Avocado and nuts

Zone Diet

02 May 2011
By Ahlanlive.com

The one with 40 percent carbs, 30 per cent fat and 30 per cent protein

CELEBRITY FANS: Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Cindy Crawford

WHAT’S INVOLVED: Dr Barry Spears has captured the attention of many a celebrity thanks to his Zone Diet which is said to be linked to the evolution of mankind. Confused? No need to be: basically it’s all about eating the correct portions of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Dr Spears recommends your daily diet should consist of 40 per cent carbohydrate, 30 per cent fat and 30 per cent protein. He believes if you keep to these ratios your health and weight issues will rapidly improve.


  • To pack your fridge with good proteins such as lean meats and fish
  • Snacks that contain protein and some good fats such as avocado and nuts (two snacks allowed per day)
  • A watch to time 2.5 hours between each meal. Dr Spears says you should have a meal between 2 to 2.5 hours after a snack regardless of how hungry you are
  • Water. You need to drink at least eight glasses a day during this diet
  • Food scales. A typical meal should weigh 3oz for women (4oz for men)

VERDICT: Ultimately, the diet is low in calories and this is why it results in weight-loss. However, there are surely far easier and more pleasurable ways to lower your calorie intake than weighing out all your food. Imagine the looks you’d get pulling out the scales at a restaurant! Why not try eating smaller and healthier portions instead? Ryan Penny, Clinical Nutritionist and Conditioning Coach for The Wellness Brothers, offers this advice: “This low-carb-high-protein-moderate-fat diet was popularised in the 90s by many celebrities. Based on the idea that the ‘fat producing’ hormone (insulin) is the underlying cause of weight-gain, regulation of insulin levels was presumed to be the key to successful and sustainable weight loss. According to the Zone Diet, the way in which this is achieved is by eating the perfect macronutrient ratio at every meal. If it is not 40 per cent protein, 30 per cent carbs and 30 per cent fats, then it’s not going to work.

Beyond the gross over-simplification of the mechanism of weight gain, the compliance to the programme has proven to be its next major challenge: sticking to 40-30-30 at every meal demands lab-like precision with your scales and spoons. That means lots of time and plenty of hard work, which sounds just like what most people are looking for in a programme, doesn’t it? I thought so… Being in the Zone is probably not the solution to your weight problem.”

Have you tried this diet? If so, let us know what you think in the comment box below.