The Zone Diet Review – Does It Work?

With the advent of the Atkins Nutritional Approach and continuing with The Zone Diet, it seems that a tiny molecule in our body came under fire repeatedly towards the end of the twentieth century. When any kind of starch or sugar is ingested, our bodies break it down to tiny glucose sugar molecules. Some of that glucose is extremely important right away. It is the primary energy source of the brain.

However, most of us, because of the amount of carbohydrates we eat, end up with far too much glucose in our blood. The presence of excess glucose in triggers the pancreas to make the hormone insulin, which causes the body’s cells to grab the glucose out of the bloodstream and store it as fat in the cells.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the pancreas either does not make enough insulin or the cells simply ignore its commands. Either way, a diabetic is constantly in danger of there being too much glucose in his/her blood. The treatment for diabetes is to carefully control diet, but in many cases, supplemental insulin is needed on a daily basis to keep these people alive. So for many, insulin is a life-saving substance.

You may read: Why Rapid Weight Loss Diets Aren’t Healthy.

Since 1972, we have, however, been hearing quite a different story about insulin. Research done by Dr. Robert Atkins claimed that the insulin response in the body was actually responsible for obesity and any number of other metabolic conditions, even cancer.

The Zone Diet, created by biochemist Barry Sears, digs deeper into excess carbohydrate and insulin as a major factor in obesity. However, the Zone is not as restrictive as Atkins. Hence it is criticized far less for being unhealthy and bland. Its cause was taken up by major celebrities in the 1990s, with stars like Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt swearing by its effectiveness.

Sears does a good job of turning the flaws of the Atkins approach into major triumphs. Even though his ideal food ratio of forty percent carbohydrate to forty percent protein to forty percent fat is a departure from conventional food pyramid wisdom, where complex carbohydrates should make up half of any meal, it is still possible to consume a wide range of foods while on the diet, thus maintaining a healthy nutritional status.

Sears only aim is to reduce the proportion of carbohydrates eaten, encourage people to replace them with fruits and vegetables, and introduce healthy unsaturated fats into the diet.

When fewer carbohydrates are eaten, insulin falls within a certain range, the body is said to be in The Zone. Hormonal response is optimized, and fat is burned, Sears claims. This is a good point to note that skeptic researchers still have trouble with this claim, believing that the weight loss is due more to the inevitable reduction in calories more so than anything else.

Furthermore, even though The Zone may sound uncomplicated on the surface, the reality is that for it to be effective, it calls for a lot of work. Every plate is divided into three sections that are carefully measured to make sure they meet diet proportions. To supposedly simplify the process, Zone Food Blocks were developed, where Food Blocks are portions containing a certain amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat.

Food Blocks are then allocated according to calculations based on weight, height, waist and hip circumferences. Sound complicated? Thats because it is. This may be fine for people like Brad Pitt, who have personal chefs and nutritionists. For ordinary people like you and me, however, the Zone may not be the ideal way to eat.

Why Rapid Weight Loss Diets Aren’t Healthy

If you’re like me, then you might have went online to look for ways to lose weight in as quick a time as possible. You’re sick and tired of looking at yourself in the mirror and wished you looked like you used to. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you’re overweight, looking for rapid weight loss diets is the worst thing you can do.

First of all, before starting any kind of diet plan, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about it. He can give you a realistic look at where you are now, and how badly you’re overweight. Obesity doesn’t start until your body mass index, or BMI, reaches 25. Anything higher than that becomes more and more dangerous.

If you are at that point, it’s important to take each subsequent step on your quest for weight loss very carefully, and very slowly. Put it this way: did you weigh 135 lbs on Wednesday and then wake up the following week at 220 lbs? Of course not.

You put on the weight gradually, little bit by little bit, which let your bodily processes catch up with the increased work load. While it is not healthy to be that overweight in any situation, imagine if you did gain that much weight that quickly. You’d have a heart attack for sure, as your heart is not accustomed to pumping blood at the rate appropriate for someone twice your original size.

Likewise, when you lose weight, you want it to be gradual. You want to give all your bodily processes plenty of time to gradually adjust to your new weight. Anything that promises more than five pounds of weight loss in a week is pushing into unhealthy territory. With your doctor’s help, you can draw up a diet plan that will supercharge your nutrition and minimize your calorie intake to a more manageable level.

Read Also: Negative Calorie Diet Examined.

In some instances, if your weight is due to genetics, you may be given medication to speed up your metabolism, but unless your weight is in the danger zone and you are facing imminent death or illness due to it, then it’s best to leave well enough alone and work on improving your health rather than lose weight. If you eat healthier and engage in more activities that provide physical benefits, your weight will eventually come around.

Rapid weight loss diets simply aren’t healthy. What you need is something that will bring your weight around gradually through a combination of physical exercise, better nutrition and more reasonable eating habits.

Negative Calorie Diet Review – Does It Work?

The Negative Calorie Diet is unique in that it is conceived solely as a weight loss tool, and not as a tool for healthy living. Even with drastic food group elimination diets such as Atkins and The Zone, the creators tried to justify their theories by showing that overeating carbohydrates causes unhealthy metabolic changes in the body. They proposed that their diets were actually lifestyles, and could reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer etc. not just obesity.

