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Enter The Zone: A Dietary Road map Hardcover – May 12, 1995

4 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews

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"Eat Fat, Get Thin" by Mark Hyman, MD
A revolutionary new diet program from # 1 bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman. Check out "Eat Fat, Get Thin", by Carrie Fisher. See more featured Health & Fitness books
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Barry Sears looks at why Americans still have dietary problems in spite of following the advice of experts. Challenging the current recommendations for a high carbohydrate diet, Sears looks into man's history as well as the diets athletes succeed best on, to build a new dietary picture. Anyone looking for better health through an improved relationship to what they eat should put this book on their list.

From Publishers Weekly

Ciao pasta, good-bye bread, rice and other "bad carbohydrates," which can include carrots, cranberries and corn. It's time to truck in the proteins. Sears, a biochemist, crowns years' worth of research into the effects of food on hormone production and metabolic activity with a program that will lead to "optimal health," peak performance (the zone of the title) and, not incidentally, weight control. Citing the importance of eicosanoids, a class of hormones that figures critically in metabolism, Sears has worked out an approach to eating that reduces one's daily production of insulin and, at the same time, draws on stored body fat for energy. A formula for calculating an individual's Lean Body Mass is tied to an estimated Physical-Activity Factor and used to establish one's daily protein requirement, which can easily be as much as 70 grams for a moderately active, middle-aged woman with 25-35% body fat. Recommending a diet that tightly balances the intake of protein, good (low-glycemic) carbohydrates and a moderate amount of monounsaturated fats, Sears is among those current weight-control specialists (e.g., Drs. Rachael and Richard Heller and Stephen Gullo [see Notes below]) who observe that there are many "insulin-resistant" Americans for whom the new food pyramid recommendations, heavily weighted with "high-density, high-glycemic carbohydrates," can be unhealthy. "Zone-favorable" recipes and food-count tables are included. BOMC and QPC alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Regan Book; 1st edition (May 12, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060391502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060391508
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
After a lot of encouragement from my mother, who has been following the Zone for two years, I decided to try this diet. I've been on it for 3 months and I've lost 28 pounds and 2 clothing sizes without really changing my modest exercise habits. I eat half as many calories as I used to, but I'm not hungry. I used to have terrible insomnia, often getting no more than 4 hours of sleep a night - that has vanished along with my nearly-constant heartburn. After two months, my blood cholesterol dropped from 200 to 180. I have energy to burn. I take a Cheat Day on Sundays when I eat all the evil things I've been craving that week - croissants, Nutella, McD's sausage biscuits, creamy desserts - and by the end of the day I feel so draggy, dehydrated, sinus-y, that it's a relief to wake up Monday morning and go back onto the plan.
So, why don't I recommend this book? It was the first book Barry Sears (co-)wrote about the Zone, and it reads like an infomercial. The writing style is... loud. It is also poorly organized, jumping around from biochemical jargon to little tidbits of practical advice to anecdotal evidence to health claims for different conditions. And finally, this book doesn't provide any information beyond the very basics about how to actually follow the plan. If you are already convinced (perhaps by all these glowing reviews) of the benefits of the Zone and want to jump right in, the more comprehensive Mastering the Zone with its tons of practical tips is a much better place to start. If after beginning the diet you want more background information about how it works, then pick up this book. The one good thing about the early book is the more gourmet recipes (like the lamb with herbed cheese on zucchini-and-squash "pasta" - mmmm!).
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Format: Hardcover
I am a 23 year old female who exercises 3-5 times a week, cardio and weights.
One thing I've noticed from reading these reviews is that many, if not most, of the reviewers have only recently read the book and begun to apply the concepts. (with a high rate of success, not to doubt.) I am adding my experience because I have been attempting to follow this eating plan for 5+ years for the purpose of losing body fat.
I read THE ZONE when it was first published and went on the diet hard-core, because it made so much sense to me. I had previously had NO success trying to lose weight on the traditional low fat/protein - high carbohydrate diet illustrated by the ridiculous, industry driven "food guide pyramid." (Let's face it- do you think Nabisco would be very happy if the U.S. Surgeon General made an announcement that Wheat Thins really aren't good for you?)
I did lose weight when I began to follow The Zone eating plan strictly. I was absolutely thrilled. I must say, I was a bit obsessive. However, over the past five years, I have struggled with my weight fluctuating 15 lbs. I have a hard time with what Dr. Sears protests regarding two things, now that I've been familiar with applying the concepts in this book for so long:
1) Lack of hunger/ food cravings: Even when following The Zone to a *T*, I experience intense carbohydrate cravings and get hungry between meals, usually after 3 hours at most. It is not my so-called improved hormonal balance that Dr. Sears speaks of that keeps me on track, but my sheer willpower.
2) Permanent weight loss: I was 18 when I began The Zone. I am now 23. As stated earlier, my weight has fluctuated +-15 lbs. over the past five years.
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Format: Hardcover
For the last 10 years, I've struggled with my weight, always needing to lose between 10-20 pounds of fat. About two months ago, I started eating more vegetarian meals. I did start to feel better and experienced reductions in sugar cravings. However, my weight wasn't coming off as quickly as I wanted even though I was exercising 4-5 times a week and was not eating that much "junk." Then I discovered the Zone. What a difference! My sugar cravings are gone (I still enjoy chocolate but don't eat much of it), and my energy levels have sky-rocketed! I don't use a scale, but people have asked me if I've lost about 10 pounds, and this is only after two+ weeks on the diet. And I can lift heavier weights in the gym and exercise for longer periods of time! Best of all, I am no longer a slave to constant hunger; I am now in control. THANK YOU, Dr. Sears. I will never eat a protein-free meal again. Just say no to pasta, bread, cereal, rice, and sugar-laden, refined foods! By the way, the naysayers either didn't read or understand the book, haven't tried the Zone, or did not follow it correctly (you need to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables).
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Format: Hardcover
Sears' premise is a relatively easy one to understand: eating protein with every meal helps to regulate your insulin output and hence helps the body avoid a constant craving for fattening carbohydrate intake.

I purchased this book when it first came out in 1995, used it on and off with adequate results, and was dismayed when various news magazines and dieticians panned the premise. I thought, how could regulating hormones NOT be involved in the dieting puzzle?

Recently I was reaquainted with Sears' ideas after seeing an alternative physician in my quest for better health. The doctor recommended using Sears hormone-regulating formula and portion guidelines with Peter D'Adamo's ER4YT Blood Type Diet. So far, I have had fairly good overall health-benefit results--and this with no intention of losing weight--although this has occurred.

Although Sears comes off as being a little too commercial for my taste--just check out the Zoneperfect website and you will be bombarded with all sorts of prepackaged goodies--- his premise of eating a certain amount and a certain combination of the three basic nutritional elements seems to be quite wise. In a nutshell, one's hand is utilized to decide just how much one needs to put away during one meal. The protein should be the size of one's palm--thickness taken into account. The fat is represented by the size of the fleshy part of the thumb--about a tablespoon. Carbohydrates are monitored in this way: if eating a grain, a closed fist-sized amount should be consumed. If eating a green vegetable, two handfuls are advised.
As much as I find this advice feasible, I have some criticism with regard to Sears' premise and format.
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