The Zone Diet
The celebrity diet par excellence. It's trendy to be in the Zone and it's nice to be in the company of stars, to go through what they have gone. The Zone is also a nice sounding name, good for all kinds of marketing purposes. One of the things that have made this diet a success among celebrities is the fact that a lot of diet food delivery companies have included Zone foods in their menus. Those who can afford this kind of expenses are probably glad that they don't have to go through the whole shopping and cooking experience.
The Zone Diet is built around the classic mix of low-far foods, such as chicken and fish, low-fat cheese, small amounts of fruits and vegetables and some olive oil. The Zone itself is a fancy term for achieving a state of hormonal balance (especially in insulin and glucagon) that allows the body to expend the energy intake in an efficient manner and to avoid storing calories as fat. Therefore, dieters are encouraged to eat a lot of non-starchy raw vegetables, a small amount of protein, a smaller amount of carbohydrates and enough monosaturated oils to keep the feeling of hunger away.
The good side of the diet is the restriction of refined carbohydrates, which are low in nutrition, and the focus on low-starch vegetables and fruits. Nevertheless, the American Heart Association does not recommend the Zone Diet because of the lack of essential nutrients, high-protein content and the general lack of information about its long-term effects. Since the diet is quite low on the daily intake of calories, it does not seem to be designed for the long term, but rather as a quick fix. Exercising is pretty much out of the question with such a low amount of calories.
Another problem that dieters are bound to face, except for those who pay for food deliveries, is that meals have to be calculated to include the exact amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates required by the diet. This is not always easy for the average dieter and it has every chance of becoming a bigger problem over extended periods of time. Also, dieters have traditionally found it hard to stay on a diet that is very low in carbohydrates because the feeling of hunger is almost always present.
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