Roadmap to the Zone

There is no magic bullet to reach the Zone, but there is a dietary system. It’s called Metabolic Engineering®. There are three dietary components that must have working together as a team to get to the Zone as shown below:

The Zone diet is the foundation of Metabolic Engineering®. This helps to reduce inflammation caused by insulin resistance. Omega-3 fatty acids are required to resolve the inflammation caused by insulin resistance. Finally, polyphenols are necessary to repair the damage caused by insulin resistance. If any of these dietary components are missing, then it is unlikely that you will reach the Zone to slow down aging.

The Zone diet is patented to reduce insulin resistance. More than 40 clinical studies have demonstrated the superiority of the Zone diet in reversing the metabolic disruption caused by insulin resistance. Following the Zone diet, you will experience appetite suppression without hunger or fatigue within days and start to see significant subjective changes within one to two weeks.

Here are the three simple dietary steps to make the Zone diet work.

Step 1. You require adequate protein at each meal.

You require adequate protein at each meal to generate the hormonal signals that control hunger. If you eat too little protein at a meal, insufficient hormonal signals will reach the brain to stop hunger. If you consume too much protein at a meal, you begin to generate insulin resistance. What is the correct amount of protein you need not be hungry for the next five hours? The answer is about 30 grams of protein per meal.

Here are some examples of 30 grams of low-fat protein for different dietary philosophies.

Four oz. of chicken breast
Four oz. of lean beef
Six oz. of fish

Lacto-ovo vegetarian
Five oz. of non-fat Greek yogurt
Nine egg-whites

Two cups of boiled black beans
Seven oz. of tofu

You can see that getting adequate protein at a meal is possible with virtually any dietary philosophy. Getting that necessary protein level using a vegan diet may be more challenging than following a Lacto-ovo vegetarian or omnivore diet, but it can be accomplished.

Step 2. Balance the protein with low-glycemic carbohydrates

Once you select 30 grams of low-fat protein at a meal to generate the hormones that stop hunger, you must balance it with carbohydrates to maintain that satiety for the next five hours. The correct balance means adding approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates to the 30 grams of protein in the same meal. The best carbohydrate source will be primarily non-starchy vegetables high in fermentable fiber. At first, consuming 40 grams of carbohydrates using such non-starchy vegetables may seem challenging. However, the metabolism of the fermentable fiber in those non-starchy vegetables by microbes in your gut generates new signaling molecules, significantly reinforcing the satiety signals produced by the protein intake at that meal.

The ABCs (asparagus, artichoke hearts, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach) are the best sources of non-starchy vegetables to maximize appetite suppression.

Step 3. Add a dash of monounsaturated fat

Fat adds flavor to any meal, but you only need a dash. The best choices are extra virgin olive oil, almonds, and guacamole.

Here are some examples and the amounts that provide a dash of fat:

One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 oz. of almonds
Two tablespoons of guacamole

Putting it all together, a balanced Zone meal provides adequate protein, is balanced with moderate carbohydrates, and is low in fat but rich in fiber. That combination prevents hunger or fatigue for the next five hours. In our Resources section, you can find some basic Zone meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Many people will say that’s too much thinking, or they don’t have the time. That’s why we developed Zone Foods TM. Zone FoodsTM combines Steps 1 and 2 for making a Zone meal. Each serving of Zone FoodTM provides 15 grams of protein combined with the appropriate amount of low-glycemic carbohydrates. To complete your Zone meal, combine any two Zone FoodsTM (each serving contains 15 grams of protein) and add a dash of monounsaturated fat.

In our Resources section, you can find many possible Zone FoodsTM combinations suitable for any meal during the day. The more meals made using Zone FoodsTM™, the faster you reduce insulin resistance.

Look at your watch five hours after eating a Zone meal. If you are not hungry and have excellent mental focus, you know you have consumed a proper Zone meal. Once you master this dietary habit, you have the answer to life-long metabolic control of your weight. Why? Because it is easy to eat fewer calories if you are not hungry. How long will it take to see hunger reduction using the Zone diet? Research from Harvard Medical School indicates it only takes two consecutive Zone meals to reduce hunger dramatically.

The Zone diet is a clinically proven dietary method to reduce insulin resistance. However, to truly get to the Zone, you must also reduce chronic low-level inflammation and accelerate the repair of damaged tissue caused by oxidative stress. This requires an adequate daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many. As a result, virtually everyone is deficient in these two essential nutrients to get you to the Zone.

