Home Diet The Zone Diet: Crossfit, Recipes, Meal Plan, Results, and Review

The Zone Diet: Crossfit, Recipes, Meal Plan, Results, and Review

What is the Zone Diet?

When you follow the zone diet, you will have a better metabolic rate. As a result, your organism will work at its maximum efficiency. This diet will work on getting rid of your hunger urges while keeping you full of energy and enjoying maximum efficiency while working out.

Benefits of the Zone Diet

The founder of the zone diet, the American biochemist Barry Sears, claims that by balancing the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) people can reach an optimal physical and mental state.

Furthermore, the zone diet allows a considerable reduction of body fat, if this is present in excess.

This would happen thanks to a fine hormonal control mediated by nutrition.

Zone diet and control of Eicosanoids

Eicosanoids represent a group of hormones comprising prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes, hydroxylated fatty acids, etc., produced in small quantities by each cell of our body. They are very complex and have a short life: they perform their physiological function and then self-destruct.

Their functions within our body are many. Like all hormones, eicosanoids, in addition to being chemical messengers, have antagonistic effects.

There are good and bad eicosanoids.

“GOOD” EICOSANOIDS vs. BAD EICOSANOIDS

  • Inhibit platelet aggregation; Promote platelet aggregation
  • Promote vasodilation; Promote vasoconstriction
  • Stimulate the immune response; lessen the immune response
  • They fight inflammation; They promote inflammation

Since in the human body equilibrium is synonymous with health, while imbalance is synonymous with illness, you should aim to achieve the perfect balance between the production of antagonistic eicosanoids, since both are used for the performance of the natural functions of our body.

Zone diet and hormone control insulin and glucagon

Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is a strong anabolic hormone that has the function of storing the nutrients inside the cells.

When we eat, there is a rise in blood glucose that stimulates the intervention of insulin, which, delivering nutrients into the cells, reports the blood glucose levels in the standard.

When we take too many calories, especially when they come from carbohydrates, there is a strong drop in blood sugar, triggering a high insulin response that, after filling the liver and muscle reserves, stores all the excess carbohydrates in fat cells. In other words: insulin excess induces an accumulation of fat.

Glucagon, on the other hand, is the antagonist of insulin, that is, it mobilizes stored energy reserves. It is stimulated by a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Like insulin, when it is secreted in excess, it damages the body.

The area controls these two hormones through a balance between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, preventing excessive fluctuations in blood sugar, responsible for fattening and many diseases.

In addition, in the first book by Barry Sears, “How to Reach the Zone”, his studies say that this nutritional regime has led to the improvement of the psycho-physical conditions of patients suffering from very serious diseases such as diabetes.

Zone diet CrossFit guidelines

You must always monitor the amount of nutrients you take in; and, of course, remember to use the blocks to succeed in it the easiest and most effective way.

Regarding the sports performance in CrossFit, many athletes use the principles of the zone diet, in particular, the ratio between 40-30-30 macronutrients is considered optimal for a high-intensity activity such as CrossFit. In fact, a lower carbohydrate intake would have negative effects on physical performance, and a contribution of less than 30% of proteins would make it difficult to maintain and achieve the muscle mass necessary to perform at best in CrossFit.

These principles are true for the vast majority of CrossFiters and mid-level athletes. The professionals of this sport, on the other hand, follow feeding programs that are completely customized according to their specific requirements, modulating their diet according to both the season and the training they do,  week by week.

Rules of the Zone Diet

  • In each meal, you must take the right proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (the ratio of calories must be 40% -30% -30%). This system is different from the Yes You can diet plan reviews.
  • No more than 5 hours must elapse between If there is a long time, you have to eat something, maybe with a snack. In this way, the day will consist of, at least 3 main meals and 2 snacks.
  • It is necessary to reduce as much as possible the consumption of sweets, bread, pasta, rice and refined cereals with a high glycemic index, they are strong insulin stimulators.
  • It is necessary to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits with a low glycemic index, also carbohydrates that gradually stimulate insulin.
  • In order to have an adequate hormonal response, a snack must be composed of at least one block of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • The last snack should be the evening snack (before bedtime) unless you have had dinner within the two previous hours. You can check many food lists.

As you can see from the first rule, the Zone diet is diversified from the classic food pyramid which imposes carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cereals, etc.) at its base. Compared to a very famous diet like the Mediterranean diet, the zone diet reduces fats and proteins to a very small percentage, with a glucose share of 40% (mainly in the form of fruit and vegetables), 30% protein (lean meats and cheeses, fish, eggs etc.) and 30% lipid (preferably monounsaturated as olive oil). You have many zones like the blue zone. You can simplify your weight loss journey by using a special calculator.

zone diet recipes

Rice with salmon: Recipe using three blocks for one person.

