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Mike ODonnell
12-14-2009, 03:36 PM
Found this detailed interesting evaluation of the "Zone" diet.
http://www.jacn.org/cgi/reprint/22/1/9.pdf

If you just want to know what the author thinks overall....here's his summary:

When properly evaluated, the
theories and arguments of popular low carbohydrate diet books
like the Zone rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed
studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric. This review illustrates
the complexity of nutrition misinformation perpetrated
by some popular press diet books. A closer look at the science
behind the claims made for the Zone Diet reveals nothing more
than a modern twist on an antique food fad.

Duke McCall
12-14-2009, 03:41 PM
When properly evaluated, the
theories and arguments of popular low carbohydrate diet books
like the Zone rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed
studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric.

That is a good thing, right? ;)

George Mounce
12-14-2009, 07:33 PM
When properly evaluated, the
theories and arguments of popular low carbohydrate diet books
like the Zone rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed
studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric.

That is a good thing, right? ;)

Not if you are a GPP system trying to tout scientific reasons for following a starvation approach to eating.

I did the Zone for 6 months...I prefer to eat food.

Darryl Shaw
12-15-2009, 02:46 AM
I hope Couch reads that before he does something stupid. :rolleyes:

Garrett Smith
12-15-2009, 06:01 AM
Zoned Paleo got me the leanest I've ever been in my life...and the performance crash when I ran out of storage bodyfat was amazingly impressive.

Justin Herring
12-16-2009, 01:34 PM
More from the study:

The purported health benefits of low-carbohydrate diets have been advocated intermittently over the last century and have enjoyed increasing popularity over the last decade. Although the extremity of dietary carbohydrate restriction varies among popular low carbohydrate diets, the belief that carbohydrates are in one way or another to blame for most chronic diseases remains a consistent and emphatic theme.
***
Carbophobia is a form of nutrition misinformation infused into the American psyche through multiple advertising avenues that include magazine ads, television infomercials and especially best selling diet books. Due to the freedom of press guaranteed under the First Amendment, the lucrative publication of dubious nutrition information is difficult to combat. The success of the Zone Diet book by Barry Sears [1] in 1995 led to publication of at least ten Zone-related books or Zone “knock-offs”. The American Dietetic Association promotes dissemination of sound, science-based nutrition information to correct and counter pervasive nutrition misinformation [2].
It's intereting that this guy is going after the Zone as an exemplar of a low-carb diet--i.e. "carbophobia." Is 40% carbs regarded as low-carb by mainstream diet people?

I also like how he blames the First Amendment for making it difficult to "combat" low-carb diets. :D

Darryl Shaw
12-17-2009, 04:01 AM
It's intereting that this guy is going after the Zone as an exemplar of a low-carb diet--i.e. "carbophobia." Is 40% carbs regarded as low-carb by mainstream diet people?

I also like how he blames the First Amendment for making it difficult to "combat" low-carb diets. :D

The Zone Diet is a low calorie (hypocaloric) diet which means it's a low carb diet regardless of the percentage carbs it allows.

Justin Herring
12-17-2009, 12:19 PM
The Zone Diet is a low calorie (hypocaloric) diet which means it's a low carb diet regardless of the percentage carbs it allows.
I don't think all low-calorie diets are low carb. Know anyone on a Weight Watchers diet? And I doubt the American Dietetic Association is systematically oppose to calorie-restrictive diets generally (although I don't know anything about them).

Darryl Shaw
12-18-2009, 06:03 AM
I don't think all low-calorie diets are low carb. Know anyone on a Weight Watchers diet? And I doubt the American Dietetic Association is systematically oppose to calorie-restrictive diets generally (although I don't know anything about them).

You're right. I worded that badly so I'll try again....

The Zone is a low carbohydrate diet because it's a low calorie diet of which only 40% of it's calories come from carbohydrates.

Here's an example of why it's generally a good idea to ignore macronutrient ratios and focus on total calories, grams per day etc -

Introducing the revolutionary new weight loss program The Milk Zone™.

