There are 3 main macro nutrients we will focus on in the ZONE: CARBS, PROTEIN & FAT.
When eaten in the right proportions (in the zone), your body is able to operate efficiently and optimally as it was intended. Calories are important, but what is more important is the type of calories you consume, because not all calories are created equal. Ideally, you want each meal/snack to be composed of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. To make it simple, the Zone counts calories in blocks, which equals one serving of each macronutrient:
1 block (serving) of carbs = 9 grams
1 block (serving) of protein = 7 grams
1 block (serving) of fat = 3 grams
So, it becomes necessary to read nutrition labels, which is important for whatever healthy eating plan you cultivate. I have included a chart with a more extensive list of foods and their serving sizes below for your convenience.
*Please note that in the Zone, the average woman needs 3 blocks each of carbs, protein and fat per meal and 1-2 blocks of each per snack. The average male needs 4 blocks of each per meal and 2-3 blocks per snack.
CARBS: (carbohydrates) include grains, vegetables and fruits.
*Always choose whole grains/wheat WITHOUT ENRICHED ingredients.
*Choose foods whose labels contain more FIBER GRAMS than SUGAR GRAMS.
*Incorporate many colors of vegetables and fruits for more nutrients.
*Have vegetables steamed, not sauteed.
*Limit fruit juices, which usually are high in sugar and not as filling as fruit because they don't contain fiber.
Healthy Options & Serving Sizes:
*Whole grain/multi-grain pasta (1/4 cup cooked = 1 serving)
I use Barilla Plus varieties.
*Oatmeal (1/3 cup cooked = 1 serving)
*Whole grain bread (1/2 slice = 1 serving)
I use Orowheat Whole Wheat.
*Corn Tortillas (1 slice = 1 serving)
*Quinoa (1/4 cup cooked = 1 serving)
*Leafy (romaine) 3 cups
*Raw (cucumber, broccoli) 2 cups
*Cooked (zucchini, squash) 1 cup
*Apple/orange 1/2 each
*Berries 3/4 cup
*Banana 1/4 each
*Grapes 1/4 cup
PROTEIN: includes meats, legumes/beans, and eggs.
*Choose lean meats as often as possible.
*Limit beef to 1-2 times per week. It takes 7 days for your body to begin to break down beef for digestion.
*Eliminate fried meats as much as possible. Choose baked meats instead.
*Choose deli meats over processed meats to avoid high levels of sodium; avoid meats with nitrates & nitrites.
*Salmon, baked fish, albacore tuna
(avoid tilapia and catfish) 1 oz = 1 serving
*Chicken, turkey 1 0z = 1 serving
*Legumes, beans 1/4 cup = 1 serving
*Eggs (also contains 2 servings of fat) 1 each = 1 serving
*Egg substitute/whites 1/4 cup = 1 serving
FATS/SUGARS: include nut butters, nuts, avocados, oils and sugars.
*Limit saturated fats and added sugars.
*Use coconut oil or cooking spray as much as possible.
*Avoid fried foods as much as possible (or completely).
*Natural almond butter (read the label) 1/2 tbsp = serving
*Almonds, pistachios, macademia 3 each = 1 serving
*Avocado 1 tbsp = 1 serving
*Olive Oil (for cold dressings) 1/3 tsp = 1 serving
*Coconut Oil (for high heat) 1/4 tsp = 1 serving
*Truvia Sweetener 2 tsp = 1 serving
*Eliminate or limit carbonated and high-calorie drinks, which have little or no nutritional value.
*Drink 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces each day.
*Add 12-16 oz of water for every 15 minutes of activity.
*Black/Green tea: add a tsp of honey or packet of truvia to sweeten if necessary.
*Infused water: Add lemon, lime, cucumber, fresh mint, or sliced orange to a pitcher/glass of ice cold water.
*2% Milk or Almond/Coconut Milk