Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Zone, by Barry Sears, Ph.D.

Go into any bookstore (or search online) and you will find hundreds of diets and even more books on dieting. All the most popular recipe books today have jumped on the bandwagon as well, touting the latest dieting craze, whether it be lower fat, lower sugar, lower cholesterol, or lower carbs. With so many options, it's no wonder that many of us end up skimming the books, jumping from diet to diet, or simply giving up and going back to our old habits; while our old habits may not be in the best interest of weight loss and healthy living, at least they are comfortable and easy. Let's face it, we live in a world where ease matters. We use ATM and debit cards so we don't have to bother with cash; we read Cliff's Notes so we don't have to read the entire book; we do text messaging so we don't have to bother with a phone call; and we eat fast food so we don't have to stop for dinner. Our world requires much of us and most of us are too busy to slow down and think about why we do what we do. However, there is one diet book which appeals not to our need for weight loss or even our desire for good health, but rather, to our sense of logic.

The Zone, by Barry Sears, Ph.D., is that book. The Zone is unlike any other diet book because it is not about weight loss. The author explains that while Americans have given up fat, sugar and cholesterol, we are still the fattest people on the face of the earth. He then goes on to show us, scientifically, why giving up fat and sugar isn't the goal. In The Zone, Dr. Sears gives us a formula for eating protein, carbohydrates and fat. He shows us that fat is good, or rather, that the right kind of fat is good. Without good fat, our hair will dry out, our fingernails will break, and our skin will be dry and unhealthy looking. Although the media has been telling us to eat everything without fat, it has been doing us a disservice when our bodies actually need a certain amount of fat to function properly.

Not only is fat one of the issues, but so are carbohydrates. We have been told in recent years that carbs are the enemy. There are many low carb or no carb diets out there that encourage people to eat large amounts of protein and avoid carbohydrates altogether. Yet Dr. Sears shows us why this is a problem as well. As with fat, we need carbohydrates for our bodies to work optimally. The difference is that we need to eat the right kinds of carbohydrates. Many people do not understand that fruit and vegetables, as well as juices and alcoholic beverages are all carbohydrates. While some dieters will give up bread, pasta and potatoes, they might still eat nothing but salads and fruit juices. While salads and juices are healthy carbohydrates, they are still ONLY carbohydrates and serve to make us unbalanced.

Protein is the third corner of the Zone triangle. Rather than going on an all-protein diet, which will leave us unbalanced and possibly damage our kidneys, Dr. Sears explains how much protein an individual should eat, based on how much carbohydrates and how much fat he is eating. It is a simple formula that anyone can understand. The Zone diet is helpfully broken up into food blocks, so a person in the zone would simply eat a set amount of food blocks from each category, protein, carbohydrate, and fat, during each meal or snack. In doing this, we will not only feel better and have a clearer mind, we will also burn fat and fight heart disease, diabetes, PMS, chronic fatigue, depression and cancer. The zone is the first diet that makes sense, is easy to do, and actually works.

And if that weren't enough, The Zone is full of wonderful recipes that will appeal to your taste buds and your need for ease. If you are looking for a health regimen or a diet, consider taking a look at The Zone. It is the healthy diet for intelligent people

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