This is the first of what will probably turn out to be many book reviews on nutrition and fitness related topics. It is one of my favorite subjects. Most people that have heard of “The Zone”, will think that this is a diet book. And most people who think of diet, think weight loss. “How do I shed that extra weight and get those six pack abs or flat stomach that is going to make me look good on the beach?” I admit that weight loss is a huge marketing point of “The Zone” books, this one included, and Zone nutritional products. But this book is so much more than a diet book. Dr. Sears argues that food is like a drug and that everything we eat has a hormonal effect on our bodies.Those hormones can do amazing things, both good and bad. “The Zone” is all about the proportion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in the meals we eat. The Zone diet breaks down food into blocks. For example:1 oz of chicken is a block of protein, 4 oz of wine is a a block of carbohydrates(or a whole head of iceberg lettuce, you choose), and 1/3 of a teaspoon of olive oil is 1 block of fat. Based on your body weight and composition, each person should eat X number of a blocks per day, broken up into equally proportioned meals.
Dr. Sears covers a wide range of topics including how to eat properly to lose weight and look the way we want. My particular interest was in how to improve energy levels, sleep quality, and athletic performance through diet. As well, I found out how food effects acne, chronic fatigue, depression, and blood pressure? He even explains how nutrition can greatly decrease one’s risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes( or keep it under control if you have it), without the use of drugs. His solution to all of these questions is the same: properly proportioned, “Zone” favorable meals.
Sears backs up his claims with hard scientific studies. Although these can be technically detailed, the outcome is summarized in basic terms and real results. He has had greats success in his extensive work with overweight subjects, the Stanford swim team, and the Los Angeles Rams(its an older book). Regardless of technical expertise, anyone who reads this book will understand the basics of how to enter “The Zone” and why you would want to. Sears likes to emphasize the fact that no food is prohibited on The Zone diet, just quantities. That being said, not all food is created equally. Not all types of fruits and vegetables are as good for you as you might think. For example, a bagel, a glass of O.J. and a banana is not the nutritious start to your day that you might think. In fact, it’s a blood sugar nightmare.
The knowledge from this book will help the astute reader use food to not only lose weight but to truly improve the quality of life today and in the long term. It will show you how to “Enter The Zone” and stay there.