Dispel the notion that Zone diet is meant only for those who eat non-vegetarian foods. If you are a vegetarian you can convert your diet into a Zone diet vegetarian meal. This excellent diet is not based on being vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It is purely a diet based on carbohydrates, proteins and fat, but in a precisely fixed ratio. The ratio is 40:30:30. In simple words your meal should consist of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 30% protein. What makes up the protein portion is not the question.
If you need to know more about this, pick up Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Soy Zone.” Dr. Barry Sears, a former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created the Zone diet.
The Zone Vegetarian Diet
In the main, vegetarians consume carbohydrates more than they consume proteins. It is an incorrect notion that meals high in carbohydrates help in reducing weight and give you a healthy life. Diets high in carbohydrates lead to increased Insulin levels in your body which leads to gain and storage of fats. Vegetarians need to consume vegetable proteins to balance the carbohydrates they intake.
Your Zone diet needs to be in the Right Proportion and in the Right Portion. Not only should your diet be in the 40:30:30 ratio but your meal portion also needs to be precise. That is why you get to consume your diet in the number of Zone blocks. Calculation of Zone blocks depends on your weight and height in addition to other minor measurements. An average male consumes, say, 14 Zone blocks and an average female 11 blocks in a day.
Assume an average Zone diet consists of:
· Skinless chicken or turkey breast (proteins)
· Black beans and Raw Broccoli (carbohydrates)
· Avocado and Macadamia nuts (fat)
To make this into a vegetarian Zone meal, all you need to do is replace the protein portion with Soybean based meat substitutes, such as Soybean hot dogs or hamburgers. Tofu, Soy-based products, Cheese, Nuts, and meat substitutes, such as seitan and tempah make for great protein substitutes for vegetarians. However, you need to be careful when selecting vegetables. Green beans, for example, have high protein and carbohydrate contents. If you opt for these, you may upset the carbohydrate to protein ratio. This is where you need to juggle your contents.
The Bottom Line
Make sure you use favorable carbohydrates and fats in your Zone diet vegetarian meals. Opt for fruits and vegetables that contain low starch, and avoid bananas and prunes due to their high sugar content. Use monounsaturated fat only. You can consume avocado, macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds and shun butter, vegetable shortenings and creams. Use olive oil and peanut butter, instead.
It is worth repeating that Zone diets should be consumed in the Right Proportion and in the Right Portion. This is a wellness diet that will help reduce your weight and keep you healthy. It is never too late to make that lifestyle change.