the Zone diet

I was wondering if anyone here has followed the zone diet, and if so, what were your results? In reading the Zone, there was a chapter on “Elite athlets in the zone.” Bascially, it was highly trained college football and basketball players who worked under Marv Marinovich and ate a very strict zone diet for 6 weeks. The outcome? The average weight gain was 11 pounds with a loss of 5 pounds of fat. So, a net gain of 16 pounds. And, it was noted that no athlete consumed more than 2500 calories per day. Is this possible? anyone?..

There is a lot of negative feelings about the Zone diet, but it is an effective plan. I have used it with success to lean out. It may be lighter on the protein than a weightlifter needs, but you may modify it. Your carb sources do come from whole foods mostly. If you want meal ideas, the books will give your some ideas. In a nutshell the diet consists of 50%c, 33%p, 17%f if you follow it according to the book.

V2: “The Zone” has an unwavering ratio of 30P/40C/30F in it’s recommended macronutrient percentages (as well as food choices). That’s what makes it unique.

Where did your percentages come from? (I just wanted to help with any confusion).

I broke down one of the meal plans one day. Admitedly, my numbers may be off somewhat. The problem that I have with the zone is that it takes forever to chew and eat all of those veggies. Thank you for clarifying the numbers.

I started it about two ago years now when i started to get off my ass agin. the diet got me away from carb base diet then after a while i started to mutate it to what i needed (hope you are using food log). It worked get for me.

The recommendation isn’t an unwavering 40/30/30. In fact, V2 is right. If Zone fat blocks were 3g each, then it would be 40/30/30, but Sears’ recommendation is 1.5g to begin with.

For those who need more calories, he recommends increasing the fat to 3g per block, which brings you closer to 40/30/30.

Figures are straight from the book.

This study is kind’ve deceiving because from what I’ve heard Marv Marinovich has a history of getting great results through his training programs so it might be likely these subjects would’ve made such similar gains even if they were eating whatever they wanted to.

I am bipolar and suffer from bouts of deppression the zone diet absolutely cures my depression, no other nutrition program gives me the sense of well being and no hunger. I find that the diet is to low in protein. Also regarding the athletes they were already coming off highly trained programs they were not just starting out as stated in the book.

Scott, where did you get the information regarding the athletes? I have called the “zone hotline” and have written to and can’t seem to find a source for the study detailed in the book. If the subjects were indeed coming off of a training regimin, that would most definitely give the Zone diet more credibility for use by athletes. Can you tell me where you found this info?

There is very little scientific backing for the zone. Most of the comments in the book are just anecdotal references.
There has been some research done on similar diets (eicosatech or something like that.) but most were not complementary towards the diets

THere is a review on the zone in sports med

Cheuvront SN. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med 1999;24:213-28

And a rebuttal by sears done a year later, but I havent actually read this.

Sears B. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med 2000;29:289-94

16lbs.? 2500 calories? Were the subjects 4 feet tall? No way.