Diet Types: Specific Ratio Diets
Specific ratio diets, most notably The Zone Diet, advocate eating foods in the precise ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat at every meal.
Similar to low carbohydrate diets, The Zone Diet teaches individuals to stay away from sugars (from sodas and pre-packaged baked goods) and refined starches (from white bread, white rice, and white pasta).
The Zone Diet is less restrictive of carbohydrate intake than low carb diets and is therefore much more reasonable than low carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet.
The Zone Diet emphasizes protein intake, which is important because protein slows digestion and provides a longer, more sustained feeling of fullness. The Zone Diet also advocates the consumption of healthier monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats as opposed to saturated fats and omega-6 fats.
While theoretically the ratios in specific ratio diets are simple to remember, practically speaking such specific ratios are difficult to implement at every meal. Since achieving the ideal macronutrient ratio is so difficult with these diets, these diets are often only followed successfully by buying the full-line of food products (processed bars and shakes) specifically associated with a specific diet. Simply put, there is no magic ratio of macronutrients that promotes fat loss and lean muscle growth. General recommendations for overall caloric consumption certainly exist, but these are only for guidance. The most important thing to remember when choosing a diet is to combine a healthy nutrition plan with an appropriate combination of aerobic and weight-based exercise.