Getting started in the Zone

The Zone Diet Plan in a Nutshell

Remember that meal timing is everything in the Zone. Just like planning your daily schedule, treat the Zone the same exact way. All your meals and snacks should be planned the way you schedule daily appointments, meetings, even take a medication. Timing is everything in the Zone!

Simply follow these basic rules and plan your day accordingly:

Always eat within one hour after waking.

You must eat a minimum of 3 meals and 2 snacks every day. Afternoon and late evening snacks are critically important for staying in the Zone.

A Zone meal should give you 4-5 hours in the Zone, a Zone snack 2-2.5 hours. You must eat every 4-5 hours after a meal or 2-2.5 hours after a snack, whether you are hungry or not, to stay in the Zone. In fact, the best time to eat is when you aren't hungry. That means your insulin levels are stabilized.

Lack of hunger and clear mental focus are excellent barometers that you are in the Zone. Before every meal and snack always assess your hunger and mental focus.

Every meal and snack starts with low-fat protein plus carbohydrates (eat more leafy green vegetables and fruits and less pasta, breads, grains and starches) and don't forget "good" fats (i.e. olive oil).

A typical serving size of low-fat protein fits in the palm of your hand and is no thicker than your hand. For most females, this is 3 ounces of low-fat protein, and for males, this equals 4 ounces of low-fat protein. A typical snack contains 1 ounce of protein for both men and women. At first, a kitchen scale is helpful to measure the protein portion. You can soon eyeball these amounts at home, in restaurants and fast food take-outs.

Divide your plate in three equal sections. Add the protein portion and fill two-thirds of the plate with fruits and vegetables. Don't forget to add a dash of fat like olive oil. If you like, add a small dinner salad at dinnertime (a great place to add a dash of "good" fats like olive oil).

Zone living is guilt free. If you make a mistake, your next Zone meal or snack will take you right back to the Zone.

Exercise on a regular basis.

Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

There you have it-- the Zone in a nutshell. You now hold the key to a longer and healthier life that starts with your very next meal. Welcome to the Zone and Zone appetit!


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