify this book and market it to the people who really need this type of diet, not to athletes who need higher-carbohydrate diets....more info

  • The zone has changed our lives!
    A few months ago, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, at 31. This was a huge wakeup call for us. I have been overweight and dieting since early childhood, and my husband has been overweight for most of his adulthood. We just finished our 16th week on the zone. In that time, I have lost 43 pounds and my husband has lost 58! Incidentally, after 2 weeks on the zone my husband's blood sugar was back within normal limits and the doctor changed his diagnosis from 'diabetes' to 'diabetes-prone'. My husband asked the doctor if the zone was safe for us, and the doctor said it seemed to be working for us and he had no hesitation. It amazes me that people will balk at the plan and point out that it's not healthy to eat protein at every meal, but aren't lots of people currently eating the triple cheeseburgers anyway? I never eat more than a chicken breast's worth of protein at a meal. I now am healthier because I don't eat egg yolks, and I eat lower fat meats and cheeses. Doing something is better than doing nothing, and we don't have to be perfect. I agree that the book isn't the easiest to read, but it's worth the effort! We probably eat more of the not so good carbs than good carbs, but of course we follow the portions, and we figure this is better than before when we ate supersized portions of bad carbs. We'll take small steps.

    We find the plan very convenient. We have no trouble eating out. We make the best choices we can and forget about it. If I'm going to a friend's house I pack my own lunch (a small price to pay), and we have found ways to eat everything we, mashed potatoes, sandwiches, ice cream, etc. It's amazing, too, that by reading labels I have found that sometimes just switching brands of a product will make it fit into the plan more easily, like bread, ice cream, and pizza sauce. I've heard people say that the plan is a quack because once you go off it you will gain the weight back. I wholeheartedly agree that this would happen...I became overweight because I overate. We have decided to make this way of eating a lifetime change. I have never been successful on other plans, and I've tried them all! I've never lost more than 20 pounds before and have never been able to stick to any diet. I have never felt hungry on this plan, and I don't get cravings that often. When I do, I have that food as part of my next meal or proportion. Overall, the zone has changed our lives for the better, and I can't recommend it highly enough! For us, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change...for the better....more info

  • The Zone Short Summary
    Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes right? You wake up feeling alert, refreshed, and full of energy. You cruise through the day finding solutions to problems and tasks surrender to your clear, efficient, yet apparently effortless approach. You even have energy to spare into the evening.

    You may not have thought of it this way, but you were probably in the Zone - the mysterious but very real state in which your body and mind work together at their ultimate best. In the Zone, the mind is relaxed, yet alert and focused. Meanwhile, the body is fluid, strong, and apparently indefatigable, almost euphoric.

    Most athletes, even those of us who are weekend enthusiasts, have experienced this state at least once, and the experience is unforgettable. But there is nothing mystical about the Zone. The Zone is a real metabolic state that can be reached by everyone, and maintained indefinitely on a lifelong basis.

    Barry Sears looks at why Americans still have dietary problems in spite of following the advice of experts. By challenging the current recommendations for a high carbohydrate diet, Sears looks into man's history as well as the diets on which athletes succeed, to build a new dietary picture. Anyone looking for better health through an improved relationship to what they eat should try the Zone Diet Plan.

    What is the Zone as defined by Dr. Sears? It's the metabolic state at which the body works at peak efficiency. Life in the Zone creates significant health benefits. The little illnesses that plague us all - colds, flus, allergies - seem to happen less often. When they do hit, they're not as severe. And some of our more serious chronic diseases - heart disease and cancer, for example, become less likely to strike. And if these diseases do occur, in the Zone their treatment is more manageable.

    So how do we reach the Zone? There are no magic potions, pills, herbs or mantras. The truth is that every time you open your mouth to eat, you're applying for a passport to the Zone. To get that passport, though, you must treat food as if it were a drug. You must eat food in a controlled fashion and in the proper proportions. Learning how to control the body's hormonal responses to food is your passport to entering and staying in the Zone. This is achieved by balancing one's intake of protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.

    The trouble is that most of us are using the wrong eating rules - eating the wrong foods, or just as bad, eating the right foods in the wrong proportions. So our access to the Zone is being constantly denied. But follow the rules and your entrance is ensured. It's science.

    To get a new perspective on food, here's some information you need to know:

    * Eating fat does not make you fat
    * It's hard to lose weight by simply restricting calories
    * Diets based on choice restriction and calorie limits usually fail
    * Weight loss has little to do with will power
    * Food can be good or bad
    * The biochemical effects on food have been constant for the last forty million years...more info

  • Too complicated!
    OK, I know people seem to love the zone diet but I think it is too complicated. I didn't like this book at all. It has a lot of information I just do not think it is easy to understand. My doctor had recommended this diet, but I wound up just doing the Atkins Diet. I would suggest bypassing this....more info
  • Lidia LoPinto (author of eco books) lost 70 pounds!!
    I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with Diabetes II or a weight problem. As the author of eco novels and environmental crimes of this century "The Adventures of Juliana Del Rio: EPA/FBI - I have personally lost 70 pounds using the ZONE!!!. In the year 2001 I was diagnosed with Diabetes II and had to desperately loose weight. I searched the internet and asked all of my friends and doctors were not helpful in recommending a good diet. When I read the Zone, as a chemical engineer, it made a lot of great sense. The whole process of how your system handles carbohydrates was immediately clear and I was able to go on a diet that allowed me to loose 70 pounds over 1 year, without cravings.

