Zone Perfect Nutrition Program in Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico
The ZonePerfect® Nutrition Program was developed to help people quickly and easily achieve and maintain their health and fitness goals.
The ZonePerfect® Nutrition Program is a science-based nutrition program which harnesses the powerful, almost drug-like effects of food, to position your body within a hormonally controlled "Zone" 24 hours a day.
Food as A Drug
You've probably heard the expression, "You are what you eat." It's absolutely true. What you eat and how you eat has a powerful effect on your physiology and health. If you're like most people, you're aware of (and have probably tried) lots of various diets. These diets treat food as a source of calories, which must be counted and restricted. The ZonePerfect® Nutrition Program doesn't count calories at all! Instead of emphasizing calories, the ZonePerfect® Nutrition Program views food as a 'drug' which dramatically affects your body's production of the hormone insulin. We believe that significant swings in insulin levels affect mood, endurance, mental acuity, and weight gain or loss. Over time, uncontrolled insulin levels will have a negative impact on your overall health and well being. See the section, The Science Behind the Zone to discover why.
The Four Keys to Entering the Zone
There are four key elements to the program:1) the ZonePerfect Nutrition Program, 2) the use monounsaturated fats, 3)supplementation of diet with Omega-3 fish oils, and 4) exercise. It's just that simple. Each component is important by itself, but to really get the full benefit of the ZonePerfect program, you need to combine them into a total health package. Let's look at each key in detail.
Zone Food Blocks were created because it's nearly impossible to keep track of every gram of carbohydrate, protein, and fat that you eat. Remember, the key to reaching the Zone is in the balance of carbohydrate to protein. The balance of carbohydrate to protein is important, because carbohydrates stimulate insulin, and protein stimulates glucagon. Our goal is a balance between these two hormones. Using Zone Food Blocks makes this calculation easy.
In the ZonePerfect Nutrition Program, seven grams equals one mini-block of low fat protein. An example of one mini-block of protein is one ounce of chicken breast.
One mini-block of carbohydrates in the ZonePerfect Program equals nine grams. Examples of one mini-block of carbohydrate are either one cup of strawberries, or three cups of steamed broccoli, or 1/4 cup of pasta. These different amounts means that, in order to get the same amount of sugar contained in a quarter cup of pasta, you would actually have to eat three cups of steamed broccoli! In between those two extremes are a cup of strawberries.
One mini-block of fat equals three grams. When you are eating a lowfat protein source, such as chicken or fish, there is some hidden fat there, about 1.5 grams per ounce. For this reason, you will often see a fat mini-block counted as 1.5 grams. Our mini block guide lists a fat block as 1.5 grams while our food block database lists a fat block as 3 grams. One half of the fat block is found in the lowfat protein source and you have to add the other half. If you are eating a high fat protein source, you do not have to add any additional fat. In the same way, if you are eating a completely fat free protein source, such as protein powder or fat free cottage cheese, you will have to add 3 grams of fat per block. Just remember that since fat has no effect on insulin, erring a little on one side or the other will not make too much difference.
When you're constructing Zone meals and snacks, you want your mini-blocks to be in a one to one to one ratio. In other words, one mini-block of protein, plus one mini-block of carbohydrate, plus one mini-block of fat, equals a one block snack. The key point to remember here is that you're always matching up one to one to one. If you are constructing a three block meal, you will need three mini-blocks of protein, three mini-blocks of carbohydrates and three mini-blocks of fat.
Now, you're probably asking, "How do I know how many blocks I need?" The average woman usually needs eleven blocks per day broken up into three, three block meals and two, one block snacks. The average man will usually start at about 14 blocks a day broken up into three, four block meals and two, one block snacks. Click here for sample one week meal plans. Of course, different factors will affect the amount of protein your body needs, including the amount of muscle mass you have and your normal amount of activity. To get a more accurate block number, visit our online body fat calculator. Keep in mind that 11 blocks is the minimum block requirement for an adult. Don't try to "speed things along" by eating less than this minimum amount.
Zone blocks can be moved around to fit your lifestyle. Most people are used to eating 3 meals a day, so we recommend starting with three main meals and two snacks. This schedule, however is just one of many options. As long as you eat at least five times a day, eat within an hour of waking and an hour of going to sleep and never let five hours pass between meals, you can arrange your blocks anyway you like.