Ingredients:

  • 120 g fresh salmon
  • 30 g of Venus rice
  • 300 g zucchini
  • ½ fennel
  • the rind of half orange
  • a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper can be added as well.

Method of preparation is:

Boil the rice in lightly salted water for about 40 minutes. Drain, season with half a tablespoon of oil and set aside. Cut the salmon into cubes and cook them in a very hot non-stick pan, turning them so that they brown on all four sides. Using a potato peeler, cut the zucchini into thin slices and grill quickly on a non-stick pan. Rinse the fennel, cut it into thin slices and season with the orange peel, a pinch of salt and pepper and the remaining oil. Assemble the dish to taste and serve.

To reach four blocks: add 40 g of fresh salmon, 12 g of Venere rice and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

To reach five blocks: add 40 g of fresh salmon, 12 g of rice and a small spoon of extra virgin olive oil. You can accompany the meal with some crackers, the 40-30-30 Recipe with Rosemary or EnerZona crackers 40-30 -30 Mediterranean Recipe.

Zone diet meal plan sample and food allowed

Here are a 3-days zone diet meal plan sample so you can have a general idea of what you need to expect:

Day one:

Breakfast: a cup of milk with coffee, 4 shortbreads of soy and oats

Snack: 125 g of skimmed white yogurt

Lunch: 40 g of pasta with 100 g of low-fat ragout, 150 g of salad with a tablespoon of oil and a fruit

Snack: 100 g of fresh seasonal fruit and 20 g of Parmesan

Dinner: 80 g of bresaola with 250 g of vegetables seasoned with a tablespoon of oil, 20 g of wholegrain bread and a seasonal fruit

Day two:

Breakfast: 100 g of cottage cheese, 50 g of fresh seasonal fruit and a coffee

Snack: 125 g of skimmed white yogurt

Lunch: 130 g of a sole, 200 g of vegetables with a tablespoon of oil, 30 g of wholemeal bread and a fruit of the season

Snack: 100 g of fresh seasonal fruit and 20 g of Parmesan

Dinner: vegetable soup with 30 g of pasta, 110 g of lean beef, 150 g of salad or mixed vegetables with a tablespoon of oil and a seasonal fruit 

Day three:

Breakfast: a toast with 50g of cooked ham, a slice of whole wheat bread and a cup of tea

Snack: 125 g of skimmed white yogurt

Lunch: 40 g of rice with fish, 80 g of bresaola, 250 g of vegetables with a tablespoon of oil and a seasonal fruit

Snack: 100 g of fresh seasonal fruit and about 20 g of Parmesan

Dinner: a barley soup and bean sprouts, 90 g of low-fat cheese, 200 g of vegetables with a tablespoon of oil, 30 g of whole wheat bread and 200 g of seasonal fruit

Zone diet, pro and cons of the diet

We need to take a close look at this one diet by analyzing the pros and cons in a nutshell.

The benefits of the ZONE diet:

  • It allows you, first of all, to lose weight and in general to have a better weight control.
  • With the Zone diet, you are able to control your blood insulin levels.
  • It achieves better memory and responsiveness. Another good diet is the juice detox diet.

The cons of the ZONE diet:

  • The protein intake is relatively high. For a male adult, sedentary and who has a normal-weight, the recommendations based on the LARN, relative to the protein requirement, ranging from a minimum of 0.75 to 1 g of protein per kg of body weight. The indications of Sears, for the same subject, are 1.10 g of protein per kg of lean mass. The American Heart Association has repeatedly stressed that an unbalanced protein intake causes a severe increase in saturated animal fats.
  • It is a diet that is difficult to follow in the long run. and is impractical because of the difficulty in calculating the caloric percentages of the three macronutrients. This can take some work when one has to put together a grocery list.
  • Precisely because of its lack of practicality, it can become expensive: it will become easier, in fact, for those who follow this, to end up resorting (especially for snacks) to purchase products already prepared and packaged in blocks. Many reviews mention this disadvantage.

This diet is not similar to the Slim Fast diet reviews. It is a diet that can be difficult Numerous foods in the world can yield great results. Lets us take the example of the sugar detox diet. Many decided to follow it to cleanse their system of carbs and refined sugar.

While some want to be fit or build muscles, others just want to be healthy. In that case, following a balanced diet plan is their only choice. For women who are at a certain age, they might be needing a menopause diet plan. Such a diet will help them manage their imbalances and hot flashes. For men, on the other side, they will be advised to follow the best low cholesterol diet. Men, especially after a certain period, need to prevent the development of heart and chronic issues. If they are overweight, then they need to take a look at some fast metabolism diet recipes that can help them burn off some of their unwanted pounds.

While some diets focus on the wellness of a person, others have some fun twists to them. Let us take for example the Dolce diet reviews. You can even go to the extreme and look at some diets embraced by people in the far east like the Indian diet plan for weight loss.