by Julie K.
(East Hartford, CT)
Yes, eating "in the Zone" does have all the cons you mentioned.
However, in 1996 I tried it for an entire summer and it was really great. Here are some details:
First, I was 20 yrs old then, and although very thin, I had slapped on the Freshman 15 (more like 20) pounds in college 2 years earlier and was unable to lose the weight after 2 years.
Again, I was already thin, and a very physically active person, but this was clearly pure FAT that I had gained as it showed up almost entirely in my stomach/butt area as "flab," not muscle. Further, I had gained this 20 lbs in just 30 days of poor eating, excessive junk food/overeating and no exercising. So - I decided to go on the Zone to "balance" my eating and restore some health to my diet.
When I was on the Zone Diet, the food choices were very limited, and I found I ate a LOT of cottage cheese with fruit & nuts.
However, I have to say there were some great benefits. For one, I lost the weight and my overall physique was toned again. Second, I felt SO energetic, positive and glowing during this time. Third, it "uncomplicated" my life - although the food choices were limited, knowing that I was "sticking to a plan" made it very simple for me when I went out to eat, or made a meal for myself. There was just less confusion about "what should I make for dinner?" or "what entree should I choose?"
(As a side note, I found that going out to eat was actually CHEAPER b/c of the types of choices I had to make!!! Not sure how connected to the Zone Diet that is, but...)
Overall, I had a positive experience. I phased out of Zone eating on an everyday basis when I returned to college that fall, because of the limitations of the school meal plan (too many carbs and fatty proteins to really follow it!), however, it was a terrific nutritional learning experience. Since doing the Zone Diet I now know:
1) What a healthy portioned plate looks like, which has been helpful in all my eating habits since the Zone.
2) How to get back on track after having some more "indulgent" meals.
One of the great things the Zone Diet taught me was that "you're only one meal away from being back in the Zone." So it really takes the pressure off of "dieting" b/c you know you can "re-balance" yourself.
I think the Zone is a great plan for balanced eating overall, even if it's isn't a huge success as a "weight-loss" program as you mentioned in the details above.
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