The Role of OmegaRx® in Metabolic Engineering

You need adequate omega-3 fatty acids to produce hormones known as resolvins to reduce chronic low-level inflammation that drives the development of insulin resistance. OmegaRx® has been the standard to which all fish oil products have been compared since Dr. Sears started the fish oil revolution when he wrote The OmegaRx Zone in 2001.

But how much do you need? Your blood will tell you. We have developed a simple at-home finger stick test that will precisely tell you the amount of OmegaRx® you will need. However, four capsules of OmegaRx® daily will be sufficient for most individuals.

The Role of MaquiRx® in Metabolic EngineeringTM

Polyphenols are the chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their color, but their metabolic importance is because they also stimulate the repair of damaged tissue. There are more than 8,000 known polyphenols. But which ones and how much?

As Dr. Sears described in his book, The Mediterranean Zone, the “best of the best” is likely a subclass of polyphenols known as delphinidins. These polyphenols are the ones that give red wine its color. MaquiRx® is the richest known source of delphinidins. One MaquiRx® capsule contains the same amount of delphinidins found in four bottles of red wine.

But how much do you need? Again, your blood will tell you. We have developed another simple at-home finger stick test that will tell you. However, one capsule of MaquiRx® daily will be sufficient for most individuals. But if you have a higher initial level of insulin resistance, you may wish to start with a higher dose of MaquiRx®.

That’s why Metabolic Engineering® is personalized to you. There are simple blood tests that tell you how to adjust each of the three dietary components of Metabolic Engineering® to your unique biochemistry and genetics. Consider these blood tests as navigational channels to keep you in the Zone at every stage of life.

Adjusting the Zone Diet
You know if you are following the Zone diet correctly if your triglyceride/HDL cholesterol (TG/HDL) ratio is less than one. You can get this information from your blood test at your annual check-up. If your TG/HDL ratio is greater than one, you are likely consuming more carbohydrates than you should. You can adjust this by eating fewer low-glycemic carbohydrates with 30 grams of protein at each meal or using more Zone Foods® to get your necessary protein..

Adjusting Your OmegaRx® Intake
Our fingerstick AA/EPA ratio blood test.

allows you to determine your optimal intake of omega-3 fatty acids. You want to maintain that ratio between 1.5 and 3. The average American has an AA/EPA ratio of around 20 which indicates a highly pro-inflammatory diet. If your AA/EPA ratio is greater than 3, take some more OmegaRx®. If your AA/EPA ratio is less than 1.5, take less OmegaRx®.

Adjusting Your MaquiRx® Intake
Our fingerstick HbA1c blood test.

allows you to determine your optimal intake of polyphenols. You want to maintain your HbA1c level between 4.9 and 5.1 percent. The average American with insulin resistance has a HbA1c level greater than 5.7. If your HbA1c level exceeds 5.1 percent, take some more MaquiRx®. If your HbA1c level is less than 4.9 percent, take less MaquiRx®.

Getting to the Zone is based on science rather than hope. Your blood will tell you. That’s why our company logo is Evidence-based Wellness®.

Following Metabolic Engineering® generates causes rapid changes in your metabolism. Some occur in a matter of days, others within a few weeks, and according to published clinical research, your blood chemistry begins to change within a month. Here are some subjective changes you can expect to see if you are correctly following Metabolic Engineering®. If you like those results after following Metabolic Engineering® for a month, you have a dietary roadmap to the Zone for the rest of your life.

Daily Energy
As you reduce insulin resistance, your daily energy will increase as a more efficient metabolism converts more dietary calories into energy instead of storing them as fat. You will begin to see this marker change in a few days.
Appetite for carbohydrates As you reduce insulin resistance, your cells can take up glucose from the blood more effectively. This reduces the body's constant demand for dietary carbohydrates.

Lack of hunger between meals
Improved appetite control comes from a better protein-to-carbohydrate balance in your diet. This generates more stable blood sugar levels and satiety signals from the gut to the brain. Although this occurs after consuming a Zone meal, it may take a few days for you to notice it.

Mental concentration
Mental concentration is determined by the ability of glucose to be taken into your brain cells and converted into energy. As you reduce insulin resistance, more glucose can enter the neurons to create more energy for brain activity. You will notice this benefit within a few days.

Fingernail strength or growth
The quality of your fingernails is a consequence of your level of insulin resistance. By reducing insulin resistance, both their growth rate and strength are enhanced. You should start to notice this within a week.

Sleep Quality
Insulin resistance causes the increase of cortisol that disturbs the quality of your sleep, making you less refreshed in the morning. As you reduce insulin resistance, sleep quality improves within a week.

Skin condition
The elasticity of the skin is reduced with increased insulin resistance. As you reduce insulin resistance, your skin begins to regain its elasticity. You will start to see this change within two weeks.