If you eat the right foods in the right proportions, you'll be healthier and lose weight, says the Zone diet developer, Dr. Barry Sears. According to Sears, you should aim for each meal - including breakfast - to consist of 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat and 30 percent protein. Sears divides each category of food into blocks, and advises that a typical breakfast for a man should consist of four blocks from each category, while a woman should have three blocks from each. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning the Zone diet.
On the Zone diet, a single block of carbohydrate is equivalent to 9 grams of affordable, or net, carbohydrates, ideally provided by fruits, vegetables or whole grains. Net carbohydrates are calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber per serving from the total amount of carbohydrates in a serving. For breakfast, a block of carbohydrates might be fulfilled by 12 spears of cooked asparagus, 1/4 cup of cooked black beans, 1 1/4 cup of cooked broccoli, 1 1/3 cup of cooked spinach, 3/4 cup of tomatoes, 1/3 cup of cooked oatmeal, one slice of whole-wheat bread, 1 cup of strawberries or one whole piece of fruit such as a peach, plum or tangerine.
A protein block on the Zone diet is equivalent to 1 ounce of freshly cooked meat or poultry, 1 1/2 ounces of cooked fish or shellfish, 1 ounce of protein powder, two soy sausage links, one whole egg, two large egg whites, 1 ounce of hard cheese or 1/4 cup of cottage cheese. Each block is designed to contain approximately 7 grams of protein. Some blocks of food - 1 cup of milk or soy milk or 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, for instance - fulfill a block of protein and carbohydrate each.
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