The Negative Calorie Diet makes no such claims. It is designed for one purpose and one purpose only. The basic concept is not new, and is something that is generally accepted by nutrition experts everywhere. In order to lose weight, an individual must consume fewer calories than the body burns.

This causes the body to turn to its stores of fat and break these down in order to keep itself running, resulting in weight loss. Most of the diets that are accepted as being healthy and sustainable utilize this principle heavily, proposing substitutes to popular calorie-laden foods while maintaining the body’s healthy nutritional status.

Not so with the Negative Calorie Diet. In this incredibly restrictive version of things, the user must not simply consume few calories. They must consume negative calories. In other words, the number of calories going in must be less than the number of calories the body must use to digest the food, resulting in a net of nothing at all being eaten. Digestion has long been recognized as a long, slow process, and one that is extremely energy-consuming.

This is the reason why a large meal makes us feel sleepy. Chewing in itself requires considerable effort from the muscles of the jaw. When the food finally makes it to the stomach, blood rushes from the extremities to the lining of the gut in order to aid in digestion.

There are a great many calorie burning processes that must occur in order for food to be assimilated, and this diet takes advantage of that. Nothing can be eaten if the calories it provides are not completely negated by the body’s digestive action.

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Good candidates for the diet are fibrous, water-dense foods that take a lot of chewing, are hard to swallow, suck up digestive fluids thereby making the eater feel satiated, and do not provide many calories to begin with. Examples are fibrous vegetables like celery and broccoli. At first glance, these are extremely nutritious foods and all is completely well with the world. Not so. As with most popular diets, the other basic food groups are almost, if not completely, eliminated. The body cannot survive long-term without proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Even though one can eat as much as one likes of the allowed foods, the body is still starved. This is evident by the degree of weight loss promised by the diet two pounds per day. Experts agree that weight loss of such magnitude is not desirable, even dangerous.

When one also considers how nutritionally imbalanced this program is, it is easy to see why it is not recommended by any doctor anywhere in the world. Furthermore, it goes without saying that adhering strictly to the diet is a challenge for anyone who has ever had to force themselves to eat vegetables. In short, the Negative Calorie Diet is simply too much of a good thing. It takes the fundamentals of healthy weight loss and turns them into something dangerous.

Jenny Craig Diet Review – Does It Work?

Jenny Craig is definitely one of America’s household names, right up there with Oprah and Martha Stewart. This diet started in the 1980s, and focuses on teaching people how to eat sensible foods and control portion sizes. Doctors agree. In order to lose weight, we must take in fewer calories than we actually use. Therefore a reduction in the amount of food eaten will, in most cases, lead to weight loss.

In recent decades, portion sizes have gotten bigger and bigger, and so have our stomachs and appetites. Jenny Craig aims to get people into the habit of eating less and uses a unique approach in order to do so.

Clients work with a counselor to determine caloric needs. Then the program begins. Dieters purchase all their meals and snacks from Jenny Craig. Usually, all that is required is some heating or very simple preparation. Then bon apptit! The meals themselves tend to follow the USDAs food pyramid requirements, including 50-60% carbohydrates, 20-25% protein and 20-25% fat. Therefore all is right with the world, right?

Wrong. There are a number of drawbacks to the Jenny Craig program. The first, and most important, is cost. Celebrity spokespeople such as Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli have made Jenny Craig as popular as it is, but just because they can afford it does not mean ordinary people can. In addition to an exorbitant signup fee, the meals can cost up to a hundred dollars a week for a single person. This is a huge increase over an average-sized grocery bill for one person, especially considering that you will be eating far less on the program.

Furthermore, the meals are meant to be supplemented by fresh vegetables and low-fat dairy products. In other words, you still have to go to the supermarket! Many people are forced to drop the program altogether midway through, simply because they can no longer afford it.

Check More: Liquid Diet Weight Loss Versus Obesity.

Given its one-size fits all approach, Jenny Craig is also not suitable for people with allergies, celiac disease or other kinds of special dietary requirements. Everyone eats the same pre-packaged food, which more often than not contains common allergens. People also complain about the quality and preparation of the food, given that it is frozen or dried and packed with preservatives to ensure it makes it to your door in a relatively acceptable state.

Dieters also report horror stories of having lost quite a bit of weight on the program, then having gained it back twofold after coming off the packaged foods. The reason is that the program literally spoon feeds dieters in order to get them to lose weight.

Many of these people had problems with cooking and preparing healthy meals in the first place, leading them to pursue such a costly diet option. Having been handed their meals for a long period of time, they do not actually learn how to buy and cook foods that will enable them to maintain an ideal weight.

Once they are weaned off the packaged foods, many people have a tendency to go back to their old styles of eating, and gain the weight right back. Though the aim of ongoing counseling during the program is to help dieters learn about the dos and don’ts of their own meal preparation, quite a few Jenny Craig alumni report that they went back to their old habits after the program.

One reason for this may be laziness, and the fact that if they want to continue eating convenient, five minute meals, they will usually have to settle for the unhealthy options generally offered in stores. Despite being a huge expense, the Jenny Craig program often turns out to be a failure.