If you’re like any self-respecting Guava guy or Guava girl, chances are, you are well aware of the benefits that physical activity brings. Cardio fitness classes (everything from kickboxing to spinning to CrossFit) can be life-changing in terms of helping us achieve the body we want, while yoga and Pilates are a magnificent way to build greater strength and flexibility physically and mentally, often massively helping our minds battle with stress. Since fitness is an integrated concept, the fuel we feed our body is vital in order to perform optimally. If you have a few extra pounds to lose, one diet thousands of people have turned to,, especially in the western world, is The Zone Diet. Its popularity grew from the diet’s commonsense approach to weight loss, that is able to fit well with even sociable types who enjoy dining out.
Why are people swearing by it?
One of the reasons Zone is so popular is because it is easy to follow and isn’t an overly strict diet. It involves consuming specific fats (preferably monounsaturated) such as almond butter, avocado, and cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, lean proteins, and healthy carbs such a fruits and vegetables, and even foods like couscous and English muffins.
The Zone Diet 101
Your first meal begins within an hour of waking up and you then eat every three to four hours, consuming a total of three meals and two snacks daily.
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The easiest way to stick to this diet is by consuming specific ‘blocks’. One block is equal to seven grams of protein, or nine grams of carbs, or 1.5 grams of fat. Women can consume a total of 11 blocks, while men can have 14. Every meal should comprise 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs.
Once you get used to counting ‘blocks’, it is easy to stick to The Zone even if you eat out. For instance, you can easily order an omelet and fruit for breakfast, a juicy steak and veggies for lunch, or a beautifully grilled, fresh fish fillet with veggies for dinner (and fruits for dessert).
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Why isn’t everyone on it?
Detractors of The Zone say it can be difficult to stick to because you need to spend time shopping for ingredients and preparing them. There are several shortcuts you can take. For instance, many followers of the diet prepare different containers with cooked chicken breast, chopped veggies and fruits, storing them in the fridge so they can easily mix and match ingredients and whip up a salad or quick to-go meal. Moreover, it could be argued that any diet that is more than a fad requires mindful shopping and preparation.
If you are truly committed to backing your exercise regime with a healthy weight loss plan, The Zone may be right up your street. You’ll have to take the time to plan, shop for and cook meals, but most dishes can be prepared quickly. Best of all, this diet is rich in vitamins and nutrients, meaning that you will have the fuel you need to perform at your best.
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