Zone Diet: This Weight Loss Diet Claims To Reduce Inflammation And Promote Fat Burn, But Does It Work?

The zone diet is a low-carb diet 'fad diet' that claims to reduce inflammation, increase metabolism, promote satiety and lead to quicker fat burn. But does it really work?

NDTV Food  |  Updated: March 21, 2018 17:22 IST

Zone Diet: This Weight Loss Diet Claims To Reduce Inflammation And Promote Fat Burn, But Does It Work?
  • The Zone Diet was designed by biochemist Barry Sears.
  • The diet recommends eating three meals and two snacks.
  • The diet restricts calorie intake and limits it to 1,200 to 1,500 per day
The world of weight loss diets is a very confusing one. There are countless 'scientifically-devised' meal plans and nutrition plans out there, which promise to get you just a little bit closer to your body goals. If you're someone who has been trying to lose weight for a while now, you may know how utterly baffling it can be to figure out which diet plan works and which doesn't. But, the most important point to remember is that any diet plan you follow, it must aid weight loss in a healthy manner, without depriving your body of essential nutrients.

There is one particular diet that promises to reduce inflammation in the body by making you eat all the essential nutrients. The Zone Diet recommends that you eat five times day, so as to prevent 'overeating,' which often happens when you only eat three meals per day. The zone diet is a low carb diet and was designed by a biochemist, Barry Sears. He has published dozens of books on the diet, making it gain traction worldwide. So, what is the Zone Diet?

What Is The 'Zone Diet'?

The official website of Sears' Zone Diet describes 'zone' as a "real physiological state in your body that can be measured in clinical tests." It further adds, "If you are in the Zone, you have optimised your ability to control diet-induced inflammation." The website also defines three 'clinical markers' that indicate whether you're in the zone or not. These markers include: Triglyceride to High Density lipoproteins, or HDL, cholesterol ratio, AA to EPA ratio, which defines the presence of the two essential fatty acids in blood, and finally, percentage of glycated haemoglobin, or HbA1c.

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Sears has given a value to all three markers, and he theorises that if these three values are met, then your body is in the 'Zone'. He has also listed the alleged benefits of the Zone Diet as loss of excess body fat, better performance, increased thinking capabilities, as well as slowed process of ageing. To reap the benefits of this diet, Sears recommends that one balance every meal with one-third protein, two-thirds vegetable and fruit carbs, and a dash of fat.

What Can You Eat In The 'Zone Diet'?

There aren't many foods that are off-limits in the zone diet, except foods like pastas and breads, as well as fruits that are high in sugar. People who follow the diet generally eat three meals and two snacks per day. The main foods include sources of lean proteins like salmon, carbohydrates from vegetables, and small amounts of good fat from olive oil, walnuts, avocados, etc. Zone diet evangelists believe that the diet restricts their calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500 per day.

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Does Zone Diet Work?

There's no sound research or scientific evidence, or any peer-reviewed study that proves that the zone diet improves metabolism or quickens fat burn. The only thing that works in its favour is that it restricts calorie-intake while promoting satiety, both of which are indicators of a good weight loss diet. But, then again, any diet that restricts calorie intake may result in weight loss.


It's always advisable to consult your physician before following any 'fad diet.'

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