The Zone Diet

The “Zone Diet” has to be the first diet I ever really tried and stuck with. According to WebMD, the “Zone Diet “offers more than just claims about weight-loss. By retooling your metabolism with a diet that is 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrates, The Zone diet authors contend that you can expect to turn back encroaching heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Another much-touted advantage is better athletic performance. Sears doesn’t come right out and claim he has found the cure for heart disease or diabetes or discovered how to win athletic competitions. Instead he provides glowing anecdotes from people who have taken The Zone diet to heart.”

I started following the Zone Diet my first year living on a mountain resort as a snowboard instructor in the late 1990s. Hey, it did Jennifer Aniston a body good so it was going to do the same for me. My life was all about 30/30/40. The Zone Diet took a lot of work to get the right balance of protein/fat/carbs and I found that I was able to stick with the diet 75% of the time. Basically, I always fell of the wagon at night-time when it came time to eat what everyone else was eating. Many a night my diet was abandoned for McDonald’s french fries or a tasty burrito.

I was able to memorize the perfect 30/30/40 breakfast of cottage cheese, fruit, and almonds and ate that for years, mostly because it didn’t require any thought. To be honest, I don’t even like cottage cheese and fruit all that much. I have no idea how I ate it for almost 4 years. Trying to obtain 30/30/40 often left me counting calories constantly. Did I lose weight and keep it off while adhering to the Zone Diet? Yes, I lost 15 pounds when I started the diet and kept it off for 4 years while I stayed on the diet. Did I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I could eat and how much I could eat? Yes, I felt like it was taking over my life to the point where I dreaded the holidays with my extended family.

Why did abandon the Zone Diet philosophy? I ended up abandoning the diet because I joined the Army. I ended up putting on 10 pounds during Basic Training because I got to eat and eat and eat. It was awesome. Why have I never chose to get back on the diet? It was too much work. Now days, I need to be able to cook one meal that my whole family will eat and I will not deprive myself of french fries if that’s what is on the plate.

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