5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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...
Published on Jun 25 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than high carb, but...
This says it is a moderate protein, fat and carbohydrate diet book. At first I agreed with this statement and was a huge fan of this book. I thought the diet was pretty well balanced. But 2 years later my views are very different.
I now see this as a diet that is way too low in good fats, slightly too high in protein and that has far more carbohydrate in it...
Published 16 months ago by Jodi-Hummingbird
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It works for me,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Zone: Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent Weight Loss (Hardcover)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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting concepts,
This review is from: The Zone: A Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent Weight Loss (Kindle Edition)Dr Sears does bring about very interesting concepts with a very thorough body of evidence and supporting data for his Zone theory.
Worth a read.
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than high carb, but...,
This review is from: The Zone: Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent Weight Loss (Hardcover)This says it is a moderate protein, fat and carbohydrate diet book. At first I agreed with this statement and was a huge fan of this book. I thought the diet was pretty well balanced. But 2 years later my views are very different.
I now see this as a diet that is way too low in good fats, slightly too high in protein and that has far more carbohydrate in it than many of us need. The 11 blocks of carbs were too much for me, I felt just wrong eating that much.
I also now very strongly disagree with the author saying that cod liver oil should be avoided in favour of fish oil. Cod liver oil, and especially fermented cod liver oil, is our number one superfood and the vitamin A, D and K in it are so vital to good health. The Weston A Price Foundation and others have also explained that fish oils are processed at very high temperatures, unlike FCLO. FCLO is by far the superior supplement.
I strongly disagree with Sears also that calories need to go down to 1600 a day or so for women to lose weight. If fat intake is high, and carbs are somewhat low ( 60 - 80 g a day or so) then you can still lose weight eating 2000 - 2500 calories - or really by ignoring calories altogether. As amny others have said, it is what you eat that is so important and not just how much of it.
Sears ignores the importance of traditional superfoods like bone broths, fermented vegetables and so on, as well.
Books with far more useful information on diet include:
Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon
The Primal Blueprint by Sisson
Know your Fats by Mary Enig
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The Schwarzbein Principle
The Paleo diet is superior to the Zone but I don't agree with the low fat version. I think the best place to look for the most health promoting diet possible is the Weston A. Price Foundation. In short, eat real foods and lots of traditional foods, eat protein and good fats to satiety and restrict carbs to perhaps 60 - 80 grams a day or so if you are trying to lose weight.
(Also, everything in this book about 'CFS' should be ignored as it has nothing at all to do with M.E. and is of extremely questionable validity generally even for the various 'CFS' misdiagnosed patients.)
Having said all that, I found Sears' concept of food blocks really helpful, and a much easier way to remember which foods are high in carbs and which can be eaten freely.
I still sometimes work out my meals in terms of food blocks but instead of having 11 blocks each of carbs, fat and protein daily, I'm more likely to have 7 blocks of carbs, 22 or more blocks of fat and around 8 or 9 blocks of protein! Quite different to 11, 11 and 11! But I feel much healthier on this type of ratio.
Getting lots of good fats in is so important to health and to healing. Even if you're a Zone fan, following it but significantly upping your intake of good fats such as coconut oil and olive oil can only be helpful.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5+ years of trying to follow The Zone regarding weight loss.,
This review is from: The Zone: Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent Weight Loss (Hardcover)I am a 23 year old female who exercises 3-5 times a week, cardio and weights.
One thing I've noticed from reading these reviews is that many, if not most, of the reviewers have only recently read the book and begun to apply the concepts. (with a high rate of success, not to doubt.) I am adding my experience because I have been attempting to follow this eating plan for 5+ years for the purpose of losing body fat.
I read THE ZONE when it was first published and went on the diet hard-core, because it made so much sense to me. I had previously had NO success trying to lose weight on the traditional low fat/protein - high carbohydrate diet illustrated by the ridiculous, industry driven "food guide pyramid." (Let's face it- do you think Nabisco would be very happy if the U.S. Surgeon General made an announcement that Wheat Thins really aren't good for you?)
I did lose weight when I began to follow The Zone eating plan strictly. I was absolutely thrilled. I must say, I was a bit obsessive. However, over the past five years, I have struggled with my weight fluctuating 15 lbs. I have a hard time with what Dr. Sears protests regarding two things, now that I've been familiar with applying the concepts in this book for so long:
1) Lack of hunger/ food cravings: Even when following The Zone to a *T*, I experience intense carbohydrate cravings and get hungry between meals, usually after 3 hours at most. It is not my so-called improved hormonal balance that Dr. Sears speaks of that keeps me on track, but my sheer willpower.
2) Permanent weight loss: I was 18 when I began The Zone. I am now 23. As stated earlier, my weight has fluctuated +-15 lbs. over the past five years. It must be noted that over this time, there has not been *one single thing* that I've put into my mouth that I've not considered the "Zone" repercussions of. The bottom line is, that if I slip a bit, I readily re-gain weight. This is easy to do, because The Zone is in essence a very calorie restricted diet. Although Dr. Sears says that no foods are "forbidden," the Zone sharply limits several foods that many people really like.
In sum, I am very happy for the many people who have recently gained considerable success following The Zone balanced eating plan. However, my caveat is that I have doubts regarding the ability of most people to follow it for the rest of their lives. I know I have, thus far. I never feel really fulfilled. I am not satisfied by the size of the fat blocks which the diet prescribes for my height/ body weight. If I follow the Zone very closely (and I've had a LOT of pracice) I'm very frequently half hungry and miss many specific foods.
Good luck to all. If you've had a similar experience, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never work for the long haul!,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Condidtion & Great Service,
This review is from: The Zone: A Dietary Road Map (Paperback)I received the book I ordered within the stated delivery time and in the stated condition. I am very pleased.
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh.,
By A Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate and out-of-date,
By A Customer
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars This works and it makes sense!,
By A Customer
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Zoned Out,
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The Zone: Revolutionary Life Plan to Put Your Body in Total Balance for Permanent Weight Loss by Barry Sears (Hardcover - May 18 1995)
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