A Week in the Zone: A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You

A Week in the Zone: A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You

by Barry Sears, Deborah Kotz

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060741907
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/29/2004
Series: Zone
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 463,046
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

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.

Read an Excerpt

A Week in the Zone
A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You

Chapter One

What Is the Zone?

For generations, every male on my father's side of my family suffered from a similar fate: a premature heart attack that cut their life short decades too early. After my father died in 1972 at the age of 54, I realized that I had a genetic time bomb ticking away inside me. I knew I couldn't change my genes, but I was determined to find a way to lead a normal, healthy life span.

My quest to save myself has led me to a surprisingly simple conclusion. As it turns out, the key to a longer, better life is not some magic pill or potion. It is a powerful hormone produced by your diet called insulin. My research showed that if you were able to keep insulin levels within a certain zone -- not too high and not too low -- you could dramatically improve your health and prevent a wide range of diseases. What's more, you could also make your body start using fat for energy, thus allowing you to lose excess body fat without feeling hungry!

So how do you begin to regulate your insulin levels and begin the journey to better health? Again, I found that the answer was simple: by eating the right combination of foods at every meal. Essentially, you need to start treating the Zone diet as a drug. Once you start taking this drug, you will automatically achieve:

  • Permanent loss of excess body fat
  • Dramatic reduction in the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • Improved mental and physical performance
  • A longer life

The first person to recognize food as a wonder drug was Hippocrates, thefather of medicine, who instructed us to "let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food." Now some twenty-five hundred years later, we are just beginning to understand the importance of his words.

Make no mistake about it; food is a powerful drug. In fact, it may be the most powerful drug you will ever take. However, like any drug, food can help you or harm you depending on how you use it. Used correctly, food can make you more energized and healthier with the guarantee of a longer and more active life. Used incorrectly, food can become your worst enemy -- robbing you of a healthy body, healthy weight, and a healthy mind, as millions of Americans are quickly finding out for themselves. Most important, if food is used improperly, it can also shorten your life.

You may think you already know how to properly use food by avoiding fat, and eating plenty of carbohydrates like pasta, bagels, bread, and rice. If you've been following these dietary guidelines, however, you may be puzzled as to why you're gaining rather than losing weight. Truth is, you have it backward. If you're like most Americans, you're probably eating far too many carbohydrates. This is why more than 50 percent of Americans are overweight today compared to 33 percent twenty years ago -- even though we're now eating less fat than ever before. This is called the American paradox. If fat were the enemy, then we should have declared victory over obesity many years ago. The fact is that dietary fat was never the real enemy. The real cause of our growing epidemic of obesity is excess production of the hormone insulin. It is excess insulin that makes you fat and keeps you fat.

You are constantly reminded that a calorie is a calorie, and that weight gain is simply more calories coming in than calories going out. Since fat contains more calories per gram than does protein or carbohydrate, simple logic would dictate that removing fat from the diet should make us thinner. Such caloric thinking can be summarized as follows "if no fat touches my lips, then no fat reaches my hips." Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to walk on the streets of America and realize that statement simply isn't true. On the hormonal level, all calories are not created equal. The hormonal effect of a calorie of carbohydrate is different than the hormonal effect of a calorie of protein, and is still different from the hormonal effect of a calorie of fat. Each of these three nutrients has its own unique effects on your body's hormones. In the proper balance, these three nutrients are exactly what your body needs to remain healthy by keeping insulin within the Zone. When these nutrients are out of balance and insulin levels surge too high, they can wreak havoc on your body's hormonal equilibrium, resulting in weight gain, an increased likelihood of chronic disease, and acceleration of the aging process. On the other hand, if insulin levels are too low, your cells begin to starve because a certain amount of insulin is required to drive life-sustaining nutrients into your cells.

The Zone is like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One bowl of porridge was too hot (too much insulin), one bowl was too cold (too little insulin), and one was just right (the Zone).

Zone Benefits

In the Zone, almost magical metabolic changes occur. Only in the Zone can you release excess fat from your fat cells to be used as fuel by your body twenty-four hours a day, allowing you to lose weight and enjoy more energy simultaneously. Only in the Zone can you reduce the likelihood of chronic disease. Only in the Zone can you live a longer life. It's as easy as eating the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat at every meal and snack.

The benefits of maintaining insulin in the Zone are almost immediate, because your blood sugar is also automatically stabilized. As a result, you feel less hungry, you are more mentally alert and more energized throughout the day. Carbohydrate cravings become a thing of the past so that you can free your body from its slavery to food ...

A Week in the Zone
A Quick Course in the Healthiest Diet for You
. Copyright © by Barry Sears. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

1.What is the Zone?1
2.Food and Hormones: Your Keys to Entering the Zone5
3.Getting Started in the Zone15
4.A Zone Makeover for Your Kitchen26
5.Recipes for a Week in the Zone36
6.More Quick and Easy Zone Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, and Snacks64
7.Dining out in the Zone75
8.The Soy Zone80
9.The Anti-Aging Zone: Living Longer and Living Better87
10.Zone Supplements97
11.Fine-Tuning the Zone108
12.Success Stories from the Zone119
13.Frequently Asked Questions124
14.Why High-Protein Diets Fail138
15.Scientific Validation of the Zone143
Conclusion: The Future of Your Health Care in America147
Appendix AResources149
Appendix BZone Food Choices: The 1-2-3 Method151
Appendix CZone Food Choices: The Zone Food Block Method160

Customer Reviews

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Week in the Zone 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
T-Lily More than 1 year ago
Along with a healthy routine of exercise eating in the zone will transform your life. I have more energy and feel great. During the initial week I thought to myself, I can't possibly eat this much and loose weight. So wrong. Try it out.
marilynRI More than 1 year ago
i do NOT consider this a diet...it is a change of life. There is a lot of food we can eat on this plan. It is not hard to follow. I have lost 5 lbs. in the last week and 1/2. I know a lot of that weight loss is fluid, but I have not had any problem drinking 8 glasses of water a day. I fill up my container for 64 oz. and I drink from that container. I have found I am eating healthier...more vegetables and fruit....no breads and no potatoes...And I can truly say, I do not miss them.. What I miss is my cocktail of Southern Comfort Manhattans every night before I go to bed...but fruits and vegetable are more healthier than the cocktails. I drink one SCM on a Saturday night as my special treat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harleyrider61 More than 1 year ago
If you are interested about the food you eat and want to learn how to control insulin levels, then this is the book for you. This is not a diet book, rather a book that teaches, good carb/bad carb and how to strike a good health balance between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. I learned a lot reading this book.
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dare2dream More than 1 year ago
I followed the steps and read the book. I lowered my blood sugar level by 80 points and lost 9 pounds in one week. It is hard to follow the meal plan however, you feel better about eating and you do change the amount of food you eat and you eat more fruits and snacks throughout the day instead of eating too much in one sitting. I recommend this book to all who want to maintain their health and feel good about themselves. It is doable. Thanks!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few diet books that also contains valuable information that will help you improve your health. There is more to weight loss and good health then just cutting carbs and this book proves it. I also loved 'The Power of Positive Habits' a new book that shows you how to lose weight and improve your health...automatically.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read it and learned much, including how all the so called experts disagree. He makes it inderstandable, easy to digest (no pun intended) and well worth the price and the time it takes to read. I have since passed it on to a couple friends. Good investment to be sure.