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!).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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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I read 'The Zone' and followed what he said. I lost 20 pounds in less than 3 months and have maintained my weight for 1 month. My biggest surprise was the outstanding decrease in my cholesterol/HDL ratio, tested through work. My ratio dropped from 6.24 to 3.2 in 4 months (doctors want it less than 4.0). I eat like he says and exercise like he says, except I do eat ice cream at night frequently. I try to ride a stationary bike every 3 or 4 days. I do not feel I am dieting. I used to have orange juice and bananas for breakfast and was hungry before 11 am. Now I have 10 ounces of 1% milk, 1 oz peanuts, 1 oz cheese and crackers and eat lunch 45 minutes later than I used to. Peanuts remain in the stomach a long time and the fat content satisfies me. Instead of potatoes, I have broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans. I've talked enough. It worked for me. Good luck to you.