I followed the Zone diet for two weeks. Using the hand-and-eye method, i did my best to balance the macronutrients of each serving.
After thoroughly researching the Zone Diet and speaking with Dr. Sears, I felt it was fairly straightforward and easy to follow. The directions on the website were clear and I never questioned what foods I should include in my diet and which foods I should avoid. Most days i would eat three meals and one snack, but some days if i got hungrier i would add a second snack.
As a pizzazzarian (I eat dairy and are mainly plant-based, but do incorporate some seafood into my diet), I’ve struggled to come up with satiating, low-carb, protein-rich meals three times a day. Since most of the lean protein suggestions were meats, I felt like I didn’t have many options. For protein sources, I generally relied on salmon, eggs, tofu, and beans, such as chickpeas or lentils. Because of this, I often felt like I was on the wrong diet – like my meals weren’t exactly what they should be and weren’t low carb enough.
In terms of non-starchy fruits and vegetables, I had no issues. Many of the suggested vegetables were easy for me to prepare and I found them very satisfying. I ate a lot of cabbage, broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower. Sometimes, I opt for a protein shake as a snack option, too.
I felt like something was missing from my Zone Diet meals. I generally try to eat a well-balanced carb diet, and choose to incorporate carbs (such as whole grain bread, potatoes, pasta, or rice) into almost all of my meals, so cutting out these types of carbs has been a huge adjustment for me. Filling my plate with vegetables and less protein didn’t keep me feeling full and satisfied nor did the diet website look like it should.
I’ve found the Zone Diet to be more flexible compared to other diets I’ve tried. I’m a mom of two young kids and work from home, so preparing meals for myself and my kids isn’t always easy. Balancing the macronutrients at every meal wasn’t as difficult or time consuming as it sounds, and even when I ordered takeout, I was able to figure it out pretty easily.
I tested a couple of the nutritional zone products, and to be honest, i was not that impressed. I tried the ZoneRx 2 bar in dark chocolate because I thought it would be a quick and easy snack option. I did, but I didn’t enjoy eating it. The bar was thick but kind of tasteless. I found it very filling – it has 15g of protein – but I didn’t like it.
The ZoneRx Shake was just fine and I ended up using this a lot more than the bars. I mixed chocolate protein powder with frozen banana and almond milk one morning and found it just as good, but then realized you were supposed to avoid bananas, so I started mixing it with unsweetened almond milk and frozen berries instead. I didn’t like it much, but it was something I could eat.
Overall, I felt the Zone Diet was doable for the short period of time. In the end, it was too restrictive for me to consider a long-term meal plan and I prefer a more balanced carb option. I also found it difficult to completely avoid processed and sugary foods.
Following the diet for two weeks made me feel great—I didn’t feel tired or low on energy—but I didn’t feel as full and satisfied as I’d hoped. However, two weeks is a short period of time to try a diet to see actual physical and mental results, so I’m interested in trying it for a longer period of time to see those results.
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