What is the Zone® diet?

The Zone® Diet was invented in the 1990s by Dr. Barry Sears as the ideal nutritional base for top athletes. The effect on the results of those top athletes was astonishing. The Zone® diet quickly gained name and fame and other people, such as movie stars, started following it too.

It’s more about a healthy way of nutrition for optimal health than a strict weight loss diet. You will perform better and the chance of all kinds of diseases and inflammation is reduced, so that you age in a healthier way.

In the sports world, top athletes from different disciplines have been allowed to follow all possible diets and nutritional schedules for several years.

Although no real scientific research has been done, they have tested the effects on sports performance. During the testing, the athletes were not told what type of diet they were following. They just follow the rules.

They were able to establish that the nutritional advice of Dr. Barry Sears, better known for the Zone Diet®, gave the best results. The performances of these top athletes improved and at the same time they lost some excess fat.

What are the benefits of the Zone diet?

  • It’s a quick way to lose body fat and keep it that way, without the known yo-yo effect.
  • Your general health will improve and you will be able to keep it for a longer period of time.
  • You will perform better with physical exertion in general.
  • Apparently your brain will also be able to think better and faster.
  • The aging process is significantly slowed down.

What is the difference with other diets?

The big difference with other diets is that the Zone® diet takes your body composition and your daily physical efforts into account. You should eat enough to support your muscles in your daily activities or exercise, but you should not overeat to keep your non-essential body fats low.

It is certainly not a strict slimming diet, on the contrary. You can eat and drink almost anything, but it must always be in a certain proportion for an ideal hormonal balance.

Who is the Zone® diet for?

The Zone® diet is suitable for anyone who wants to lose weight or is looking for an active, energetic and healthy lifestyle.

It is also suitable for people with chronic disease, such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease or hypertension (high blood pressure), as it has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Zone dieet bord


The guidelines for a healthy diet are very simple in the Zone® diet. Every meal or snack should always be in balance and consist of:

  • 30% proteins
  • 40% carbohydrates
  • 30% fat

You can eat almost anything, but always in the 30-40-30 ratio. That ratio is the same for everyone, only the total amount is different. How much you can eat depends on your lean body mass and your activity level.


  • Proteins are the fuel for our body and should above all be lean and varied.
  • These can be found in legumes, meat products, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products and nuts.


  • The main function of carbohydrates is to provide our body with energy.
  • Carbohydrates are mainly obtained from sugars and starch.
  • For example, you can find it in bread, potatoes, whole grain products, brown rice, etc.
  • Carbohydrates should be predominantly of a low glycemic nature. The glycemic index indicates how quickly a particular food raises sugar levels.


  • Fats should be predominantly unsaturated in nature.
  • As a rough guideline, it can be stated that saturated fats are solidified (solid) at room temperature and are mainly of animal origin.
  • Vegetable fats are usually unsaturated and are liquid at room temperature. A big exception to this rule are palm oil and coconut oil, which contain a high percentage of saturated fatty acids.

What can you eat?

Simple guidelines

  • Eat lean meats and leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruits, little starch and no sugar.
  • Eat enough to build up your workouts, but not too much to support body fat.
What should you avoid?

Limit high-glycemic carbohydrates

  • Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is without a doubt the biggest cause of dietary health problems.
  • High-glycemic carbohydrates are carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels too quickly. These are mainly found in rice, bread, sweets, potatoes, sugar, soft drinks and pastries.
  • High-glycemic carbohydrates give an excessively high insulin boost and lead to hyperinsulinism. Which ultimately leads to obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress and a whole range of diseases.
  • The conventional western diet is often too high-glycemic. We eat a relatively large amount of carbohydrates and most factory foods (tins, jars, sauce bags, ready-made home menus) contain far too many sugars and starches.
  • Many people do not know that bread and potatoes are also high-glycemic. These complex carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the blood.

How do I get started?

The Zone® diet is not based on calorie counting, but on achieving a hormonal balance. Every day you should always eat 3 meals and 2 snacks, in which 30% of the calories are always obtained from proteins, 40% from carbohydrates and 30% from fats. That 30-40-30 ratio is important in everything you eat.

But how do you know how much you can eat? For this we take as a starting point the amount of protein that your body needs to support your muscle mass. Of course, we need to know how much lean muscle mass you have and how active you are.

Therefore we need to calculated how many grams of protein you need per day. After that it is not difficult to determine how many carbohydrates and how many fats you need. That’s just a rule of 3 to get to the 30-40-30 ratio.

As soon as your daily protein, carbohydrate and fat requirement has been determined, we will simply divide it over the 3 meals and 2 snacks.

But first we have to start with determining your body fat percentage

Very briefly you can state the following: "Avoid foods that make up a TV commercial"

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