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Zone Food Blocks: The Quick and Easy, Mix-and-Match Counter for Staying in the Zone Hardcover – Jun 3 1998

2.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (June 3 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060392428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060392420
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #335,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Here's the follow-up to The Zone and Mastering the Zone. Author Barry Sears, Ph.D., has formulated a way for readers to follow his diet plan (30 percent fat, 40 percent each carbohydrates and protein) by breaking down foods into measurable units, à la Weight Watchers. It's designed to make eating on the run--even if you're stopping at McDonald's--a Zone-friendly experience. But it's not exactly a piece of cake.

Anyone who hated word problems in math class may be slightly baffled by the necessary calculations for foods not listed in the charts. For example, if you want to convert a serving of cereal into Zone blocks, you need to look at the label and subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrate; this gives the total of insulin-promoting carbohydrate. Divide this result by 10. (Although to be accurate, it should be divided by 9, as Sears has assigned 9 grams to each carbohydrate block; he says you may as well round up to 10, since that makes the math easier.) And there you get your Zone block. As long as your total blocks stay within the 40-30-30 ratio, you're in the Zone.

Even more confusing are the measurements for some of the "pre-calculated" foods in the charts. For example, 80 fluid ounces of Rice Dream Rice milk equals 39 carbohydrate blocks and 8 fat blocks. While it's unlikely anyone would guzzle down 10 servings at once, it is likely they'd have a hard time finding this product in the listings in the first place, as it's listed under "milk, nondairy," not "rice milk." Many of the other listings are equally frustrating. To get one carbohydrate block of Schweppes ginger ale, you need to drink 3.3 fluid ounces. If you're working with a 12-ounce can, you can do some rounding, but if you have a liter-sized bottle at home, you're going to need a good eye to get that third of an ounce in a measuring cup. It's also hard to believe someone would eat eight-tenths of a slice of Pepperidge Farm bread to get one carbohydrate block, or six-tenths of a teaspoon of Bernstein's Caesar salad dressing to get one fat block. Dieting shouldn't be this difficult.

About the Author

Dr. Barry Sears is recognized as one of the world's leading medical researchers on the hormonal effects of food. He is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller The Zone as well as Mastering the Zone, Zone-Perfect Meals in Minutes, Zone Food Blocks, A Week in the Zone, The Age-Free Zone, The Top 100 Zone Foods, The Soy Zone, The Omega Rx Zone, Zone Meals in Seconds, and What to Eat in the Zone. His books have sold more than five million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages in forty countries. He continues his research on the inflammatory process as the president of the nonprofit Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The father of two grown daughters, he lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife, Lynn.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a very helpful and easy-to-use guide that contains over 12,000 food entries converted into Zone Food Blocks.
Its introduction includes a synopsis of the Zone program and a few important facts about the program, all of which had been previously presented separately in other Zone books. Most importantly, the introduction explains how Dr. Sears modified food block protein, carbohydrate and fat contents from his previous books to reflect the real content in each serving, and to make it compatible with the results we get when we calculate blocks from food labels. (This modification doesn't affect the program or your meals as long as use in each meal or snack preparation either this book or the little food guide on the back of other books, all of whose items are included on Zone Food Blocks. You should not mix information from both.)
The main content of the book is divided into the common Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fat categories, and as a bonus includes two more sections: Fast Foods and Prepared Meals. Each food in each of the categories states the item's name (organized alphabetically for quick checkups), style, brand, serving size and protein, carbohydrate and fat block content. Tricky items are also cross-referenced; for example, oats appears under both 'cereal' and 'oats'. And the book has a very sturdy hardcover binding to make it resistant to the daily tear and wear that anyone on the Zone program will be likely to submit it too.
There are only two important down sides to this book, and hence I only give it four stars. First, it doesn't separate food in favorable and unfavorable groups and second, it's a bit pricey.
Buy this book if you don't have access to the Internet, only use your computer sparingly, or want to (like me) have all this information in an accessible, permanent, printed form. All the information it contains can be found in the Food Block databases of the [...] and [...] websites.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
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Format: Hardcover
This is a must have book for someone who is serious about staying in the Zone. If you're like me -- cook a lot and need to know how much of each ingredients to use, this book is for you. I find it especially helpful for measuring raw ingredients like veggies and fruits. On the other hand, if you are looking for information on processed pre-packaged food, then you're better off calculating it yourself, as the book only covers a small portion of the huge amount of processed food out on the market. The book does give you a simple formula and example to do your own calculation of processed food.
If you're new to Zone diet, you should read other Zone diet books before using this one, as it does not go into detail on how to follow the diet or concept of the diet.
I do wish that the book was better organized, as it is difficult to find exactly what I'm looking for sometimes. Organizing the information in dictionary style would have worked better. Searchable database on CD-ROM would have been super! I suspect some of the data maybe slightly off.
Nevertheless, the book is great. I use it every day, few times a day. I wouldn't live without it.
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Format: Hardcover
Barry Sears's food block system is a simple way to keep protein, fat and carbohydrate in the right ratio to each other in your diet, every meal, every day. For an average man, four Zone blocks of protein, four of fat and four of carbohydrate add up to a wholesome dinner.
Suppose that your problem is, how much roasted goat meat adds up to four blocks of protein? If so, this is just the right book for you to own.
Simply go to the section on proteins. There are hundreds of different protein sources listed there, alphabetically, from 'abalone' to 'yogurt,' but you want to know about goat meat. The entry for 'goat' says that one block of roasted goat meat weighs 0.9 ounces. To get the weight of four Zone blocks of goat meat, in case you're cooking for a hearty man's appetite, just multiply 0.9 ounces times 4. That's 3.6.
What happens next depends on how sunny your disposition is and how well your kitchen is equipped with measuring equipment. You can round things to the nearest ounce, 4.0 ounces, and make do with not much of a scale or you can get a sensitive chemist's balance and weigh thing to the nearest 10th of an ounce.
Simple, yes?
That's all there is to it, for thousands of sources of proteins, fats and carbohydrates listed in this book. It's a godsend if you're following a Zone diet, whether you're trying to decide on a haunch of roasted goat meat or a Whopper Junior.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, after three well-written, very successful books, Sears's latest publication leaves his ardent followers (of which I am one) very disappointed. The book can basically be described as an unedited (numerous errors exist) computer dump of food counts, and a poorly organized one at that. It appears to this reviewer that those responsible for this new release were too anxious to get it on the market. Also, I understand from individuals who have postings on Sears's web site, that the first printings of this book contain errors in the amounts listed for fresh fruits and vegetables. Apparently, the block amounts listed for these foods do not take into account their fiber content, hence the amounts given are too small. Make sure when (if) you order that you are ordering the corrected version.
The book itself is printed on cheap quality paper. I was hoping for a book that would stand up to the rigors of daily kitchen use (good quality cookbook-type). This one will not, as the ink has already started to smear on the paperback-quality pages of my copy. I was also hoping for an easy to use reference, and all I can say to that end is, at least the items are alphabetized. Sears organizes the food entries into Carbs, Proteins, or Fats. On the surface that would seem to make sense because, based on the principles of The Zone, you want to include "blocks" of each of these macronutrients in everything you eat. But, on the practical side, this limited organization makes the book very difficult and frustrating to use. If you want to look up, for example, BEANS, you must sort through ALL carbohydrates beginning with "B", not just the vegetables.
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