    As the author of environmental books dealing with Eco crimes it is my opinion that the greatest eco crime of all is the peddling of high density carbohydrates to children. Children are drinking soda and eating chips in school instead of milk and protein and fresh vegetables. Starch is cheaper than protein and so selling it in large quantities is good business. But, the cost to our children's health is too high. We should be feeding our children the best foods. Diabetes II is at epidemic proportions because of our high starch diet and we need to start our children off on the right path - starting with school lunches. I personally have struggled with this horrible disease and would want all Americans to know that you can overcome this with a diet such as the Zone.

    Lidia LoPinto...more info

  • Good Quality Explanation of an Effective Diet
    The Zone is among the most logically presented diets I have encountered. This book explains the science behind the Zone in a manner that permits the layman to begin comprehending the science. While I am not equipped to speak on the validity of the science, I am qualified to speak to its reasoning and it is both sound and logical.

    The Zone is not merely about losing weight, but also improving athletic performance and establishing hormonal order in one's body. While the ultimate benefits of the hormonal balances offered with this diet (and conversely the potential harm in hormonal imbalances) are open for debate, Sears positively offers a quality explanation that would rival any medical opinion on the matter.

    I can attest first hand that the diet does work provided proper diligence is applied to the proposed meal plan. However, following the diet will prove to be no easy task as even Sears' simple block plan amounts to a low calorie diet that leaves one in the same predicament of any other low calorie diet; a large requirement of willpower for long term success. If you can stick to this diet I have no doubt you will discover results, both with energy performance and weight loss.
    ...more info
  • Finally a Diet Book Based on Science
    I need not repeat all the good things that has been said about this book in the other many positive reviews, about how it works, how well wirtten it is, or how easy the Zone plan is to follow. What I would like to say here is how pleased I am that Barry Sears uses scientific evidence and knowledge to come to his conclusions. While many diet books seem logical, few others, if any, are based on good science. This is a unique and facinating explination of why we are eating the wrong things. Unlike Dr. Phil and other popular snake oil salesman, this is based on Barry Sears' extensive medical and biochemistry background. It would be reductive to say much more. Read the book and I think you will like it. It just may change your life for the better. (And I don't say that lightly)....more info
  • Never work for the long haul!
    First thing I want to say is this.... some of the reviews I read on Amazon seem like they are written by the employees of the publishers, or companies products trying to act like a real end user! Some are so obvious and others do a pretty good acting job ( should win an Oscar!)

    I am a 46 year old male. I am in good shape and I work out.

    I tried this when it first came out. Right after I tried Atkins before everyone else was doing it. My sister got a job at the Zone in Mass coincidently at the same time. There is so much marketing and sales there!

    Who can really eat like that. Counting blocks etc! It's ridiculous. It's way too tedious.

    I just read Body For Life and it is a pretty good book, but it pushes the supplements from the authors Company (EAS) and tries to make a cookie cutter approach to all people. However, For the most part, the book is the type of routine most people can use for the long haul.

    The long and the short of it I am concluding is to not do any type of EXTREME diets. Just watch your nutrition and calories for a few weeks by writing everything down until you are educated on what you are putting in your mouth. You will get the hang of it and you will not need to write things down once you have things memorized and know how to eat.

    You will be amazed at certain foods that you should stay away from and others that are wonderful. Actually Body For Life is a great starting point for this concept. You don't have to take any of the supplements they recommend since 98% of your problem is in the other stuff like eating and exercise. Take care of that 98%. The author gives a good road map and then you can tweak it to your own lifestyle. Get a personal trainer if you can afford it, even if you are experienced. I did, and it really motivated me after years of doing the same old routines. He also helped my with my nutrition questions.

    Bottom line is you have to have a slight caloric deficit ( you do not have to go around hungry all the time either ) , try to eat more than 3 times a day if your schedule allows. IF not then get some Protein Bars of fresh fruit (Yogurt, other healthy snacks) between meals so you don't get hungry and you keep your metabolic rate up.

    This is NOT rocket science.

    Sorry folks, there is no easy way out. You have to exercise, not just cardio, but some weight lifting if you want a nice physique and want to feel great....more info

  • Great book for people willing to "reprogram" their diets
    I've read so many reviews of this book, so many of them negative. People talk about how much they love carbs, that we need carbs for energy, that they can't give up bread, pasta, etc. The bottom line is, if you're not willing to reduce those things in your diet that are making you fat, you will STAY fat. As my mother always says, if you're unhappy with yourself, EITHER do something about it, or resign yourself to a life of weight problems and SHUT UP about it.
    C'mon it any wonder that Americans are SO overweight? Can any other food be "supersized", "big gulped", "double stuffed", or "hungry manned"???? Our portions are WAY out of control. We substitute high fat foods with high sugar foods, and then wonder why we're not losing weight.
    To me, The Zone is NOT a low-carb, high-protein diet. It is a return to a NORMAL, proportionate way of eating. Sure, it might take some time to reteach yourself about portion size, glycemic index and caloric content, but with the "eyeball" and "hand" method, this diet is VERY easy. (...)...more info
  • A guide to good health
    This book is revolutionary - it was an incredible insight into the concept that food is the key to optimizing our body's efficiency, both calorie wise and for our immune system. Once you have the concept of balancing your protein, carbs, and fats, you can reshape your health and your body. Interestingly enough, once I got past the first week or so, food tasted better, and the sugar and fat cravings go way down. I don't always follow this strictly, but if I'm going to grab a carb & fat snack, I make sure I have some protein to balance it. My knowledge helps me to temper my indulgences, and I feel so much better and have more energy....more info


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