The Milk Zone™ has the clinically proven perfect macronutrient ratio* required for optimal health, longevity and world peace of 40% carbohydrates, 35% fat and 25% protein.

The Milk Zone™ is the worlds simplest diet and guarentees weight loss of over 2 lbs per week or your money back!**

All you need to do in order to benefit from The Milk Zone™ is buy my Molecularized 2% Milk ™ and drink one glass for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner. That's right, simply replace all your normal meals with three glasses of Molecularized 2% Milk ™ every day and watch the weight drop off!!!***

*Based on secret research which nobody is allowed to see. Ever!!!

** That isn't true I'm keeping every last penny you moron.

*** Warning: Due to it's extremely low calorie content this diet will result in malnutrition and death. You've been warned so don't try suing me suckers!!!

Brian Stone
12-18-2009, 07:40 PM
The author does not seem to be taking aim at the zone specifically as at low carbohydrate diets generally. I cannot disagree more; I think Michael Eades has done nothing short of an outstanding job on his blog and in his other writings of showing why the science does indeed back low-carb diets.

There is a big nutritional divide in the scientific community between fat-bad and carb-bad science. After looking into both quite a bit, I have to say I think the lower-carb dieters are onto something.

In short, though, to say that low carb diets have no science behind them is flat-out wrong.

Darryl Shaw
12-19-2009, 04:34 AM
The author does not seem to be taking aim at the zone specifically as at low carbohydrate diets generally. I cannot disagree more; I think Michael Eades has done nothing short of an outstanding job on his blog and in his other writings of showing why the science does indeed back low-carb diets.

There is a big nutritional divide in the scientific community between fat-bad and carb-bad science. After looking into both quite a bit, I have to say I think the lower-carb dieters are onto something.

In short, though, to say that low carb diets have no science behind them is flat-out wrong.

It isn't a question of whether the best or healthiest diet should be high or low in any particular nutrient it's a question of determining what's appropriate for your needs. Focusing too much on macronutrient percentages or high this and low that instead of total calories and grams per day doesn't help as it just confuses matters and allows the authors of fad diet books to get away with making ridiculous claims based on little or no evidence.

Also when it comes to evaluating the writings of Eades, Sears, Atkins, Taubes or any of the other authors of popular diet books it's worth keeping in mind the concluding paragraph of Prof. Louise Burkes critique of The Zone Diet -

Tips for writing a best selling diet book

(from Hawley, J. and L. Burke. Peak Performance: training and nutrition strategies for sport, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1998)

•Have impressive sounding qualifications in a medically related field.

•Be controversial. Slam the current world experts on health and nutrition, and the guidelines for healthy eating.

•Claim an amazing new scientific understanding. Fill pages with complicated biochemistry explained in simple language.

•Claim that your diet will cure all manner of diseases and health problems, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and aids. Prove this with case histories.

•Provide a complicated set of rules about foods that can't be eaten, or even worse, foods that can't be eaten at the same time.

•Have sports stars, film stars and political heavy weights follow and flourish on your diet - or at least be rumoured to.

•Best of all, promise that weight loss will occur while the dieter can eat as much as they like.

http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/special_diets2/the_zone_diet

Emily Mattes
12-25-2009, 12:08 PM
I remember when I first started Crossfit and decided to try out the Zone. I would record my foods for the day and be shocked at the low number of calories (like 1200 for a 180lbs female). When I and others asked about this on the Crossfit forums, everyone chimed in with "Oh, your body will just get used to it" and "Humans are too accustomed to eating too many calories anyway, we don't really need that many!" The euphoria produced by eating the Zone for long periods of time was also another argument towards the diet.

Of course, looking back these claims were utterly ridiculous and the "euphoria" is likely nothing different than the euphoria anorexics also report after extended periods of starvation. But at the time I figured people knew what they were talking about (always a poor assumption on Internet forums).

Blair Lowe
12-26-2009, 02:21 PM
Garrett what sport or activity were you doing?