what is the zone diet
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Different diets explained: The Zone diet

Different diets explained: The Zone diet


The Zone diet. This may be a diet that you haven’t heard of too often? So what is it exactly? Who is it for? And should you try it?

In different diets explained we look at a different diet every week and find out what it is all about!

General idea

The zone diet is based on dividing your macros in a certain ratio. 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 30% protein. The diet recommends eating around 5 meals a day, this is to prevent overeating and create the feeling of satiety.

The Zone diet is classified as a fad diet, there is no scientific evidence that proves the theories of this diet.

The zone diet is a low carb diet, the glycemic index is used to classify carbohydrates. This is something you see in most low carb diets. The diet is designed to lose weight, but this can only be done when you are in a caloric deficit.


The diet is designed by biochemist Barry Spears in the 1970’s. He created it after his father died of a heart attack. He spent two decades doing research on the prevention of heart diseases.

He redirected his research towards the relationship between dietary fats and cardiovascular disease.

One of his research resulted in the fact that foods and drugs are not that different at all. Meaning that you have to take in a right dose of each of them to work properly. With this information, the zone diet was born.

5 meals a day

As mentioned before the diet tells you to eat around 5 meals a day. This is 3 big meals, your breakfast, lunch and dinner, and two snacks.

When you look online you see that there are some set times to eat your meals. Don’t take these too seriously, eat when you are hungry and as long as you stay in a deficit and in the zone macro ratio you are fine.

The zone food pyramid

To make it a bit easier to understand what you can and can’t eat while following the zone diet there is a pyramid.

When you look at the biggest layer you see vegetables, when you go one layer up you see fruits, then low-fat protein sources, after this you see monounsaturated fats and last you have grains and starches.

This is an easy way to know how much you need to take in.

Pros and cons of the diet

By now you have a decent idea of what the diet is. But what are the advantages of following this diet and what are the disadvantages?

Because there is almost no research on the long-term effect of the zone diet it is hard to say that there are great health benefits.

But some evidence suggests that it will improve cardiovascular health and reduce cholesterol.

A disadvantage of the diet is that it is very low-calorie for around 1200 calories for women it can be hard to sustain. In the beginning, you will lose weight fast but sooner than later your body will start to protest.

Being this low in calories for a long-term will start extreme cravings and you need to be mentally very strong to ignore all of these.


The zone diet is a great diet when you want to get into macro tracking or lose weight fast. For the long-term, it is hard to sustain due to the low calories every day.

It may not be for everyone to eat 5 meals a day that all need to follow the 40/30/30 rule. If it does sound like something for you, try it out!

And adjust calories, portion size, etc. according to your goals and results.

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